While new and used car sales continue their slow comeback, one thing that never changes – in fact, it may be increasing, with more older cars still on the road – is consumer demand for auto service and repair.
As suggested in the Radio Advertising Bureau's “Radio Matters” blog, the way is clear for radio to, well, drive listeners to dependable oil change, tire or transmission/muffler service centers. “According to J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Aftermarket Service Index Study, vehicle owners’ satisfaction levels are low, [and] when it comes to service advisors, those levels are even lower,” RAB Senior VP/Insights Annette Malave says. “Promoting a promise of great service, waiting area comfort and more can help to eliminate doubt and improve customer perception. Radio can help to drive this message.”
The customers are certainly there, as Malave points out, citing S&P Global Mobility data showing more than 284 million vehicles currently on the road, with nearly 122 million of those more than 12 years old. “With the average aftermarket repair of 6-11 years, many vehicles will be prime for service and repair,” she notes.
As it stands, radio is already reaching most of those drivers. According to Scarborough data, the medium reaches 84% of adults who received an oil filter/oil change, 85% who purchased new tires, and 86% who repaired their transmission and more.
The real proof of radio's power comes via results of an Analytic Owl study of 140,600 radio ad campaigns from May 2022-May 2023, showing that ads increase visitor traffic to auto service websites by 5%, and up foot traffic to brick-and-mortar locations by 22%. Additionally, for every auto service spot aired, radio drives two new site visits and four new location visits.
Analytic Owl's data also shows that midday and afternoon drive are the best dayparts for auto service businesses to use for increasing web traffic, while, surprisingly, overnights deliver more new users than morning. While website activity was shown to be highest on Wednesdays, radio ads drove the highest new foot traffic to brick-and-mortar locations on Tuesdays.
“The opportunities for auto service business to increase their revenue are plentiful,” Malave says. “Auto businesses should address any possible concerns that potential customers may have about their service experience by addressing waiting area comforts, service advisor expertise and more. Using radio to communicate this information will not only accelerate activity to website and brick-and-mortar locations, but it will deliver it in a trusted environment.”