Melton Automotive’s Marketing Drives Exponential Growth During ‘Slow’ Time of the Year

As an Automated Marketing Group and Shop4D customer, Doug Melton leans into his marketing to overcome the fall slowdown.

From “dipping his toes with RPM Toolkit” to being “all in with Shop4D”

Four years ago, Doug Melton of Melton Automotive, Alabaster, Alabama, thought he would dip his toes in the water with Auto Profit Masters (APM) RPM Toolkit. It was one of the best business decisions he has ever made because since then, he has been taking progressive steps with AMG, using their marketing and making a greater leap to the Shop 4D product.

What Doug loves about Shop4D is that it keeps him on track to reach his goals and stay on top of his numbers.

“It’s such a great tool that is simple to use, and you learn the different numbers you should be tracking in your business to find out where you stand. I knew some of my numbers, such as ROs and parts percentage, but not others.” 

Doug says that by tracking the numbers, it helps them perform better and more thorough inspections.

“I’m not a marketing guy, and I made plenty of mistakes”

Melton Automotive has experienced massive growth since converting to Shop4D. In 2019, they did about $700K in sales, and as of November 2022, they are doing more than $1 million and counting! Doug attributes that growth to Automated Marketing Group’s exceptional marketing. While he has overseen his marketing in the past – and made many mistakes – he is happy to give the reins over to the exceptional AMG team. AMG helps Melton Automotive with its email marketing, and direct mail and it recently launched a brand new website for the shop. That multi-channel marketing experience has helped them bring in their ideal customers. For Doug, that means customers with makes/models that are a good fit for his service team and consumers willing to invest in quality repairs.

In working with the coaches with Shop4D, Doug realized he wasn’t spending enough on advertising to keep his shop busy. “They run an automotive shop themselves, so they know what works and what doesn’t with shop marketing,” says Doug. As a result of his marketing investment, Melton Automotive has stayed consistently busy, even during the traditional slow business times such as the fall.

“When we’re slow, I’ve called them [AMG], and they send out an email blast and we see fast results from their marketing,” says Doug. “Through the direct mailers, we stay of mind and in front of our customers. They have a purpose and a goal, and they understand how to do marketing.”

“Because of APM incentive pay plans, everyone is focused on the same goals”

Speaking of goals, one of the great ways Melton Automotive keeps its team rowing in the same direction is through APM’s incentive pay plans. The entire team understands the process and knows the goals they are shooting for. They can track their goals daily through the dashboard, and by meeting the goals, they are all motivated and know what they will get paid.

“We create a better customer experience through Shop4D, and our marketing is customer-centric”

Derek Portwood is Melton Automotive’s service advisor. He believes one of the shop’s keys to success is how Shop4D makes communicating with customers easy, transparent and effective. “It starts with the customer experience – seeing the pictures of the inspection or the videos or reading the details in the write-up. The process impresses the customer and builds confidence to move forward with the sale. It’s made my job so much easier to sell the maintenance – not just to the customer but they show details and sell it to their dad or spouse or another person helping to make the service decision.”

“I can do double the work because of the tools I have through Shop4D”

Derek networks with other shops in his area and sees the visible frustration that other service advisors have with their SMS. “I love the parts sourcing feature with Shop4D – it saves me so much time,” he says. “I compare our system to how the rest of the industry does their jobs, and I can do double the work because the tools I have access to make it easier to do my work.” 

Several years ago, Derek had turned in his notice and was almost ready to leave when Doug shared his goals with the team and the new Shop4D system. As a result, he decided to stay and he’s glad he did because the shop has experienced great growth year after year. “Shop4D’s system removes some of the stress inherent in this industry,” he says. Derek also likes having access to big-picture numbers to keep the team on track and believing in what they are doing. 

“Shop4D solves so many problems”

Doug appreciates that Shop4D is an all-inclusive shop management system, which solves so many problems for their shop. He believes one of the best features that stands out from competitors, he says, is that through Shop4D he can look at everyone’s inventory – who has the part and who has the best availability. “It’s so easy to review part availability through Shop4D,” Doug says. In addition, he is grateful the Shop4D team has helped him to clarify his customer base. There was a time when he wanted to work on everybody’s car. Those days are long gone. Through AMG, Melton Automotive has gotten very specific about the customers they target, and as a result, they are going after the right type of customers.

As a result of new systems, and building a more successful and growth-oriented culture, Doug’s outlook on the future of his business is strong. He appreciates the great coaching, which has guided him to pay attention to his shop numbers to know where he is going. Thanks to his vision and goal setting, combined with his team’s hard work, and an effective system like Shop4D, Doug’s future is bright and positive as he looks forward to building on his success.