Automotive Digital Marketing

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What does basketball have to do with automotive marketing?


Here’s a lesson from Sports Illustrated that will explain (and sorry, it doesn’t involve the swimsuit models)…

In February 2009, the editors of Sports Illustrated asked the players in the National Basketball Association this question: “With a game on the line – where one shot will win or lose it – which player would you choose to take the last shot?”

Any idea? (If it helps, imagine Jeopardy music playing here.)

If you are like 76% of the people who took the survey, you answered… Kobe Bryant.

But guess what? As Harry Beckworth points out in his book “Unthinking,” at that time Kobe Bryant (the 12-time All-Star shooting guard) had the second worst average in the league for last minute shots – missing 75% of the time.

So why did so many well-informed players get it so wrong?

Beckworth explains that these players do what we all do and take shortcuts when they make decisions. They decide without really thinking:

“Like basketball fans, Kobe’s NBA colleagues had seen ESPN’s highlights for years, which included over a dozen clips of Bryant making game-winning shots. In ‘crunch time,’ as fans call these final moments, Kobe’s chiseled face conveys that any resistance to him will be futile.

“These players are just like us. Kobe has the most often seen face in professional basketball; he’s familiar. And… we humans are unusually biased toward choosing things that seem familiar.”

How can you make yourself more familiar to your customers than the competition? So you become the one dealer to go to, even if you don’t have the biggest inventory, newest dealership, and lowest prices?

One option… keeping in touch after the sale.

It doesn’t matter how ( *cough* although I would recommend an effective, automotive online newsletter), it boils down to making sure you have a long-term plan for delivering messages of value to your customers that make an impact.

So your customers think of you first when it’s crunch time for a repair or purchase.

And just to keep the basketball analogies going, WNBA Houston Coach Kevin Cook said, “You’re only as good as your last game, and our last game was pretty doggone good.”

What was your last message? What is your next message going to be?


Views: 50

Tags: automotive, customer, loyalty, marketing, relations


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Comment by Stacy Mueller on June 29, 2011 at 12:40pm
I like the analogy and I completely agree with the sentiment. Social media, for one marketing effort, won't generate you a lot of sales, but it will build that relationship that will sell you cars in the future. Buying a car is a large investment and not a decision to be taken lightly; car buyers want to know and trust their dealership, and marketing allows that to happen.
Comment by Dave Buesing on June 28, 2011 at 10:23am

I like the post here. Nicely done! To ride with the analogy even further, a big reason why Kobe misses such a high percentage is because the ball is always in his hands in those late game situations and every defense on the planet knows it. This still doesn't stop him. He's taking the shot, no matter how difficult. 

It's like you said, when people watch a Lakers game, they already know to expect Kobe taking the shot. The same should apply when people search for a car, research a car, etc. If your dealership is constantly showing up for search results in the area, or if your remarketing ads are following them around the web, people are going to start to associate that brand name with the online car research process. Like Kobe, there will be misses. But in the end, that's not what you'll remember :)

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