ADM serves Car Dealers, Automotive Marketing Pros and Internet Sales Managers
|by Dave Hollander, Online Marketing Manager|
Be honest. What goes through your head when you hear advice like this?
"Hey--- you know what you need to do? You need to be strategic."
Thanks, Captain Obvious.
Wait--- let me get my pen and paper real quick so I can write that down.
I’ll admit it. That’s exactly what normally goes through my mind--- and sometimes, unfortunately, through my lips. But if I really stop to think about it, and if I’m feeling especially self-critical that day (a rarity, but it can happen), I end up reaching a very humbling conclusion.
The truth is, I'm strategically challenged. Don't get me wrong--- I intend to be strategic all the time. I have tons of strategic intentions. Strategic actions? Ehhh. Not so much.
Need an example?
I've got plenty. Here's one:
I have an almost-three-year old. His blanket is his boy. They are tight. Maybe too tight.
Lately, my wife and I spend 83% of the little time we get to speak to one another constructing a “strategy” to phase out the blanket. Operation Linus. I don’t like to brag, but it’s downright elaborate. Really sophisticated stuff. We read books. Blanket books.
Ask me how fast that “strategy” flies out the window when it’s 3:45am and he’s screaming for his best fleece friend... for 42 minutes... for the third night in a row.
Ever seen The Change-Up? When Jason Bateman walks into the nursery to find his twin son standing in his crib, banging his head against the rails like a crazed woodpecker on speed?
It was a little like that. Except louder.
My point? There’s a screaming toddler around every corner of every day, lurking, waiting to pounce on our best-laid plans.
As hard as it is to develop a strategy, it’s even harder to execute against it.
Matthew Welch is a dealer who does both. He turns strategy into action.
Not coincidentally, Welch has lots to say about being strategic. It happens to be the first of his five best practices for successful multichannel marketing. Here’s an excerpt from his eBook, Master Your Marketing Mix:
Best Practice #1
Creating your dealership’s strategy is your first step to success. It’s about concentrating your resources on optimal opportunities with specific goals, like increasing car sales and achieving a sustainable competitive advantage, also known as creating a marketing strategy.
The approach of working smarter, NOT harder is nothing new. Your objective should be to create a marketing strategy that puts your dealership in front of consumers at every point in their journey. Constantly reviewing each channel’s performance and determining what is working, what is not and making necessary adjustments is key. By honing in on the objectives of your dealership, creating concrete goals, and determining the tactics that will support those goals, you’ll be able to maximize your marketing dollars. For Welch, it has proven to be an effective approach.
Before you can begin to build a successful strategy you need to understand your brand, voice and target audience.
One of Welch’s target audiences is brand enthusiasts who are online, engaged and have a young and energetic spirit. According to JD Power, 35% of VW Jetta buyers in 2012 were Gen Y, who are typically more tech savvy and continuously connected.
So, although Welch’s strategy does include traditional media as part of his strategic marketing mix, that traditional media is strongly reinforced with his online presence, which aligns more with his target audience.
Constantly evaluating his strategy, Welch makes adjustments as needed to get the most out of his marketing spend. A true marketer, he knows not just how one or two individual channels are performing at any given time, but how all of his marketing mediums are working together to help him meet the strategic goals he’s set for Auburn Volkswagen.
Look up easier said than done in the thesaurus, and you’ll find being strategic. Where Welch truly separates himself (and his dealership) is in his ability to strategize thoughtfully, execute meticulously, measure discerningly and then adjust his plan accordingly.
I have a lot to learn from true strategists like Welch. If you’re like me, you don't want to miss this webinar.
How can you turn MultiChannel Marketing into car sales? Auburn Volkswagen’s General Manager & Principal Matthew Welch will reveal 5 best practices for incorporating MultiChannel Marketing into your dealership's strategy.
About the Author
Dave Hollander still regrets selling his first car, a '89 Jeep Wrangler named Mallory, dubbed in honor of Mallory Keaton, his childhood crush and the one that got away when Family Ties was cancelled the same year his Jeep was born. Mallory's top got stuck down one summer. The Jeep's. Not the girl's. But that's no excuse. Mallory, if you're out there... it wasn't you. It was him.
Dave joined Cobalt's Marketing & Communications team in April 2012 and helped launch Cobalt's video marketing. He now helps lead Cobalt's content marketing initiatives and social media community management. As an Email Marketing Specialist at Cobalt, Dave was responsible for designing dealership email marketing strategies and campaigns, partnering with dealers to drive owner and in-market visibility, leads and sales within an integrated marketing strategy. Dave earned his B.A. in Philosophy from Colgate University and a M.A. in Interactive Media from Elon University. He'd love to hear from you. Give him a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org, or @ADP_Cobalt.