NEW REPORT: Local Marketing Outlook: Home & Auto Repair Businesses

LOCAL-MARKETING-OUTLOOK2

 

We recently released a new small business report for our research subscribers. Below is an overview of the report.

Report Overview

The home and auto emergency-related service business segment represents well over a million small businesses in the U.S. This segment, consisting of auto repair shops, heating & air conditioning contractors, tire dealers, plumbing contractors, and others, will spend in excess of $7 billion on marketing related products and services this year. This represents a sizable portion of the SMB marketplace, that many marketing providers service. In this report, we highlight the economic outlook, advertising trends, and marketing challenges for this group of businesses. The trends and insights are drawn from our panel of over 40,000 small businesses in the U.S.

Marketers and executives can utilize information in this report to refine their approach to these businesses, adjust product or service offerings or help their salesforce better understand the challenges and opportunities this segment of the marketplace presents.

 

Executive Summary

The home and auto emergency-related service business segment represents well over a million small businesses in the U.S. This segment, consisting of auto repair shops, heating & air conditioning contractors, tire dealers, plumbing contractors, and others, will spend in excess of $7 billion on marketing related products and services this year. This represents a sizable portion of the SMB marketplace that many marketing providers target. In this report, we highlight the economic outlook, advertising trends, and marketing challenges for this group of businesses. The trends and insights are drawn from our panel of over 40,000 small businesses in the United States. Below are some key highlights of our findings.

The outlook on the economy is extremely positive:

  • SMB confidence is on the rise. This year 36% of the small businesses in this segment expect the economic conditions to improve over the next twelve months. This represents a 24% increase from 2014 results. When asked about their sales, 47% expected their sales to grow over the same time period. This is up 27% from 2014.
  • Positive outlooks are translating to more marketing dollars. This year the number of businesses increasing budgets are set to double from prior year results. Forty percent of these businesses expect their marketing budgets to increase. Larger organizations and ones that typically spend more will be leading the charge.

Traditional media continues to play a significant role in the marketing mix:

  • Majority of spend tied to traditional forms of media. Over 60% of media spend is still tied to traditional forms of media for this business segment. While there has been a migration of dollars to digital, it continues to lag behind many other business segments. This year’s top growth areas include email (34%), websites (32%), SEO (29%), and direct mail (28%).
  • Traditional media continues to perform well. Three out of five of the best performing media types, according to these SMBs, are traditional forms of media. Yellow Pages (28%), Traditional Newspapers (18%) and Direct Mail (17%) were in the mix with Websites (35%) and Social Media (19%).

Technology adoption continues to lag behind other segments:

  • Website penetration is low. While one of the top growth areas is websites, it is for good reason. Only 53% of this business segment has a website. The majority that do, have ones that are outdated compared to today’s mobile environment. This is especially true with businesses that have a small number of employees.
  • CRM and mobile capabilities are lacking. The majority of these businesses, 64%, have no way to track customers, or determine where their leads are coming from. To compound these issues, 63% do not have the ability to capture payments via mobile devices.

Many of the challenges are driven by education and time:

  • Digital experience is a limiting factor. While many of these businesses understand digital is the path forward, they lack the skills & expertise to successfully trial new programs. Thirty-seven percent stated having enough time followed by enough knowledge or experience (27%) were the biggest challenges to online media.

 

 

This report is available for free to our research subscribers, and is also available for purchase.

 

DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY TODAY!

 

 

Jason Peaslee

Jason Peaslee is the Managing Partner of Thrive Analytics, a marketing research and analytics consulting firm. His career spans more than 20 years in marketing, advertising, product development, research, and business management. Before founding Thrive Analytics in 2010, he held several senior leadership roles at AT&T, Reynolds & Reynolds, Berry Network, & The Berry Company.

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