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Ian Cruickshank

Ian Cruickshank VP of Sales and Marketing

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What Thanksgiving has taught me about Dealership Marketing


Happy post-Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you were able to spend time with your loved ones, watch some amazing football and of course, eat as much turkey (or Celebration Loaf/Tofurky in my case) as possible.

I’m not sure if it was my third helping of Tofurky, the belly full of wine or the fact that I’m just a total workaholic, but I couldn’t help draw some similarities between Thanksgiving and the world of automotive dealership marketing. (Yes, seriously.) 

You see, my mother-in-law cooks a mean Turkey (or so I keep hearing), and as I watched all the magic in the kitchen, I couldn't help but draw some interesting parallels:

Keep a constant eye on your turkey/digital marketing performance

There are many ways to cook a delicious turkey and there are many to achieve great results in your digital marketing. All of them require close attention and regular check-ups to ensure that you get the results you’re after. Just as you would baste your turkey frequently while it’s cooking, you should also constantly monitor the Time On VDP, VDP Efficiency and VDP per session of your digital ads during a campaign. Doing so will prevent short-term performance issues from becoming a dry turkey, er... I mean an unsuccessful campaign.

Presentation is everything

When reflecting on the dining room table, it’s obvious to me that presentation plays a huge role in this event. The fine china is out, the glasses are sparkling, the cutlery matches (it’s a big deal in my house), and the turkey is positioned as the star of the dinner.
Likewise, to maximize the performance of your marketing, your ads also have to be well presented. Like the turkey is the star of the dinner, the car needs to be the star of your ads. Take great photos, and make sure that the description is well written, clear and concise.

Get some help

Sure you can make the turkey, mash the potatoes, bake the pie and set the table yourself, but wouldn’t it be much easier if you had some help? Like your kitchen helpers that boost your kitchen productivity, OEM co-op programs can help provide you with the additional funding you need to boost your marketing reach. Remember, it’s in the OEM’s best interest that you sell more of their cars, and the OEM co-op program is like kitchen helper that does just that - they help.

It’s not about you. It’s about them!

A big part of Thanksgiving is about giving thanks to what we received throughout the year. It’s about thanking everyone for helping you achieve your accomplishments. It isn’t about you; it’s about being thankful to everyone else.
Likewise, your messaging and differentiators shouldn’t be about you or your dealership; it should reflect what you can do for the car buyer. Translate inward facing statements about your dealership's achievements into outward facing statements illustrating why those achievements are good for the car buyers. For example: If you’ve moved more inventory than your competitors, try “More GM buyers have trusted us to deliver the car they want” rather than “We’ve sold more cars than any other GM dealership.”


By taking some pragmatic lessons from a Thanksgiving Day dinner and applying them to your dealership marketing, you can help improve your dealership's marketing performance, attract more buyers, and ultimately eat more turkey… er, I mean sell more cars.

Perhaps it was the wine. Anyone else find a connection between Thanksgiving and automotive marketing? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Before signing off, I want to take a moment to thank all of our amazing customers and agency partners. This has been an amazing year for Speed Shift Media, and we are thankful for your continued support of our business.

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