Join us as we look at a recent interview with Eric Carter, owner of Valparaiso, Indiana’s Cartronix. Find out what 1sixty8 media has done for Cartronix and see how our content marketing program has made a difference for them.
1sixty8: Tell us a bit about the history of Cartronix.
Eric Carter: My father started Cartronix in 1976. He sold eight-track players, K40 car audio, pagers, cellular phones and home audio. I took over the car and home divisions about nine years ago. During that time, we had to move twice to support our growth. We now focus exclusively on mobile enhancement and offer everything from car audio and remote car starters to truck accessories and custom-installed radar detectors. We recently launched spray-in bed liners, and this has been a home run.
1sixty8: What forms of advertising were effective for you in the past that are no longer effective today?
Eric Carter: Early on, we were everywhere: radio, Yellow Pages, regional magazines, direct mail, newspapers, etc. We never seemed to have much success with any of it, but we sure spent a lot of money. Today, we have done away with everything except some occasional radio campaigns. We now focus all of our marketing resources on online marketing.
1sixty8: What brought you to 1sixty8 media?
Eric Carter: We had previously worked with another company that did work for my father at his cellular stores. They just didn’t understand the mobile enhancement industry, and it showed. I’ve known most of the team at 1sixty8 for years and I knew that they would not have this issue.
1sixty8: What challenges did you face that 1sixty8 media has solved for you?
Eric Carter: Timely content was always a problem before 1sixty8 was in the picture. We now publish several posts every week that educate our clients and showcase our work.
1sixty8: How has your relationship with 1sixty8 media improved your business? How much of an improvement has there been?
Eric Carter: We now have a real online presence and a website that supports other online endeavors, like social media. Since bringing in 1sixty8 media, our business has grown significantly. In 2016, we grew revenue by 31%, and I attribute that growth to our relationship with 1sixty8 and our extensive showroom remodel.
1sixty8: What makes 1sixty8 a good fit for Cartronix?
Eric Carter: As I said before, 1sixty8 media knows this industry as well as anyone. Most of the team has been involved in the industry for many years. All of the team is specialized and has their own niche specialty. It’s nice to have this great resource available. If I have a question about photography for our posts, I can pick up the phone and call Dave MacKinnon or Joey Knapp. Even if it is not directly related to 1sixty8, I can always turn to Mark Miller or Mitch Schaffer to bounce some ideas off of. Both of them have owned 12V facilities for decades.
1sixty8: What is your favorite thing about working with 1sixty8?
Eric Carter: Hands down, my favorite thing is my ability to take an idea and hand it off to them, and it just gets handled. I can’t tell you how many times I have come up with something I wanted written for my site and just submitted it to them. A week or so later, I get a Google alert letting me know that it has been published. My job is to run Cartronix, not to manage my site. 1sixty8 takes one major task off of my plate.
1sixty8: Has the content created by 1sixty8 media improved your social media, pay-per-click or e-mail campaigns?
Eric Carter: Because we rank so well organically, we choose not to spend any of our budget on pay-per-click, so I cannot speak to that. The results that we get from social media and e-mail marketing are fantastic, and I attribute much of that to the high-quality content that we have available to share on a regular basis.
1sixty8: What is the biggest success story you can share that came about as a result of your work with 1sixty8?
Eric Carter: Custom radar! Early on in our relationship with 1sixty8, we realized the opportunities we were missing with custom-installed radar. It had been about six months since we sold a custom-installed unit. After talking to Mitch and Mark, we decided on a few articles to promote the category. Within the first month after publishing the articles, we sold five units! We paid for our content investment with one of those sales. The best part is, we continue to see the benefits of this content, which was published several years ago. Custom-installed radar has become a very important category for us at Cartronix and clients come from hundreds of miles to have us work on their vehicles.
1sixty8: What advice would you have for anyone who is contemplating working with 1sixty8 media?
Eric Carter: Get your ducks in a row. I’ve been with 1sixty8 since their early days. They have put a lot of hard work and effort into developing processes to make getting great content on my site simple and painless. Be prepared to invest some time each month on your program with them. It won’t require much time, and I promise you that, dollar for dollar, this will be the best return you will see for the time that you invest.
1sixty8: Is there anything that you would like to add?
Eric Carter: It truly has been a pleasure working with the entire team at 1sixty8. Mitch, Mark, Joey, Dave and the others are all professionals, and you can clearly see that they love what they do. I am excited to see what the future holds for 1sixty8 media.