Tire & Auto Service Centers: Tune Up Your Marketing Mix to Drive Traffic & Sales

It can be fun to picture a shiny new car, cruising the highway or driving around town in a pristine vehicle that still has that “new car smell.” But a new automobile and the financial commitment that comes with it is something fewer consumers are attracted to these days. In fact, the average age of vehicles driven in the U.S. is 12 years. If you allow for the average driver putting 10-12,000 miles annually on a car, that’s a vehicle with over 100K miles on it that’s going to need regular service and maintenance to keep it on the road—a perfect marketing opportunity for tire and auto centers! And it doesn’t appear that the average age of vehicles will be dropping anytime soon. This means that at least for the next 5 years, we’ll likely be seeing more buying, selling, and driving of older vehicles that will need tires, oil changes, and other service and maintenance. Keep reading and download our tire and auto center insights to help plan your marketing strategy to drive traffic and increase ROI.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Vehicle Sales

Along with impacting everyone’s day-to-day life, COVID-19 has impacted auto sales and the auto industry overall in numerous ways. Auto sales decreased 53% in April 2020 vs. April 2019. Overall annual car sales are forecasted to decrease 20 to 25% from 2019 to 2020.

That means with economic uncertainty and in some cases decreased or lost income, more and more consumers can be expected to continue to drive their current vehicles longer, and those vehicles will need service and maintenance to keep them running.

Our Consumers are on the Road

In our markets, consumers drive more, and they own more vehicles than their urban counterparts:

  • 19% more likely to drive 300-399 miles in last week
  • 31% more likely to drive 500+ miles in last week
  • 50% more likely to own 5+ vehicles per household
  • 14% more likely to own 3 vehicles per household

As a result of all the cars owned and volume of miles driven, our core consumers devote a considerable amount of their income to vehicle related expenditures, much higher than their urban counterparts.

  • Consumers in our coverage area spend 17% of their annual expenditures on vehicle costs including maintenance, repairs, purchases and insurance compared to their urban counterparts who spend only 12%.

This presents a significant opportunity for tire and auto service centers to increase their market share. How can you adapt your strategy to ensure you have the optimal marketing mix to increase traffic to your service center and increase sales?

Make Shared Direct Mail a Key Component in Your Marketing Strategy

  • 64% of tire shoppers have responded to an ad in the mailbox in the last year, that’s 18% higher than the average U.S. adult; 38% have responded in last month; that’s 22% more than average.
  • 62% of oil change/routine auto maintenance customers responded to an ad in the mailbox in the last year, 14% more than the average U.S. adult; 36% responded to an ad in the mailbox in the last month, 14% more than average.

Ads in the mailbox offer a great way to promote awareness of your business and highlight your services and products while targeting your best potential customers. Shared direct mail gives you the ability to create one-on-one messages in a tangible format. Including coupons and special offers helps get customers in the door. By segmenting your list and utilizing variable targeting options, you can remind customers when it’s time for an oil change or tire rotation based on their most recent service date or store transaction. The combination of precise customer targeting and a tangible printed piece keep your message in front of your customer or prospect and serve as a reminder of the action you want them to take.

Not only does direct mail engage your best customers; it reinforces your brand & blunts competitors.

  • Keep your brand top-of-mind by placing it in your customer or prospect’s mailbox and blunting competitors.
  • Whether you choose the impact postcard, wraps or a variety of insert options, we find optimal results come from replicating your online branding and design.
  • By reinforcing awareness developed online, we can help you drive the next action step of traffic to your website or store.

Make an Impact with Loyalty Programs and the Impact Postcard

Retain your best customers while acquiring new with the Impact Postcard and loyalty campaigns

  • Reward: Send loyalty messages and offers to your customers to help retain current business.
  • Reactivate: Win back previously loyal clients that have proven sales with your business.
  • Acquire: Target the remaining households with messages the most relevant to them.

Download our infographic with our key insights for tire and auto service centers, as well as case studies that show how shared direct mail can drive results for businesses like yours.

By partnering with Mspark, you leverage direct mail experts who are familiar with your industry and needs. We offer full service: data analytics, design, print, postage, delivery, and reporting, as well as a variety of products to fit your budget and goals. Download our infographic to keep this helpful information at your fingertips. Reach out to discuss your goals and strategy today!


Sources: Simmons Research, Winter 2020 NHCS Adult Study 12-month, LEK Insights U.S. Automotive Aftermarket Parts Suppliers Perspectives on COVID-19 Impact May 2020, AdMall 2020 AudienceSCAN® study of US online adults 18+, U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics