Market Analysis Summary
The market for used car inspections is made up of people typically purchasing vehicles over $5,000. While the cost of the inspection is $100, not a significant sum, not all people get an inspection. This occurs for one of two reasons, 1) they are unable to due to the restrictive business hours of traditional mechanics, 2) the people do not recognize the strong cost benefit analysis argument for spending $100 to find out everything that could be wrong with a used car before it is purchased.
These people will be targeted with a marketing message that communicates the thoroughness of the inspections, as well as the newfound convenience relative to other service providers.
4.1 Market Segmentation
Portland Mobile Auto Inspectors' target customer will be a used car buyer, typically looking for a car over $5,000. The used car buyer purchasing a car below $5,000 typically is looking for basic transportation and is not all that concerned with the possible problems that might affect the vehicle. In general they accept the fact that there are going to be problems with the car and they are not willing to pay someone to tell them that there are a many things wrong with the car which they cannot afford to fix.
Portland Mobile Auto Inspectors' customer is buying a used car for one of two reasons, 1) they cannot afford what the want in a new car, or 2) they recognize the value that they gain by purchasing a used car. This value is generating by the fact that a new car will depreciate the most, 20%, within the first year.
The target customer has typically done their research and narrowed down their search to a few different vehicles. They have looked at the car and found that it meets their needs. The last step is to make sure the car is in good condition.
4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy
The target segment will be focused upon using:
- Yellow Page advertisement: the ad will be used to advertise Portland Mobile Auto Inspectors to people who are in need of an inspection and do not already have a mechanic in mind.
- Website: the website will be developed to provide information about Portland Mobile Auto Inspectors services to the public. The site will be submitted to all the popular search engines so when an person types in a wide range of common terms, Portland Mobile Auto Inspectors website will be featured at the top of the search list.
- Partnerships with AAA and other similar organizations: Portland Mobile Auto Inspectors will develop strategic relationships with automobile associations such as AAA so that a large number of association members are brought to it.
4.3 Service Business Analysis
The car inspection business is serviced by two types of companies. Mobile inspection companies such as Portland Mobile Auto Inspectors, and a variety of different mechanics/garages. There currently is only one other mobile inspection service.
There are many different mechanics that offer inspection services. Some will advertise their service to the general public as well as to their customers. These mechanics are marketing their inspection service and are trying to derive a decent amount of revenue from their service offering.
There are other mechanics that will perform an inspection service if it is requested, but it is not marketed as a normal service.
The disadvantage to the traditional mechanics is their hours of availability. Most mechanics only have business hours during the week. This is in conflict with the fact that most people who are looking for used cars have jobs during the day and therefore generally do not have the opportunity to use the mechanic-based inspection service because they are typically looking for cars on the weekends or evenings.
4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns
Please see the previous section Service Business Analysis which details the competitors in the industry as well as the buying patterns of the consumers.