Many auto repair shop owners lack the time and know-how to create their content and play it out in a way that is appropriate for their target groups. That’s why LIQUI MOLY launched a test project in 2019 and provided its sales partners with professional online marketing via socialPALS. Three years and countless campaigns later, the concept is so successful that it is even being rolled out internationally. Daniel Wiest reports why he relies on socialPALS!
Daniel, please tell us about yourself and your tasks at LIQUI MOLY!
I have been Online Marketing Manager at LIQUI MOLY for over seven years. In addition to paid social campaigns, my varied tasks include looking after various collaborations and influencers.
LIQUI MOLY is a "first mover" in the industry at socialPALS. How did you hear about us or how did you decide to try this new approach to automated commerce marketing?
We first became aware of your company in 2015 when we participated in a Red Bull campaign as a brand partner. For us, three compelling points were decisive in implementing the first campaign with socialPals:
- Supporting automobile workshops in communicating with their customers, i.e., the motorists.
- The creation of high-quality online marketing campaigns for our partners.
- Addressing motorists in the workshop’s local catchment area.
This gave us a way to support regional partners online. Many workshop owners lack the time and know-how to create their content and play it out in a suitable format for their target group. So we started 2019 with the first test project and a small customer base. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, so we decided to focus on the concept further.
What was the aim of the "Gear Tronic" campaign and why did you decide to implement it with socialPALS? What challenges were you able to solve with socialPALS?
The aim of the campaign was and is to support our automotive workshop customers in marketing their services. This instance was about automatic transmission oil flushing with our “Gear Tronic” device.
With socialPALS, we found a way to provide our workshops with high-quality social media assets (e.g., texts, images, and videos) and to play them out locally to their target group, the end customers, through ads. This allowed us to increase the reach of each garage without any effort on the part of the garage owners.
Through the “Gear Tronic” campaign, we made motorists aware of the need for an automatic transmission oil change with flushing. This enabled us to direct prospective customers to the nearest workshop offering this service. So it’s a win-win situation for our workshop customers and us!
By allowing the end customer to contact their nearby workshop directly via contact form and make an appointment, we have probably the most effective marketing tool in place for our workshops.
How much effort did you put into marketing to launch the campaign?
After a short kick-off, it was relatively easy for us to set up the campaigns ourselves. The time required was therefore kept within reasonable limits.
How difficult was it to motivate your partner workshops to participate? Did socialPALS support you in this?
That was a bit of a challenge. After all, not all workshop owners are familiar with social media or social ads. But thanks to the very visual and easy-to-understand campaign info, we could inform our workshop owners about our field staff and activate them to participate.
socialPALS supported us a lot in the onboarding of the different workshops and also took over the direct communication with the workshops in case of queries or ambiguities. This has made our work enormously easier!
What was the feedback from your partner workshops? Was the "online marketing" module accepted as an integration into the sales concept?
With our workshop concepts, we have developed a “construction kit” to help automobile workshops and partners market themselves better, among other things, with targeted marketing concepts. With socialPALS, we could add another building block, namely online marketing. This way, we are closing a significant gap in our customers’ marketing mix.
The feedback from the workshops was positive without exception. Particularly well received was that workshops were provided with professionally prepared content, including various video formats
With socialPALS, we can narrow down each campaign to within the proximity of the workshop, saving money and bringing realistic prospective customers from the surrounding area. Especially in rural areas, it is already noticeable if the local auto repair shop is visible on Facebook, Instagram, or GoogleAds.
Did you draw any helpful insights from the campaign?
The best learning for us has been to set up campaigns so that we can replicate them regularly throughout the year. We have already repeated some campaigns several times and noticed that the number of participants increases each time.
We saw that the auto workshops are eager to explore new avenues and are open to innovative online marketing concepts. We need to tie in here and position ourselves as a reliable and competent partner for workshops in this sector. We also need to support the workshops in fully maximizing online sales potential with our products and services.
What's next for LIQUI MOLY and socialPALS in the future?
We are currently in the process of an international socialPALS rollout. A test project in the USA has already taken place and will soon be boosted to a more extensive customer base.
An expansion to our retail customers is likewise highly conceivable. We intend to continue growing with socialPALS to convince many more of our customers to join this concept!
That's what our retailers say:
We have noticed that the range and frequency of inquiries is increasing after publication of the posts and ads. We are already relatively well known in the Hildesheim area as far as flushing for the automatic transmission is concerned – but the socialPALS campaigns bring in a bit more momentum.
Motor Care Kiecko, Hildesheim
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