How Does Big O Handle Marketing?
Advertisements, sophisticated website, research make the most of marketing dollars
How does Big O use marketing to increase customer traffic to our franchisees’ stores? Big O reaches out in several ways to help customers understand the benefits of shopping at a trusted name in tire and automotive service.
Here is a look at some of our key efforts:
Big O produces national television, radio and print advertisements designed — and tested — to engage customers and let them know that Big O is a great place to buy tires. The ads get customers’ attention. Customers’ next step is often to do research online. That’s why Big O’s National Marketing Program invests in optimizing www.bigotires.com to ensure that when customers are shopping for tires online, Big O is one of the first search results they see. Big O’s website is designed to be simple to navigate. Customers use it to quickly determine their best tire options, find the closest Big O store, and see individual store pricing. We also use social media and other public relations efforts to build goodwill. Big O has a wealth of knowledge about how people can stay safe on the road, and we’re happy to share it.
Big O’s National Marketing Program provides point of purchase materials to support national promotions as well as national programs, templates and a toolbox of branded marketing items franchisees can use to implement successful marketing campaigns.
Big O franchisees play a key role in guiding how advertising dollars are spent in their region. Most franchisees are part of a Local Group of other Big O Tires owners who meet monthly to discuss performance, share ideas for growing their business and discuss local marketing strategies. The Local Group makes decisions on the execution of the media plan, which includes radio, TV and print. Want to fill the sky above your city with a Big O Tires-emblazoned hot air balloon? If enough of your fellow franchisees agree, it could become a reality.
Mastery of In-Store Marketing
Getting people to call or visit your store is great, but it’s what happens next that has set Big O apart for decades. Big O trains franchisees and store managers to recognize every step of the customer experience and let customers know they are valued and will be treated fairly and conscientiously. That begins with the way the associate answers the phone, the way the customer are greeted before they even get to the front door, focusing on listening to the issues the customers are trying to solve, offering clear advice, never being pushy, and explaining the invoices. Big O wants tire buying and vehicle service to be a transparent process for its customers — figuratively and literally. Every Big O store’s waiting room has large glass windows that look directly into the service bay so customers can see how their vehicle is being serviced. It’s yet another way we build trust. “Big O was founded by a bunch of guys who didn’t have high school educations who are multimillionaires today because they followed the system,” says Greg Kimberlin, who owns two stores in Kentucky. “How you meet people at the car, how you handle the cars, how you invoice people. Follow them and you’ll be successful.”
Marrying Low-Tech and High-Tech to Make Customers Feel Appreciated
Want to know what really makes a customer feel great about your business? Follow-up. A day or two after customers visit your Big O Tires, you’ll be prompted to give them a quick call and ask if they were happy with their service and got the help they needed. Think about how you would respond as a customer if a business owner called you to double-check and make sure you had a great experience! That’s low-tech, but powerful.
Big O’s other way of following-up with customers is much more technologically advanced, and also very powerful. When a customer comes to Big O for service, the associate may find 10 things wrong with their car, but the associate is not going to try to convince them to get everything done at once. People have budgets, and people have constraints on their time, and Big O Tires respects that. If a customer needs to defer some maintenance — for instance, if they’re putting off getting new transmission fluid until the next visit — we’ll note that in the system. Then something amazing happens: Automatically, three or four weeks after the customer’s visit, Big O’s system generates a postcard mailer with a service reminder and a coupon tailored to the customer — in this case, perhaps 10% off on transmission fluid exchange. The postcard will even feature a picture of the same make and model of vehicle that the customer drives. It’s a huge “wow” factor, and another way of encouraging customer loyalty.