4 Parts Marketing Myths That Are Simply Wrong

Marketing can be a challenge, but it’s crucial to the success of any business. Not only do you need marketing to maximize success, but you need to be using the right marketing. 

While most dealers implement marketing to drive business to their dealership, having separate marketing specifically for the parts department is not widely adopted. These reasons can include common myths about marketing in the parts department. However, not having a marketing strategy that is specifically trained for your parts department could mean leaving money on the table.  

That is why we’re here to BUST these myths and reveal why they are simply just not true. We’ll also show you how, with the right marketing, you can give your parts department a revenue boost. 

Here are 4 common myths about parts marketing that we want to clear up.

Top 4 Parts Marketing Myths

Automotive Marketing = Parts Marketing

Automotive marketing may work for the dealership as a whole, but it doesn’t always work as well for the parts department. Strategies that work to sell cars don’t always have the same impact when selling parts. 

We like to make the comparison of taking your vehicle to a repair shop where the technicians have general knowledge of fixing cars versus taking it to the dealership, where the technicians are specifically trained to work on the make and model of your vehicle.  

On average, most parts departments do not use a marketing team that specializes in auto parts. In fact, a recent RP survey shows that 15% of parts managers reported they don’t use any marketing tactics to sell auto parts. However, parts marketing can be a key player in initiating the new customer journey and bringing previous customers back.

Marketing Only Applies to Getting New Customers

The goal of most marketing is to gain new business, but marketing can be just as powerful when it comes to customer retention. 

Maintaining steady sales means building a solid base of repeat customers. Repeat customers are an essential part of an online parts business. A recent survey shows that for dealers selling online with RevolutionParts, 52% of online revenue came from repeat business. 

Nothing does this better than customer marketing. 

Customer marketing focuses on creating trust, building value, and offering incentives to drive repeat business. A good customer marketing strategy utilizes personalization, education, and reward techniques to deliver the best customer journey, long after the initial purchase is made. 

Personalize emails and related marketing materials to help establish a relationship with your customers. Educate customers by providing them with unique content that fits their needs (i.e., parts installment tutorials, information on upcoming sales/promos). Reward customers with incentives to make repeat purchases. It could be something as simple as 50% off their next purchase or an offer for a customer rewards program. 

These marketing techniques are specific to improving customer retention. When developing your marketing strategy, make sure to distinguish between your prospects and your repeat customers.

You Don’t Need Multiple Marketing Channels

One of the biggest mistakes that a business can make when starting a new marketing strategy is only using one marketing channel. To get a better picture of where your customers are getting their information and how they’re engaging with your business, you need to use multiple marketing channels.

With the right tools, you can get simplified management of all your marketing channels and see where and how your customers are engaging without having to switch back and forth constantly. 

As a general rule, your parts department should use a combination of marketing channels like these:

    • Email Marketing 
    • PPC Ads (Pay-Per-Click)
    • Shopping Ads
    • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Each of these channels can provide you with tools to boost your reach and help you generate more customers for your parts department. This gives you plenty of opportunities to grow your customer base and increase parts sales.

Marketing is Less Important for the Parts Department

As mentioned above, 15% of dealers are not using marketing in their parts department, suggesting that many dealers see marketing for the parts department as a low priority, but could this be a mistake? 

According to Cox Automotive, fixed ops makes up 49% of the average dealership’s gross profits. This means fixed ops plays a significant role in the dealership’s success. 

The parts department is often an untapped resource for generating revenue, and maximizing revenue in the parts department will help give the dealership’s gross profits a boost. 

Plus, if you are selling online and not marketing your online parts business, many potential customers will never know that your business even exists.

Additionally, once you capture those parts buyers, parts marketing can be a powerful awareness tool to drive repeat business.

Once they purchase from your parts department and have an overall positive buying experience, they will likely become repeat buyers.

Hiring the Right Marketing Team

When dealerships are strapped to handle their marketing internally, they look to third-party marketing agencies for assistance. Sometimes it can be very useful to have an outside agency handle your marketing for you. However, not all marketing agencies are equipped to deal with auto parts marketing specifically. 

It’s not a matter of hiring a marketing agency, it’s a matter of hiring the right marketing agency. An agency that has some experience in auto parts marketing is always preferable to one that does not. You also don’t have to pay the max for a good marketing agency. 

When looking for a third-party agency, it’s important to keep these things in mind:

  • Do they specialize in auto parts specifically?
  • How available will the team be?
  • What services are included in the marketing fee?
  • How often will I see reports?
  • What is their average ROAS? ROMS?

The right agency can provide you with marketing services that specialize in parts marketing techniques.

Bottom Line

Right now, most parts departments are not using parts-specific marketing, and a whopping 15% of dealers surveyed don’t use any type of marketing in their parts department. 

For those who are using marketers who specialize in auto parts, the investment pays off. The average dealer partnered with RevolutionParts’ Marketing Services sees an average return on ad spend of 8.75X and an average return on marketing spend of 10X. 

Marketing is also a common theme among our most successful dealers. Just take a look at Justin Akin at All Star DCJR. With just a few pivots in their marketing strategy, they were able to generate up to $4.1 million in total parts sales! 

Read Justin’s story to find out how they did it. 

Combat Staffing Shortages in the Parts Department

Staffing shortages are affecting the auto industry across the globe. However, using a few simple solutions, you can still achieve your parts department’s goals with limited staff.

Download the Free Guide!

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