Automotive Digital Marketing

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Is It Really About 'Traditional' versus 'Digital' Anymore?

For nearly two decades, most dealers have been divided in the way that they advertise. There is normally a budget for "traditional" advertising and a separate budget for "digital" advertising. While more dealers are consolidating their budgets, it's more than that. Should we be looking at it all as one holistic form of messaging?

The short answer is, "Yes". That doesn't mean mentioning your website URL in your television commercials. It's more than that. It's about finding the right message that fits your dealership and communicating in a consolidated manner across multiple channels.

It's easy for me to say these things as a CEO of a digital marketing firm because we do not do anything when it comes to traditional advertising. We do not make TV commercials, print ads, mailers, or anything that falls into that category. From our perspective, it's just a matter of marketing across a diverse range of mediums and our focus is on search and social, but it would make our jobs and the effectiveness of the efforts much easier to achieve if everything was consolidated to say the same basic things.

Take, for example, promotion of a tent sale. What we've seen happening for most dealers is that they have a television commercial produced, then they upload it to YouTube. It takes more than that. It should be a banner on the website. It should be a landing page. It means a planned out social media press for the event, including uploading and promoting it on Facebook directly rather than just sharing the YouTube video. It might even mean changing the title tag on the homepage temporarily, mentioning a shortened URL to the landing page on the television or radio commercials, or putting shortened links on mailers that are easy for the recipients to type in.

We're currently exploring the efforts of several vendors and agencies trying to do this. One in particular has an active participant here on ADM. The strategies that Alexander Lau and his team at WorldDealer employ are strong and their message of "One Voice" resonates with what we would love to see achieved with our dealers.

Are there any others that we should consider? What strategies have you employed to make this happen at your dealership? Should we still be separating the budgets and strategies out or are our reasons for wanting them separated valid?

Chime in here, please.

Views: 186

Tags: advertising, digital, traditional


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Comment by Tom Gorham on July 17, 2014 at 5:37pm

Tyson, a great article.  Thank you!  I agree and I'm excited whenever I consult with the Dealer Authority team.  Multi-Platform Marketing means putting all the pieces together to form a strategy. 

Mike Maggs, we've talked and I agree with you as well that texting is soon to play a larger part in dealer communications.  "Click to talk" and "click to text" are going to replace email as the main means of customer interaction with a dealer.  Email is becoming the new "snail mail" due to mobile and the quest for instant gratification.

Comment by Mike Maggs on July 17, 2014 at 6:04am

Nice article here Tyson.  Considering the evolution of digital marketing, it's time to realize that text messaging is replacing email marketing and "chat" as a proven lead generator.  The millenial market expects to get the information they're looking for immediately, especially a text quote and vehicle details. 

Dealers should ask consider there own habits.  Are they emailing most of the time or sending SMS text messages?  Same with your customers.

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