Micki Hazz Marketing in Newbury Park, CA, is a company that helps body shops and other companies to flourish in the rapidly changing world of marketing, public relations and advertising.

In 2007, Micki Hazz, owner of Micki Hazz Marketing, purchased Casa de Cadillac Body Shop in Van Nuys, CA, and began her journey in the collision repair industry.

When the economy took a hit in 2010-2011, Hazz had to close her shop’s doors; but, instantly landed a job with the largest collision center in the area, helping them with their marketing and advertising.

At first, Hazz worked part-time at the body shop due to her busy life with her twin daughters. She later became full time and handled all components of marketing for the shop. Upon the death of the owner, Hazz realized she could help different types of companies grow their businesses by starting her own company.

When it comes to handling marketing for body shop clients, there are three important tips to share, she said.

Firstly, it’s beneficial to sit down with shop owners and managers to set up a list of priorities and deliverables. Her own company’s motto is “A goal without a plan is just a wish,” so she has learned to turn her clients into planners instead of dreamers, she said.

“When a shop has done no marketing, I first suggest they create a logo and build a website,” Hazz said. “I’m surprised whenever I see a reputable shop with a ten-year-old site or a logo that looks like it was drawn in crayon. Customers are savvy—it’s a major red flag if they see a sub-par website and branding.”

In most cases, Hazz uses WordPress to build her clients' sites, for several reasons. This content management system (CMS) makes website navigation clear and easy, she said.

“I want to create a website where the shop won't need me forever to update the information on it,” she added.

Secondly, when working on marketing, it’s important for shops to have an online presence through select social media, Hazz said.

“Some shops want to be on every social media site, but that is counterproductive,” she said. “Focus on developing your company’s Yelp and Google pages. Post frequently and make sure the content is accurate. To save time, I recommend using a social media dashboard like Hootsuite, which is free.”

Shops should take advantage of Yelp; however, many shops fail to handle it correctly, Hazz said.

“You should respond to every review—good or bad—unless, you are dealing with a combative customer,” she said. “If you encounter a bogus review, flag it for removal.”

Lastly, once social media and branding is taken care of, shops should put together a digital portfolio they can use to promote themselves and develop new partnerships with car dealers and insurance companies, Hazz said. Oftentimes, she is the person that will help shops find new sources for business.

"Some want to get more DRPs, while others are looking for dealerships to work with," she said. “Before you go after any new business, you must have your ducks in a row. DRPs are looking for OEM certifications, ample parking, sufficient storage and all the right tools and equipment to do the work.”

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