People will tell you that “marketing is marketing is marketing.” That may be true when it comes to the fundamental techniques you use. When it comes to the subtle differences that will make or break your marketing, they couldn’t be more wrong.
Euro shops are different. They typically have a very different “feel” when you walk into them. These shops, like the cars they work on, are more upscale. More refined. When run correctly, they have a “concierge” feel to them.
It starts with the message
A study was conducted on the various social classes using food to determine what was most important to them. The findings of the study were as follows:
- The working-poor would ask the question, “did you get enough to eat?”
- The middle-class would ask the question, “how did everything taste?”
- The upper-class would ask the question, “does everything look great?”
Let’s look at these individually.
When the working-poor ask, “did you get enough to eat?” we can infer that they are concerned most about quantity. When marketing, this translates to your messaging needing to be about value or price.
When the middle-class ask, “how did everything taste?” we can infer that they are concerned most about quality. When marketing, this translates to your messaging needing to be about quality, workmanship, experience, and dependability.
When the upper-class ask, “does everything look great?” we can infer that they are concerned most about appearance. When marketing, this translates to your messaging needing to be about the cleanliness of your shop, your upscale waiting area, the way you protect their vehicle while working on it, and keeping their car looking and performing like new.
So what does that mean for a Euro shop?
Most clients of a Euro shop are going to fit into the upper-middle-class. So your messaging needs to balance what’s important to both the middle-class and upper-class.
It makes sense that the upper-middle-class are looking for high-quality work and want to be treated special. They want your shop to look great and be clean. They expect your service advisors to have a very professional appearance. Washing their car before they pick it up will go a long way with them. The more of a concierge experience you can give them, the better.
So take a look at your marketing. Who are you speaking to? Are you trying to attract high-end clients by offering discounts? You may be dangling a carrot when what they want is a steak.
People Who Drive European Cars Use Different Search Terms
The way a Euro shop does search engine optimization is very different from a generalist shop.
A generalist shop’s most important search terms are going to be:
- The shop’s name
- Mechanic near me
- Auto repair near me
- Auto repair shop
A Euro shop is totally different. The reason is that their clients think differently. When they bought that European car, they bought it because it was special. It made them feel good to drive it. It is a status symbol.
The people who drive these cars know their car is special, and they don’t trust just anyone to work on it. Because of this, they search with terms like:
- Mercedes service
- Mercedes repair
- Mercedes mechanic
- Mercedes A Service
- Mercedes B Service
The search terms they use almost always include the brand name of their car. So that means you need pages optimized for nearly every brand of European car you work on.
On the other hand, I see generalist shops with pages for every car brand ever made. A handful of website companies do this by default, and they use almost identical content on these pages across all of their client’s websites. This is a waste of time for two reasons.
- Duplicate content doesn’t rank well in search at all. If 1500 different websites all have the same pages with the same content, there is nothing special about it, and therefore Google isn’t going to share it in the search results.
- For the most part, people who drive “normal” cars don’t search by manufacturer. They don’t search for “Chevrolet service” unless they’re looking for the dealership – and it’s challenging to convert someone who is specifically looking for a dealership into a client for your independent shop – no matter how much you use the words “dealership alternative” on your website 🤣.
So make sure your website includes optimized pages for the “special” cars you work on. This article is specific to Euro shops, but it’s the same principle when working on vehicles like diesel trucks. People will specifically search that out.
I also recommend writing blog posts about the various repairs you do. Sometimes people will know they need a specific repair, like an evaporator core replacement. So if you write an article about replacing the evaporator core in an S-Class Mercedes, you just might get found by a person who is looking for a shop to do that repair. Even if not, it helps to establish the fact that you specialize in Mercedes or whatever brand the blog post is about.
There are many ways that marketing a Euro shop is different from marketing a generalist auto repair shop. This article touched on two of the biggest: messaging and search.
When creating a marketing strategy for your shop, you must always look at how your shop is different, how your clients are different, and what matters the most to them.