At first glance, the job of marketing co-ordinator at the Mascor group, Maroné Lotter, seems impossible. She has to promote from ride-on lawnmowers to new Toyota Starlets and agricultural implements to clients ranging from teachers to mega farmers.
But she told Dealerfloor the job is in fact quite easy, as long as you remember it is all about people and their pockets.
“We aim to be a one-stop shop, where our rural-based clients can get everything from vehicles to fuel and even toys for the kids – although I think many of the scale models we sell are for the dads!” she said.
Mascor operates a franchised dealership, Mascor Toyota Greytown, and five filling stations (Mascor Puma Greytown, Mascor Puma Dalton, Mascor Sasol Salt Rock, Mascor Caltex Komatipoort and Mascor Caltex Malalane). The group also has branches in Uganda and Kenya to roll out the benefits of precision agriculture made possible by John Deere’s satellite-linked equipment into Africa.
To reach the group’s diverse client base, Lotter uses a mix of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and local events.
Her core message is simple – it is about saving money using Mascor’s special offers – interspersed with useful information.
Hence the Mascor Facebook pages have links to articles about earthworms, pecan nuts and hay alongside fuel promos, customer evenings and local product launches.
The most recent customer evening was at the Unicorn Club in Dalton, where local residents came to look at the new Hilux, Starlet and Prado as well as John Deere equipment and tractors while the braai fires were being lit.
“Our customer evenings are very popular. Some call it the best braai in town, but for our staff these functions are where we start new relationships and strengthen existing friendships,” Lotter explained.
These relationships are further built on using WhatsApp, where Mascor now has a win-a-Weber promotion to drive followers. Lotter says Facebook and WhatsApp are her most effective social media tools, but WhatsApp is most used by her clients. She is careful with the information that’s disseminated.
“In our aim to promote Mascor as a one-stop shop, the most important thing to remember is not to waste customers’ expensive data or time with spurious information; and the second most important is that a picture paints a thousand words.”
To create those pictures, Mascor has two graphic artists on the staff to create images that fit onto mobile phone screens and provide all the information at a glance.
Lotter says her staff members are very proud to be among the first links in a very long chain that puts food on tables but she adds that nothing humbles one as quick as farming does.
“While many of our products cost more than a Porsche 911 or a Ferrari, our clients do not buy bling. They want the best tool for the job at the lowest interest rate and that is what Mascor provides,” she reckons.
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