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

  • Report Card - 12 Key Areas of Opportunity for 2015

    When building the culture of a dealership, there are 12 Key Areas that make up a healthy dealership. The following areas are not ranked in order of importance or of urgency. These 12 independent areas are part of developing a culture for your dealership that is healthy and thriving in 2015.Read post

  • Why Some Dealerships Continue to Struggle While Others Shine

    Why is it that the automotive industry struggles to realize that old processes are no longer relevant to today’s consumers? Today’s customers are more intelligent, technological, and scared than ever before. Today’s work force are today’s consumers as well, which means that...Read post

  • Google's New Store Visits Metric - PPC Driving Showroom Traffic?

    Google has very recently launched a new feature inside the Adwords reporting element called “Store Visits” and it’s something auto dealers should pay attention to. It isn’t open to 100% of Adwords advertisers yet - so now is the time to gain understanding and be ready. Here’s what the new store visits metric is all about, and what it means for your business. (this is a 12-pack post my friends, crack a cold one and enjoy!)   What Is The Adwords Store Visits Metric?   Without getting overly complicated, it’s a way that Google can utilize data from clicks on your paid search ads in conjunction with location and device data from the user to offer some pretty sharp metrics on when and if those clicks drive people through the doors of your showroom or onto your lot.   Let me illustrate:   A young man named Brian, a recent college grad, has landed his first job at a startup in Valparaiso, Indiana. He settles in for a few months and eventually decides it’s time to t...Read post

  • Great Sales People Aren’t Born They’re Made

    Training budgets have been cut back to the bone to preserve cash flow in these challenging economic times, so we cross our fingers and hope that good sales people are born and all we need to do is find them and recruit them!Read post

  • Happy Holidays from OneCommand

    With the holidays and end of the year just around the corner, the team at OneCommand wanted to take a moment to say thank you. Without your support and continued business, our success would not be possible. We understand you have many options in the marketplace and we are pleased you chose OneCommand as your preferred vendor. We are deeply thankful and would like to extend our best wishes for a happy and safe holiday season and a prosperous new year. The OneCommand offices will be closed on December 25th and January 1st, however we will be available December 24th and December 31st, should you need any assistance. We look forward to continuing to serve you in 2015. Thank you again for your loyalty to OneCommand, it is a pleasure doing business with you! ...Read post

  • Attribution Modeling – Tough to Implement?

    Many dealers use digital marketing for their websites with no idea how many cars their marketing has actually sold. Attribution modeling solves this issue.Read post

  • Don’t Sit Down! 6 Reasons to Change How You Do Your Investigation

    When you meet a new customer on the lot, where do you start your investigation process? I believe there is one best place to do it. But before I share what it is and why it’s the best, look at these typical places and pick the one where you usually start your investigation process: a) out on the lot, b) at your desk, c) on the show floor, d) near the new car the customer’s considering, and e) near the customer’s current car. I will share 6 reasons why only one of these places will gives you a unique advantage in the sale. It will also allow you to be efficient by learning about your customer’s needs and wants much faster.Read post

  • Digital Marketing Company Naked Lime Helps Automotive Retailers Seize Opportunities

    Naked Lime Marketing authored four white papers this year that showed digital marketing’s effect on the modern dealership. The white papers covered a range of topics in automobile retailing, including new profit opportunities, customer acquisition, web design, and digital engagement. You can download the whitepapers on nakedlime.com.Read post