Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care Reveals Crucial Vehicle Upkeep Tips for National Car Care Month National Decrease in Auto Sales Prompts Expert Transmission and Car Care Franchise to Share Maintenance Knowledge with Customers

HORSHAM, Pa. – More and more Americans are choosing to forego buying new cars in favor of maintaining the vehicles they already own, leading to an increased need for both personal car care know-how and the superior services offered by local shops such as Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care.

In honor of National Car Care Month, Cottman today released a list of maintenance tips to help consumers improve both their personal auto upkeep skills and the longevity of their cars in the process:

Inspect Tires

Tires not only impact safety, performance and mileage, but they’re also a key indicator of a car’s overall condition and require regular inspection to ensure they’re performing their best. Worn down tires provide less traction, which can lead to accidents and costly repairs. If you’re at home and want to check if your tires’ tread is safe but don’t have a tread depth gauge, a penny will do. Place the penny in a tire groove with Abe Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, you need new tires. If you find that your tires’ tread-wear is uneven, this may be indicative of issues with inflation, alignment or suspension. A visit to your local Cottman shop can help determine the cause of the issue.

Check Fluids

Fluids are critical to any vehicle’s function and allow the machinery in your car to run smoothly. Five fluids that should be checked regularly include engine oil, coolant, power steering, brake and windshield washer fluid. If you have an older car, opt for a higher viscosity engine oil, or high mileage oil for better performance. Also, pay close attention to the ground where your car is normally parked, as this is a good way to check for any potential leakage. If you spot a leak, taking your car into the shop for preventative maintenance will help ensure your vehicle lasts for the long haul.

Consult the Manual

The ownership manual tucked away in your glove compartment often contains the keys to your peace of mind as a car owner, including information such as the necessary intervals for monitoring fluids, changing tires or checking brakes. If you have any questions about your owner’s manual or need help interpreting its instructions, your local Cottman Man can help you define meaning within the manual and empower you to keep your current car running like new.

“Now more than ever, we know our customers are looking to keep their cars running smoothly for as long as possible,” said Randy Wright, president of Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care. “National Car Care Month is a great time of year to take the time to learn more about your car and what it needs to stay strong. It’s also a great opportunity to recommit to a regular maintenance schedule. Our locations are valued resources in each community they serve and we look forward to continuing to be the go-to car shop for auto owners.”

For drivers interested in additional car care tips, the brand has produced several series of informational videos starring both the Cottman Man and the Transmission Physician. The educational videos were released as a resource for relevant consumer preventative and proactive car care tips.

To view The Cottman Man Educational Video Series, visit https://www.cottman.com/videos/, while the Transmission Physician Video Series can be found at https://cottman.com/transmission-physician/. And, to learn more about Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, please visit www.cottman.com.

About Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care

With locations across the U.S., Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care is a transmission and auto repair brand that services almost any make or model vehicle, foreign or domestic. Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care centers specialize in complete transmission service, brakes, suspension, air conditioning service and much more. Cottman’s headquarters is based in Horsham, Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit www.Cottman.com and www.TheCottmanManBlog.com.

Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care Celebrates “National Check Your Transmission Day” Oct. 21 Auto Repair Brand Promotes Transmission Maintenance During National Car Care Month with Free TransCheck 21 PLUS Inspection

HORSHAM, Pa. – Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care are leveraging its position as an industry leader in aftermarket and transmission maintenance with an unprecedented national holiday: National Check Your Transmission Day on Oct. 21, 2017, a special celebration during October’s National Car Care Month.

In observance of National Check Your Transmission Day, Cottman is urging all drivers to make transmission maintenance a priority. To that end, Cottman is offering its very own free TransCheck 21 PLUS Inspection, which provides busy consumers with the chance to enhance regular auto maintenance with a comprehensive transmission check at no extra charge.

“Since many consumers depend on their car as their primary source of transportation, preventative car care and maintenance is often the key to extending the life of their vehicle,” said Randy Wright, president for Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care. “Transmission maintenance is not always included in a basic tune-up check, and National Check Your Transmission Day is a chance for consumers to take advantage of services such Cottman’s free TransCheck 21 PLUS Inspection to ensure their transmissions are serviced regularly.”

Transmission repair is one of the most expensive and therefore most dreaded repairs, making many consumers prone to ignore preventable problems. “National Check Your Transmission Day is a reminder for consumers to face transmission problems head-on and prolong a transmission’s life by bringing in their vehicles for regular transmission fluid and filter checks,” said Derik Beck vice president of digital marketing for Cottman. “We want all consumers to just be aware that this is an important part of the vehicle and by creating a national day we can highlight the need to have it checked, not only on this particular day but throughout the year.”

On National Check Your Transmission Day, Cottman will also be raising awareness of the various maintenance habits that can reduce the life of a car’s transmission, from poor driving habits to inadequate service intervals. With better awareness of transmission maintenance basics, Cottman intends to convince more drivers of the importance of transmission checks to prevent unnecessary, costly repairs.

Observed in October, National Check Your Transmission Day also falls within National Car Care Month, which promotes regular car maintenance all month long. October and the fall season is the perfect opportunity for drivers to effectively prepare and safeguard their vehicles’ functionality for winter as the season changes from summer to fall.

In addition to taking advantage of transmission-focused maintenance services such as Cottman’s TransCheck 21 PLUS Inspection, consumers can observe National Check Your Transmission Day by familiarizing themselves with what to look for in a healthy transmission. Beyond simply paying attention to the check engine light or replacing old oil, knowing the basics of transmission maintenance can empower customers to get the best care possible for their vehicles—is the oil burnt or just worn out? Is the material in the bottom of the sump a problem or is it just normal wear? Is it too late to be paying for a service to fix a transmission issue? A little knowledge can go a long way in empowering a consumer to ensure their transmission is performing at the top of its game.

To further educate consumers, earlier this year Cottman released it’s a new animated character called the Transmission Physician and a new educational video series which features her as a specialist in transmission technology and repair, and explores topics through the video series such as, checking the automatic transmission fluid (ATF), why transmissions are so expensive, the process of how a transmission works, rechecks and more. These videos are accessible via the Cottman website.

At its core, Cottman centers are and always have been transmission specialty repair centers, dedicated to providing honest, quality service at reasonable prices to drivers everywhere. Transmissions, cars, and technology, in general, continue to change, and with it the consumer demand for information. This is why the National Check Your Transmission Day was founded and the Transmission Physician Educational Video Series was created.

To learn more, about the national day please visit Cottman’s national website, www.cottman.com/national-check-your-transmission-day. To learn more about the Transmission Physician Educational Video Series please visit https://www.cottman.com/Transmission-Physician/.

About Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care

With locations across the U.S., Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care is a transmission and auto repair brand that services almost any make or model vehicle, foreign or domestic. Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care centers specialize in complete transmission service, brakes, suspension, air conditioning service and much more. Cottman’s headquarters is based in Horsham, Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit www.Cottman.com and www.TheCottmanManBlog.com.

Cottman’s Blog Does It Again: Number 14 of the Top 33 Helpful Blogs for Repair and Maintenance

HORSHAM, Pa. – And the hits just keep on coming for the Cottman Man blog! Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care just reached number 14 on the Top 33 Informative and Helpful Blogs for Car Care, Repair, and Maintenance by the itmycar.com website. In it, Cottman shares the spotlight with such luminaries as the Popular Mechanics and Be Car Care Aware sites.

Today’s announcement is the latest in series of awards that the Cottman has received for its blog: It was named one of the Top 50 Automotive and Mechanics Blogs by Direct Capital after being online for just five months. The Automotive Communications award from the Car Care Council Women’s Board (WB) and the Automotive Communication Council (ACC) for Best Blog. The International Advertising Competition awarded Cottman for the Best Blog Website for the Cottman Man Blog. Website Magazine recognized the Cottman blog as an example of how businesses can reach out to consumers in their communities. And was Cottman’s efforts were recently recognized as one of the Top 100 Auto Repair and Maintenance Blogs for Mechanics and Car Owners by the Feedspot online blog spot.

“I have reviewed hundreds of blogs on the internet to choose 33 useful blogs. And as an introduction to Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care’s blog in the top 33 blogs, there are many reasons I chose to introduce Cottman’s blog to my readers,” said Tracy Moore Founder and Main Editor of ITmycar.com. “I like how the company has a long history, its wide scale of operations and a blog with practical articles, tips, tricks, and analysis for anyone interested in learning more about their vehicle. If the reader is a car lover, see the vehicle as their friend, then there is no reason not to visit Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care’s blog. It’s really great.”

“We’re extremely proud of the recognition our blog has been receiving,” says Derik Beck, Cottman’s VP of digital marketing. “It shows that we’re reaching consumers who are looking for information to help them make important decisions about their cars. And we’re working hard to keep that information fresh and relevant.”

According to Beck, consumers often feel overwhelmed when faced with a repair decision. “Today’s cars are extremely complicated, and they can often find themselves in the position of having to make difficult repair decisions. The Cottman Man Blog explains these complex issues clearly, so they can understand the problems they’re facing and help make informed decisions. And it reinforces the trust that’s so important when working with a repair center.”

“Our goal has always been to provide consumers with the information they need to have a clear understanding about their cars,” explains Cottman President Randy Wright.

“We believe educated consumers will make smarter decisions when it comes to having their cars repaired. And that benefits all of us: the consumers and the Cottman centers.”

The Cottman Man Blog covers a wide variety of topics and is constantly being updated with new information. The site provides articles covering how to recognize when your car has a problem, how to find a qualified repair shop, and how to explain your problem to the technician to make sure you’re getting the most accurate repair possible. And it covers maintenance services, to let you know which ones are valid, cost-effective choices, and which would be better avoided.

While the Cottman Man Blog is a valuable resource for consumers, it’s just one part of the consumer outreach program that’s become the hallmark of Cottman’s online presence. Last year Cottman launched The Cottman Man Educational Video Series which won multiple awards:

In 2016:

  • The International Advertising Competition – Best Other Online Video for the Cottman Man Educational Video Series
  • Platinum Award in the 2016 Summit Marketing Effectiveness Awards (MEA) competition specifically in the Education Marketing Category
  • 2016 W3 Awards:
  • Video Features Web Personality/Host
  • Online Video Web Series

Then Cottman decided to launch the Transmission Physician program — an animated video program featuring the first female transmission specialist which has also been honored by a number of awards in 2017:

  • Two Telly Awards – A Bronze Award for “Craft Use of Animation for Branded Content & Entertainment” and a Bronze Award for “Web Series for Video, Shows or Segments”
  • Earned the Gold Award in the 2017 Hermes Creative Awards competition in the category “Electronic Media – Websites” for the subcategory of “Educational Video Series.”
  • Two Communicator Awards – Earned an “Excellence” designation from the Communicator Awards in the category of an online video in a campaign or web series. The series also earned a “Distinction” designation in the category of an online video in video education.
  • Earned the Silver Award in the 2017 Summit Creative Award competition for its creative work in the educational animated video series

For more information about the Cottman Man blog, stop by TheCottmanManBlog.com. To learn more about Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Car or to watch the Transmission Physician videos, visit www.cottman.com.

Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care offer a rare franchise opportunity for entrepreneurs interested in a proven and reputable brand in the fast-growing automotive aftermarket industry. Interested candidates should have a minimum net worth of $100,000 and liquid assets of at least $65,000 per center. The initial franchise investment for a Cottman center is between $190,000 to $235,000, which includes a $37,500 franchise fee. For honorably discharged veterans, Cottman offers a reduced franchise fee.

To learn more about Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care and its available franchise opportunities please visit https://www.cottman.com/cottman-franchise-opportunities/.

About Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care:

With locations across the U.S., Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care is a transmission and auto repair brand that services almost any make or model vehicle, foreign or domestic. Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care centers specialize in complete transmission service, brakes, suspension, air conditioning service and much more. Cottman’s headquarters is based in Horsham, Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit www.Cottman.com and www.TheCottmanManBlog.com.

Cottman’s Blog Reaches Top 100 Auto Repair and Maintenance Blogs for Mechanics and Car Owners This award is the latest the Cottman brand has been recognized for its online efforts to educate consumers

HORSHAM, Pa. – The Cottman Man has done it again: The consumer technical blog for Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care has been named as one of the Top 100 Auto Repair and Maintenance Blogs for Mechanics and Car Owners by the Feedspot online blog spot.

This is just the latest in an ongoing series of awards that the Cottman Man has received for his blog in the short time it’s been online. It was named one of the Top 50 Automotive and Mechanics Blogs by Direct Capital after being online for just five months. And it was recognized by Website Magazine as an example of how to reach out to consumers in your community.

“This is exactly the kind of recognition we wanted for our blog,” says Derik Beck, Cottman’s VP of digital marketing. “Today’s cars are extremely complicated devices, and consumers often feel overwhelmed when faced with a repair decision.”

According to Beck, too often that’s made worse by poor communication. “In the Cottman Man Blog, we explain these complex issues clearly, without a bunch of jargon or confusing acronyms. This helps consumers understand the problems they’re facing and reinforces the trust that’s so important when working with a repair center.”

“Our goal has always been to help educate consumers about their cars,” explains Cottman President Randy Wright. “We believe educated consumers will make smarter decisions when it comes to having their cars repaired. And that benefits all of us: the consumers and the Cottman centers.”

The Cottman Man Blog covers a wide variety of topics, including how to recognize when your car has a problem, how to find a qualified repair shop, and how to explain your problem to the technician to make sure you’re getting the most accurate repair possible. There are dozens of subjects listed, with new ones going online several times a year.

The Cottman Man Blog is just one segment of the consumer outreach program that has become the hallmark of Cottman’s online marketing. Their Transmission Physician program — an animated video featuring the first female transmission specialist — just won two Telly awards: one for Craft Use of Animation for Branded Content & Entertainment, and a second for Web Series for Video, Shows or Segments.

Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care offer a rare franchise opportunity for entrepreneurs interested in a proven and reputable brand in the fast-growing automotive aftermarket industry. Interested candidates should have a minimum net worth of $100,000 and liquid assets of at least $65,000 percenter. The initial franchise investment for a Cottman center is between $190,000 to $235,000, which includes a $37,500 franchise fee. For honorably discharged veterans, Cottman offers a reduced franchise fee.

To learn more about Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care and its available franchise opportunities please visit https://www.cottman.com/cottman-franchise-opportunities/.

About Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care:

With locations across the U.S., Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care is a transmission and auto repair brand that services almost any make or model vehicle, foreign or domestic. Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care centers specialize in complete transmission service, brakes, suspension, air conditioning service and much more. Cottman’s headquarters is based in Horsham, Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit www.Cottman.com and www.TheCottmanManBlog.com.

dotCOMM Awards Recognizes Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care Honored with Platinum Award Cottman’s Transmission Physician Continues to Bring Home Industry Honors

HORSHAM, Pa. – Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care continue its winning streak for its highly regarded digital marketing expertise with yet another award on the shelf for the groundbreaking Transmission Physician, growing the brand’s reputation for service and quality.

Out of more than 2,200 submissions from 15 countries, Cottman’s web series “Transmission Physician,” featuring an animated female transmission expert, earned the Platinum Award in the Animation category in the 2017 dotCOMM Awards for excellence in web creativity and digital communication.

“From the first time we revealed the Transmission Physician, we knew she was something special,” said Derik Beck, vice president of digital marketing at Cottman. “Now, she’s won multiple awards and it reinforces the care we put into her in the first place, reflecting our commitment to service and education for our customers over everything.”

Winners were selected from 241 categories for websites, videos, social media, paid media, owned media, earned media and digital marketing and communication programs. Entries for the dotCOMM Awards came from corporate marketing and communications departments, digital shops, advertising agencies, PR firms, production companies, and freelancers.

The dotCOMM awards are administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (ACMP). The international organization consists of several thousand marketing, communication, advertising public relations, and media production and freelance professionals. AMCP oversees awards and recognition programs, provides judges and rewards outstanding achievement and service to the profession.

Winning a dotCOMM Award goes even further to raise Cottman’s reputation as an industry leader for the Transmission Physician video series as it contributes to the overall marketing strategy of Cottman.

The dotCOMM Platinum Award is just one in a series of awards that the Transmission Physician has garnered in 2017 – the brand also took home the following in recent months:

The Transmission Physician web series is a standout component of Cottman’s broader catalog of educational digital content. Using accessible animation and themes, Cottman shares its educational videos on the brand’s website as a way for consumers to learn more about common car care topics.

As a specialist in transmission technology and repair, the Transmission Physician debunks common transmission myths, shares specialized, transmission-specific advice and explores related topics such as checking the automatic transmission fluid (ATF), why transmissions are so expensive, the process of how a transmission works, rechecks and more.

She joins the Cottman Man, the brand’s well-known namesake who has long starred in his own digital series, teaching consumers about car care and tips to maintain the longevity of their vehicles. Together, these characters strengthen Cottman’s ability to connect with consumers and creatively share meaningful maintenance information that adds value to the excellent services already offered at every Cottman location.

To view the Transmission Physician and Cottman Man Video Series, visit www.cottman.com/videos/. And, to learn more about Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, please visit www.cottman.com.

About Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care

With locations across the U.S., Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care is a transmission and auto repair brand that services almost any make or model vehicle, foreign or domestic. Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care centers specialize in complete transmission service, brakes, suspension, air conditioning service and much more. Cottman’s headquarters is based in Horsham, Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit www.Cottman.com and www.TheCottmanManBlog.com.

As Auto Sales Dip, Aftermarket Specialists have the Chance to Shine By Randy Wright, President of Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care

It comes as no surprise that auto sales numbers and the auto aftermarket are closely intertwined. However, the aftermarket can benefit whether there are an increased number of new cars on the road, or if the cars themselves are simply getting older. In addition, the vast size of the auto care industry (estimated at $368 billion consumer dollars in 2017) gives it the strength to weather smaller blips in sales from year to year without much change in its broader performance. So when car sales sneeze (plunging or climbing), the aftermarket doesn’t have to catch a cold—in fact, brands can grow more robust in response to evolving consumer demand.

As  auto sales dipped in March, the aftermarket industry is looking at a consumer market that is focused on repairs and maintenance that will make their vehicles last longer than ever before—the average age of vehicles on the road has hit 11.6 years, and by 2021 more than  20 million cars on the road will be more than 25 years old.

For more specialized providers focused on specific auto care segments, including transmission, brake, tire or another type of repair or maintenance specialist, we have an opening to differentiate ourselves from general auto repair shops and dealerships in the aftermarket. It’s up to us to harness shifts in consumer demand to turn a drop in auto sales into growth in maintenance and repair services. There are several aftermarket spaces where specialists can capitalize on slower auto sales by focusing on core service execution.

Maintenance—make services fast and effective
As cars get older, consumers often turn to routine maintenance in an effort to coax more years than ever before from their vehicles. Consumers are quickly becoming more familiar which the ways a fluid change and transmission flush can keep a car running stronger for longer, or how a tire rotation and alignment along with replacing brake pads and discs, can all keep a car feeling young.

But aftermarket specialists need to be sure they’re making their services an attractive value-add to a consumer’s maintenance experience. Costs for maintenance services continue to increase and to keep consumers from becoming apathetic or lazy in their approach to taking care of aging cars, aftermarket specialists should focus on exceptional service. When a driver comes in for transmission fluid changes or a flush, for tire rotations or to inspect brake pads and discs, a specialist should do everything they can to ensure his or her visit is fast and efficient. Enhancing service excellence can expand a customer base into a loyal sea of regulars.

Repair—products should be high quality

As consumers are driving increasingly older cars, the need for more extensive repairs rather than routine maintenance is often inevitable. When consumers begin looking for a more expensive repair such as a total transmission rebuild or new brake lines, that’s an opportunity for aftermarket specialists to set themselves apart from dealer repair shops through quality. A specialist can ensure a customer is investing in a dependable product that will require less frequent if any, replacement in the future.

Aftermarket consumers have more choice in repairs, both for services and products themselves than ever before. The increased variety of supply, through growing market competition or the rise of e-commerce, means aftermarket specialists need to be strategic and targeted to coax consumer repair demand into maximum sales and revenue for their brand.

Inventory—forecasting for high return
Every aftermarket company knows the key to strong numbers is finding the sweet spot in stocking just enough low-demand and slightly more than enough high-demand products. The most dependable method of maintaining this balance is a reliable forecasting method. Depending on the market and type of aftermarket specialization, this may mean taking into account seasonality, technology innovations, preventative maintenance, and the trends toward greener products such as electric vehicles, or a variety of market indicators specific to transmissions, tires, brakes or other specialties.

Regardless of the forecast method, the point should be to ensure inventory selection is calculated to maximize return, and that each individual shop is controlling inventory as a method to capitalize on fluctuating car sales and other correlating factors in the aftermarket industry.

By focusing on efficient maintenance, quality repair, and an effective inventory system, aftermarket specialists will be positioned to take advantage of shifts in auto sales and easily rise above competitors in the industry.

Building a Lasting Relationship with Marketing Partners By Derik Beck, VP of digital marketing at Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care

In the automotive aftermarket, an internal digital marketing team is faced with the challenge of differentiating its company’s services and strengthening the recognition of the larger brand among an ever-growing number of competitors at the same time. Naturally, many in-house teams utilize the marketing services of outside companies to get the job done. I often look to our third-party collaborators for more niche skills such as animation, programming, graphic design, data research, and cross-platform advertising specialists. However, there is an art involved in developing a potential outside firm into a full partner to meet and surpass your company’s marketing objectives. With Cottman’s third-party marketing and digital colleagues, I’ve found the most meaningful relationships result from aiming to create a partnership, not simply a vendor or supplier contract.

A digital marketing partner is more than a vendor

Aftermarket vendors are essential in ensuring a car care or maintenance shop has the tools and supplies necessary to deliver high-quality services. But, within the marketing efforts for those services, marketing professionals are often seeking a deeper relationship with outside marketing specialists, and those businesses often pride themselves on being more than a vendor to their clients as well.

My goal is to find a partner who becomes embedded in Cottman’s marketing efforts. The skills and services a partner brings to the table are just one part of their larger function on the team. At Cottman, my focus is on the digital side of marketing and we depend on our partners for everything from animation to web design. Our partners supply us with the creative skills needed to accomplish our marketing goals, but they also grow to become trusted partners and in some cases, an advisory role to provide unmatched customer service and professional recommendations. The skills a digital marketing partner provides are often only one component of a larger, broader relationship.

While many vendors may provide exemplary services or products, if they fall short of a collaborative partnering role within the Cottman team, we often end up looking elsewhere for a more meaningful digital relationship.

Picking the right marketing partner
So your marketing team wants a partner, not a vendor—how do you achieve that distinction?

First, examine your internal corporate culture and the makeup and values of your team. Establishing a true marketing partnership with a third party requires compatibility and clarity of roles and responsibilities. At Cottman, we seek out partners who offer strategy and vision that complement our larger business goals. Our most recent marketing success, an animated car expert named the “Transmission Physician,” was the result of a variety of successful marketing partnerships rooted in our partners’ understanding of Cottman’s core marketing goals for the character. We wouldn’t have been able to launch the Transmission Physician into the world without marketing partners who were on board with the project’s objectives.

When we search for marketing partners, we start with a thorough walk-through of the outside firm’s process and commitment to our brand. We meet the team, we talk through eventualities such as what happens in the case of a shift of internal needs or deadlines, and we determine that this is a partnership we can rely on through the long and sometimes rocky road of bringing a marketing concept to final launch. A potential partner can win us over by being clear and upfront about their brand, their abilities and their bandwidth for focusing on Cottman’s marketing needs. An initial indication that a relationship has the potential to grow into something more gives a prospective marketing specialist an edge over the competition.

How to grow a marketing partnership
Clarity in expectations is the best way to begin any relationship with an outside company, and consistency in that communication can help it blossom.

From a marketing perspective, our first concern is that the services we pay a creative partner for are exceptional and delivered on deadline. But in addition, I’m looking for a partner who has a sixth sense for Cottman’s broader business and prioritizes our needs and requests.

As those foundational elements grow, I often find myself turning to these partners for their thoughts and opinions on narrative strategy and leaning on their digital expertise. No one knows it all, and over time, I appreciate a partner who demonstrates an innate understanding of the aftermarket industry but especially of Cottman’s niche and the larger direction of our marketing and growth goals. If a partner fails to show long-term added value in our holistic marketing process, I come to think of them as a vendor once more, rather than a partner, and I will likely begin looking for other creative companies to fill the role of a true collaborative partner.

In the aftermarket industry, effective marketing often lives or dies on establishing a winning team, both in-house and with outside companies. Choosing a partner rather than settling for a vendor on creative endeavors is the key to building that relationship into a partnership meant to last.

Three Trends for Auto Service Pros to Watch

The auto industry needs to be ready to react to great leaps in-vehicle technology.
The auto industry is constantly evolving, with astonishing leaps in technology turning something like a self-driving car from a sci-fi dream to a prototype in the time span of a generation.

But technological advances that change the landscape of the auto industry are nothing new. Not long ago, innovations such as fuel injection, antilock braking systems, and even check-engine lights were seen as the ultimate in cutting-edge technology.

Now, all sectors of the auto industry need to be ready to react to even greater leaps forward in auto technology.

For the aftermarket, this means being ready to meet new advancements and futuristic car models with complimentary upgrades in repair and maintenance services.

To stay on top of the tech evolution, aftermarket professionals should stay focused on trends affecting three sectors.

Autonomous cars
The possible proliferation of driverless cars represents the biggest potential transformation in the automobile industry.

On-demand mobility and data-driven services (crucial components of an autonomous-driving system) could create up to $1.5 trillion in car sales and aftermarket products and services by 2030.

This includes the cost of eventual software upgrades for self-driving vehicles. As with all software- and hardware-based technology, autonomous operating systems will need upgrades on a regular basis, just like a smartphone or a laptop. Whether those software upgrades one day will be provided to consumers by the IT department of an auto dealership, by aftermarket specialists or over the air remains to be seen.

Running parallel to the potential rise of the driverless car is a potential decline in private-vehicle sales.

More people will be turning to shared cars in the future, which would reasonably require more repairs, maintenance and parts replacement due to higher wear and tear from multiple users.

If more shared vehicles are also autonomous, following the example of shared car services such as Uber that have experimented with driverless cars, those autonomous shared cars will experience even more wear than regular shared cars.

In fact, they may almost never stop driving, instead of remaining constantly on the road shuttling riders from place to place. The need for maintenance and repair of such vehicles would be immense.

Not everyone will immediately sell their current car and purchase an autonomous vehicle, or rely only on a shared car. The aftermarket has time to take stock of the rise of the autonomous car and adjust for a shift in demand for services in the future accordingly.

High-tech enhancements
Aftermarket consumers have more choice in technology than ever before, even if not everyone will be buying a driverless car any time soon.

The increased variety of supply and demand for new technology, such as driver aid and infotainment, means aftermarket specialists will need to develop expertise and services catered to these types of enhancements.

High-tech auto enhancements can include products such as:

  • Head-up displays that keep drivers’ eyes on the road while also keeping track of GPS navigation and directional services
  • Driver-aid systems that include back-up cameras and other aids to help drivers avoid collisions
  • Cloud-powered systems that let drivers control services on the car through apps or to call for assistance while driving; and other apps or enhancements that connect multiple smart devices to a car via Bluetooth.

All of these technologies allow customers to dramatically upgrade cars without buying a new vehicle. They also represent unique opportunities for the aftermarket to learn how to adapt and provide maintenance and repair for these software products in the future.

To succeed in a world of constant auto-tech advancements and upgrades, automakers, suppliers and service providers need to leverage partnerships and alliances to find the highest quality and combination of services for consumers.

Industry momentum
Despite exciting new developments in car tech, aftermarkets have seen comparatively restrained evolutions in their services.

For example, in 2003 Tesla shook the car world with the introduction of the first modern electric car for consumers. The automobile industry saw this breakthrough technology as a major disruption to the traditional products and services they had been providing to consumers for more than 100 years. Today, EV sales are less than impressive. Impediments include high prices and a lack of a recharging network.

The industry’s reactive momentum was much slower than the initial tech push would suggest, and the aftermarket hasn’t needed to completely overhaul its services and products for an all-electric car fleet quite yet.

However, the vehicle-service industry should remain and has remained current when it comes to repairs and maintenance on newer operating systems. Technicians have received more specialized tech-related training than ever, attracting higher-tech consumer business. According to the Auto-Care Assn., there were 264 million vehicles in operation in the U.S. The future of the automotive repair business appears stronger than ever.

By: Randy Wright – president of Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care.

As originally featured in WardsAuto.com.

Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care Honored with Summit Silver Award for Animation Cottman’s Transmission Physician Video Series Racks Up Another Award

HORSHAM, Pa. – Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care continue to bring home award after award for its digital marketing proficiency with yet another award in its repertoire, growing the brand’s reputation for quality and service.

Out of more than 5,000 submissions from 24 countries, Cottman’s web series “Transmission Physician,” featuring an animated female transmission expert, earned the Silver Award in the 2017 Summit Creative Award competition for its creative work in the educational animated video series.

“There’s nothing more gratifying than seeing your team’s hard work pay off, and the Cottman crew put their heart and soul into creating the Transmission Physician,” said Derik Beck, vice president of digital marketing at Cottman. “Watching her take home so many distinguished honors just reinforces why we do what we do, and how important it is to value service and education for our customers over everything.”

The Summit Creative Award (SCA) recognizes and celebrates the creative achievements of small and medium-sized advertising agencies worldwide with annual billings under $30 million. Celebrating its 23rd year, the SCA has firmly established itself as the premier arbiter of creative excellence for firms of this size and has become a coveted honor.

Entries in 13 major categories are judged against a stringent set of standards. During its blind judging (entering company names withheld) the Board of Judges search for and identify innovative and creative concepts, strong executions and user experience, and the ability to communicate and persuade. Winners were selected in a wide range of categories from print and broadcast to online advertising and social media.

Winning a Summit Creative Award goes even further to raise Cottman’s reputation as an industry leader for the Transmission Physician video series, as it contributes to the overall marketing strategy of Cottman.

The Summit Award is just one in a string of awards that the Transmission Physician has garnered in 2017 – the brand also took home the following in recent months:

Two Telly Awards – A Bronze Award for “Craft Use of Animation for Branded Content & Entertainment” and a Bronze Award for “Web Series for Video, Shows or Segments”
-Earned the Gold Award in the 2017 Hermes Creative Awards competition in the category “Electronic Media Websites” for the subcategory of “Educational Video Series.”
Two Communicator Awards – Earned an “Excellence” designation from the Communicator Awards in the category of an online video in a campaign or web series. The series also earned a “Distinction” designation in the category of an online video in video education.

“We created the Transmission Physician to honor the women who have played an important role in making our industry what it is today, and are essential to the development and modernization of the auto industry,” said Beck. “Cottman stands for inclusivity at all levels, and we’re thrilled that the Transmission Physician is being honored at the international level, hopefully going even further to bring this message to the world.”

The Transmission Physician web series is a standout component of Cottman’s broader catalog of educational digital content. Using fun, accessible animation and themes, Cottman shares its educational videos on the brand’s website as a way for consumers to learn more about common car care topics.

As a specialist in transmission technology and repair, the Transmission Physician debunks common transmission myths, shares specialized, transmission-specific advice and explores related topics such as checking the automatic transmission fluid (ATF), why transmissions are so expensive, the process of how a transmission works, rechecks and more.

She joins the Cottman Man, the brand’s well-known namesake who has long starred in his own digital series, teaching consumers about car care and tips to maintain the longevity of their vehicles. Together, these characters strengthen Cottman’s ability to connect with consumers and creatively share meaningful maintenance information that adds value to the excellent services already offered at every Cottman location.
To view the Transmission Physician and Cottman Man Video Series, visit www.cottman.com/videos/. And, to learn more about Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, please visit www.cottman.com.

About Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care

With locations across the U.S., Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care is a transmission and auto repair brand that services almost any make or model vehicle, foreign or domestic. Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care centers specialize in complete transmission service, brakes, suspension, air conditioning service and much more. Cottman’s headquarters is based in Horsham, Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit www.Cottman.com and www.TheCottmanManBlog.com.

Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care’s Web Series Honored With Two Communicator Awards For Creative Excellence Cottman’s “Transmission Physician” Online Educational Video Series Recognized By Largest And Most Competitive Industry Award Program

HORSHAM, Pa. – Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care’s groundbreaking educational video series continues to reach new heights in the industry, as the brand announced today the series was presented with two significant honors from the Communicator Awards for creative excellence in communication.

Cottman’s web series “Transmission Physician,” featuring the industry-leading animated female transmission expert, earned an “Excellence” designation from the Communicator Awards in the category of an online video in a campaign or web series. The series also earned a “Distinction” designation from the program in the category of an online video in video education.

“When we first conceptualized the Transmission Physician, we knew we were creating something special and unique in the aftermarket, and these recent awards further highlight the mark we’ve made on the industry,” said Derik Beck, vice president of digital marketing at Cottman. “We’re proud of our achievement with this web series and grateful to be recognized for our efforts by the Communicator Awards.”

With the announcement of the web series’ recognition by the Communicator Awards, Cottman’s web series now boasts a variety of accolades from across the marketing industry, including a Bronze Award in the 38th annual Telly Awards competition and a Gold Award in the 2017 Hermes Creative Awards competition.

“With every new award, the impact the Transmission Physician has had on auto care marketing trends becomes even clearer,” added Beck. “It’s both satisfying and humbling to be so thoroughly recognized for our contribution to the marketing world, both in auto care and in the broader community of creative professionals.”

The web series was conceptualized as a subtle but meaningful acknowledgment of the contributions women have made in the auto care industry. The Transmission Physician also signals to both customers and potential franchisees that Cottman is focused on creating an inclusive environment at all of its locations nationwide.

The highly decorated web series is one element of Cottman’s broader catalog of educational digital content. Using fun, accessible animation and themes, Cottman shares its educational videos on the brand’s website as a way for consumers to learn more about common car care topics.

As a specialist in transmission technology and repair, the Transmission Physician debunks common transmission myths, shares specialized, transmission-specific advice and explores related topics such as checking the automatic transmission fluid (ATF), why transmissions are so expensive, the process of how a transmission works, rechecks and more.

She joins the Cottman Man, the brand’s well-known namesake who has starred in his own digital series, teaching consumers about car care and tips to maintain the longevity of their vehicles. Together, these characters strengthen Cottman’s ability to connect with consumers and creatively share meaningful maintenance information that adds value to the excellent services already offered at every Cottman location.

The 23rd Annual Communicator Awards honor excellence in marketing and communication. The awards program is among the largest and most competitive in the world, with more than 6,000 entries received both from the United States and internationally. The entries are judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, which is a professional organization more than 600 members made up of media, advertising, and marketing professionals.

To view the Transmission Physician and Cottman man Video Series, visit www.cottman.com/videos/. For more information about the Communicator Awards, visit: http://www.communicatorawards.com. And, to learn more about Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, please visit www.cottman.com.

About Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care

With locations across the U.S., Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care is a transmission and auto repair brand that services almost any make or model vehicle, foreign or domestic. Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care centers specialize in complete transmission service, brakes, suspension, air conditioning service and much more. Cottman’s headquarters is based in Horsham, Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit www.Cottman.com and www.TheCottmanManBlog.com.