Most industries would benefit from tailored marketing and acting upon the type of communication their customers prefer. In the case of auto dealers and servicers, this means more useful marketing material and contacting customers through mail, email, or other means.

Auto care is an industry that has much to learn from its customers, as many car owners are receptive to marketing but have not yet gotten the content they prefer. These customers have high levels of mobile app usage, but they want more useful information or other value-adding content, as one report from DMEautomotive determined. Additionally, customers may be more receptive to receiving communications from their dealers or servicers than the latter may expect, as shown in a report from the same marketing firm. Especially among younger customers, car owners prefer contact with their dealers often, and welcome it through all the channels.

Connected customers want coupons and useful online tools

Auto service customers show a high level of mobile app usage (44 percent), compared to QR code usage (18 percent). When customers do use QR codes, they often point to general product information or web pages, instead of coupons, discounts or other features that they would prefer. Instead of this vague sales content, auto service providers could better engage with their customers by offering instant online appointment scheduling or service reminders, which they would prefer. As a comparatively connected demographic, car owners likely would use a mobile app - 2 of 4 of these customers use mobile apps daily or more, but only 10 percent of customers use a dealer or service mobile app - there are very few available.

Car owners are very marketing friendly, especially those under 35

This type of customer is also very receptive to multi-platform marketing - over a third are open to their auto service providers communicating with them, especially through mail or email. For customers under 35, that is even higher: 89 percent welcome contact through email, 85 percent through mail, and over half through all other channels - text, phone calls, mobile apps or recorded calls. Younger customers are also 3 to 6 times more likely to scan those QR codes, and they have much different maintenance research strategies. While the 35+ groups most likely consult the car manual, under-35ers most commonly ask friends or family. But the younger age group is far more likely to turn to social networks, online video or blogs to answer their maintenance questions.