The express purpose of marketing is to convince customers to choose one thing over the other, you over your competitors. But if it all looks the same, what chance is there of that ever happening?
The result, sadly, is that price-oriented marketing has become the standard in the automotive industry. Most dealers see it as a necessary evil—Can’t be avoided. Price seems to be the last remaining competitive edge a dealership can employ. But what happens when even that edge dulls?
Recent developments in marketing technology, branding and positioning strategy, and competitive differentiation have culminated in a new customer attraction process that’s being called the “No Price” marketing method. But how can dealers truly attract customers without advertising price?
The secret appears to be linked to three elements of a dealership’s marketing: targeting, positioning, and offers. Results consistently show that achieving the right blend of these three critical elements can indeed create customer attraction momentum without the slightest mention of price.
Most dealerships logically target the same type of prospect—in market shoppers…people who are currently searching for cars online or visiting dealership showrooms. The “No Price” method advocates also targeting out of market, non-intenders. That’s people who have no intention of buying a vehicle in the coming days or weeks. They’re not shopping online or in showrooms and they typically don’t have a vehicle preference. There is, however, one striking commonality among these non-intenders: the majority of them say they would prefer to driver a nicer, newer car than they currently drive. But without a specific vehicle preference, they also don’t have a price preference or concern.
This market is about fifty times larger than the in market population, and it’s largely ignored by most dealership marketing.
Most dealership marketing effectively positions the dealership as a product-oriented business, with pictures of cars, lists of features, and prices. But product-oriented messages will do very little to attract the non-intender.
Instead of focusing solely on products, the “No Price” method advocates positioning the dealer (a person) and the dealership as solutions-oriented, with a focus on solving problems and offering helpful advice, rather than pushing product. This positioning technique significantly lowers buyer anxiety and resistance and helps hasten the building of trust and rapport.
Most dealership marketing features price-related offers such as discounts, low payments, rebates or special incentives. Unfortunately, price-related offers do little in the way of attracting non-intenders.
The “No Price” method requires using offers that address and offer to solve the specific problems customers (non-intenders) have. Dealers have found that switching from a price-related offer to a solutions-related offer in their current advertising alone will yield a noticeable result. As an added benefit, the same offers that attract non-intenders are also extremely appealing to in market shoppers and have proven to be effective alternatives to price-oriented offers.
The conclusion is that price is not the only competitive advantage available to dealers anymore. As the number of in-market buyers decreases or stays depressed, the number of non-intenders grows or stays high. All indications point to the “No Price” method as a powerful tool available to dealers for years to come, which can help dealers stop fighting with other dealers over the same few customers and create your own crop of dedicated and enthusiastic buyers using the natural customer attraction power of Gravitational Marketing.
Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller are the nation’s leading experts on attracting customers, the co-authors of Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers and founders of The Rich Dealers Institute. To discover how your dealership can stand out and sell more without spending more, sign up for a free Market Rater Market Analysis atwww.MarketRaterReport.com.
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