Take Advertising and Marketing Risks, Attract More Customers

How Budweiser Can Help You Sell More Cars, Part 2

Last month, we discussed Budweiser’s Super Bowl ad, “Brewed the Hard Way,” and how you can turn a “marketing mistake” into a sales boom in your dealership by applying tips and tricks from mass marketing to your own business.

To recap, Budweiser’s ad stood out and caused controversy because it was different than all the other “big beer” ads that ran during the Super Bowl: It took a stance.

Take a Position

In order for your advertising to be effective and sell the number of cars you want, first ask yourself this important question: Since customers have a thousand other options, why in the world should they choose you?



Budweiser’s ad powerfully positions it as a beer that real people drink. Effectively, the ad said, “If you’re the kind of guy who just wants to go out with his buddies on a Friday night and have a few laughs, then you’re the kind of guy who will drink Bud.”

What’s your dealership’s position? Is it be that you specialize in getting people approved who can’t get approved anywhere else? Or that you are a fun and family-oriented place to buy a car, or you give more in trade value than any other dealer? Do you make the buying process faster or specialize in fuel-efficient cars?

Whatever the answer, your results depend less on the contents of your commercial than how your dealership is positioned in the minds of your prospects. Price, service, and longevity don’t count and don’t sell. A position does.

You must choose a gravitational positioning statement (GPS) that gives your marketing direction and your customers a road map to find you. Your GPS needs to be decided before any advertising is created or placed. It may take research. Like Budweiser, the answer may be hidden in your customers. Find it.

Know Your Market

Admittedly, Budweiser’s ad alienated the craft beer drinkers in the market, but that wasn’t the market it was striving to reach. So does it really matter?

If Budweiser was aiming to reach the everyman who drinks regular beer with his buddies, a market that is portrayed as stronger and better than craft beer drinkers through the ad’s imagery, then it is not only picking out a targeted market, it is also drawing previously undecided men in the marketplace toward the brand because of what it represents.

The truth is it doesn’t much matter what you say or where you say it if you don’t know who you are talking to. Marketing that lacks a target market lacks results. By focusing on a particular group or groups of people—a specific market—you can customize your marketing to be a perfect fit for that group.

Get Comfortable with Criticism

In a perfect world, everybody would love your advertising. Unfortunately, the world isn’t perfect. Most dealers design advertising campaigns that won’t put anybody off. And in doing so, they unintentionally create advertising that is ignored by almost everyone.

You can’t be all things to all people. Catering to everyone means your ads will resonate with no one. Believe it or not, a natural part of attracting customers is offending a certain percentage of people. It’s what we call the Rule of Thirds. You have to stake your claim. If you try to be politically correct, your message will be sterile. The middle is the riskiest position to take.

If some people aren’t turned off by your ads, they’re not working. An indicator of truly effective advertising—the right message that gets attention, with great frequency—is that some people will hate it. The law of averages says that a certain percentage of people will reject it. Them’s the breaks. But what would you prefer? To sell a heck of a lot of cars each month, or to be selling just enough to get by and avoiding criticism?

Despite the backlash that Budweiser faced after the airing of “Brewed the Hard Way,” the company continues to support it, stating it is “not anti-craft, just pro-Bud.” In other words, people who are anti-Bud are going to hate the ad. But what does Budweiser care as long as its ads speak to the pro-Bud market?

You can’t succeed in business or life without ruffling some feathers, so you have to be willing to abandon some people . . . to be off-putting to a third of the population. That’s how you’ll naturally attract lots of customers.

We recommend taking cues from advertising that works. We are slaves to the numbers, and we understand that good advertising is advertising that produces results. By studying the advertising and marketing that is working in other industries, you can uncover hidden marketing tips and tricks that will help your business. You just have to take the plunge.

Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller are the founders of Rich Dealers®, the nation’s leading experts on attracting customers, and the authors of Gravitational Marketing. Visit www.TrafficScale.com to request a complimentary Traffic Scale Report, which compares the quality of your traffic to other dealerships in your area and helps determine whether or not there’s potential business you’re missing out on. Use coupon code DMM1504.

Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller

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