‘Tis always the season for a sale. Most of us who work in the retail industry recognize that any time of year there is a reason to have a sales event centered around it. This month it might be the “December to Remember” or the “Red Tag Event”. Next month it is going to be “New Year, New Car” or “New Year’s Savings Event “. Whatever the sales event, most dealerships will have a multitude of creative print and point of sale material that brings the marketing message to television ads, radio ads, mailers and billboards. Until recently, displaying the sales event brand message on dealer websites and updating the inventory online was overlooked or stopped because it took way too much time to complete. Imagine the time even a smaller dealer would have to spend to replace every vehicle overlay on every piece of online inventory every month with the new sales event message? Not to mention, that in the past the photo overlay had to be been permanently flattened on to the images. In order to put a new overlay on the photo, the overlay would have to be bigger or the dealer would have to take new pictures of all the inventory.
Due to the extra time that this additional online rebranding work requires, many dealers skip it altogether and just put all their emphasis on inventory and pricing because it is easier. In doing so, the dealership sales event branding message often is not promoted online resulting in less lead gen from the event. When the dealership is only competing on price alone online and not leveraging its marketing events to drive traffic, sales and gross will suffer. However, advancements in the way photo overlays are configured now allow dealers to quickly interchange their current sales event branding message on to their photo overlays any time they want.
One easy way that stores can tie in the current advertising theme to the online message is to change the photo overlay on a vehicle with the change of season sales event. By doing this simple change the store can quickly tie in the offline message with the online message with just a couple clicks. This makes having the “Red Tag” or “December to Remember” sales event so much easier to promote across all of your marketing outlets simultaneously. Here is an example overlay with the sales event featured on the photo overlay.
A second easy way for the store to use dynamic photo overlays is to change the overlay based on the vehicle export location. For example, an overlay highlighting that a dealer is a “Certified Dealer” or a “5 Star Rated Dealer” could be set up to proudly display that on the appropriate 3rd party website. What I really like about using the overlay tool this way, is that it allows a dealer to differentiate itself from its competitors on its own dealership site as well as third party websites in many more effective ways than simply using internet price. Here is an example of a dealer using the dynamic overlay to highlight their dealer certification rating.
In today’s competitive marketplace so much effort by vendors is being put into making vehicles line up in order like a commodity. When a dealer uses dynamic photo overlays it is a unique way that they can stand out above the rest of the crowd and attract more views to their inventory. Most inventory providers make this easy to do now and these compelling sales event overlays will draw more customers to your dealership, help increase gross and keep the marketing theme consistent across all platforms.
My dealership knowledge stems from working inside a thirteen store dealer group for ten years and knowing what works first hand. I have worked all the variable operations positions at a dealership and ultimately ran multiple stores as the General Manager over the course of 10 years. I am well versed in tools of the digital marketing trade including Google Analytics, Google Adwords, SEM, SEO, website optimization, lead generation add-on tools and have relationships with many vendors in the automotive space.
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