UPDATED: Three Susceptible Demos to Target with Your Auto Aftermarket Campaign

Whether you run an international OEM parts store or a boutique automotive lifestyle brand, chances are you could use a few more customers. We’ve identified and researched some potentially lucrative demographics that, while not necessarily automotive-focused, are quite susceptible to purchasing car parts and accessories if properly motivated and marketed to effectively.

While there are a number of ways to determine which unique demographics to target (stay tuned for an in-depth guide on that subject in the coming weeks), we’re focusing on three niches that are underdeveloped and, with the right marketing focus, could provide your ecommerce brand with an influx of new and loyal customers.

DIY Enthusiasts

DIY activities of all shapes and sizes are on the rise for a number of reasons. For one, building and maintaining things by hand saves money and reduces waste – both of which are economically in fashion these days. DIY car maintenance is no exception

Add in the economic uncertainty due to the  Coronavirus event, and now you have a ton of new consumers who are invested in gear and workspaces for home DIY projects. If those consumers aren’t already doing maintenance on their cars at home, they’re definitely susceptible to the idea. Maybe it’s your automotive store’s next digital campaign that gets them turning the wrenches.

Why Market Your Automotive Store to DIY Enthusiasts?  

It’s right there in the title: “do it yourself.” DIY Enthusiasts are folks who generally enjoy working with their hands, figuring things out, and being self-sufficient. Compared to the average driver, they’ll be much more likely to read or watch a how-to guide, then buy maintenance items for their cars and install them at home.

How to Market to DIYers

Focus on a specific benefit of DIYing with each separate campaign you run.

  • For the environmentally-minded DIY demographic, highlight stats and sentiments about reducing their carbon footprint by maintaining their vehicle and keeping it out of the junkyard. Some routes to consider: stats on increased engine life and efficiency due to quality synthetic oil and filters; the most current stats on the total tonnage of automotive waste in landfills; guides to highlight upgrades that make cars more fuel efficient, or “hypermiling”.
  • For the budget-minded buyer, focus on “lifetime” stats that highlight the amount of money saved over years of home maintenance as opposed to paying for dealership maintenance. Compare the average price of a new car with the much lower cost of average yearly maintenance, highlighting the amount of money customers are saving in the long run by purchasing your aftermarket parts.
  • For buyers who pride themselves on self-sufficiency and handiwork, capture the spirit of craftsmanship. Show images of proud enthusiasts working on their own cars at home with car parts and tools featured prominently. Juxtapose car maintenance with home maintenance, lawn care, and common household tasks so that the customer sees automotive work as another everyday chore to take pride in rather than an intimidating job that requires a mechanic. Check out how this Pinterest page will walk users through a complicated project.

Man Cave Dweller

The Man Cave movement is alive and well. A passive search of Instagram alone for #mancave and you’ll literally find millions of tagged results. Not to mention the myriad of blogs dedicated to brainstorming “man cave” ideas and showcasing unique setups.

Why Market Your Automotive Store to the Man Cave Crowd?

Most people build their man caves in the garage. Even if not, the whole spirit of the hobby has its roots in old school facets of masculinity, which individuals in this market tend to value: handiwork, home repair, and car maintenance go hand in hand with the man cave persona. 

There’s also bound to be a lot of crossover in the demographic that enjoys building customized home garage setups for entertainment purposes and the demographic that enjoys customizing and upgrading their cars.

The other niche you find lurking in man caves is the tech enthusiast. These folks are more likely to have a custom-built gaming PC lying around than a custom-built engine block. Nevertheless, being tech-minded, DIY capable, and having a home “laboratory” in the garage means they’re much more likely to handle car maintenance at home – even if they have to  load up a YouTube tutorial on their phone while tinkering under the hood.

How to market to Man Cave Dwellers

The obvious route is to target the inherently masculine sentiment and bravado of man caves. Feature images of tricked-out home garages stocked to the brim with engine fluids, filters, car detailing gear, etc.

  • For the techy dweller of man caves, show off some cool garage gadgets in your campaign too – digital torque wrenches and calipers, multimeters and ECU tuners wired into engine harnesses, etc. 
  • Another zeitgeist to capture in your campaign is the social nature of man caves. Almost all man caves are designed as cool places in which to hang out – car maintenance is sometimes more or less just the excuse to get together in the garage. Show groups of buddies chatting, laughing, drinking beers, eating burgers, all while gathered around a car on jackstands with your products in full view.
  • A final niche to target is man cave dads who build their garage hangouts as a place to bond with their kids. Obviously the sentiment to go for here is fatherhood – an image showing a proud father helping his son turn a lug wrench, a dad scrambling to get out of the way as his kids wildly spray car wash foam out of a flailing hose, or anything of that nature.

Car Enthusiast Forums

Car enthusiasts love their niche forums. Virtually every different vehicle platform has its own dedicated forum where owners post in-depth discussions on maintenance, modifications, and common reliability issues. What better place could there be to advertise your platform-specific aftermarket parts?

Why Market to Users on Car Enthusiast Forums?

This one’s pretty self-evident. They own the cars that your parts fit, they’re enthusiastic about said cars to the point that they join social circles based on them, and they’re much more likely to buy aftermarket upgrades and DIY maintenance parts than the average driver.

How to Market on Car Enthusiast Forums

Most car forums allow sponsored vendors to market products to their users. You go through a vetting process, pay an advertising fee, then you get to post your products and promotions directly on the forums.

Making your store a sponsored vendor can be a boon to selling aftermarket upgrade components. Users will be salivating for their upgrades while reading installation guides and browsing pictures of other users’ vehicles on the forum, so you want your products to be easily within their digital reach. Alternatively, you can use Google Ads and grassroots methods to target these shoppers less directly. Car Forums is an excellent example of this. 


Users on car enthusiast forums have turned their vehicles into a hobby and passion, so they’ll be more susceptible to lifestyle marketing that connects with their love for their cars. Due to the cost and complexity of performing extensive aftermarket modifications, enthusiasts also tend to plan out their upgrade purchases weeks or months in advance. That means they’re likely to cross shop and be very price sensitive, but also susceptible to discount campaigns and promo codes.

To learn more about how your automotive brand can begin to target susceptible markets to grow your business, contact us today.