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Tonight I was speaking with some very successful Wall Street executives at a cocktail party.
I asked one gentleman: "What is the formula for success for a Wall Street trader in today's market?"
His response triggered a number of thoughts about the automotive industry that I would liek to share.
He told me that success was not guaranteed year after year or month after month.
What worked very well last year was not necessarily what would work this year.
The formula for "success" in fact was the trader's ability to adapt and change to market conditions.
Moreover, he stated that successful traders reinvented themselves on a regular basis. At this point I started to see some parallel paths in the automotive industry.
How many dealers are sticking to advertising, marketing, and customer service strategies that worked 5, 10, 15, or 20 years ago? These dealers may be convinced that staying with what worked "back in the day" can still be relevant today.
To their credit, some things never change. However, this does not excuse the lost opportunity to leverage Automotive SEO, SEM, Retargeting, Social Media, or Mobile Marketing.
Providing a great customer experience and exceptional value never gets old. However, what constitutes a great experience does change over time. This is where some may be holding on to "ghosts" of the past.
I have interviewed hundreds of Dealer Principals and General Managers on their choices for advertising and marketing partners. For many dealers, the reasons why their current vendor was chosen was surprisingly not based on data and analytics.
For some, it was based on long term relationships. For others it was how many rounds of golf were exchanged over the past 10 years!
I want to encourage all DrivingSales readers to ask yourself a very hard question. Is your automotive advertising and marketing dollars invested in strategies that are "flexible"? Do they change based on market conditions or are they set on auto pilot?
Are you using data and analytical tools to refine your decisions? Are you going by "gut" decisions?
If Wall Street traders implode and fail because their inability to adapt and change to market conditions, are car dealers exempt from the same market conditions?
What do you see at your dealership? Share your insights here on DrivingSales!
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing