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Jared Hamilton
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Morgan Auto Group Rises To Number 28 In Automotive News' Top 100 Dealer Group Used Sales Ranking

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Make Those Sales Doors Swing: Use Themes In Automotive Marketing

In my last blog, we discussed how “Tracking Your Targeted Direct Mail Campaigns Can Reap Returns”.  We emphasized that putting together a solid strategy and creating a theme for those particular pieces can grab your customer’s attention and drive them to your automotive dealership.

Over the last few months, we have also discussed the important facts concerning the following: “How many times does your door swing and your cash register ring?”

Let’s discuss a big facet of making your door swing and how you can grab your customer’s attention and to want to visit your dealership: “What would quickly create a ‘Call to Action’ today?”

Themes are an excellent avenue for car dealership marketing

Each season of the year generally has an artistic theme or concept that is used for that particular season in direct marketing campaigns.  In most cases, you can usually break down themes based upon either the month or the current quarter of the year.  In doing so, there’s usually a theme that typically pops into mind and – geographically speaking – these themes can often be different.

Themes also change for more reasons than just climate-related: there are certain areas of the country that have particular traditions in place that revolve around certain seasons.  These traditions can range from education, recreation, cultural and other activities that can create intrigue for your target audience.  By formulating these strategies, one must consider what your customers think of for that particular season.  But have you thought about doing something completely the opposite or different than what you’re doing?  Sometimes the obvious is too obvious while the different creates intrigue.

The following are questions you can ask when brainstorming for a themed products direct automotive marketing initiative:

  • Is there something going on locally of interest that would bring your customers to the dealership?
  • Can you tie your identified themes to that interest or occasion?
  • Does your theme make your consumer want to visit your dealership to observe what is going on?
  • What is the state of your market currently and can you get involved with your community? If you get involved and invite them to an event at the dealership, why would they want to visit?

Identifiable Valuable Seasonal Product & Services

Seasonal products are the nuts and bolts of targeted direct mail initiatives (TDM).  In putting together these campaigns, you must consciously think of a reason why your consumers would want to visit your dealership when they’re in the market for a vehicle.

Not only that, you have to map out how quickly – and for how long – you want to make your theme-centric plan last.  You will have to become creative with your themed offerings and how often you want to roll them out (daily, weekly or even monthly).  But most of all: make your event fun!  Furthermore, what incentives can you offer to get your customers to trigger an identified value to your campaign that gets them to think “I need this!” or “I want this!”

Additionally, you need to ask yourself if there are services that most vehicles need during a particular season.  For example, the fourth quarter of each year is generally reserved for winter-related automotive marketing programs like “Winterization”, “Car Care” or “Year End Closeout”.  With events like “Year End Closeouts”, you need to be able to relate to your targets why they need to buy now and would  any financial “pain” be incurred for making a purchase now.

Overall, the key to your themed automotive marketing order of business is how it will create a “Call to Action”, who is your strategy directed towards and what will drive them to your dealership.  So create a theme and ask your customers to visit, citing the fact they do not want to miss it in order to drive them into your car dealerships doors.

Next month, we will discuss how do you determine your “Hook” and the “Pain” for your TDM efforts.

Happy planning...

~ Paul Ryan, Field Account Manager @ DMEautomotive

Bio: Paul Ryan brings over 25 years of experience in sales, sales management, marketing, and client services. He joined DMEautomotive in February of 2008, as a Regional Territory Manager. With proven success as an inside sales representative selling the FullCircle Solutions’ Bullseye program, he was recognized frequently as Sales Person of the Month and received the highest honor of Sales Person of the Year for 2008. In August of 2009, Paul managed, “Direct-To-Dealer” – Mail Division, responsible for overseeing the sales for the “Direct-To-Dealer” Mail Division. Currently he is traveling in the Midwest as Field Account Manager. Paul graduated with a B.B.A, in Business Administration from Iowa State University in 1982.

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