I spend most of my 525 words per month in this magazine emphasizing the value of using television for car dealership advertising, yet I am always amazed at how many dealers around the country do not use television. Most often, I find dealers who do not use television are the ones complaining about why they are not selling enough cars. You will hear them talk about how bad the economy is and why they keep getting beat by their competition. If you are currently hedging as to whether or not to consider using a TV campaign, let me give you some numbers that may help sway you in the right direction.
According to the A.C. Nielsen Company, the average American watches more than four hours of TV each day, which amounts to 28 hours in a week, or two months of nonstop TV-watching per year. In a 65-year lifespan, that person will have spent nine full years glued to the tube. Ninety-nine percent of the households in America have at least one television, and there are 2.24 television sets in the average home. The average home has a TV running six hours and 47 minutes per day.
So let me ask you a question, do you know of a better way to reach car buyers? What’s holding you back? Is it because you think television advertising is too expensive? If that’s how you are thinking—think again. Television advertising, just like any advertising medium, is based on impressions. Cost-Per-Thousand (CPM) and Cost-Per-Point (CPP) are two methods my firm and other professional advertising agencies use to evaluate media efficiency. CPM is a ratio based on how much it costs to reach a thousand people. CPP is a ratio based on how much it costs to buy one rating point or one percent of the population in an area being evaluated.
Your local TV stations and cable company will quote you spot rates on a per commercial basis. Usually the more you spend, the less you pay per commercial. The prices you pay are contingent on the time periods you choose to run. The rates are developed based on the size of the viewing audience. If you think, as a dealer, you can effectively maximize your efficiency yourself, without the help of a qualified advertising agency or media buyer, you are kidding yourself and wasting your time and money. The goal of the station is to get the best gross profit for their station, just like you look for bigger grosses on every car you sell. The goal for the advertising agency or media buyer is to get the lowest cost per thousand or cost per point. You pay them to save you money.
The media buy is a big part of the story, but equally important is having a good television commercial. Remember, a successful TV commercial is one that sells more cars. Being cute and clever can help a commercial get noticed, but don’t ever forget, the goal is more sales.
As a smart dealer, it is important that you get the right people who can help you maximize the full potential of this powerful medium. If you do it right, I guarantee you will succeed.