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Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian.

 

He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

Thursday, 07 May 2020 19:30

Body Shop Owner Triples Advertising Budget During Pandemic

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In addition to an aggressive radio ad campaign, Bob Juniper owns the lion’s share of every billboard location available in town. In addition to an aggressive radio ad campaign, Bob Juniper owns the lion’s share of every billboard location available in town.

Index

Bob Juniper, owner of Three-C Body Shop, Inc. in Columbus, OH, has always been a strong believer in marketing and advertising.

While many shops all over the country are abandoning much of its marketing during these uncertain times, Juniper is tripling his budget from 5% to a full 15%. That’s right---he is spending an unprecedented amount of money on advertising even with an uncertain immediate future for his shop and his crew.

 

History often repeats itself and Juniper knows this all too well. In 2008 when the economy imploded, most shops scaled down marketing and advertising, but not Juniper. He saw the opportunity and seized it, and when everything returned back to normal approximately 18 months later, he had captured more of the market in Columbus.

 

When the pandemic hit in March, Juniper called his advertising vendors and told them it was go-time. The prices were right and the market was wide open, so Juniper starting negotiating a series of unprecedented long-term deals.

 

“No one else is advertising, especially body shops,” he said. “It feels like I’m stealing, because they are discounting everything. When all of this is over, I will still have these amazing rates. I am saving an enormous amount of money.”

 

The Columbus area---home of The Ohio State University---is highly competitive, with more than 130 body shops all vying for the top spot. Since he has chosen not to work with any DRPs, Juniper focuses on consumer advertising, primarily via radio ads and billboards.

 

In a crowded market with one body shop per every 7,000 people, Juniper takes the high road and won’t ever take the easy way to profit, he said.

 

“There are some shops here who advertise the fact that they will pay people's deductibles, which is bad for all of us. Every dollar we put into our marketing adds value to our business at least equal to that, so it’s one of the smart investments we can take.”

 

Juniper has captured more than 70% of the market when it came to outdoor advertising in Columbus.

 

“I own 95 billboard locations here in town, so if you drive more than five minutes in every direction, you will see us,” he said. “They aren’t all in ideal locations, but by buying in volume, the average price is low. We rotate 10 different themes and focus on educational topics like anti-steering, safety, anti-texting and we also promote our community efforts, our car certifications and our app.


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