Ten Years in the Automotive Trenches for Dealer Marketing Magazine
If you’ve been in the auto business for at least ten years, you know what a wild ride it has been. If you’re reading this you probably remember the days of making money, the industry meltdown, Cash for Clunkers, and the snail’s pace recovery. It hasn’t all been fun, but you have survived. More importantly, you have witnessed the biggest shift in history with the growth and technology of the internet. The car business will never be the same…online is everything now.
For our 10th Anniversary of the magazine, we looked back at some of the articles and advertisers over our history. What mattered ten years ago in dealership marketing doesn’t today and much of the marketing we do today didn’t exist ten years ago. Many of our advertisers from back then are long gone. Bigger companies acquired smaller companies. Many of the players have changed and some are still around.
In auto dealership marketing, traditional media is having a tough time. Newspapers have been stomped into the ground and, to younger consumers, are irrelevant. Radio has been blasted with competition from satellite radio, iPods, and myriad other new technologies and devices. Television has become hundreds of channels to the point where people watch shows like Say Yes To The Dress where women try on wedding dresses for the whole show (really, an entire show?). Direct mail is dying, the Yellow Pages are almost gone and grocery store newsprint auto classifieds are mostly gone. As many dealers are reading our magazine online as get it in their mailbox. Your showroom online is more important than your showroom at your dealership. Most digital advertising experts are recommending spending 50 percent of your dealership marketing budget online. Things have definitely changed…
At the same time, sales leads are pouring in through your website, your manufacturer’s website, Google search, email marketing, online classifieds, VSEO, SEO for your site and pay-per-click advertising. Your service department is starting to do scheduling online, you are talking to potential car buyers through chat on your website. Dealers are working on mobile websites, microsites, and other technology-driven gadgets. We are engaging customers on Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other social media.
iPhones, iPods, iPads, Kindles, smartphones and every other electronic widget dominates both our personal and professional life, you can even read our magazine on your mobile device at www.dealermarketing.com/newissue.
Hopefully, Dealer Marketing Magazine has been a help to you and your dealership over the last ten years, and we hope to be of help over the next decade. (For the strange story of how Dealer Marketing Magazine started, see page 20 in this issue.)