Year-End Sales Event

drawing of people at tent sale

December 31st is almost here, so hopefully by the time you read this you’ve exceeded your annual sales goals and are in the bonus round for the month. If so, why not put some more candles on your cake with a fantastic year-end sales event.If not, here are some quick and profitable steps you can take to get your share of the additional buyers shopping for a new car the week between Christmas and New Years.


Be smart with your advertising money. Almost every retail category will be advertising some type of sales event the last week of the year and it can be easy to get lost in the clutter. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Target your advertising dollars to a specific audience and dominate a medium. Don’t spread your dollars or message too thin this week.


The last week of the year is the most critical for frequency. Without it, your message will just be lost in a sea of retail commercials. While your campaigns can normally generate traffic with a weekly frequency of around five, to run a successful year-end campaign the last week of the month you will need to achieve a minimum of an eight frequency. That is why we suggest targeting to a specific audience. Remember, you’re going after incremental sales this week so focus on a specific demographic is the key to success.


Dominate a medium this week. Radio is a frequency medium and has proven to be the most efficient platform for targeting a specific audience. Buy vertical from the day after Christmas until around noon on New Years Eve. I would recommend a minimum of one spot per hour or more on three to five stations that reach your core demographic. Buy a mix of 10 second and 30 second ads and remember to negotiate added value in the form of free rotators, unsold sponsorships, and name mentions. You would be surprised what you might get this week if you just ask.


You can target a specific audience with a lot of frequency this week, but if the offer is not compelling, then you’ve wasted your money. Car buyers are looking for a great year-end deal, so give them one. Remember, perception is reality. Everyone will be advertising the factory’s incentives, so you will have to offer something more to get consumers’ attention and drive traffic to your dealership instead of your competition. Set the bar for the market. Choose your “ad car” carefully and make sure your offer is designed to drive traffic today. Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Make sure you stress that this offer will end on December 31st, so they need to buy today to reap the savings—if they wait or buy somewhere else, they’ll spend too much. They must believe that from your message. Create a “Clearance Zone” on your lot and place your advertised cars there, it is an easy disclaimer for your radio ads.

Thomas Hensey is the managing partner at Rhino Marketing, a full service automotive advertising agency. You can reach him at 713-681-6711 or or visit



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