Aftermarket strategy and digital marketing strategies

Automotive strategic planning

Strategic planning in the automotive aftermarket industry is like a giant chess game: knowing your strengths, your weaknesses, planning your next steps and anticipating your competitors' next moves.

You must communicate leadership with stakeholders, share your vision and inspire performance along with preparing for what might be over the horizon. Executive communications and leadership are critical. In strategic planning there are many rules of thumb to follow, trends and situations unique to the automotive industry, and Hedges & Company understands them better than anyone.

We understand automotive aftermarket industry trends, consumer buying patterns, distribution channels and consumer market research. We have over two decades of experience in automotive marketing and automotive market research, along with unmatched knowledge of market data.

Automotive marketing strategic plans are not just paper

We believe an effective strategic planning process produces a living, breathing framework of a plan. Any strategic plan that ends up on a bookshelf gathering dust is not a plan at all. It needs to be evaluated, re-evaluated and revised just like a game plan during a football game.

In strategic planning, mistake avoidance is important in the automotive aftermarket industry because this industry has distinct seasonality patterns. A wrong guess or assumption in a strategic plan may result in a missed opportunity that you can't fix until next year.

The right move vs. the wrong move in a strategic plan can make a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars in increment profit, or an opportunity lost forever.

Automotive industry trends analysis

Analysis of trends in the automotive industry is critical. If you don't understand automotive industry trends you run the risk of making bad decisions that affect the health of your company or your market share. Strategic planning without complete knowledge of auto industry trends is like swimming upstream. That's why we feel market dynamics are extremely important to success in the automotive industry.

Automotive market dynamics vs. your company's strengths and weaknesses, vital for strategic planning

Effective strategic planning in the automotive aftermarket industry takes into account your company's true strengths and defensible market positions, as well as the unstoppable forces of market dynamics. Small, specialized companies have completely different opportunities than medium companies and large companies.

Market dynamics are unstoppable forces that have ruled over all industries for hundreds of years. We believe an effective strategic plan takes your company's strengths and works with market dynamics, not against them.

What is your core competency in the auto industry?

Usually the best-run and most successful companies will have at least one core competency that fits one of three main areas: innovation and new product development, customer service and relationships, or operational excellence. Take a look at the most successful companies in any industry, including the performance automotive aftermarket and automotive industry, and you can typically categorize them by excellence in one of these categories. In some rare cases companies excel in two categories. So, what is your company's core competency?

Automotive industry strategic planning information

Below are links to pages on our website with more information on strategic planning, market dynamics and automotive industry trends. If you have any questions on strategic planning please feel free to contact us.

Read about the 80/20 Rule or Pareto Principle

Read about measuring key performance indicators (KPI) through financial benchmarking

Read about the Rule of Three (including some thoughts on core competency halfway down the page)

Read about the effect of a price increase/decrease on unit sales and gross margin

Read about the growth stages of a business

Read about GMROI and the Turn/Earn Index to analyze inventory

Read about automotive direct mail response rates