Unleash the Secret Advertising Play of the Auto Industry—without Spending a Dime

Unleash the Secret Advertising Play of the Auto Industry—without Spending a Dime

In just a few weeks, consumers will be hit by one of the biggest advertising events of the year—the Super Bowl. Advertisers spend millions of dollars each year to have their content run during one of the most watched events on TV. Many of them spend millions more just to create the ad. They hope to stand out and be talked about for days and weeks to come. Unfortunately, this kind of spending is cost prohibitive for most local dealerships, but it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve similar ad notoriety and recognition. There’s a secret play the auto industry rarely talks about and even fewer use: free, high-quality content. Currently, there is a huge gap between good and bad ads—especially in the industry. Most are either factory and cheap (think horrible stock images) or custom (a.k.a. very expensive). There’s not much in-between. The high-end ads tend to come from the manufacturers, while dealerships put together what they think they can with their limited budgets. This doesn’t have to be the case. The benefit of working within a franchise system like the auto industry is that there is a lot of support for individual dealerships coming from the manufacturer down. There’s a lot of high-quality, free creative available. It is high-yield, national content and it’s aligned with the vehicles you are selling. It breaks through the clutter because it’s different. Best of all, much of the creative is already approved for use—meaning you and your dealership can use it without spending an extra dime for filming. Unfortunately, ads created by franchises and franchise manufacturers are vastly underutilized. This means lots...
Advertise Now to Have Yourself a Merry, Major Week After Christmas

Advertise Now to Have Yourself a Merry, Major Week After Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of year, especially if you own a car dealership. Last December, the auto industry saw an 8.9 percent increase in sales—one of the strongest increases throughout the entire year. People are in shopping and buying mode. Their spending spills over into the auto world, especially during December 26-30. The week after Christmas is the busiest time of the year for any dealership. It coincides with really high factory incentives to turn over old inventory and make room for new 2017 models. Unfortunately, some dealerships relax their advertising at the end of the year. This makes them lose out on the opportunity to tap into a captive audience. Don’t be one of those dealerships! If you time your advertising right, emphasize choice and urgency and hit your consumers on the go, you could feel the positive effects well into the next year. The next few weeks could make or break your 2016 profits. During the holidays, people are in spending and giving mode—making it the perfect time to capitalize on those sensibilities. If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to start your end of year advertising now. Take advantage of the existing spirit of the season and manufacturer advertising to drive potential customers into your dealership the week after Christmas. How do you do this? Emphasize choice and urgency. Talk about the beautiful vehicles you have on the lot. Highlight that you need to “make room for new vehicles, so you have the best deals of the year.” Make people think that, if they want to buy, they have to buy now—and find ways...
How To Make More Sales This 2016 Holiday Season

How To Make More Sales This 2016 Holiday Season

The holidays are nearly upon us, which means some of the biggest shopping days of the year. In addition to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you likely have a stock of 2016 vehicles that you need to offload to make room for new 2017 models. So what can you do to hit those end of the year sales goals? Start by ramping up your mobile, video and search engine marketing (SEM) efforts. Mobile. The holiday season starts a time of increased mobility; people are hitting the road to head to grandma’s house or are bouncing from party to party. This means you need to make your message heard on the go. In 2015, there were an estimated 166.3 million mobile shoppers in the U.S. A survey of shoppers revealed 42 percent found mobile the most important way to get information while shopping. So, as you plan your marketing spend for the rest of the year, be sure to make your money count. Mobile should be one of the highest spends on your list. Video. Nothing says the holidays quite like the airing of The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or a showing of Miracle on 31st Street. Colder weather and seasonal specials will have more people snuggling up in front of the TV. This means you need a strong video strategy. Whether you are pushing year-end deals or marketing new models, your TV ads should be consistent with your messaging across all media, including when people walk into your stores. Don’t forget digital video either. A recent survey found that 56 percent of millennials (who love digital video) are using...
Omni-Channel Marketing: Three Steps to Beat the Competition

Omni-Channel Marketing: Three Steps to Beat the Competition

Think about your favorite advertisement. Now picture how you’ve seen that ad play across different media; TV, magazines, online, etc. This is called omni-channel marketing and chances are the messages you’ve heard in those ads—no matter the channel—is the same. This approach leverages a consistent message across all media to drive brand recognition and awareness. It’s become more prevalent and important as more and more media channels emerge. Automotive manufacturers are doing great at omni-channel advertising. The retail side of the business, however, can be somewhat fragmented. Retailers tend to have a lot of cooks in the kitchen making decisions about advertising. Multiple conversations between multiple people lead to a lot of different messages going out. The good news is there’s an easy fix—media efficiency. Being more efficient with your advertising across multiple channels could lead to big rewards without a bigger spend. The keys to media efficiency and a solid omni-channel strategy are buyer attention, buyer recall and reinforcing buyer behavior. Step one (buyer attention): create clear and simple messaging. Customers like clear and simple messaging. Big brands like Coca Cola have nailed this. If you look at how Coke does their advertising there’s always something they’re trying to tell you – it’s refreshing, it goes great with food, etc. But no matter what the added promotion, they always have a simple, consistent core theme: “everybody loves Coke.” Consider this analogy: when a truck manufacturer advertises its vehicles as “America’s most durable, long lasting pickup” across all media channels, consumers begin to recognize it. However, if they split that message with “this is the most fuel-efficient pickup,” consumers...

Digital Marketing In The Auto Industry: How To Increase Sales Without Increasing Spend

2015 was a record year for car sales in North America. Just under 17.5 million vehicles were sold—up 5.7% from the year before. The next couple of years, however, are expected to be relatively flat. Yet dealers, and their salespeople, still have numbers to meet, creating a very competitive environment. Adding to the challenge is the variety of ways consumers buy vehicles. There’s no silver bullet and no clear cut solution to attracting customers. For example, Gen Y consumers spend a lot of time researching possible vehicles online. They trust car reviews on independent websites more than any other generation. What attracts them might differ a bit from what catches the eye of Gen X consumers. So how do you stand out in 2016? How do you communicate to buyers in a way that will convince them to buy from you—without increasing your spend? The answer lies in deftly applying the fundamental advertising. There are core concepts that consistently work – but they have to be applied with the skill of an artist. These fundamentals include frequency, data, options and technology.  Frequency. We assume you’ve got reach, so let’s talk about frequency. Think about when you hear a new song on the radio. The first time you hear it, you might say, “I like this song.” By the 10th time you hear it, you may say, “I love it!” It may get stuck in your head and you may find yourself humming the tune without even realizing it. Advertising it just like that song. Repetition is the key to getting your vehicle stuck in the head of your target...