Annual Marketing Planning w/ Matt Wagg and LauraLee Schmidt

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EPISODE: 082 – Annual Marketing Planning w/ Matt Wagg and LauraLee Schmidt

As we approach the end of the year there have been many discussions and questions about annual marketing planning. In this episode, Kim chat with shop owners Matt Wagg and LauraLee Schmidt about their successful planning and execution of their shop’s annual marketing planning. We dissect what’s needed to prepare to plan, how to plan, and how to monitor and adjust.

Thank you to RepairPal for sponsoring The Auto Repair Marketing Podcast. Learn more about RepairPal at


Annual Marketing Planning (00:00:10)
Discussion about the importance of annual marketing planning for auto repair shops and the introduction of the podcast episode.

Realization of the Need for Marketing Planning (00:01:26)
Explanation of how shop owners, Laura Lee Schmidt and Matt Wagg, realized the need for annual marketing planning and the challenges faced.

Experience with Marketing Planning (00:02:30)
Conversation about the experiences of shop owners Laura Lee Schmidt and Matt Wagg in implementing annual marketing planning for their respective businesses.

Business Growth and Marketing Planning (00:05:24)
Matt Wagg’s experience in starting a new business and the role of marketing planning in business growth.

Corporate Experience and Marketing Planning (00:08:08)
Laura Lee Schmidt’s experience in corporate marketing planning and its adaptation to small independent businesses.

Budgeting for Marketing (00:11:31)
Discussion about budgeting for marketing, including reverse engineering, tracking returns, and the percentage of sales used for marketing.

Sponsorship (00:12:42)
Brief mention of the podcast sponsor, RepairPal, and its benefits for auto repair shops.

The timestamps and topics have been presented in Markdown format as requested.

TV Commercials Tracking (00:13:45)
Discussion on tracking ROI for TV commercials and direct mail using specific codes and QR codes.

Budget Planning (00:14:11)
Shop owners discussing their marketing budget planning, starting at 5% and aiming for a 7 to 8% increase.

Marketing Budget Range (00:14:43)
Exploring the range of marketing budget percentages, from 5% to 15%, for maintaining growth or aggressive expansion.

Identifying Slow Times (00:15:25)
Strategies for adjusting marketing budget during slow times and the impact of local events on business.

May Sales Dip (00:18:17)
Discovering the influence of graduation parties on May sales and adjusting marketing strategies to counter the dip.

Event Marketing Success (00:20:26)
A successful event marketing strategy during a historically slow month, leading to increased business.

Intentional Marketing Planning (00:22:51)
Importance of dedicating time to marketing planning and the need for forethought in shop owners’ marketing strategies.

Diagnosing Slow Times (00:23:50)
Changing the mindset to diagnose and plan for slow times, emphasizing the need for intentional planning and measurement.

Analyzing Monthly Performance (00:26:03)
Discussion about tracking and comparing monthly performance to inform proactive marketing planning.

Tools for Marketing Planning (00:27:22)
Laura Lee shares her spreadsheet tool for budgeting and tracking marketing expenses.

Marketing Tracking and Reporting (00:28:04)
Laura Lee and Matt discuss the importance of tracking tools, reports, and analytics for informed marketing decisions.

Reviewing Marketing Performance (00:29:10)
Matt discusses reviewing reports, lead sources, and direct mail success for marketing planning.

Evaluating Marketing Investments (00:30:48)
The importance of tracking what works and what doesn’t in marketing investments is emphasized.

Coaching and Marketing Planning (00:32:13)
Shop owners discuss the role of their coaches in advising and encouraging more aggressive marketing planning.

Marketing Planning Timeline (00:35:27)
Laura Lee shares her timeline for marketing planning, emphasizing the need for early planning due to inventory needs.

Setting Time for Marketing Planning (00:36:59)
Matt discusses finding unbothered time for marketing planning, highlighting the importance of focus and refinement.

The importance of marketing planning (00:38:44)
Matt Wagg discusses his excitement and sense of accomplishment in creating and implementing a marketing plan for his auto repair shop.

Setting boundaries with a marketing plan (00:39:54)
Laura Lee Schmidt shares how having a marketing plan helped her to say no to unsolicited marketing pitches and set boundaries for her shop’s budget.

Detailed marketing planning process (00:42:51)
The hosts discuss their comprehensive marketing planning process, including core focus, target market, unique selling points, and needs assessment for each department.

Challenges in implementing marketing plans (00:44:29)
Matt Wagg reflects on the challenges of implementing all aspects of his marketing plan and the need to outsource tasks due to time constraints.

Aligning marketing with core values (00:46:34)
Laura Lee Schmidt emphasizes the importance of aligning marketing efforts with the core values of the business and making ethical decisions about vendor partnerships.

Encouragement to start marketing planning (00:48:55)
Matt Wagg and Laura Lee Schmidt encourage shop owners to jump into marketing planning, dedicate time to it, and expect a return on investment.

Conclusion and call to action (00:50:26)
The hosts thank the guests and listeners, encourage joining the Facebook group, and invite feedback and suggestions for future episodes.

How To Get In Touch

Group – Auto Repair Marketing Mastermind
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Instagram – @shopmarketingpros 
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Lagniappe (Books, Links, Other Podcasts, etc)


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