Marketing in Auto Detailing Is Changing for 2024



I’m not sure what to say other than this is like watching moths fly around a dimly lit bulb.

We are now witnessing at an accelerated rate the absolute obliteration of businesses valuing their local SEO. I honestly don’t understand it. Organic SEO has been the cornerstone of what businesses NEED to stand out. Nothing has changed on that front. Organic SEO is how you maintain control of your market. 

Shops Have Given Up

So we’ve now come full circle to see websites that previously people wanted to spend great amounts of time and energy on to now we’re totally okay with having websites that we’re paying $99 a month for, granted a great deal for a business owner, but at a massive detriment to their success because it contains 66% or more duplicated content.

We’re also seeing manufacturers of different brands and were seeing people, people take their businesses out of the driver’s seat of their organic content and let it take a back seat to these templated $99 websites.

Coatings & PPF Ads = Addiction

What’s already happening is now businesses are now being positioned in that they’re over-reliant on pay-per-click advertising, meaning that they only survive based upon what leads are generated from paid advertising instead of focusing on their organics and on-page content and local SEO growth.

Now they have been weaned off of any organic ranking capability that they previously had and have now been force-fed a system of low-quality websites and high dollar amount ad spend. Whereas had they had the patience to do it right the first time and heed the warning that just about everybody was given, and that is to focus on your organic content and make it very strong, they would not be in this position.

You Don’t Control Your Marketing

What happens is now in that market, the manufacturer’s website is going to rank above that particular website for that business, which takes all of the local market organic control away from the small business owner because nobody is putting any energy and effort into creating local, high-ranking, high-authority, power keyword targeted content.

So now I see so many shops in a position where they are willingly letting go of focusing on our own organic strength and growth, and the only thing that this is going to do is take all of the momentum out of gaining local market share away from these local shops as the market gets more and more saturated.

Advertising Is Now No Longer Enough….

The auto detailing industry is hitting a wall, and if you haven’t felt it yet, you’re either not paying attention or you’re in denial.

The old playbook of Google ads and Facebook ads as your go-to marketing strategy is outdated. It’s not just becoming less effective; it’s practically irrelevant.

Do you think you’re OK because your schedule is booked until June?

That’s just a comforting lie you’re telling yourself.

Why we are here

The market currently indicates there is more liquidity in it than ever before, which immediately points to no short-term stabilization. That means luxury services will now get more difficult to compete for. The long game strictly on the numbers says 2026 before we reach stabilization. 

Those of you who have bet your future on ad spend, no organic SEO growth or educational content plan, are the ones who will suffer the most. You continue to shove money into the ads machine hoping that it turns around. News flash. ITS MAY! What part of you thinks that is actually going to solve your problem? All your competitors are in the same ad space as you, competing for the same people as you. 

There is ONLY one way out of this in terms of sustainability…


Again – almost none of you have a clue as to what this is, despite me ramming it down your throats for the last 12 months.

Needless to say by the tone of this blog – I’m clearly frustrated with the lot of you. 

The Truth About the Marketing Shift

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: data restrictions.

Remember the good old days when we had access to 80% of the consumer data we needed? Those days are gone.

We have about 20% of what we previously had and we’re narrowing down on top of that. My guess is that most of the industry will just sit there with their head in the sand and do nothing.

All your competition is now wise to advertising, they are driving up the ad costs because “rising tides raises all ships” – meaning more people advertising, the more it costs to be there.

More competition, same amount or more people searching for your service, LESS DATA TO TARGET THEM. 

You must now GENERATE DEMAND instead of waiting for demand to come to you. 

What Does Creating Demand Even Mean?

Creating demand means you need to get aggressive about pulling people in. It’s about making your shop the place everyone wants to be, not just another option because rest assured, the options now are PLENTY.

No amount of overhauling of ad sets, keywords, targeting or language will fix this. 

This is now the roadmap.

  • Innovate or Die: If you’re just offering what everyone else does, why should anyone choose your shop. You need to bring something new to the table—constantly. Whether it’s a new service, a unique customer loyalty program, or an unbeatable warranty, give the market something to talk about.

  • Not Only Ads—Engage on All Fronts: You’ve got social media, email, text—use them to start real conversations. Not just promotions but actual, valuable interactions that make your audience see you as the indispensable go-to for all things automotive protection. 

  • Leverage Every Touchpoint: From the moment someone hears about your shop to the follow-up after their service, every interaction should build your brand and cement your value. Make it personal, make it memorable, and most importantly, make it so good they can’t ignore you.

Stop Being Comfortable

Being booked out for months isn’t success; it’s a bottleneck. If you’re comfortable, you’re not growing, and if you’re not growing, you’re on your way to closing the doors. Start pushing boundaries. Start trying things that make you uncomfortable. Because that’s where real growth happens. You’ve heard me say this before.

  • Customer Experience is King: Your customers don’t just want great service; they want a great experience. From booking to billing, every step should feel premium. Were not just coating cars any more; it’s about delivering a feel-good factor that’s too good not to share.

  • Feedback is Your Friend: Actively seek out what your customers and even your non-customers think about your business. Use that feedback like a roadmap to what you need to do next. Ignore this at your own risk because in this game, staying static is the same as being invisible.

Marketing Metrics Are Not The Standard Now

Traditional metrics are now almost completely vanity. Start measuring what actually matters—return visits, referrals, and customer satisfaction scores. These are the metrics that tell you about real demand, the kind that builds businesses, not just ad campaigns and overreliance on PPC.

  • Costs Are WAY Up: It is now on average 15% more expensive to advertise, with less lead flow, fewer conversions into sales with lower ticket costs. Remember when I warned you about overreliance on PPC? Congrats – we’re here! After reviewing more than 300 ad accounts, the universal truth this: you’re spending more and getting less.
  • Conversions – CONVERSATIONS: Time to change how you think about conversions. This is now about starting a conversation. How many of these clicks turn into discussions? How many discussions turn into bookings? That’s your real conversion rate.

  • Referrals are Gold: If your customers love what you do, they’ll tell others. Make it easy for them—no, make it irresistible—for them to refer others to you. Discounts, special offers for referred clients, whatever it takes to keep the referral chain strong.

Lead, Don’t Follow

Your job is to start trends. Not follow them. Be the business that defines what this industry looks like in your area. You need to lead from the front.

  • Innovate with Intent: Every new service or feature should have a clear purpose. Don’t just innovate for the sake of it; innovate to solve a problem, fill a gap, or meet a customer desire that no one else is addressing.

  • Brand as THE expert: You should be branding for what you stand for. Whether it’s quality, customer service, innovation, or value—when people think getting a new vehicle, they should think of you first and foremost.

This isn’t just about changing tactics; it’s about changing mindsets. From the top of your organization to the frontline staff, everyone needs to be on board with this aggressive, proactive approach to marketing. It’s not enough to do well; you need to dominate. You need to be so good, so essential, that you become synonymous with purchasing a new vehicle. That’s how you create demand, and that’s how you ensure your business not only survives but GROWS.

Creating Demand Is NOT The Same as CAPTURING Demand

Adding a new service and calling it “new” isn’t enough. This is about embedding demand creation into the DNA of your shop.

  • Service Diversification: Growth is now tied t adding the right services that tap into unmet needs. Do you only offer high-end detailing? Maybe it’s time to introduce a more accessible tier. Or perhaps, integrating tech like video conversations or implementing a mobile service can break down barriers for customers to reach you.

  • Educational Engagement: Position your business as the authority in your market by educating your customers. Host workshops, create informative content, and share insider tips that help them understand the value of what you do. This not only builds trust but also makes them dependent on your expertise.

  • Community Involvement: Get involved in local car shows, and community events, or even sponsor local sports teams. Show that you’re part of the community, and the community will support you in return. This type of engagement enhances your visibility and roots your brand deeply within the local market.

  • Real Educational Content – PDF’s, Blogs, On-Page SEO, Videos, VSL’s, Landing Page Explainer Videos, Short Form, Medium Form Content – these are all now a REQUIREMENT to free yourself from the absolute onslaught of rising ad costs. All of these things cost less than PPC and continue to get cheaper over time. 

Making Every Interaction Count

Every single interaction with a customer or potential customer is a chance to build your brand and open another door. Your primary goal is to now create experiences that stick with people, make them talk, and most importantly, make them return.

  • Personalization: Use customer data wisely to personalize experiences. Remember their preferences, their names, and their car’s details. This personal touch can make a massive difference in how they perceive your value.

  • Follow-Up: Don’t let your relationships end when they pick the car up. Follow up, ask for feedback, and show that you care about their satisfaction beyond just making a sale. This ongoing engagement can turn a one-time customer into a lifelong advocate.

  • Quality Above All: Never compromise on the quality of your work. Your customers come to you because they expect the best. Make sure you deliver not just what they expect but something that exceeds their expectations every single time.

Marketing Shift In The Auto Detailing & Auto Film Sector in 2024

I highly suggest that you overhaul your marketing from being a series of ad campaigns to a comprehensive strategy that builds lasting relationships.

  • Content Marketing: Develop content that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience. This could be blog posts on the importance of regular detailing to protect a vehicle’s value or videos that show the transformation a car undergoes with your services.

  • Social Media: Utilize social media to create a community around your brand. Engage with followers through regular updates, behind-the-scenes looks, and interactive content. Make your social platforms a place where customers can meet and share their passion for cars.

  • Refine Your Advertising: While traditional advertising has its place, refine your approach to focus on driving real engagement. Use targeted ads to reach specific demographics, and always aim to solve the viewer’s problem or meet their needs.

Leading Through Innovation

Innovation in the the detailing industry isn’t just about new tools and products; it’s about how you run your business, how you treat your customers, and how you market your services. It requires courage, commitment, and creativity to lead in this space.

  • Stay Ahead of Trends: Keep your finger on the pulse of the industry. Attend trade shows, read industry publications, and connect with other leaders in the field. This will help you anticipate changes and adapt before your competitors even know there’s a trend.

  • Empower Your Team: Your employees are your front line. Train them not just in auto detailing skills but in customer service, sales, and engagement strategies. Empowered employees will be your brand ambassadors, capable of delivering the exceptional experiences that create demand.

  • Measure What Matters: Shift your metrics from traditional counts and clicks to engagement, satisfaction, and retention rates. These metrics will give you a clearer picture of your business’s health and its long-term prospects.

How Detailing Growth Is Innovating

Detailing Growth has pioneered several new ways to help the businesses working with us to get beyond this very big roadblock in PPC.

Detailing Growth is the only agency meeting the industry where it currently sits and providing a solution to move out of this rut.

  • Authority Mapping: This is our design for message unification. We are now pushing out complete programs for those shops wanting to do the most. It combines video, organic ranking on-page content, local SEO, and social media strategy. This is a strategy that we have developed to make it so you can create so much pressure in your market, that your competition won’t be able to keep up. 
  • Offering full social media management: We handle posting to your social media every day, so now you don’t need to worry about forgetting it.
  • Video Editing: Detailing Growth has a team full of video editors on hand, that can edit content into video ads, landing page videos and service explainers that shops use as sales tools.
  • Done For You SEO: Many Shops have taken marketing in-house but can’t get the content right. We’ve now pivoted into providing clients with our “SEO-In-A-Box” – We will create a website for you and provide you with 6 months of content for you to execute on your own, at a significant savings vs a massive monthly bill + ad spend.
  • Local SEO Boosting: We have cracked the code on hyper-local SEO via Google Business Profile. We can now make sure you stay on top in your market via our proprietary Local SEO Booster. Extremely affordable and highly effective.
  • Done For You On-Site Video Production: We now have the capability to travel the country, come to your shop, and shoot an entire YEAR of content in 3 days of dedicated and planned video production.
  • Refocusing on organic content SEO: We have shifted gears and laid back into organic HEAVY content and SEO marketing. Its called Authority Mapping. We have now moved the goal for most blogs to be absolute dominators with massive ranking power combined with video content strategy. This has been in testing for 5 months – now ready to roll out in May 2024. 


Shifting your business from one that passively waits for customers to one that actively creates demand is no small feat. It requires a shift in mindset, a commitment to excellence, and an unwavering focus on customer satisfaction and engagement. Changing the approach to marketing, customer service, and community involvement, you can create a demand for your services that keeps your business pumping.

The question is – are you going to take action or just read this and say “OH Gabe is off on some BS again?” 

I already know what most of you will do. 

The question is – do you have the stones to prove me wrong? 

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