What’s the best time of year to advertise tires?
Is there a better time of year to put your advertising out there? In truth, advertising needs to be a year-round program. The availability of so many tire dealers, and online retail, means your store needs to be visible to potential customers year-round. But advertising can be expensive. There are ways to use the timing of your advertising to give it the most relevance for the lowest outlay.
Adapt your year-round advertising
People buy tires all year round, which is both a good thing and a bad thing for your budget. You know people are looking for the right place to make their purchase, but how do you catch them? A portion of your marketing budget should be put aside for this regular, year-round advertising, in the local paper alongside car dealerships, for example.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to spend your entire budget on the same ad all year. Advertising needs to be tailored to the specific market and circumstances. So while a portion of your budget could go on that ad in the newspaper or a billboard that stands year-round, the rest of your budget could be devoted to a few seasonal or opportunistic campaigns.
If you’re in an area that presents challenging winter driving conditions, late fall or early winter is the perfect time to remind people to consider winter tires for their vehicle, highlighting the safety benefits. When it gets warmer again, remind people that studded tires will damage the road surface and that they need to change to all-season tires. If your business is in an agricultural community, take the opportunity to remind farmers to replace tires on their equipment at harvest time. Staying in touch with your customers’ needs means they’ll always come back to you, whatever the time of year.
Piggyback on manufacturer promotions
From time to time tire manufacturers will run their own promotions on specific products. Make sure you keep an eye on what they’re running so you can piggyback onto it. If you run an ad offering people a special price, make sure you put an expiration date on it to encourage people to go and buy now, rather than waiting. Manufacturers might issue a recall of a product as well, which you need to let your customers know about. That’s a good opportunity to tailor your advertising to attract new customers.
If events, particularly annual events, happen in your area that get a lot of attention and publicity, it could be worth considering sponsoring at least a portion of it. That could extend your marketing reach well outside your immediate community and earn your brand valuable recognition. For more information on making sponsorship work, check out this article.
Be creative with target markets
Target a niche market with your advertising message. Some dealers have had great success placing ads in specialist newspapers, like their local seniors’ or gay press. These aren’t the kinds of publications that often carry tire ads, but most of the people who read them still drive cars and still need tires. Often the readers of these sorts of publications are likely to support a business that supports their community.
Make sure you do your research first to give you the confidence to try it, and give it plenty of time to generate results rather than abandoning it in a week. Sometimes these things take time to filter out and come back to you. A coupon or special discount offer is a great way to make the ad more effective and give you an indication of its success.
What kind of advertising should you invest in?
There’s nothing to say that you need to budget for all of the advertising options above. Perhaps you’d rather not be involved in sponsorship or you just don’t have the budget. That’s fine too. So, how do you decide where to prioritize your hard-earned dollars?
The first stop should be to take a look at your books. What element of your business is lagging behind the rest? Is there a particular product you just don’t sell much of? Perhaps winter tire sales are slow or perhaps you can identify a drop in sales in spring. That will give you an idea of what area of the market you need to target.
Advertising is a tool to grow your business, so it needs to be dictated by your business’ unique needs. When you do choose a focus for your advertising, remember to plan a way to measure its success so you know whether you should try it again down the track. There’s no point in experimenting with something new if you’re not also tracking the results.