The internet has become a staple of the automotive marketing diet. Dealers invest tens of thousands of dollars every month on their internet activities (i.e. website, Facebook, YouTube videos, blogging, Tweeting, live chats, etc.). Many automotive experts now say that the average dealer spends 40-50 percent (if not more) of their marketing budget directly on internet activities. Are you?
While initial reports on ROI are positive and will only get better as dealers learn what works and what doesn’t, the internet is still somewhat of a shotgun approach to reach and connect with target consumers. This is mainly due to the desire to reach everyone who searches Google for research or pricing on a new car.
So, before you go and buy all your competitors’ domain names, pay for every search engine keyword, and place banners ad all the industry websites, make sure you are super-servicing your own backyard through the internet.
Become HyperLocal with your internet activities
‘HyperLocal’ is the new buzzword in media and advertising. It is not exclusive to internet marketing, although most references pertain to that. You can and should apply it to your traditional advertising thinking as well. It is really ground zero for marketing activities and starts with the location of your dealership and the signage on your lot. From there it spreads down the street and into your local neighborhoods.
HyperLocal Marketing focuses on the internet users in your immediate area and invites them to do business with their neighborhood dealer. If you think you have this covered, then pull your internet sales report and run a quick zip code analysis. Cross reference that data with the streets in a one mile radius of your dealership. You might be surprised to learn that your internet sales are coming from all over town, but not from your own neighborhood.
Address this opportunity with your IT department or advertising agency and start reaping the rewards of being HyperLocal immediately. For pennies on the dollar, they can geo-target your internet exposure right down to the homes and businesses next door, down the street, and in your local neighborhoods. Once you have this 100 percent covered, then all the other coverage you receive on the internet will be a bonus.
After 90 days, cross reference your sales reports against the streets in your immediate area and you will see the results for yourself. Dealers who have adopted this approach have been shocked with the sales they were missing from their own backyard. This minor adjustment in the focus of your internet strategy will deliver amazing and immediate results.
Now that you have applied HyperLocal Marketing to your internet campaigns, do the same thing to your above-the-line advertising. It works across any medium you can zone.
Thomas Hensey is the managing partner at Rhino Marketing, a full service single and multi-line automotive advertising agency. He can be reached at 713-681-6711 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.