Facebook, Twitter, Instant message, e-mail, e-Newsletter, Website, Print, Phone, Fax.
There are many ways to communicate with an audience these days.
Depending on the month, day or year, some are more popular than others.
But popular does not always mean efficient. Some of these options are
more cost efficient than others, but cost efficient also does not
always equate to effectiveness. So what do you do?
Since we are in the business of communicating to you shop owners and
technicians we conduct ongoing research to determine which format you
would like to receive our message. In our latest survey involving 380
shop owner/manager/technician respondents, we learned that 94% of you
still prefer to receive our magazine in a printed format versus
receiving it as a digital magazine.
We also learned that 45% of respondents visited a work-related magazine Web site in the past month and that there is interest in receiving
information via an e-newsletter.
While there is a lot of talk these days about Facebook and Twitter, we found that more than 90% of respondents are NOT
using social media in their business efforts. Our survey also revealed
that while 81% of respondents have Internet access at their work
location, only 46% have a website and only an additional 9% want to get
Of all the information we gathered from this research, the website
statistic is the one that always surprises me, especially since the
percentage of shops with websites does not grow much.
So how are your customers learning about you? Do they want a phone call
when their engine is finished, or do they prefer a text message or an e-mail?
Do they want to receive coupons in a direct mail piece or from an
e-newsletter, or downloaded from your website? Do they want you to
e-mail them a digital photo of their engine’s progress?
You need to ask your customers how and when they want information. Some
will say they want to be able to receive it in all the different
formats. Others will say they don’t want you to send it to them, but
want to know where they can get it when they want it.
Once you receive the answers, you must be ready to respond. While most
of our readers prefer a printed magazine, we also provide our content
on our website and in e-newsletters for those who prefer a digital
format. If you’re still relying on your ad in the Yellow Pages as your
primary communication tool, it’s time to move on.
Jeff Stankard is Vice President of Babcox Publications and Group Publisher.