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So much of the conversation in automotive marketing today is focused on how to leverage technology and data to precisely target consumers.
While this is important, it’s just as important to remember that creative still matters.
After all, you can serve up the exact right message to the right person at the right time, but without a compelling image or copy, the consumer will simply ignore it, or scroll right by it on their phone.
When it comes to creative marketing, I find that most dealers fall into one of two categories:
Striking a balance between these two extremes is the key to successful marketing at the dealership level.
So, what’s the best way to achieve this balance and how can you differentiate your brand to capture consumers’ attention? Here are some tips.
The same rule applies to photos, videos and other images. If you are displaying a photo of a vehicle, there’s no need to add starbursts or other special effects. The vehicle is enough. Keep your images and messages simple and clean.
If you’re a Porsche dealer, you’re not going to send out Christmas cards with puppies on them, right? While nobody can debate the cuteness of puppies, they just don’t fit with Porsche’s image.
So, before you decide to shoot that TV commercial wearing a giant Stetson cowboy hat, consider if the image you are presenting is an appropriate representation of your manufacturer’s brand, and whether it would appeal to your intended audience.
Just make sure that what you’re advertising is genuine to the experience that customers will have when they visit your store. There’s nothing consumers hate worse than a bait and switch.
If you’re in Brooklyn, a picture of a vehicle parked with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background may be the right choice. If you’re in southern California or Florida, sun and palm trees may be the perfect backdrop. If you live in Hawaii, wouldn’t it be odd to see an ad featuring a vehicle on a snowy mountain road?
Your creative message should be cohesive across all channels, so your intended audience knows exactly what you’re promoting. Yet, how you deliver that message is going to be quite different depending on the channel.
Facebook has canvas ad that allow for multiple images. Videos also play well on Facebook. For social, your images have to be thumb-stopping stunning. With ads, a simple image or a few words may be the best approach. On a postcard, you may want to incorporate spot gloss to help your piece stand out.
When it comes to building your store’s unique brand, do not underestimate the importance of creative in marketing. Remember that the quality of creative in a campaign is far more effective than strategy alone at raising brand awareness and driving sales.