Automotive Digital Marketing

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Reputation Management: Reactive vs. Proactive Marketing

The ever-changing online environment requires direct marketers to deal with many different obstacles in trying to keep entrenched and viable in the marketing realm. The Internet continues to play a huge role in handling customer feedback as it relates to direct marketing efforts in any industry, especially the automotive business.

When engaging in reputation management activities online, there are typically two types of disciplines that lead the pack: reactive and proactive. Each field can set the pace to your automotive marketing endeavors and can have a strong influence on others. Both types should also drive search engine optimization (SEO) rankings and provide a positive spin to your reputation management initiatives

In the automotive sales and marketing arenas, it’s common practice to essentially do little to nothing in reacting to a social media-based push. Why is it easy to choose the reactive marketing path? Dealerships are understandably timid due to potentially upsetting the applecart and straying from message, i.e. “don’t bite the hand that feeds” theory. However, it’s detrimental in that the lack of reaction fails to influence their social media friends or followers.

Proactive marketing, on the other hand, acts like an independent steward in your direct marketing planning – it’s a guide that sets the course of your intentions. As a rule, proactive marketing provides direct marketing personnel an active role in continuing to inform customers on products and services. The one advantage it does have over its marketing cousin is proactive marketers tend to spend wisely and have control over their message.

Proactively creating ongoing lines of communication with your customers has been known to drive positive results to your dealership’s bottom line. In fact, establishing a proactive automotive marketing campaign can help exploit changing consumer behavior and in turn, sell more vehicles off your showroom floor.

In the reputation management game, it’s vital to be able to strike a delicate balance between both reactive and proactive automotive marketing. While doing so, be sure to commence each initiative with the proper research and listening programs to ensure that your campaigns are following a consistent message throughout.

So be proactive: Listen to what your customers are saying online and react via your direct marketing campaigns appropriately!

~ Missy Jensen, Social Media Manager at DMEautomotive

Missy designs, deploys and maintains the social media initiatives for DMEautomotive in an effort to increase brand awareness, distribute company and industry news, provide updates on products and services and promote consumer engagement. Missy enjoys the process of learning; researching and watching projects come to fruition!

Prior to her transformation into a web specialist and work with DMEautomotive, she has 10 years of experience in the marketing and communications industry. Missy served as the Director, Handicapping & Communications for a regional golf association and helped successfully launch and maintain a cutting edge technology-based ticket resale program on behalf of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Missy attended St. Lawrence University where she graduated Magna C** Laude with a BS in Psychology. She also holds a Master’s Degree from Miami University in Oxford, OH. She can be reached at and check her out on LinkedIn.

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Tags: Customer, Direct, Interaction, Jensen, Loyalty, Missy, ROI, automotive, car, customer, More…customers, dealers, dealerships, direct, increase, mail, marketing, media, revenue, service, social, targeted


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Comment by Stacy Mueller on September 30, 2010 at 7:11am
First, thanks for the compliments John! I appreciate it.

In my opinion, I think it's a delicate balance between both disciplines. But in the end, being proactive likely wins the day.

Again, thanks John!
Comment by John H. Isaac on September 30, 2010 at 7:06am
Being proactive allows you to create your environment for customers. Reactive alone allows customers to create your environment. Which one would you rather have dealers? Missy your post was well needed thanks for the education.

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