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Free marketing
Posted to Shop Management Forum on 1/29/2010 15 Replies

Over the years the best marketing I have done has been to avoid mistakes in marketing. Mostly by not doing any marketing.

I have done a bit of TV, a bit of direct mail, a tiny bit of newspaper, and an advatorial or two. Add in some variations of the above and that has been about all.

I have noticed though that some of the best marketing of my competition has come from their participation in church, social clubs, local government functions etc. My partner was able to do this to a point, but I am just not a mixer. My partner did it most through his wealthy Harley buddies and their extended community.

My second generation folks, my partner's daughter and her husband are a significant force in this arena and as service writers are a huge part of why we were up 19% last year and why our parking lot is double parked every day.

Heidi just emailed me a picture of the display booth she designed and set up at the local mega health/fitness club. Both Heid and Darren (our service writers husband and wife) are members there and are the socially mobile types that can really make an impression. This health club is huge and is a recognized fixture in our community. They have set up a free business networking function where members can share their products with other members and hopefully give them a break (I really hate the word discount).

Tueday night they had a gathering (don't know the exact word for the event) where each business was given a table and allowed to display their wares. Here is the picture she sent me: [Marketing booth]

The brochures laid out on the table were Bosch Service Center directories and a one page front and back folded piece that Heidi produced. I give her an A+ for both content and effort. I don't think one can buy such employees. She obviously is doing this because she will some day own it, but if they can find a way to replace me they will really have a great future.

BTW, the title of this post stated free marketing. It actually took a lot of effort and really can't be bought. As I stated above I think this kind of relating to the community is the best marketing.

Steve from Florida

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