John Wannamaker, often considered the father of the modern department store and modern advertising was quoted about 90 years ago as saying, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.”
Unfortunately, this problem holds true for many car dealerships (perhaps not as dramatic as quoted by Mr. Wannamaker). There is no question, however, that advertising seepage and waste is a major concern for advertisers and reducing that alone should dramatically improve your advertising ROI without additional investments.
Therefore, as you plan your advertising strategy for 2011, what is your strategy to:
· Reduce the percent of advertising seepage?
· Find out which “half” of your advertising investment is being wasted?
· Measure and track your advertising channels to determine which is not meeting your minimum advertising ROI requirements?
· Cost benefit analysis to determine how much say a 5 percent reduction in advertising seepage will mean to your bottom line?
· What specific strategies you can put in place to reduce advertising seepage?
· What specific strategies can you put in place to continually touch and engage your existing customers?
· How do you plan to increase your parts, service and maintenance revenue with your existing customer base?
According to EMarketer.com(Nov 2009), the percentage of mobile phone users is expected to increase at about 20 percent each year between 2008 and 2013 and as a percentage of total US population, increase from about 16.7 percent in 2008 to 39.5 percent in 2013. In addition, according to Center for Media Research (Sept 2009), “80 percent of local media execs believe mobile will be the main distribution to consumers within three years”.
The new multi-media environment calls for an integrated advertising strategy.
Fortunately, there is a way for auto dealers to adopt this trend quickly, inexpensively and seamlessly into their current online and offline advertising strategies. The use of short code text messaging is already widespread. Adding this one keyword to all your advertising channels should vastly improve your response, leads, and conversion rates.
Note that widely popular television shows such as “American Idol” and “Dancing With The Stars” give their viewers the option of calling or textinga vote to their favorite performer.
The multi-media car dealer will use their keyword, in the words of Thomas Hensey (Rhino Marketing), to “identify, find, touch, and thrill” the target customer by offering them an incentive to text to their database. The dealer will then send the customer to their mobile website ad, featuring their specials, while at the same time sending that ad to YouTube and social media.
In the process, the dealership builds a text messaging database of inquiries, leads, and customers for ongoing, periodic follow up. So long as the dealer continues to “touch and thrill” their database, they will be able to increase new sales, service and maintenance revenues.
The key to reducing advertising seepage is the ability to integrate ALL your advertising channels, and the short code keyword provides the dealer an inexpensive, quick and seamless way to do so.
Michael Ofori is president of MVO & Associates, LLC, a multi-media advertising agency and can be reached at
978-631-0363 or email [email protected]
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