So many folks ask me to help them with marketing and advertising when I do a consulting assignment. Historically, most recyclers don’t spend enough of their revenue on advertising (I recommend at least 1-2%) because they have had bad results and don’t know what to do. I am always amazed when I see sponsorships of racecars and softball teams touted as effective marketing and advertising.
I am completely self-taught on marketing, and you can be too. It’s not rocket science. If you read a few good books, you will know most of what you need to know. In addition, I used Mike French for my direct mail campaigns; he is a lifesaver, as he understands our business so well. Moreover, he designed, printed and mailed the piece. About every 4th job, I got competitive bids, and I don’t believe he ever lost a job.
In 1994, Inc. Magazine did a nice article on our marketing and advertising at AAA Small Car World. We had a very simple but sophisticated system for tracking results from all forms of advertisements and direct mail, and then tracking and reconciling sales and phone calls; so we knew which mediums delivered the most bang for our buck. Email me for a copy of that story.
A good marketing and advertising campaign has to start with a genuine understanding of your customer, your products and services, so that you can make sure they are all aligned. For too long, recyclers have believed that anyone that drove a used vehicle was a prospect, but that definition is much too broad.
A sustainable, result oriented program must include these factors:
- Direct mail, with measured results
- Print and the Yellow Pages (likely only a small amount of Yellow Pages) advertising
- Internet and web presence, with email capability
- Products and services that match your customer and mediums, with a thorough understanding of the desired retail and wholesale mix
- Press releases and other methods of networking (many are free)
- Focused campaigns for existing customers and prospects.
Next month, I will discuss how to differentiate yourself from the competition to really leverage these tools.
Don’t forget to go the website for my new book, www.greenweenies.com, to learn all the backroom business terms. There are 1,200+ terms in over 300 pages, with hilarious illustrations by world famous Gahan Wilson. You can register there for your free weekly “green weenie.” If you want to know what a three fingered booger is, or what’s in a train wreck envelope, it’s the only place to go!
Remember, only you can make BUSINESS GREAT! Next month, more from Chapter Six of How to Salvage Millions from Your Small Business.
Please email if you would like me to send previous articles.
AutoSalvageconsultant.com was formed in 2001 to help recyclers improve their businesses. With over fifty years of experience in three staff members, the group is THE definitive source for recyclers’ management and training needs. The founder, Ron Sturgeon, is past owner of AAA Small Car World. You can review his resume, with skills and experience, at our website. In 2002, his book How to Salvage Millions From Your Small Business was published to help small business owners achieve significant success. It was recently reprinted in the U.S. and published in China, Korea and the Czech Republic. You can learn more about how to help your business at www.autosalvageconsultant.com. You can reach us at 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, or by calling or emailing Mike Gibson or Tammy Sturgeon. Mike can be reached at 817-925-0061 or email@example.com, and Tammy can be reached at 817-999-1224 or firstname.lastname@example.org