Marketing is a vital component to the success of any business, but because different industries have a variety of advertising needs, an agency that truly understands the best interests of your company may be able to provide a leg up on the competition.
Representing the fourth generation in her family to dedicate a career to the automotive industry, Michelle Nelson founded B2B Automotive, a full-service marketing agency that specializes in serving the collision repair industry.
Nelson stated, “B2B does pretty much anything the shop needs from managing I-CAR and OEM assessments and securing DRP relationships to designing websites and managing social media. B2B Automotive has the tools and skills to help a company reach its goals of an innovative, responsive and secure web presence.”
Nelson’s great-grandfather opened the Harley Graves Garage in 1932 in Macomb, IL, and he passed his love of automotive down to Michelle. “My love for automotive is in my genes.” She recalled, “I grew up in shops and learned estimating, body repairs and mechanical work. Because of my family background, I recognized the need for targeted marketing in the automotive industry when I was 18 and founded my first agency, Media Mix, with $300 and unrelenting determination, merging my love for the auto shop industry and marketing; however, I still miss the comradery in body shops at times.”
Media Mix became B2B Automotive a few years later when Nelson relocated to St. Louis where she developed a team focused on putting clients first. In 2012, new opportunities drew Nelson to the West Coast where she strengthened her client base. Nelson noted, “Today, B2B has grown to a national full-service agency serving automotive collision repair shops, towing companies, vehicle dealerships, and auto collision repair equipment and paint supply distributors in 33 states.”
B2B Automotive now employs 15 marketing specialists who boast 300 years’ worth of combined experience with more than 500 responsive websites and over 5,500 customers.
“Everyone at B2B works together as a team and if one person is busy, someone else picks up the slack,” Nelson said. “B2B Automotive is guided by heritage and a commitment to help auto industry businesses increase profits through solid marketing solutions. Our team works side-by-side with automotive collision repair shops, tow companies, vehicle dealerships, and auto collision repair equipment and paint supply distributors to create innovative, high-impact marketing and advertising strategies that drive their short and long-term business goals and objectives.”
“Our main objective is to ensure that our clients receive the personalized attention they deserve and see their profits increase. We know we’re successful when you feel like part of the B2B Automotive family and see your business grow through smart marketing,” Nelson continued. “The whole idea is for the shops to grow. We put initiatives in place to help increase our clients’ growth and provide access to consultants who can assist with all aspects of their marketing plan.”
A.U.T.O. Collision in Sandy, UT, has been using B2B’s services for three years and owner Chris Bogden shared, “We were using another marketing company when one of my distributors personally recommended Michelle, so I hired B2B to create our newsletter. Discovering that B2B offered a more collision-specific and shop-customized focus, we slowly began using them for other marketing needs and some consulting.”
“Marketing is a lot easier with B2B,” Bogden added. “B2B handles all of our social media and clients constantly tell me they love the consistent professional content. I can’t quantify the increase in our business as a result of hiring B2B, but it’s evidenced in the number of repeat customers we see due to the sustained contact.”
Jamie Jensen, office manager at Straightline Collision in Staten Island, NY, agreed, stating, “Our former marketing agency had a broad focus, but Michelle has been involved in the collision industry for years and really knows the business. She knows all the right people and has really helped take a lot off my shoulders.”
Jensen continued, “B2B Automotive is always available with multiple people taking a hands-on approach and helping with our website, online reviews, OEM certifications, DRP relationships and more – it’s nice to have several people with whom I can discuss our marketing goals and I can see everything we’ve done through B2B’s online basecamp.”
Both Jensen and Bogden agreed that B2B Automotive’s services have been a huge benefit to their businesses. Jensen said, “B2B really knows what they’re doing and all of their expertise works in my favor.”
Bogden added, “In today’s age, the marketing services B2B provides are very much needed.”
B2B offers Affordable Marketing Plans (AMP) and encourages shops to get AMPed for success. In addition to website design and development and online digital marketing, B2B offers clients access to direct response marketing, research and strategic planning, print advertisements, public relations, photography and copywriting services, plus they work with shops to develop custom solutions utilizing diverse platforms. Nelson noted, “We’ve done everything down to handwriting thank you notes for shops.”
Nelson credits her great grandfather for inspiring her entrepreneurial spirit as well as her passion for helping people. Nelson shared, “Harley Graves was the kind of man who never knew a stranger, a man who felt passionate about helping people. It’s nearly impossible to express his generosity and kindness toward people. He was the kind of man who never said ‘no’ to the Salvation Army or turned away a customer because of financial despair. The true extent of his generosity came to light after he passed. My grandmother, Harley’s daughter Shirley, discovered un-cashed checks hidden throughout his belongings from families he knew couldn’t afford to pay, but to whom he continued to offer his services.”
In honor of her great-grandfather’s legacy of caring, Nelson founded the Harley Graves Emergency Fund to help those in need. Nelson explained, “The fund assists those who may need help filling up their gas tank, paying the month’s power bill, providing groceries for their family, assisting with school aid or whatever struggles they face. In tribute to the man who never turned anyone away, B2B Automotive continues to help those in need in our own community.” More information about the Harley Graves Emergency Fund is available at btobautomotive.com/harley-graves/.
B2B Automotive’s strategic mix of traditional and digital marketing helps shops increase their annual revenue.
“No matter what your marketing needs and budget, we have a solution customized to your operation. We listen, we work, we perform and we get results. Nothing excites us more than assisting a client in realizing their goals and reaching levels of success that were previously seen as unattainable,” Nelson emphasized.
“We’ll engage our talents and passion to create AMPED up projects that help drive business. Our team is committed to driving your success!” Nelson promised. B2B Automotive offers shops a free mini-marketing consultation. For more information, visit btobautomotive.com.