This might sound crazy coming from a couple of marketing guys, but we’re serious. Many well-intentioned marketing and advertising agencies are operating under the influence of some major myths. As well-meaning as their efforts may be, this could cost your business beaucoup bucks.
That’s why we’re stepping out from behind the curtain to explain what marketing should be—so you can make sure your marketing is working for you, instead of it costing you unnecessary cash. If you’ve heard any of these arguments, it might be time to reexamine your approach to promoting your business.
You can’t expect overnight results from advertising and marketing. If you’ve heard this one, it’s most likely from someone who is trying to keep you paying for marketing that isn’t working. If you can’t expect results overnight, how can you expect to stay in business?
The reality is there are two kinds of advertising: branding and direct response. To get an ROI from every dollar you spend on marketing, you must choose to spend your money only on hardcore, retail-oriented, lead-generating, direct-response advertising.
It’s all about getting your name out there. Many people will try to convince you that although their marketing didn’t result in anything, at least you “got your name out there” and you’re building brand awareness.
Horse pucky! Building a strong, lasting, competitive brand takes a long time. It’s built over years, with lots of clever creative and tons of advertising dollars. If you don’t have cola company money to spend, you can’t have a cola company brand.
But, to be frank, as a local car dealer, you don’t need a cola company brand to be known and get gloriously rich. You can engage solely in direct-response marketing, generate significant and instantaneous results, and still build brand as a side effect. No brand-building budget required. No waste and no waiting.
Advertising is expensive. If you’ve done any advertising, or if you’ve gotten rates from media reps, you know that even a modest ad can run several hundred dollars or more. Other types of large advertising like radio and television can run many thousands of dollars for just a 30- or 60-second commercial.
Because of this, many dealers—even experienced ones—think advertising is too expensive, and are reluctant to spend or increase their budget. But the truth is, advertising is only expensive when it doesn’t work.
The concept of reducing marketing budgets comes from a cycle of spending money on advertising and getting no results. When you can associate every dollar spent on marketing and advertising with an equal or greater return, it’s easy to begin to see advertising as an investment rather than an expense.
The truth of the matter is that when you do advertising right, it can be vital to your growth and success in the car business. The trick is to find a way to make it work for you rather than allowing the dish to run away with the spoon; that is, allowing advertising agencies and media reps to run wild with your money without producing any results.
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 DMM1510.