How Do You Separate Strong Dealer Advertising from Weak Dealer Advertising

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We can all identify the strongest dealers in any particular market based on how much they advertise. They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but in advertising that does not hold true. The dealers that have good, strong advertising are the dealers who dominate their markets. It is not a mistake that the top dealers take all the necessary steps to lead in their respective markets.

The strongest dealers are the ones you see in high-profile places. They usually buy the best shows on the best stations and run more spots than their weaker competitors. It seems like the most successful dealers always have dynamic, well thought-out promotions and events, which captivate their desired customer profile. Truly successful dealers just seem to do everything better when it comes to marketing their product.

So, how can you become the most successful dealer in your market? First, you need to get professionals on board to guide you with your advertising. The days of placing, producing, and creating your own ads, or even using an ad agency that doesn’t specialize in automobile advertising, are long gone. These days many dealers are even seeking out automotive consultants that specialize in their unique brand. One thing is certain, if the recession has accomplished anything over the past three years, it’s that it has made dealers better advertisers.

The biggest problem many dealers face when it comes to advertising is that they are not fully committed to it. At first, when they decide to make a commitment, they often make the age-old mistake of not throwing enough media into a campaign, only to see that campaign fail. There are no instant cures for an ailing ad campaign. The best and most effective way to build is to commit to a long-term program and allow time for the campaign to gain momentum. Dealers also must look at how well they penetrate their desired market. Many times when the dealer deals directly with a media representative from one specific station, that station representative will only get enough budget to enable the advertiser to penetrate that one station’s demographic. With a neutral media buyer representing your dealership, an entire reach and frequency analysis will be conducted to allow the dealers to penetrate a larger reach of the entire market.

The dealers who will be successful in our current economy will seek out new ideas that go beyond the ordinary. The status quo that we are currently seeing in the automotive industry means that dealers are not pushing their advertising agencies to reach out and find that “out of the box” concept that no one else is doing anywhere. If you are running the same ad messages you ran last year, or the year before, you are not going to get any more cars sales than you once did. New ideas will inspire buyers to shop at your store.

It does not take a lot to be amongst the best advertising dealers in your market. But, if you don’t reach out to someone who knows more than you about this subject, you will continue to be on the losing side of this equation.

Tom Letizia is the president of Letizia Mass Media, a full-service advertising agency specializing in automotive. He can be reached at 702-777-2121 or email



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