Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
A few months ago I wrote a post titled, "How Important Is Price Really?" in which I discuss how there is too much emphasis on price when it comes to vehicle/dealership advertising. If you haven't already done so, I would suggest you take a minute to read through that post as this one will really be a continuation of the topic.
This article will touch on a simple marketing strategy that you can start implementing today in order to drive more qualified traffic to your business and start selling more vehicles, service and F&I. It's one of the most vital and fundamental marketing practices that, from my observation, is grossly overlooked.
Take a look at this dealership ad that I pulled from an AutoTrader style magazine. Look familiar?
What about this one from the newspaper? Is it similar to what you're current advertising looks like?
If so, are you able to identify what's wrong with these ads? If you guessed that they haven't identified a specific demographic, you win the prize. Picture/price, picture/price, picture/price does not drive qualified traffic. In fact, when all of your advertising revolves around price, you are only speaking to between 2-5% percent of in-market consumers which is just not large enough of a power base to grow your profits the way you'd like to see them grow. If you and every dealership in your area are advertising with nothing but picture and price, you are waging an intense battle in an effort to conquer a very small percentage of people.
So what can you start doing today that will increase your dealership show rate through advertising?
A friend of mine once said (in speaking of firearms), "Nobody ever sees where you aim, they only see what you hit!" To take that a step further, if you don't even set your targets, how will you know where to you can improve your shooting?
Step 1: Set Your Targets
Take a moment to look back over your previous customer list in order to identify a common theme among them. It could be age, gender, most common vehicle purchased etc. This data can play a vital role in setting your targets because it can tell you about the demographics that you cater your products and services to.
Step 2: Use the trash can
If you're in the process of assembling an ad to hand to your local newspaper or niche magazine and it's going to be another one of those picture and price ads, crumple it up and throw it in the recycling! You're better off to do that now before what you actually throw in the garbage are your advertising dollars.
Step 3: Speak to your Target Demographic
Based on the data that you have acquired from looking at your past customer portfolio, take a moment to determine what the common interests and concerns are (generally speaking) for that demographic. Once you have that figured out, start assembling your ad with special offers, promotions and vehicles that they would be interested in.
For example, if you find that the majority of your sales over the passed few months (or year) have been to retired couples, start promoting seniors discounts or military vet discounts.
In the other hand, if you identify that majority of your customers are young families or single mothers, start advertising vehicles that have excellent safety ratings, low finance rates and promotions that reward people that have children.
The point is that you must get creative with your advertising, and you must start a dialogue between you and your target customers through your advertising.
Food for thought
Take a moment to think about all of the various promotions that your dealership offers. Do you have any for Veterans, Seniors, Students or other groups of people? If so, pat yourself on the back - lay off the picture/price and start advertising your promotions to those people.
If you don't have any of those promotions or special programs, start putting them together. Determine what you will offer to the various groups of people so that you can start having "dialed-in" conversations with the market.
In this way, you will drive more qualified traffic to your dealership without have to participate in the in-effective picture/price battle with which you are currently engaged.
What do you think? Kindly leave your comments, questions, or feedback below.