There is one sure way to increase your sales in 2012 and that is by increasing your advertising budget. When you increase your advertising budget, if you are doing everything correctly, you will see a commensurate increase in car sales. If you are spending more money in advertising, but not seeing an increase in sales, you need to change your marketing plan.
If you are not planning on increasing your advertising budget in 2012, then you are not planning on increasing your sales. Every business ties an advertising budget to sales, not only automotive, but every single national brand. If you think you are going to cut overhead by decreasing your ad budget, you are saying you will do less business. Car sales projections for the new year show continued increases; don’t miss out by cutting your advertising.
You shouldn’t just spend money to spend money, however. Here is what I suggest you do to make sure your advertising investment is spent wisely:
- Give some serious thought to your media expenditures. Maybe the mediums you are using are not right for your business model. Perhaps you are too small to be on TV. Maybe you are spread out in too many mediums. These are things a good advertising consultant can evaluate, based on your total sales and available media in your market.
- How are you positioning your dealership? Are you all about price? If price is your only edge, then you better offer a financial advantage over your competition. If you are all about service, you better offer more than the other stores in your area. If location is the benefit of shopping at your store, then you must convey that so everybody knows.
- Become a better negotiator. Car dealers think they are the smartest people on earth when it comes to advertising, but rarely do dealers really understand the mechanics and strategy of how advertising works. Advertising takes a certain amount of impressions to work. I guess you can say it is somewhat scientific. If your agency or media representative is not using the media buying data available, they are unprepared to give you professional representation. Most of the time dealers are looking for the best price, without knowing if a show or station is the right one. Make sure your advertising people understand demographics and psychographics before making these decisions. Learn about cost per point, HUT levels, and station trends. Get a grip on GRPs and day part separation. Most important, conduct a monthly post buy analysis.
If you do all of the above, you should be able to increase car sales as much as 30 percent in 2012. The final days of 2011 should be spent carving out deals to put you on the right road for success. Don’t plan to fail and cut advertising—the lifeblood from your business. Spend more and you will sell more. Just make sure you are presenting your dealership in the best possible light.
Tom Letizia is the president of Letizia Mass Media, a full-service advertising agency specializing in automotive. He can be reached at 702-777-2121 or email [email protected]0
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