Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: None

By Michael Sweigart on Oct 6, 2008

This is the first of a series of posts about what to do, what to buy, how to prosper (as best we all can) in a slowing economy. Feel free to add comments and contribute any other ideas and strategies, so that we can all help each other in these tough times. Here are some thoughts in n particular order:

Buy more results-oriented and track able opportunities

  • Internet Pay Per Click Advertising: Typically this is Google adwords but also includes Yahoo and MSN “paid” advertising. The reason why this is on the top of the list is because month after month our clients view their website results and state that the lowest “cost per opportunity” comes from the Internet. Plus, you pay per click. If they do not click you do not pay. Simple enough. With the right words, ad, and destination or landing page, this can add up quickly to a success story. Alternatively, if purchased the wrong way, this can end up eating up an incredible amount of budget very quickly. This is a very trackable expense. You set a budget and will know how many people saw your ad, clicked on it, visited your site, and took an action such as a phone call or email. Sometimes, you do have to sift through some deceiving reports on things such as “web events” and understand that a visit to a credit app does not mean that a credit app was filled out.
 
  • Search Optimization Services: Again, back on the Internet focus, but there is a reason this will be a recurring theme. Most customers are online and if a good automotive search optimization expert can help you get top results online, they usually last a good amount of time. Over the long run, this will help your business even when you need to trim costs and cut expenses. If done right, it becomes the “gift that keeps on giving”. This is typically an ongoing effort but not one you can ignore since it takes time to build good results and they should be maintained once established. This can be a great return on investment.
 
  • eMail blasts: These can be inexpensive ways to replace your expensive direct mail marketing. For under a nickel a piece, you can send out offers to people in your DMA that match your criteria including household income, demographics, age, sex, etc. Plus the turnaround time is quick and the results are trackable. Take the dollars spent divide by the clicks/visits/calls and there you have your cost per conversion. For the cost of a full or half page newspaper ad, just imagine how many people you could target that perfectly match your desired audience.

Buy less non-trackable “feel good” opportunities

  • Advertising on specific media just because you listen/read/view them: OK, we all have certain patterns, habits, and tendencies to watch, view, listen to or read certain media. It is just human nature. However, just because you do it, that does not mean that everyone is just like you. There are still dealer principals out there that will buy a certain radio station because that is what they listen to on the way to work and they feel other people are just like them. It is human nature (take it from a psych major) to want to assume the world is filled with people that share your viewpoint. However, if you put some accountability in place to track the conversions, the truth comes out. It may make you “feel good” that you hear your spot every afternoon on the way home, but you may not be getting the best bang for your buck.
     
  • Buying media just because you always have: This ties in with the previous idea of acting based on old habits. “I’ve been buying the “Big City Post” ever since my Dad taught me to sell cars.” Well, the Big City Post is down to 20,000 readers and you are paying out the wazoo to buy an ad still. In the words of Bob Newhart, STOP IT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYLMTvxOaeE Again, just because you always have and because the other dealer is buying it, doesn’t make it right.
     
  • Buying opportunities because they are such a good “deal”. What is a good deal any more? With the bottom dropping out of the economy it is time to renegotiate all of your traditional advertising to start and your online as well. You may think they are a good deal, but if you track your calls or emails from each source and figure out a conversaion ratio, you will know which is the best and which needs to be cut. Sometimes you end up in a “contract” but even those can be renegotiated if you ask. Most media outlets are in the same situation so they are losing ad revenue and would rather get something than nothing…

Part 2 will focus on:

Get more Accountability in place

  • Call tracking Services
  • CRM and Lead Management
  • Internet tracking
Make Offers
  • New Vendors
  • Existing media that you have or have not tried 

Testing, testing, testing: New Concepts, marketing ideas, and advertising:

  • New Media ideas, concepts, and methods
  • New Marketing ideas such as new strategies on this blog

 

Comments

Hey I like this guy!

Feb 5, 2013

Comments 1 - 1 of 1

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Michael Sweigart's Recent Posts

  • With the slow Economy, sluggish car sales, gas prices going up and down, what is a dealer to do? Do you need a hatchet or a scalpel to fix things? Wi...Read post

  • This is the first of a series of posts about what to do, what to buy, how to prosper (as best we all can) in a slowing economy. Feel free to add com...Read post

Related Posts

  • 5 Ways Car Dealers Can Stand Out on Facebook

    One of the most difficult things businesses seem to struggle with in the their online marketing efforts is social media. While it's not new by the web's standards, businesses have only just begun to tap into its true potential over the last couple of years. In the automotive industry, car dealers who previously questioned the value of automotive social media marketing are beginning to understand its value. With Facebook becoming a great advertising platform, on top of a platform to connect with customers and brand your business, car dealers have an opportunity to  sell more cars for a fraction of what it would normally cost. Let's take a look at ways dealerships can stand out on Facebook.   Stop Self-Promoting and Give the People What They Want When thinking about content for your dealership's Facebook page, stop thinking about self-promotion. It may sound like the exact opposite of what you think a Facebook page is for, but you need to think about how people (including yours...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

  • Transforming Angry Customers into Satisfied Ones

    An interesting study has been going on for the last 6 month over at Twitter. As it was increasingly seeing users use the platform for brand interactions, the company decided to see just how much of an impact those interactions had. Users were identified that had at some point interacted with a brand’s Twitter account for customer service and 14,000 were surveyed. The results were actually quite amazing.   According to Twitter, when brands interacted with users in a personalized manner, 20 percent of those users were more likely to reach a resolution, while 25 percent were more likely to be satisfied.   And, when customers received friendly customer service interactions with brands, 76 percent of those customers said that they were likely to recommend the brand. Whereas, if the service was unfriendly, 82 percent surveyed stated that they were unlikely to recommend the brand.   That’s huge. And don’t think it doesn’t apply to the automotive industry. In fact, according...Read post

  • Stages of Brand Loyalty

    Many businesses wonder where they are at in the grand scheme of things.  While success is definitely a relative term, for marketers the gold occurs when shoppers begin to develop brand loyalty.  There are three typical stages a business will go through before achieving brand loyalty at large. The first stage a business would want to achieve is awareness.  At it's most basic, this means that people are aware that the business exists.  Many never even reach this stage!  Marketing and a logo can go a long way towards establishing the existence of a business, but the path to brand loyalty doesn't truly begin until the enterprise becomes known for something. Once this occurs, the next stage should hopefully follow. When shoppers begin to develop affinity for a company, brand loyalty is on its way to being established.  In order to achieve this, a business needs to get the customer to care about it and feel that it represents them in some way.  Smart product placement and marketing,...Read post

  • The Tools to Help You Discover Your Market

    Finding your target market is a key part of a successful marketing strategy. Whether you want to highlight new inventory, promote an event, grow your service department’s customer base, or simply boost business, defining your ideal audience is key. It’s easy to be generic when marketing because the hope is always to connect with as many different demographics as possible, but the truth is that the more personal approach you have, the more success you’ll have. You’ll connect with YOUR people—the ones who are really interested in what you’re offering. When your customers feel like all of the attention is on them, they are more than willing to share their experience with their network and help your dealership achieve even higher community engagement. Dealerships already have a plethora of tools in front of them to discover their market, including customer insights and social media. Here are some ways your dealership can discover its market by fully utilizing these tools.   ...Read post

  • May the Phone Be With You - Why Mobile Marketing Is Taking Over

    Have you ever walked down the street and all of a sudden had your phone alert you that you’re near a Starbucks or Walgreens, automatically displaying your loyalty card in Apple Passbook or Google Wallet? Or perhaps you have received push notifications from Waze and other apps that deliver real-time notifications based on your location.  As consumers increasingly rely on mobile phones for information, location-based marketing is becoming more important. Facebook recently launched Facebook Bluetooth Beacons, which enables push messages, tips and invitations to like your page, whenever a customer opens the Facebook app while at your business.   Geo-targeted technology allows businesses to push coupons and offers to nearby users. Many industries - especially retail and hospitality - are adopting these technologies to capture more immediate business. Traditional - and even digital - marketing may still be effective. However,   it takes time for that message to reach the customer b...Read post

  • Top Recommendations for Inspecting Your Service Advisor Process

    In a recent email response to one of Automotive Process Champion’s clients we pointed out several areas to consider when inspecting their Service Advisors Process. They were going to observe 3 of their stores prior to making a commitment to training. Here is the email: Using our 9 Step Service Advisor process that we installed at the Ford location as a reference, when we observe the service advisors process we would want to know: Does the Service Advisor perform a walk-around inspection of the customer’s vehicle at check-in? What items are on the inspection? Do we verbally assure the customer of what they can expect and let them know that “they’ve come to the right place”? Does the Service Advisor perform an active delivery with each customer prior to checkout? How do you randomly inspect the end result from the oil change process? (Do we inspect any of the customer’s vehicles upon completion?) In addition we would want to know: What percentage of oil change customers...Read post

  • This Week in Social Media – Week of 8.24.15

    Social Media News for the Week of August 24 via @SocialLittleMan Blab.im Hitting the Social Scene Still in Beta, Blab.im is a chat app marketers and various other users are keeping their eyes on.  Similar to Periscope, its live streaming functionality allows groups of up to four to video chat simultaneously.  Boasting easy-to-install and easy-to-integrate usability, users will also the Blab emoticons, link accessibility, and variety of color schemes for personalization.  With the popularity of instant-message chat, dealerships will want to keep an eye on this app and consider applying to their daily interactions with savvy online consumers.  Chat away, answer shopper questions, and participate in live sales conversations. Twitter Ad Network Expands As it continues to improve and expand its advertising offerings, Twitter recently announced the Twitter Audience Platform, an expanded advertisement platform offering new creative features such as Tweet engagement campaigns that be...Read post