By Mike Rich, Director of Marketing, RevolutionParts
Marketing parts and accessories is crucial to the success of every parts department. Without a solid marketing strategy, parts departments can get left in the dust when the rest of the dealership performs well. When it comes to marketing, 15% of parts departments are not doing any marketing at all, while 42% rely on their dealership’s internal agency.
Whether you are doing your own marketing, relying on the dealership’s internal marketing services, or a third-party marketer, chances are you’re making some marketing mistakes. These are the top 5 marketing mistakes that parts departments are making.
No Online Marketing Presence
Parts departments have historically relied mostly on word of mouth when it comes to marketing parts and accessories. Dealerships are often too focused on marketing new vehicle sales, especially during the holidays, to pay any attention to parts marketing. This is why your parts department needs to have an online marketing presence, especially if you are selling parts online.
Using social media can help you get in front of a larger audience and engage with potential customers. Setting up shopping ads on Google can get your parts and accessories in front of customers quickly and get them to click on your parts web store or dealer’s website. With the right digital marketing tools, you can measure how many people are seeing your ads (or posts) and how they’re responding to them.
Setting Ad Budgets Too Low or Too High
Advertising can be tricky, especially for a parts manager who’s not familiar with online advertising. There are many ways for parts departments to advertise products online; the question is determining which ad types will work best and how much money they’re willing to spend. An ad budget alone can make or break sales numbers. Set an ad budget that’s too high, and you’ll lose profit. Set an ad budget too low, and you won’t make enough sales. Finding the balance is key to your ad strategy and success.
Serving Ads to the Wrong Audiences
When promoting your ads, it’s not just about how the ad looks, but also how many people see it. Advertising is as much a numbers game as it is a creativity game. However, you also need to make sure that you are serving your ads to the right audience. You want as many people as possible (in the right audience) to see your ad.
You need to have tools and expertise to help you understand who is seeing your ads and how many people they are getting in front of.
Don’t settle for advertising to an audience that isn’t interested in your products. Always look for ways to expand your audience-reach, while also targeting the people who are looking for your auto parts.
Poor Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing doesn’t seem that important at first glance, but it’s one of the most powerful marketing tools for any parts department. Getting new customers is only half the battle of marketing; turning them into repeat customers is the other half. This is where email marketing can really help you improve customer retention.
Using email marketing campaigns to your advantage can help you keep your customers, increase their likelihood to buy more parts and accessories from you, and help you understand their needs. It’s a win-win.
Inconsistent Marketing Messaging
If someone read out an advertisement to you, could you recognize what company it was from just from that? Could you recognize it by its colors or its images? When you can automatically recognize a company from an ad in half a second is great messaging. Your parts department, and your dealership, should do the same.
Keeping your marketed content similar in tone, voice, and content across all platforms can help you stand out from the crowd. You need to decide how you create marketing content and how you want your customers to think about your dealership.
Market Your Parts Department Right
If you’re just starting to implement a marketing plan for your parts department or you’re changing your strategy from top to bottom, avoiding these five marketing mistakes is key. Your marketing strategy can help you grow your parts business year after year. Set the right budgets, determine your brand voice, and use these marketing tools to your advantage.
About the Author
Mike Rich is the Director of Marketing at RevolutionParts, a software company focused on providing dealerships solutions that make it easier to sell more parts.