How Relevant Is Your Dealership Today?

September 1, 2011

Have you stopped and really asked: How relevant am I?  Not how relevant  you’re as an individual, but how relevant is your business to the shopping public.

This is a key statement!  You need to begin looking at customers and prospects  as the shopping public.

Prospects are no longer prospects.  Customers are no longer customers.  They have become educated, informed, shoppers.  

Always learning!

Always sharing!

Always shopping!

If you want to be relevant ask yourself:  Am I making it easier for people to shop?

  • Are my messages relevant to the searches being made for information?  
  • Are my methods of communication relevant to the media channels that people desire to access information? 

Communication Channels

We have  dealers who will only use the telephone to communicate with our agency.  I know other dealers who still like the fax machine.  And there are those who prefer to handle things through email.  My point is we have to communicate with our dealers in the manner they prefer. 

Your marketing message must be relevant to the market place.  You need to be integrating Social Media, digital and traditional media into your monthly plans.  You can no longer treat each media channel as an isolated silo.  The shopping public isn’t behaving this way, why should you?  


The shopping public wants to get the information they desire from the media channel they  prefer.

They also expect your message to be more relevant to their search or inquiry.

A great example of how dealers are not making their message relevant is the use of Google Ad Words.

Do a search.  Type in any product you like and what you’ll find is two major mistakes.

  1. The copy in the Google Ad does not specifically match the search.  It’s also so generic that it doesn’t relate to the time of year, the event in play or the product searched.
  2. 90% of the time when  you click on this ad you’ll end up on the home page of the dealer’s web site!  These dealers are asking the consumer to work even harder to find the information they thought they  put into a search bar.
The solution is Relevant Content.  Try creating landing pages that match your key search terms.  Give the shopping public the information they want.  Update the copy in your ads. Try just adding Fall Specials into your copy, it will make your ad more relevant to the shopping public.  Make everyone else’s ad look stale and old.
If you start thinking Integration you’ll quickly see how easy it is to become relevant to the shopping public.  It doesn’t take more effort, just the willingness to look at the market from a different view point.
The shopping public’s eyes!  Take a look and you might realize you’re not very relevant.
Give me call if you have any thoughts on Integration!  We’re always thinking here.

Integration Drives Dealership Traffic

June 17, 2011

What does Integration mean to  you?  

More Traffic

More Traffic, Less Spend

More Traffic, Less Spend, More Prospects

More Traffic, Less Spend, More Prospects, Greater Market Share

MORe Traffic, Less Spend, More Prospects, Greater Market Share, and a

HUGE Competitive Advantage!

The results are in.  Integration of traditional, digital and social media is the perfect storm. Yes, the market will always be fluid but when you harness the power of integration you really have something.

Integration requires you to look at things differently.  You must stop evaluating traditional, digital and social media as independent silo’s.  They can no longer be single tools.  They must interact!  They must be connected.  

The power of integration is simple. You stay connected with your prospect and customer through the buying cycle.  Your marketing is more viral, more interactive, more responsive and more effective.

Here’s how Wikipedia describes integration.

Integrated marketing communications – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is the coordination and integration of all marketing communication tools, avenues, functions and sources within a …..
You Get The Picture!
Here’s your starter rules to get started.
  1. Stop treating each media channel as a stand alone tool.  
  2. Ask your self how can I integrate this.
  3. Live by the motto… I Integrate Everything!
Believe me there’s a way to integrate everything.  All  you have to do is ask the question!
Ask your automotive ad agency or search google for more help.  But what ever you do start integrating today!


How To Get Your Automotive Advertising In Touch With The Digital Customer

August 31, 2010

The world of automotive advertising is changing quickly.  

No longer can you afford to ignore the development of a  comprehensive strategy for today’s digital customer.  

This video blog will provide some  insight into today’s customer and how you can connect with them.

If your automotive ad agency is not prepared or ready to attack this new world give us a call.  This is what we do.


Can You Describe Your Car Dealership In 7 Words?

February 22, 2010

Here’s a challenge for you.


Can you describe your dealerships unique selling proposition in seven words or less?


Let’s take it one step further …

Can you describe your dealership in seven words “without” using the 10 things most car dealerships say about themselves?  I like to call these the industries common point of view.

Ten things dealership are most likely to say about themselves that everyone else is saying:
• We offer great service
• We have great prices
• We have great selection
• We care about our customers
• Nobody beats our deals
• We can get everyone approved
• We do what it takes
• We’ve been in business ____ years!
• We offer more for your trade
• We’re Number 1

If you are up for the challenge, share your description in seven words or less in the comment section below.

Be sure to identify your dealership, include your address if you like.
Be creative! Challenge your automotive advertising agency to come up with a brand new one if you need to.
I’d like to highlight these in a future post and have readers vote on the best.

Here are the first three entries!
• One Price Honda’s. Fast Fun Friendly
• Our Cars Are Cheaper In the Country
•A High Five Experience You Count On

Thanks for participating! Just type yours in the comment box below.


Dealership Traffic: Social Media Is A Blue Ocean

December 4, 2009

If you’re  like me you’re always seeking out great ideas you think can drive dealership traffic.  There are so many ideas that sound bullet proof.  A sure fire silver bullet.  But as the investigation moves forward the warts begin to show.  The obstacles can be price, time, energy, resources or  it just turns out to be a bad idea.

 The best ideas; however, are the ones that give you a competitive advantage.  An advantage that is difficult for your competition’s automotive ad agency to duplicate.

When I find one of these I call it a Blue Ocean idea.  A Blue Ocean idea represents an idea where the seas are clear and uncluttered.  Unlike a RED OCEAN that is just a blood bath of competition.  

Social Media may be the biggest Blue Ocean Strategy you’ll see come along for a long time.  Why?

It’s really simple.  

  • Automotive Dealerships don’t have the resources to execute social media correctly
  • Automotive Ad Agencies don’t have the expertise to execute social media properly
  • Very few Automotive Ad Agencies or Dealers have the vision for social media

The graph below is a great visual of the Blue Ocean you can create with Social Media.  The higher the number the higher degree of  competence.

You have to get into this game and get into it the right way.  The great news is you don’t have to have the vision, expertise or the resources.  You just need to find someone that does.  Unfortunately, virtually every dealer attempting to execute  social media today is missing the boat.  Their  vision is a little short sited.

Social Media should be keeping you up at night with excitement.  The tools available to fully integrate a plan are at your finger tips.  The key is you must be willing to learn or find someone who will learn for you.  Just don’t wait for it to become a Red Ocean before you set your sails.


How to drive dealership traffic and new business leads from your dealerships blog

December 1, 2009

First: Dealerships Need to Answer One Question Before They Blog

I believe dealerships need an integrated social media strategy for dealership new business.  A dealership blog is the central platform.  The places you can drive targeted online traffic is through SEO, Twitter, email newsletters, Facebook and LinkedIn.  The blog becomes the “gateway” to your dealership.

To create a dealership blog that will be successful in generating traffic and a consistent flow of leads, you will first need to answer one simple question.

The very first question you must answer before you create your dealership’s blog is, “who is our best target audience?”

Without answering this question you will find it extremely difficult to generate traffic.  If your blog has no traffic, no audience, no community … then you will have NO leads.

If you don’t know who your target audience is you will also find it difficult:

  • Deciding what to write about
  • Where to find resources
  • What search terms to use for SEO
  • Where to locate your online audience

It is a fruitless exercise without having a target audience identified.  I can provide dozens and dozens of examples of  blogs that have not identified their target audience.  They are like ships without rudders.  Aimless.  I would list some of these for you but I don’t want to embarrass anyone.

But I will provide some examples of blogs where companies have clearly identified their audience:

Let me know what you think of these.

Autonation (From battery life, tire wear and tear, community involvement and hybrid vehicles. Building relationships with past and present and future clients by sharing vital information.)

Blue Collar Branding (From boots, bowling balls to boats.  Manufacturers who need to reach blue collar workers.)

She-conomy (Male advertisers who should be marketing to women.)

Healthy Conversations (Health and healthy lifestyle brands)

Marketing Home Products (Home product manufacturers)

A Brighter Shade of Green Marketing (Companies interested in having an environmental component to their advertising/marketing.)

Tech Marketing Blog (High technology companies)

TV Is Not Dead (Retailers who should be using TV as a major part of their marketing mix.)

Tradesmen Insights (B to B companies who target professional tradesmen.)

We Play in Traffic (Retailers)

Why Moms Rule (Companies who should be targeting moms.)


Can You Learn To Drive More Dealership Traffic?

November 25, 2009

In order to succeed in automotive advertising we have to recognize that we all have to change to succeed.  In this world of communication on steroids we have to embrace it and engage it.  We all have to learn and study everyday.  

There’s a saying that hits this nail on the head.  Learners will be uniquely qualified for success and those that have not learned will fail faster than they have ever have before.

The question is are you going to be a constant learner or not?  It’s only your future!

I have great respect for Tim Williams.  He is the author of the book Take a Stand for Your Brand, an important read for every small-to mid-size agency CEO.  In a recent Advertising Age article he writes,

“… we’re at the nexus of the Great Recession and the Great Transformation of Marketing.  In circumstances like these, a strategy of “just try harder” won’t take you very far.”

Here are 10 ideas I have paraphrased from Tim’s article and applied to driving dealership traffic.

1) You can no longer just observe the changes occurring in automotive marketing, you have to engage.  If you wait you’ll  just fall behind the leaders even further.

2) A digital plan is just that..what you really need is digital competency, if you want to be the leader in driving dealership traffic.

3)  You can no longer have the  focus of your message be  “one to many” you have to make it “one to one.”

4)  Don’t sacrifice  brand-to-consumer communications at the expense of consumer-to-consumer communications.

5)  There are too many ways to track success today.   You can track everything so don’t be caught with a lack of analytics and tools to measure your effectiveness.

6) Everything you do should be connected to other forms of advertising.  Don’t ever let one piece  stand alone.

7) Think in terms of channel plans instead of just media plans.  This is a must to stretch smaller budgets into automotive dealership traffic.

8)  Change your perspective today from just placing media to creating media.

9)  Don’t hold your hopes out for one big idea but think in terms of “big multi-channel ideas.”

10)  You have to allocate  more money to creative and creative media and not just media.

Extra Credit:  Beginning 2010 you must have a plan that includes social media as a primary component to generate more dealership traffic.