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I had an great call today with a successful car dealer that was spending over $150,000 a month on cable TV for three same brand stores in one state.
Their three store budget had no allocation for PPC, Retargeting, Chat, Reputation Management, Video Marketing, or Mobile Marketing.
The dealer is leading his market and is profitable so his internal processes and execution are outstanding. This dealer was passionate and a refreshing pleasure to speak with today.
The TV commercials he designed branded the names of the dealerships and their current promotion. The dealer principal has set his TV budget to be omnipresent and it seems that he has achieved his goal for high frequency Cable TV messaging.
The dealer did not see the need to have PPC ads, marketing videos, or retargeting banners in front of consumers during their online ZMOT shopping research.
I felt that this was an opportunity he was missing for continued and sustainable market leadership. I had a lot of convincing to do..and at times the conversation was heated.
Why would a successful dealer need to change anything?
One part of the answer is that consumers use broad keyword searches, that are not easily optimized by SEO, paid search (optimized for conversion) should be a part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
Paid search campaigns should include specifically designed mobile ads and strategies. Retargeting leverages the existing traffic generated by years of stimulus, brand recognition, and amplifies your PPC investments.
Since this dealer believes in constant name recognition, retargeting banners are the digital equivalent to offline branding.
Chat is a great tool to allow consumers to engage in a communication channel that they prefer. Leaving chat off a website minimizes the ROI of stimulus investments.
Stimulus for new and used car sales is constant in the USA. When a consumer is ready to purchase a car, there is no lack of stimulus on TV, Radio, and print.
Stimulus will always be needed, however the bigger question is should the dealer by doing it? And if so, is the budget sufficient to achieve the needed frequency to be effective.
Successful digital marketing strategies have to acknowledge that consumers go to the Internet to research and prepare before they contact a dealership.
A TV commercial is just one influence of many that drive consumers to look into a particular brand, model, dealership. No matter how strong a TV campaign is designed, it will not bypass the Internet ZMOT process for most people.
No matter how many times a dealer's name is broadcast on TV, consumers do not limit their searches to the dealership name.
A dealer with a strong stimulus investment must have an equally strong digital presence during ZMOT. If not, competitors will leach off that stimulus for their own benefit.
Dealers need to be omnipresent during ZMOT which includes great online reviews, compelling video assets, social engagement, great website content, and even paid search ads.
It is no surprise that dealers who are heavy on stimulus and light on ZMOT investments can be successful and a market leader today.
The bigger question is whether that is sustainable.
The good news is that we negotiated a budget for some of the recommended digital strategies which is a great opportunity to build a partnership of success based on testing and measurement.
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing
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