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If I got £1 for every time I heard the phrase “I don’t see the point in marketing….it’s too expensive” I’d be a wealthy person. 

However, what if I told you that one of our clients earned an additional £120k per annum gross profit. Would this change your mind? These types of increases in gross profit don’t happen by chance. They require a plan…..

A marketing plan. 

In this article we will show you how one garage generated £20k per month in revenue by spending £4k per month on Marketing, simply by focusing on two metrics and four simple steps.

By 2024 the global digital advertising spend is expected to reach £478 billion, increasing 12.2% this year alone. Now, we’re not saying you have to spend billions but the reality is that if you want more of the right type of (profitable) customers then you will need to pay for them. Marketing is way more than just having a website.

As a consequence, digital marketing is one area you can’t afford to neglect.

The right advertising brings in PROFITABLE customers to your garage. Without customers, you have no money and no business. Unfortunately, digital marketing comes with a price. But it’s ok; good advertising pays for itself.

How much would you pay for a new customer… £0…£25…£50…£100?

It all depends on who the customer is. That means you need to have a clear understanding of what type of customer you want and how much they are worth to you (customer lifetime value).

If they’ve got a Ford Fiesta, you may only want to spend £25. Or, question? Would you even want more Fiesta drivers if you could use your scarce marketing budget to attract Mercedes or Land Rover customers instead?

So, what would you pay to acquire a new Land Rover customer? A customer who will on average spend £1200 per year on their vehicle? £100-£200 may be nearer to the mark. Talk about money well spent; imagine having 100 of these high-value customers.

But to get high-value customers, it’s essential your garage’s marketing is on point. Our previous article outlined why that means getting the right marketing team to help you. It means choosing a marketing partner that provides you with the right data to allow you to know whether your marketing is being successful.

Reporting and analytics may not be the most exciting thing, but the devil’s in the details. Looking at the data gives you a clear image of your garage and where it’s heading, showing you what’s working and what isn’t. Both affect your profit margins.

The results you find should influence your decision making.

And, the most critical data you need from your Marketing partner is Customer Acquisition Cost, aka CAC and Return on Investment (ROI).

CAC = ££ spent acquiring a customer divided by the number of customers gained.

ROI = the benefit (or return) of an investment divided by the cost of the investment. The result is expressed as a percentage

For your business to thrive, you need your CAC to be optimised. The lower your garage’s CAC, the higher your ROI is per customer.

Three factors affect your Customer Acquisition Cost:

  1. Paid marketing – Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads and other social media you pay to advertise on.
  2. Sales & Marketing overheads – Including equipment, software, and sales & marketing tools.
  3. Staff costs – Your sales and marketing teams pay, bonuses, etc…

Each of the above determines how much each new customer ‘lead’ costs your business.

Most garages waste money on their marketing by failing to market correctly, and it’s one of the main reasons businesses fail. Poor marketing leads to the CAC being more than the revenue. A few months of operating like this, and your profit margins are through the floor.

Just take a look at one of our Accelerator customers who (prior to starting Accelerator, I hasten to add) spent £12k with Google on Ads that didn’t generate any sales. All because they thought it would be cheaper to do it themselves! They didn’t know what they were doing when setting up their campaign and didn’t monitor its performance daily whilst it was running.

So, it’s the fault of the Marketing team then if I’m not generating the right amount of sales revenue?

No, not necessarily. 

The job of marketing is to get high quality customers, who want high value work undertaking, to get in touch with you. All at an agreed ‘Customer Acquisition Cost’

Your job is to quote, book, identify any additional safety work that is required, complete the work and bill the customer.

If your Marketing team is delivering the high quality leads at the right CAC and you’re not selling the work then you will never realise the full value of your marketing investment.

In other words, your Return on Investment (ROI) may make marketing look unattractive but it’s not down to the marketing it’s down to the selling!

As a business owner ROI is the most important metric for you and your Marketing partner to share – by using this metric you will focus on delivering real tangible benefit. It means you are focused on generating as much revenue as possible from the marketing spend being made.

Knowing your ROI allows you to streamline your marketing. Here are the best ways to do it:

  1. Cut what doesn’t work – Analyse the data, figure out your garage’s worst performers and wave them goodbye. The truth is it’s the best option for everyone.
  2. Retarget old customers – This is the most overlooked marketing opportunity around. It’s easier (and cheaper) to sell to people who’ve already bought from you. They already know, like, and trust you, so nurturing the relationship gives you a customer for life.
  3. Perfect your process – Time is money; the less time you and your team spend on marketing, the better your ROI is. Use the time to build and refine your sales processes.
  4. Use your data – What gets measured gets managed. Using accurate marketing data, you develop a realistic picture of your business. If you don’t like what you see, you can quickly adapt your strategy to turn your sales and marketing around.

marketing plan for garages

I know what you’re thinking “It all feels like a lot of work; I don’t have the time”.

I get it; running a garage is hard work, and your time is occupied keeping an eye on the daily goings-on. 

But, what if you could drive customers through your doors with more consistency than a German engine? All while lowering your Customer Acquisition Cost with virtually no added work for yourself…

Sounds like something a shady internet guru would spew out, doesn’t it?

Well, it’s not.

It’s what Auto IQ has done for successful garages all over the UK.

Just ask Shaun Ferguson-Miller, from Fergie’s German Vehicle Specialist (Aftermarket’s Top Garage, 2021). Fergie’s opened its doors in 2019 and turned to Auto IQ for help in creating and implementing a marketing plan which has since delivered over £600,000 in gross profit. All from a standing start. This is what he says:

“Your marketing is crazy good. The phone doesn’t stop ringing. Just as I think I’m catching up it goes mental again.”

Auto IQ is the UK’s premier business service provider for garages. We help you with business coaching, technical training, sales, and digital marketing.

Our dedicated team has decades of experience and a proven track record of success in the automotive industry, helping garages like yours increase profit margins while decreasing stress levels.

We streamline your marketing process by honing in on your ideal customer, keeping acquisition costs low and ROI high.

marketing plan for garages

Here’s how Auto IQ helps your marketing:

  •       Bespoke marketing strategy – Your business is unique, and your marketing should be too. No cookie-cutter plan for you; we develop it from the ground up, so it fits your business needs perfectly.
  •       GMB help – It’s challenging to rank on Google’s Maps Pack, but we optimise your GMB account, so you never worry about it again.
  •       Website development – Your website is the first place your customers visit. Auto IQ helps develop a search engine friendly site to convert your customers.
  •       Optimised local directories – Keeping your business listings up to date is time-consuming. Put us in the driving seat, and we update your listing on over 50 of the best directories in your area. No customer misses you.
  •       Social media mastery – Social media is a beast you need to tame. It’s one of the best places to engage with your local customers. Auto IQ helps you stand out in an overcrowded digital world.
  •       Paid ads – No more worrying about managing your ads; it’s done for you, keeping your Customer Acquisition Costs low, so your garage profits.
  •       Nurturing existing customers – Auto IQ keeps your existing customers engaged, so you’re always at the front of their minds when they need a mechanic. Keeping your existing clients is far cheaper than looking for new ones, lowering your CAC yet again.

Auto IQ ensures your garage is built for profit and success. Nothing is done by mistake; we develop a clear strategy to improve your business. Everyone loves a plan of action.

The best part is that we handle the implementation of your marketing strategy for you. This frees up your time to focus on the critical job of converting all those great, new, valuable customers that are calling you.

Auto IQ has your back here too. With our Accelerator Programme, Front of House training and sharing best practices on how to convert more enquiries into paying customers, you’re well supported. Less stress, lower Customer Acquisition Cost, and increased profits, it’s a no-brainer.

If you’ve decided this is your year – the one where you find the right type of customers for your garage with a high ROI while reducing stresses and blowing your profits through the roof – Auto IQ is for you.

Be one of our countless success stories by calling us today. Let’s formulate a profit increasing marketing strategy to put a smile on everyone’s face.

Call 01604 328500Find Out More About Digital Marketing