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Hop In…And Zoom Off To Big Profits

By Cherri Gann

To say the automotive industry is huge and diverse is an understatement. Way beyond the auto dealerships lining your city's main streets and freeways, a few cursory searches on the Internet pulls hundreds (in some cases thousands) of auto-related businesses and organizations running the gamut from the various dealerships (of course), manufacturers and aftermarket maintenance/accessories to clubs, associations, publications and insurance.

With so many levels of business-to-business and business-to-consumer promotional needs, distributors who engage in some research about behind-the-scenes businesses will find a myriad of opportunities for sales. For example, consider the various suppliers of raw materials to parts manufacturers, parts manufacturers to retailers and retailers to consumers. Don't forget industry consultants on issues such as safety, quality control, efficiency and engineering. Auto-industry-focused media (magazines and online publications) represent more opportunities, as do auto service outlets-including the dealers' service departments. Auto salvage yards and wholesaler auctions need to reach yet a different audience. There's more, but you get the picture.

Approaching such a fragmented industry may seem daunting, but distributors taking the time to clearly define whom they target with which message will find the most success.

Cherri Gann is an associate editor for PPB.

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