At Valvoline Instant Oil Change, even though many of our franchisees excel at managing service center operations, effective oil change marketing can still be a mystery. With vendors calling daily to sell print advertising, billboards, radio ads, coupon mailers, grocery receipt ads, and a wide array of digital marketing tactics, how is a business owner to decide?
Add to that a significant challenge in quick lube marketing which is: At any given time, about 5-10% of vehicles are due for an oil change within the next few days. Broad-based advertising to the other 90-95% is an expensive waste of money. The key is knowing how to target your marketing and reduce waste in your spend.
Fortunately for our franchisees, we know what marketing tactics bring a positive return on investment for the quick lube business model. That’s because we test marketing tactics in our company-owned stores first, and we measure the results carefully. That gives our franchisees the benefit of knowing whether a new advertising vehicle actually drives results before they invest their own hard-earned dollars.
When a prospective franchisee comes in to our headquarters for a Discovery Day, we share quite a bit of information about the oil change marketing programs they’ll have access to once they join our system. For our purposes here, let’s look at a high-level overview:
Direct and Database Marketing Programs
Our customer retention efforts are built on a wealth of knowledge about how best to leverage one of your most valuable assets: your customer database. Our direct marketing program takes reminder mail to a new level, allowing you to customize your messaging in multiple channels to send the right offer to the right customer at the right time.
Digital and Social Media Marketing
Digital marketing represents the most rapidly changing arena in marketing today. Broadly speaking, it includes search engine optimization, paid search advertising, online display campaigns, retargeting, reputation management, social media, deal sites, and so much more. We cut through the “sizzle” and apply a very disciplined approach to evaluating new digital marketing tactics:
1) Does it increase volume in our stores?
2) Does it deliver a positive return on investment?
3) Is it easy for our franchisees to execute?
We test new digital strategies in our company stores, analyze the results, watch to see customer return behavior, and share those results with our franchisees. This approach helps save our franchisees money by enabling them to focus their marketing dollars on programs that drive business.
Maintaining Customer Satisfaction and Building Rapport
We rarely talk about marketing without also talking about customer satisfaction, because customer satisfaction rates are an important indicator of how well we deliver on the promises we make in marketing. Customer satisfaction has always been important to us, and it has taken on increased visibility in recent years with the proliferation of online review sites.
At Valvoline Instant Oil Change, we monitor customer satisfaction by conducting transactional surveys in all our stores, both company-owned and franchisee-owned. We share these satisfaction scores and customer comments real-time with the store-based teams who deliver the customer experience. We conduct about 250,000 customer surveys a year, with customers rating Valvoline Instant Oil Change at 4.6 stars out of 5 for overall satisfaction.
Marketing and Advertisement Templates
We also provide franchisees with a web-based advertisement template site to make it easy for you to customize your materials for your specific locations. Need a coupon template? An employee discount flyer? Business cards? Fleet marketing materials? We’ve got you covered! We will supply a professional brand image and examples of creative ads to make the process as straightforward as possible.
Our franchisees don’t need to be marketing experts. As a part of the Valvoline Instant Oil Change franchise system, they have the benefit of an entire team of marketing experts, and access to the entire suite of marketing tools that we use in our company-owned stores. Our franchisees have confidence that our focus is not just on marketing programs that look good, but on marketing programs that drive oil change volume and grow revenue. And as a business owner, that’s the kind of marketing expertise you need.