Drive End-of-the-Year Sales by Targeting Current Customers

Up next in OneCommand’s Holiday Marketing Guide is an easy way to drive end-of-the-year sales to your dealership. We all know marketing to current customers to keep them coming back is significantly cheaper than going out and conquesting for new business. Although bringing in new business is extremely important, try these three ideas to put current customers into your sales pipeline. Find Pre-Owned Opportunities Chances are you have several pre-owned vehicles in such high demand that they are sold before they ever hit your lot. Look into your database to determine if any of your current customers drive one of these desirable vehicles. Then, reach out to them to see if they are interested in selling their vehicle. If so, you have a win, win; you’re able to stock your pre-owned inventory lot with desirable vehicles and potentially sell a new vehicle. Find Equity Opportunities Another way to find potential sales for an end-of-the-year push is to look into your database and find cust... Read Post

Get Customer's Vehicles Ready for Colder Weather

Last week, we kicked off our Holiday Marketing Guide with Thanksgiving campaign ideas to help you demonstrate your appreciation to customers, give back to your community, and drive top-of-mind awareness for your dealership. This week, we move to the backend of your business and focus on increasing service visit frequency and dollars spent per RO. That’s right, it’s time to get your customer’s vehicles ready for the colder weather ahead and here are three campaign ideas to help you do just that. Inform Customers Typically customers neglect their vehicle’s service schedule because they are either too busy and it never makes their priority list, or they aren’t aware of the specific maintenance needs for their vehicle. Either way, communication is the key to making sure customers maintain their vehicles regularly. All you need to do is take the time to put together an informational service communication about the maintenance needs for a vehicle as the colder weather sets in. Cus... Read Post

Show Thanks this Thanksgiving

This year is quickly coming to a close, which means it’s time to start planning your end-of-the-year marketing. Throughout November and December, OneCommand will be providing you weekly campaign ideas to drive your end-of-the-year sales and service traffic and revenue. This week is all about Thanksgiving marketing and how to demonstrate your thanks; here are three ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Go Social Chances are your dealership already has a social media presence of some kind, be it a Facebook, Google+, or Twitter page. Leverage your social pages to say thanks to customers. Take pics of customers who come in for maintenance work in your Service Department or of customers who just purchased a vehicle from your store. Then, post these pics on your social media channel of choice as a month long Give Thanks campaign. This is a great way to show off your customers and make them feel special while promoting your dealership at the same time. Please remember to always ask fo... Read Post

Get Creative with Facebook Advertising

It’s no secret that consumers are inundated by advertising. They are bombarded from all angles without any way to escape. In fact, consumers are becoming numb and only have subliminal or subconscious recognition of the everyday advertising targeted towards them. In addition to trying to stand out among the overwhelming number of ads, marketers are challenged with how to best get the prospective customer’s information to execute meaningful follow-up. These tasks become daunting for even the most experienced marketers, let alone small business owners struggling to promote their brand in the marketplace. So what’s the answer? If you’re like most marketers, there are three deliverables to obtain when putting together an advertising strategy: Measure return on investment Target an audience capable of purchasing your product Collect leads with actionable data With so many different types of advertisements and platforms, how do you know which one to choose for your business? Good ... Read Post

Get Creative with Lost Soul Marketing

How are you recapturing customers who have not returned to your dealership for service work? Are you communicating with customers who purchased from you but have gone elsewhere to service their vehicle? What type of incentives and messaging are you providing to these segments of customers to entice them to visit your Service Department? If you’re like most dealers, you’re losing customers every day to aftermarket service facilities for a variety of reasons; they think your dealership is more expensive or it takes too long to complete service work. Even with these misconceptions about having service work performed at your dealership, you can reach out and combat these assumptions with creative lost soul marketing. Offer Competitive Pricing One of the biggest fallacies about dealerships is that they are more expensive than aftermarket service facilities. To combat this misunderstanding, make sure you research your local aftermarket competitors to ensure your pricing is in line and t... Read Post

Get Creative with Halloween

You may have noticed Halloween and fall decorations adorning your favorite retail stores or maybe you’ve seen the random Halloween outlet stores popping up in shopping centers near you. With the excitement building around this much anticipated holiday, you may want to get in on the fun. Halloween is the time of year for goblins and ghouls, but it’s also a time to get creative. Demonstrate your creative side to customers and prospects with one of these Halloween marketing ideas. Host a Costume Contest People who spend money and time on their Halloween costumes want to show them off, that’s why hosting a Halloween costume contest is a great way to bring top-of-mind awareness to your dealership. You could run a traditional contest and incentivize people to dress up and come to your dealership, or you could take a simpler approach and host the costume contest on your social media channels. Leveraging social media for your contest improves your dealership’s online reputation, reac... Read Post

Get Creative with Fall Car Care

For many Americans, October marks the beginning of fall. For some of the country, the leaves have already started to change and the weather is getting cooler, but for the automotive industry, October is known as Fall Car Care Month. The month of October presents the perfect opportunity for Service Departments everywhere to increase traffic by reaching out to customers about needed fall maintenance. Most dealerships will be offering tips and savings to drive people into their service drives and this type of marketing is a great idea and probably much needed. But, what if you did something a little different this year? What if you decided to get really creative with your fall car care marketing? Instead of just delivering tips and savings to customers, what if you hosted targeted events at your dealership? Check out these two event ideas to promote fall car care by getting creative. Host a DIY New Owner’s Clinic This year think about hosting a DIY event in your Service Department. I... Read Post

Harvest Your Database to Send Meaningful Messaging

It’s hard to believe, but it’s time to start planning your end-of-the-year marketing. As we roll into the holiday season, many dealerships are thinking about how they will increase their end-of-the-year revenue and move more vehicles off their lot. However, many consumers are deciding where they’ll buy their next vehicle in the coming year, or if they’ll be going back to the same dealership for future service work on their current vehicle. The end of the year is the perfect time to communicate with existing customers, build brand loyalty, and keep them coming back to you for their vehicle needs. Today, we’ll share four tips to help you harvest your database, deliver a meaningful message to your customers, and ensure you’re their dealer of choice. Target the Right Customers First things first, you’ll need to decide which customers you’ll target with your end-of-the-year marketing. If your goal is to keep customers loyal to your dealership throughout 2015 and into 2016, ... Read Post

Harvest Your Database to Find Additional Sales

All month long we’ve been focused on mining your dealership’s most valuable asset, your database, and this week is no different. Let’s take this opportunity to concentrate on driving qualified, ready-to-buy customers to your showroom. How you ask? Here are three ways to harvest your database to find additional sales this month. Look for Customers to Upgrade Everyone who has ever bought a new vehicle loves it for at least the first three years, but by year five, they start to get the new car itch. Especially because the newer models have come out with new enhancements, body styles, and technology. Look into your database and find customers who purchased a vehicle from you five or more years ago and who have visited your Service Department in the past year. This will help you target vehicles professionally maintained at your store. Trade In, Trade Up Another great segment of customers to harvest out of your database are people who bought a vehicle from you and are now in a favora... Read Post

Harvest Your Database to Increase Foot Traffic

Hosting an event at your dealership can be costly and if not done properly, you can spend a lot of money without a lot of return. To get the most bang for your buck, you’ll need to harvest your database to ensure you communicate to the right customers to drive them into your dealership for your event. Here’s how you can increase foot traffic and make the most out of a fall event. What Type of Event? First things first, you will have to determine what type of event you’ll host. Will you host an end-of-summer BBQ to thank customers for their loyal patronage or will you host a model year close out event to move 2015s off your lot to make room for the 2016s? The possibilities are endless and are only limited by your imagination. Be sure your event fits your dealership needs and budget. Which Customers Will You Invite? Once you’ve determined your event type, you need to decide on the target audience to invite. Be sure to segment your database so that you invite the right people. F... Read Post

Harvest Your Database to Recapture Lost Souls

Every OEM sets key performance indicators for their dealer franchise owners. Most OEMs look at the same type of metrics, but often have slightly different measurements to determine the success of their dealers. One metric almost every OEM is looking to capitalize on is recapturing lost customers. Harvest your database to find your greatest potential with lost souls and use creative marketing and incentives to drive them back to your dealership. Segment Your Database When looking at your database, you have four types of service customers: Your most loyal customers – they spend a lot and visit a lot. New vehicle owners – they visit often, but don’t spend a lot. Big ticket customers – they only visit for major services but go elsewhere for minor services. Bargain hunters – they shop around for the best deal and go there. By understanding your customers’ shopping patterns, you can ensure you target the right segment to maximize results and save money by not marketing to lo... Read Post

Keep Your Summer Momentum Going by Energizing Your Conquest Strategy

Every year, dealers across the country try to keep pace with the current marketing trends for the fear of falling behind and losing out to the competition. Not only do you need an excellent retention marketing strategy to ensure customers come back to you, but your dealership also has to find a way to attract potential buyers. Not to mention there are thousands of to-do items that you have to check off every day to keep your store running properly. With so much going on, how do you find time to put together a conquest strategy that works without breaking the bank? Today you’ll learn how to keep your summer momentum going by energizing your conquest strategy. Start with Data Every good marketing strategy starts with data. Often times for conquest programs, this data comes in the form of a purchased list simply because it is not readily available at our fingertips. When venturing out to acquire a purchased list, be sure the consumers have opted-in to receive information about vehicles... Read Post

Keep Your Summer Momentum Going with Fuel Savings Marketing

Finding the right marketing message to keep customers coming back to you can be difficult. You either have to know exactly where they are in their ownership cycle or you have to have extremely relevant content. Good news! This week’s campaign ideas will give you three ways to connect with current customers with pertinent fuel savings messaging to keep your summer momentum going. Offer DIY Tips Every consumer in America wants to save at the pump, but how? With the majority of the country paying close to $2.50 for a gallon of gas and some parts reaching as high as $3.50, fuel economy is still a hot topic. Think about offering your customers fuel savings tips. For example, you could inform them that properly inflated tires and clean air filters improve a vehicle’s fuel economy. Or, you could tell them things like driving with the windows up and the AC on actually helps a vehicle’s fuel economy. By leveraging a current topic and providing helpful DIY tips, your dealership will stay ... Read Post

Keep Your Summer Momentum Going with Labor Day

It’s hard to believe Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer, is just around the corner. Since Labor Day weekend is one of the most popular times of the year to buy a vehicle and often there are additional incentives from your manufacturer, you’ll want to make sure you are top-of-mind with customers, potential prospects, and your community. Here are three ways to leverage the Labor Day holiday weekend to keep your summer momentum going. Host an Event It doesn’t really matter what type of event you host for the holiday weekend, drawing people to your dealership in a non-sales manor will increase foot traffic. Think about hosting a BBQ, customer appreciation event, or even an end of summer party. Whichever you choose, make sure you have activities planned to keep people on your lot and have your sales staff present to ensure they build rapport with your attendees. Meet or Beat If your dealership has great customer service, your employees care about your customers, and you’ve wo... Read Post

Keep Your Summer Momentum Going with Back-to-School

Can you believe it? The back-to-school season is already in full swing. If you’ve visited any major retail outlet, checked your mailbox, or watched commercials, you’ve probably noticed that marketers are promoting back-to-school savings. This means, now is the perfect time for your dealership to capitalize on the season with relevant back-to-school marketing. Here are three ways you can promote your dealership, drive business to your store, and generate additional traffic and revenue to keep your summer momentum going. Offer Back-to-School Tips With the hustle and bustle of the back-to-school season, many parents are thinking about new schedules, prepping their kids for the first day, and getting organized. Chances are these parents are not thinking about their vehicles or the maintenance it will need to be ready for the carpool lane. Think about offering customers helpful back-to-school vehicle tips and service savings to ensure their vehicles are in proper working order for the ... Read Post

Revive Your Unsold Prospect Follow-Up in 6 Easy Steps

Is your dealership looking for more vehicle sales? Do you spend an exorbitant amount on advertising and marketing to acquire new prospects? How many times have you lost a potential sale because you don’t have a proper follow-up process for these incoming prospects? The only way to truly master your dealership’s follow-up is to figure out a way to maximize results and minimize effort. Check out these six easy tips to revive your unsold prospect follow-up. Implement Data Collection One of the most important things a business can do to improve prospect follow-up is collect pertinent information. So many times salespeople are unable to follow up with a prospect because they don’t have all the necessary information to do so. You’ll want to set a standard for data collection among your sales team. This standard should reflect what type of marketing you’ll be doing to follow up with these potential buyers. For example, if you plan to use email marketing to communicate with potentia... Read Post

Celebrate Summer with All-Star Baseball

Every year, thousands of Major League Baseball games are played with millions in attendance. These same baseball fans are gearing up for the long awaited All-Star Game coming up July 14th.  Believe it or not, your dealership can leverage these enthusiasts’ excitement to drive sales and service business. How, you ask? With creative, relevant marketing. Check out these three ideas to celebrate summer with All-Star baseball. Get Active Here in Cincinnati, if the Reds combine 11 strikeouts during a home game, LaRosa’s (a local pizzeria) allows every fan with a ticket from that game to redeem it for a free pizza. This is an example of how a local business can get involved with the sport of baseball to promote their brand. Similarly, your dealership could offer discounts for events that transpire during the All-Star Game, such as offering $10 oil changes if a local player hits a home run or a similar promotion that may fit your particular business model.  Create a Contest Everybody l... Read Post

Light Up Your Marketing with Video

Video has become one of the most important mediums for marketers and is quickly becoming the preferred method of media consumption for consumers. Every marketer dreams of the day when they produce a video with content worthy of thousands and possibly millions of viral shares. But let’s dial these dreams back a little and save ourselves the pain of wasting endless hours devising the perfect video scenario to be viewed by the world wide web. Instead let’s focus on how your dealership can utilize video in everyday marketing to engage current customers and keep them coming back to you for future vehicle needs. Today we’ll share six things you need to know about marketing with video. Get Noticed with Video It’s no secret that people like to consume their content through video. When looking at major video platforms like YouTube, you quickly understand the impact video has on our society; YouTube reports every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube to generate bill... Read Post

Let Your Marketing Shine with a Summer Road Trip

The official start to summer is Sunday, June 21st and this day presents the perfect opportunity to reach out to customers with a seasonally relevant campaign. For many American families, the summer months mean packing up the kids and heading on a road trip to see family or spend some time vacationing. Today we’ll share three ways you can leverage these summer road trips to make your marketing shine. Leverage Timely Marketing When families pack for a trip to the beach or a week at grandma’s house, they think about essential items they will need for their trip. Some families even remember to have their vehicle serviced and maintenance items inspected before hitting the road. You can drive these families to your dealership by delivering a timely message with service discounts specific to their needs. Think about it; if you know most families will be taking a vacation in the next 60 days, then right now is the time when you should be communicating a road trip service package that will... Read Post

Let Your Marketing Shine with July 4th

For most Americans, the 4th of July is synonymous with fireworks, cookouts, lounging in the sun, and an extra day off work. In the car industry, the 4th of July is one of the biggest vehicle sales days of the year. Retail marketers everywhere are getting ready to capitalize on this summer shopping day to move inventory. How will you make your marketing stand out? How will you get your message heard and build brand awareness in the sea of marketing presented to consumers for the big weekend? Here are three ideas to let your 4th of July marketing shine. Host a Selfie Contest If you haven’t started using your social media channels to promote seasonally relevant content about your dealership, then this idea may be a perfect way to start. Think about hosting a patriotic themed selfie contest. There are several ways to run a photo contest, but probably the easiest is on Facebook. Tell participants to post their favorite patriotic selfie on your page. Then, award prizes to the most popular... Read Post

Let Your Marketing Shine with Father's Day

As a marketer, one of your jobs is to constantly search for new ways to reach out and drive brand awareness. With Father’s Day right around the corner, now is the perfect opportunity to not only connect with customers and prospects, but also honor local dads in your community. How will you demonstrate your appreciation? How will you make your dealership stand out among the wave of Father’s Day marketing? Here are three creative ways to let your marketing shine this Father’s Day. Make Life Easier Think about services that make dads’ lives easier. What if you offered to pick up and drop off local dads’ vehicles for needed service maintenance during the week of Father’s Day? You could set a stipulation for a certain radius around your dealership. Not only would this gesture bring you increased service traffic, but it would give dads more time to spend with their families. Think About the Kids During the next couple of weeks leading up to Father’s Day, make a card creation ... Read Post

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Directory Listings

Have you ever wondered how search engines like Google work? How do they decide which ranking your dealership will receive for a given set of keywords? You may be aware search engines use algorithms to determine search rankings. These algorithms are a form of artificial intelligence, which are constructed to mimic the way humans think, and return the best results for the user’s search in a matter of a couple milliseconds. Nobody knows exactly what logic is used, but it is rumored more than 3,000 attributes construct a local ranking algorithm. Today we’ll dive into one of the top influencers of local search ranking, directory listings management. What Are Directory Listings? Let’s start by explaining what directory listings are. Simply put, they are entries across the web that identify your dealership. They are typically made up of components like dealership name, phone number, address, and website URL, and are used so consumers can find your business. Think about your dealership Read Post

Honor Loyal Customers to Keep Them Coming Back

Whether you believe it or not, your customers are your dealership’s most valuable asset. Especially the loyal ones who continue to come back regularly for service work and purchase multiple vehicles from your dealership. If you’re under the belief that all customers should be treated equally, then this post may not be for you. In fact, we believe your most loyal customers deserve extra savings and attention to ensure they continue to come back to your dealership for future vehicle needs. Here are three easy to implement ideas to honor your customers. Offer a First Class Experience If you identify loyal customers who are scheduled to visit your Service Department, think about rolling out the red carpet. Start by having one of your Service Advisors greet them with a small gift upon arrival. Then, have refreshments and free goodies ready to satisfy them as they wait for their vehicle’s service work to be performed. Maybe even offer free shuttle services, free car wash and vacuum, o... Read Post

Honor Memorial Day

The Memorial Day holiday for many Americans means a long, 3-day weekend, grill outs, family gatherings, and the official start to summer. But for car dealers everywhere, it means additional factory incentives to move inventory and an increase in foot traffic. So, how will you capitalize on the holiday weekend to sell more vehicles? Here are three really easy steps to honor Memorial Day and drive more revenue to your door. Step 1: First things first, you’ll have to decide how you will commemorate the true meaning of Memorial Day and the men and women who have given their lives for our freedom. There are several ways to do this. You could sponsor a local Memorial Day event, like a community parade, or get involved to help a local military family – the possibilities are endless. The point is, you’ll want to get involved with your local community to gain brand awareness and show you’re doing more to honor Memorial Day than just offering great vehicle deals. Step 2: Once you’ve ... Read Post

Honor Military Members with Appreciation

It’s that time of year, time to show your thanks to the men and women in the U.S. military during Military Appreciation Month. Think about creating a campaign this month to highlight the hard work and dedication of military members and their families. Now I know what you’re thinking, “My OEM already offers exclusive savings for military members and veterans.” However, these two campaign ideas take your appreciation one step further, engage members of your community, and drive additional traffic to your dealership. Military Family Appreciation Night Host an event at your dealership where you honor not only military members, but also their spouses and children. You’ll want to make sure that the event is family-friendly, with plenty of stuff for the kids to do. Think about partnering with other local businesses to provide raffle items, food, music, refreshments, etc. With an event like this, you’ll turn your dealership into a community focused, family-friendly atmosphere and ... Read Post

7 Reasons You Should Still Be Sending Direct Mail

Digital marketers everywhere have argued for years that direct mail is dead. In the auto industry specifically, dealers have been pushed towards digital medias like email, web, and social marketing. Although these digital channels are low-cost with instant response, it’s important to continue to supplement your digital marketing with direct mail. To prove direct mail is alive and kicking, Advertising Age’s recent study reported direct mail spend will reach $48.3 billion in 2015. Even in the auto industry, NADA reported direct mail made up 10.7% of a dealership’s total advertising spend in 2014. As you can see, direct mail is not dead and it isn’t going anywhere any time soon. If you’ve abandoned direct mail in your marketing mix or need some help convincing yourself to get back in the direct mail game, here are seven reasons you should still be sending direct mail. Get Noticed in the Mailbox More and more businesses are opting for digital methods of marketing simply based o... Read Post

Spring into Revenue with Sports Marketing

With warmer weather in the air, many athletes, old and young, are starting their spring sports. From the professional level to little league, athletes, their families, and sports enthusiasts everywhere are excited about the upcoming sports season. For this reason, now is the perfect time to utilize sports marketing to build brand awareness, drive traffic, and spring into revenue. Here are two ideas to help you get started. Leverage Sports Theme Spring sports are gearing up, from soccer to softball, baseball to lacrosse, golf to tennis, track and field to swimming, and many more. Depending on your specific area of the country, you may be able to utilize excitement from local professional teams or little league teams. This time of year presents the perfect opportunity to leverage sports themed marketing, like Home Run Savings, Go for the Goal Deals, or even Hole-in-One Incentives to promote your dealership. Whatever sport you decide to highlight in this month’s marketing, you can leve... Read Post

Spring into Revenue with Earth Day

Most Americans share in the love of planet Earth which makes Earth Day marketing so popular and retail stores leverage it to communicate with customers and prospects. If you haven’t thought about it yet, now is the time to put your Earth Day marketing together to ensure you’re ready by April 22nd. Here are three Earth Day marketing ideas to ensure you’re part of the movement to make the world a better place. Promote Green Vehicles Earth Day brings about a perfect opportunity for you to highlight new vehicles. You might be thinking, “But vehicles pollute the Earth; why would they be good to promote in Earth Day marketing?” Well, chances are your vehicle lineup is becoming more and more fuel efficient and you probably have some hybrid or electric vehicles that are more earth-friendly, as well. These types of fuel-efficient vehicles are perfect to highlight in Earth Day marketing because consumers looking to be more earth-conscious will be attracted to lowering pollutants and a... Read Post

Spring into Revenue with Car Care Month

  It’s that time of year again. Time to promote National Car Care Month and remind customers of needed vehicle maintenance as the warmer weather sets in. Here are three ways you can leverage this national event and spring into revenue in your Service Department. Host a Vehicle Check-Up Event Think about participating in a Be Car Care Aware vehicle check-up event at your dealership. You can invite members of your community, current customers, and any potential prospects to stop by and have their vehicle inspected by one of your expert technicians. Be sure to inform participants that there is no cost for the check-up and a full report of needed maintenance will be provided. Also, hand out discount coupons for future service work so they return to you for needed maintenance. Promote Spring Maintenance Most Americans associate spring with cleaning and refreshing, so it’s only natural for them to extend that to their vehicles. You could offer customers tips to get their vehicles rea... Read Post

6 Things You Should Know About Email Marketing

Of all the marketing methods, both conquest and customer, email is the most cost effective and returns the highest return on investment than any other channel. Of course this is only true if you know these six tips to get the most out of your email marketing. Subject Lines Did you know 33% of recipients open an email based on the subject line alone?1 Think of the subject line as your email’s headline. It should be brief, no more than 35-40 characters in length, for easy viewing on a mobile device. The content of your subject line should provide actionable information that represents the major content of your email. Always avoid using strong promotional attributes like multiple exclamation points or words in all caps. If you’re unsure of your selected subject line, test a couple out to determine which one receives the most opens. From Line Did you know 70% of people open emails from their favorite companies?2 This exact reason is why it is very important to use your dealership’s... Read Post