The Rural Automotive and Tire Customer Has Different Needs. Why Are You Sending Them The Same Message?

Do you remember the last time you went down a dirt road; how the road seemed to shake and vibrate every object in the car? Remember hearing the sound of rocks and hardened clay flying everywhere?
For people who live in rural areas, often this is their daily experience. This is a far different experience from your customers who live in the more urban areas where they rarely encounter a dirt road, and they don’t typically have to drive as far (or even at all) to get where they are going.
In many cash-strapped rural cities and towns, the upkeep of asphalt roads is too expensive to maintain. Instead of spending money to fill potholes, they are choosing to remove deteriorated asphalt in favor of the dirt roads that were the norm only years before[1].
With these different rural road conditions, comes a lot of wear and tear on vehicles and tires. Dust clogs air filters. Rocks can chip paint and damage headlights. Mud can easily ruin the undercarriage of any vehicle, creating damaging rust and wearing parts out before their time.

Rugged Roads Also Require the Right Tires

Since rural residents are more likely to own a bigger vehicle, they outspend their urban counterparts in a great set of truck/SUV/van tires, all-season tires to be exact[2]. With the economy improving and more Americans finding themselves with more disposable income, this could continue to be the case. The auto services industry stands to benefit. Rural residents also still need their oil changes and tune-ups… in fact they are 14% more likely than adults 18+ to have had an oil change/routine maintenance in the last year[3].

How Direct Mail Fits

As you can see, your messaging needs to be different for your customers based on the driving conditions where they live work and play.
For some rural residents living in remote areas, their vehicle is one of only a handful of things keeping them from total isolation. This means they are going to be interested in honest, quality service from tire dealers and auto service centers they can trust. These businesses have a great opportunity to build that trust, educate and promote needed services tailored to rural residents, and communicate both through an advertising medium proven to deliver results. That medium is direct mail.

Direct Mail and the Auto Services Customer

Take a look at how auto service customers report responding to direct mail. These are some of the highest response rates of any measured media.

  • 41.7% of tire shoppers indicated an ad/coupon in their mailbox led them to take action in the last 30 days[4]
  • 67% responded over the last 12 months[4]
  • 43.3% of auto repair customers indicated an ad/coupon in their mailbox led them to take action in the last 30 days[4]
  • 70.7% responded over the last 12 months[4]

The reason direct mail works for auto and tire service centers is because 38.7% of adults ages 22-24 read direct mail immediately and 38.2% of adults ages 25-34 read immediately[5].
Mspark understands the rural audience and can help tire dealers and auto service centers deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time. Want proof? Download an automotive service success story here.

Interested in learning more about how Mspark can help you grow your business and increase return on your advertising spend? Fill out the form to get started today!

1. Wired Magazine 2016
2. Spring 2016 NHCS Adult Study 2-year
3. Spring 2016 NHCS Adult Study 2-year
4. AudienceSCAN 2017
5. 2016 DMA Fact Book