Highly Effective Marketing Strategies — Part Three
Marketing is absolutely crucial to your shop’s success. In the last couple of posts, we’ve taken a look at some highly effective marketing strategies, which should definitely be part of your formal marketing plan. Click here to read Part One, and click here for Part Two. Today, we’re going to finish up our marketing tips by analyzing your budget, examining types of advertising methods, and looking at how to track your marketing performance.
Creating an Advertising Budget
Because it’s easy to spend a fortune in a very short period of time, you must decide on a predetermined spending limit for your advertising campaign. The general rule is 3-6% of your annual gross sales, not including available co-op funds.
The example below shows one method of calculating your advertising budget in dollars and as a percentage of total sales:
This example demonstrates establishing a budget in the seventh month of the year. If total year-to-date sales were $850,000, then average monthly sales volume is $121,428 (line 1). To caluclate the annual sales, simply multiply the average monthly sales figure by 12, which in this example comes to $1,457,142 (line 2).
Once you have established the annual sales estimate based on current performance, multiply that figure by the budget allocation, in a percentage — 3% in this example (line 3). The resulting figure, $43,714, represents the estimated full-year advertising budget. To determine the monthly ad budget, simply divide the full-year total by 12 (months). In this example, the monthly ad budget becomes $3642 (line 4).
Now let’s assume that this shop has spent $16,406 on advertising during the first seven months of the year. To determine the percentage of sales spent, divide $16,046 by the seven-month sales of $850,000 (line 5). Here, the percentage spent year-to-date is 1.89%, or slightly over half of what should be budgeted.
|Line 1||$850,000 ÷ 7||= $121,428|
|Line 2||$121,428 x 12||= $1,457,142|
|Line 3||$1,457,142 x 3%||= $43,714|
|Line 4||$43,714 ÷ 12||= $3642|
|Line 5||$16,046 ÷ $850,000||= 1.89%|
Choose Advertising Methods/Media Carefully
Select those you feel will provide you with the greatest return on your investment. Conventional wisdom holds that you should advertise heavily to your existing database before doing bulk mailings to secure new customers.
There are a fairly large number of advertising avenues that might work for you, for example:
- Online – Create ads for Facebook and Instagram; optimize the SEO of your website so that you turn up first in Google searches; remind customers to leave you good reviews on Yelp and Google.
- Direct Mail – Send out a monthly service reminder; produce a newsletter; follow up service with a Thank You letter; publish brochures, etc.
- Local Events – Sponsor a car care month and various community activities; hold customer appreciation days; host fund-raisers for a local charity.
- Printing – Custom design your business cards and invoices; order custom Christmas cards, etc.
- Mailing Lists – Target new homeowners and vehicle registrations.
- Movie Theaters – Create an on-screen advertising message for viewing between feature showings.
- Publications – Run ads in local newspapers or magazines.
- Radio – Get booked on local talk shows.
- Specialty Advertising – Buy space on billboards; get your name in bus shelters and sports arenas.
- Specialty Items – Start a giveaway program with license plate frames, roadside emergency kits, pens, hats, mugs, t-shirts, key chains, etc.
- Television – Create a local TV ad.
Track the Results of all Your Marketing Efforts
There’s a saying that if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Therefore, it’s imperative that you create scorecards for each of the measurable marketing efforts you implement. Once you obtain the results, match them with your objectives to determine which efforts are working and which aren’t.
Once you’ve implemented these eight marketing strategies, you’ll have a better understanding of your business processes, your customers’ needs and wants and your shop’s objectives, all of which will lead to a greatly improved bottom line.
Looking for a more in-depth course on marketing? Enroll in Guerrilla Shop Management. Marketing is just one of the many topics covered in this course, which begins August 20th. Call 800-755-0988 today, or visit http://rlotraining.net/contact/ to enroll!