Why tire dealers should keep marketing even during busy periods.
Tires are racing out your store like they belong in NASCAR. Queues are forming in the parking lot. Surely there’s no need to focus on marketing right now?
Before you take your foot off the gas you might be interested in the benefits of connecting with your customers year-round. And why you should never really stop marketing – especially when you’re busy.
Keeping your conversations going
When business is booming it’s easy for a dealership to fall into the trap of thinking you no longer need to focus on marketing. You abandon the next customer newsletter, postpone your next blog, go silent on social media and cease to find new ways to connect with your customers.
No matter how busy you are, it pays to remember that bubble can burst as quickly as it formed. If your customers don’t feel engaged and valued – both when they’re purchasing from you and when they’re not – what’s to stop them from driving down the road to your closest competitor? You need to offer your customers much more than good prices to keep them coming back.
Getting to know your customers: why ‘selling’ is the worst way to sell
Unsettling as it may be, the reality is consumers don’t like being sold to. Modern marketing is much more about building relationships through customer support, information, inspiration and entertainment.
According to David M. Cooperstein of Forrester Research, “the only sustainable competitive advantage is knowledge of and engagement with customers.”
Consumers want to talk about the things that affect and interest them. They want advice from someone who understands their needs, knows what they want and appears to be in it for the long haul. By nurturing and engaging your customers both inside and outside your sales cycle, it’s far more likely to be you that they turn to when it’s time to buy.
And while statistics vary greatly, selling to an existing customer is exponentially cheaper, and far more certain, than acquiring new ones. This makes every customer relationship worth preserving.
Get clever about how you connect
It can be tough for businesses without big marketing teams and large budgets to continually come up with creative ways to connect with customers. Here are some clever ways to get more bang for your buck, and to do more in less time.
Embrace social media
In 2014 social media was the second most effective digital marketing channel for customer retention in the United States. Businesses can’t afford not to be engaging customers using this medium.
That being said, today it’s not enough to be “present” on social media. Businesses must maintain similarly high customer service standards online, just as they would in store. According to the Bain & Co. report on “Putting Social Media to Work,” when companies engage with customers on social media and provide good customer service, those customers spend on average 20-40% more with that company.
Content is king
In the same digital marketing survey, content marketing only marginally trailed social media as the third most effective marketing channel. And the great thing about having a strong focus on content development is that when you’re really busy you’ll already have plenty of quality intellectual property that you can draw on. Because your content is an asset you own, you can re-use, recycle and repurpose it when you’re too busy to think about your next blog post.
Retweeting and re-sharing content with quick updates is a great way to save time, get better mileage from the content you’ve already written, and keep those valuable customer conversations going.
Make your website work for you
You’re so busy you barely have time to eat and sleep. Why not get your website working for you – 24/7? If you’ve got a strong website, why not let it take care of signing up new subscribers, conducting surveys and market research, selling and advertising your products and reeling in new customers through high-ranking local searches? Having a clever, high-performance website will free you up to do other things.
A great way to keep your marketing efforts going year-round is to think like a scout and be prepared. Plan ahead. The more thought you put into your marketing activities ahead of time, the easier it will be to deliver them when you don’t have time to do much else. The easier it is for you to get a new campaign or conversation up and running, the more likely you are to actually do it.
Creating a forward calendar of marketing campaign ideas and topics is a great way to know what’s coming up next. You’ll also be more effective in developing topic ideas and integrating your activities when you have a broad view of what lies ahead. Regardless of the season or how busy you are, maintaining a calendar lets you continue marketing without having to invest a lot of time or energy.
Stay on course
Planning your work and working your plan ensures you continue marketing even during your busy periods. In turn, a solid marketing strategy contributes to less slow periods because you’re continually staying front of mind with the tire-buying people in your community. By consistently keeping your marketing going year-round, you’ll maintain momentum and gain competitive advantage.