Marketing for dealerships: The question is, how do you put it all together in the digital age? Do you have a plan for it all, from traditional to digital, and staff to run it at your dealership? Or are you still making ad hoc decisions to juice up a month with something like a saturation direct mail piece? Do you sometimes send some chitzy mailer with a service coupon, or maybe a last-minute email blast to get folks in? Or have a sales manager run around with the salesperson-scattering cry of “Manifest list to call!!!”?
Overall, we operate marketing at dealerships like the fellow in Johnny Cash’s old song about a car factory employee snuck out an entire car in its parts: “One Piece at a Time”! And we get the same result, having to use an adapter kit to make things work, or finding out that we have one tail fin and our headlights are 2 on one side and 1 on the other. And we drive it around town all proud as a peacock while our customers—who might laugh if they notice—get tons of information from us, from OEMs, from our individual departments, and at all times of the month and in all kinds of media. And at all kinds of cost!
An in-market email blast recipient visits the dealer’s Holiday Gift Card site via the link provided in the email and downloads a certificate to receive a $300 gift card with purchase of any new car at your dealership within the next five days. While at the site, he/she also sees on the certificate site a link to a funny video you provided on your Facebook news stream that advertises this program–and he/she forwards that into their social media. And/or he/she sees an inventory link that allows him/her to push the info on and short video of the car(s) he/she is considering to their.
An in-market newspaper reader (there are still some) sees your ad with a link to the site for the gift card, and once there his/her process is the same as above. Or they just come in from the ad.
An in-market driver hears about your site on the radio while driving to work, remembers your easy-to-recall website URL for the certificate site, and once there his/her process is the same. TV ad works the same.
An in-market recipient of your direct mail postcard with the gift card punch out notices your website URL, logs in, and finds out that he/she will get an additional $50 on the gift card it he/she brings it in to your dealership and buys within the next five days.
An in-market Google searcher finds your website and sees “Click here for $300 gift card!” and clicks. And sees that he/she will get an additional $50 on the gift card it he/she brings it in to your dealership and buys within the next five days. And he/she notices there is another $100 available later if they can refer a friend to the sale, and they pick up the phone and call their uncle who is car shopping . . .
Coordinating all the marketing into a coherent message and effort inherently raises sales. Which would you, as a consumer, like: A disjointed and hard-to-comprehend singing rabble, or a harmonious, pleasant, and compelling chorus?