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CCC Uses Viral Marketing (and Humor) to Spread Message

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The collision repair industry is serious business, but it can be pretty funny, too. And the team at CCC Information Services has captured some of the best stereotypes and inside jokes and turned them on their head in a series of humorous videos called “The Shop,” which it’s billing as a series on “how NOT to run a productive auto body repair shop."

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One video shows the overzealous and over-caffeinated nephew of a body shop owner who tries (unsuccessfully) to find his place as a responsible employee of the shop. Another depicts the manager of a shop trying to promote employee unity by starting a sing-along to “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

CCC Information Services is hoping collision repairers find these videos hilarious enough to send them along to their friends and colleagues, in effect creating a “viral” marketing campaign.

“It’s one thing for you to provide software solutions and service to over 20,000 shops,” said Lou Kikos, CCC’s vice president of marketing. “But you also want to expand that relationship with your customers in promoting and acknowledging what you do.”

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Episodes include “The Angry Customer,” “The Kid,” “Mom” and “Sing Along.” Future episodes include “Book Club” and “Workflow.”

CCC decided to explore an integrated marketing approach to reach its customers, including capitalizing on the Web video craze created by YouTube. Extensive market research – and a large team of CCC team members who spent years working in and around collision repair shops – led to putting together the light-hearted videos that capture funny, over-the-top moments that happen inside body shops. The videos are the first step of a multi-stage campaign CCC will be pushing out over the next several months designed to engage and interact with the customer.

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“It laughs with repairers, not at them,” said Kikos. “We wanted to have fun with what goes on within a repair shop and look at how repairers work, not explain a bunch of features and functions of our new product.”

That new product is CCC ONE, which allows repairers to manage their businesses using a single platform. The CCC ONE Total Repair Platform is the industry’s first single desktop solution that combines estimating, shop management and DRP performance into one simple hosted solution. The product represents a holistic approach where a single application supports a complete repair process, not just a series of individual tasks.

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CCC recruited several focus groups of repairers to provide feedback on such things as how they prefer to be communicated to and how they personally communicate to their network of contacts. One thing CCC discovered is that if a repairer thinks a piece of communication is important (or funny, as in the case of the videos), he or she will e-mail blast it out to his or her friends and co-workers.

“We believe we have listened to our customers and know them well, and [these videos] are a reflection of that,” said Kikos. “We talked to both small shops and multiple store operators, and this differentiation of focus and insight is one of the things we bring to the table with CCC ONE.”

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Test screenings of the videos received rave reviews, as did showings at CCC’s booth at the 2009 International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) in Las Vegas.


More information:

View episodes of "The Shop"

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