Talk to five different marketing pros, and you get five different answers about the ideal auto repair marketing campaign. Some are big social media fans, while others swear by upgrading a shop’s signage. Other suggestions may include an overhaul of your waiting area, a uniform phone protocol, or an investment in technician training and shop certifications, such as the coveted RepairPal-Certified designation. In fact, they are all correct.
Stand up and Be Heard
That said, there is one marketing approach that you may not yet have attempted, although it incorporates some of the earlier suggestions. Take a stand on an issue that matters to your customers and tends to be moderately divisive. In the field of auto body repair, restorations, and even maintenance, you will likely find that the use of aftermarket parts is one such issue.
Aftermarket vs. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Parts
We want to make it clear from the start that there is no universal right or wrong answer. Here are a few things to consider:
- Price Point: Aftermarket parts are cheaper than OEM items. Passing the savings along to the consumer is a good marketing point.
- Quality: Although there are plenty of great aftermarket part manufacturers, there are also some questionable ones out there. Being an industry insider puts you in an excellent position to discuss this topic with authority.
- Fit: Needless to say, OEM parts fit perfectly. The generic equivalent may suit a broad range of vehicles but may need minor to major alterations. Even then, it may not perform as well as an original piece.
Incorporating a Stand in Your Auto Repair Marketing
Remember that you do not have to take a hard stance on this discussion. Instead, you should position yourself as the friendly neighborhood mechanic who knows the ins and outs of the topic. Since insurance companies generally only pay for aftermarket parts unless the use of OEM pieces is necessary, explain to customers that in some situations the difference is negligible. Batteries and similar items are good examples.
Do so via podcasts, blogs, or vlogs you post to your website and social media channels. From there, get ready to interact with folks on both sides of the issue.
Remember that a RepairPal certification presents you as a trustworthy authority in the field. If you do not have one, contact us today to get started on the process.