Today’s successful dealer is one who knows how to use the media in his favor. The successful dealer is open to new ideas and yet, embraces traditional media with a proper mix with interactive. The successful dealer of today knows his customer, his product, and his unique market. The successful dealer of today is a marketer that utilizes strong consultants to see his plan through. There is no possible way that a dealer can be successful if he does not understand these business concepts.
It amazes me how many dealers around the country don’t have a clue how they need to move their store forward and meet the demands of today’s automotive climate. On the other hand, there many dealers that do get it. For every dealer, if you do not have a strategy—a plan—a few plays you can pull out of your play book, you are destined for failure.
So, if you have not found that media savvy person to help guide you, here are a few key areas where you need to focus in order to position yourself:
- Hire an automotive advertising consultant to give you direction. Automotive advertising consultants are experts in the business who can help you formulate a plan. A good consultant has been up against situations with virtually every brand, similar markets, and market conditions. Your consultant will help you develop a budget, analyze demographics, and help you find advertising opportunities. As I have said many times before in this space, the days of simply calling the TV, radio station, or a print rep. are over, unless they have professional automotive advertising consultants on staff. Additionally, a rep working at one particular media company will naturally show bias to his or her media company. An independent automotive advertising consultant has no favorites or friends in a market. This consultant will most likely make recommendations based on data available for all markets.
- Trust the people you hire. If you hire a professional and tell this professional how to do their job, you are wasting your money. If you do not have confidence in the recommendations of your consultant, you selected the wrong consultant. If you hire a consultant that finds it easier to agree with you, rather than challenging your decisions, you hired the wrong consultant. My best and most successful clients are the ones that stay out of my way.
- Make a plan and stick with it. The biggest reason dealers fail is because they don’t stay the course. Have you found yourself jumping from one media to another? Changing creative direction? Changing message? If you answered yes that is likely the reason you have been unsuccessful with your advertising. If you are confused as to which way you need to proceed, think about how you have confused potential car buyers. Stay with a campaign and alter with variations, it takes time for a message to penetrate into the minds of the consumer.
Don’t attempt to tackle the intricate world of advertising without a proven, successful automotive advertising consultant. Take a few plays out of the automotive advertising consultant’s playbook and you are destined to score big.0
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