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To kick off the new year, I would like to start a discussion on automotive advertising and dealer messaging strategies.
This blog post was inspired by the PCG Pit Stop Conferences where DrivingSales' own Dennis Galbraith was as one of the featured speakers.
Dennis challenged car dealers to evaluate the messaging of their traditional media investments.
Dennis asked dealers who focused on "price" or "payment" advertising what the ROI of their investment yielded once the "limited time" sale was over.
That was a very bold challenge by Dennis knowing that dealers often turn to payment and price advertising strategies on a 30-day window, rather than focusing on branding or creating a unique value proposition.
The later takes more thought and a comprehensive/patient strategy that spans more than 30-60-90 days.
So, dealers in the DrivingSales community, I would like to ask you: "Are your Radio, TV, and newspaper advertisements focused on price and payment?
Do you think advertising a car with a payment like $199 a month on radio is effective?
Could your "payment" based advertisements really be white noise?
How many OEM's and local dealers are advertising "payments" that sound very similar to your ads?
Can you really be objective?
I think payment advertising is WHITE NOISE.
So, the question for dealers today is whether they feel that they need to be part of the herd or is their marketing and advertising message getting away from payments and discounts?
If your OEM is advertising lease payments nationally, should you follow their strategy or build a strategy that focuses on your own Unique Value Proposition (UVP)?
Do you have a UVP?
What are you finding effective in your market?
I say let everyone beat each other up on Radio, TV, and Print that wants to fight the "My Payment Is Lower Than Your Payment" war. Your traditional marketing should make you stand out, so think out of the box.
Then use paid search to buy keywords that include the words "price", "payment", "lease", "sale" that surround your brand and also to conquest others. Jason Ezell from Dataium shared that consumers who use the word "price" in their search phrases are significantly more likely to call or submit a lead.
With that said, have you tested your search visibility for phrases that include "price", "lease", or "payment"? If you are a Honda dealer, go to Google and type search phrases like:
Are you on page one organicially? For 99% of dealers the answer will be NO because there is no localized search word in these examples. These are "national" searches but consumers type these in anyway.
So you need Adwords to be on Page One. If you are using Adwords, are you on Page One? What does your ad say? Where does it take you? Are you pleased with what you found?
Don't miss the opportunity to capture consumers who are focused on price during the Zero Moment of Truth. It's much easier to catch them online then to pay large sums of money for the battle of "white noise".
Let your OEM and other dealers generate "payment" awareness and capture the low hanging fruit with targeted search strategies for consumers who are payment focused.
Share you thoughts with the DrivingSales community and Happy New Year!
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing
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