Newspaper ads, we all still do it right? Any new ideas for tracking?

Jennifer Bourgeois
At our store we do well with our local paper ad. According to my GM we frequently have customers come in with this ad. However I am still not sold.... This can be a commonly inaccurate perception. Maybe they see a couple customers a week with the paper in hand and for what we pay I don't see that as a valuable way to spend that amount of my marketing budget. Anyone know of some better way to track it's effectiveness? I have been racking my brain trying to think of a clever CTA to entice every customer to bring the ad with them without being too narrow. IE Bring ad to get this price! Coupons...etc. There has to be someone doing something new and engaging in the paper or at least tracking their dollars with more accuracy...right???
Tammy Anthony Baker
The days of new cars at the top, used cars at the bottom, and phone number in the middle, effectiveness are long gone. While I'm not a fan of newspaper ads, I believe if you're going to do it, measure the results by making it event specific. Using newspaper as a buzz feed - have an event, advertise it in the paper, judge number of attendees. This works especially well when paired with autographs from an athlete, family style event such as bbq/halloween/fireworks, and one of my personal favorites a car show. Sponsor a car show with best in class awards. Offer to display one of the antique or custom vehicles in your showroom (hold harmless affidavit or waiver of liability suggested for loaned vehicles left overnight).
Jennifer Bourgeois
Thanks Tammy. My sales managers still believe in the full page ad with a price on every available model on the lot. They swear they see the ad paper sitting on the passenger seat of many customers when they come in.... There is a Driving Sales blog from a couple years back talking about the ease customers have from comparing pricing in the newspaper. See an excerpt from his blog below....thoughts? "A younger associate of mine recently asked me "why do they even have newspapers anymore? I only read things on-line anyway" My answer was pretty simple... Where else can you find all of the dealerships in your area in one place so you can compare prices side by side? Most dealers have a great web presence these days but comparison shopping on-line is much harder than just opening the local paper. So what does this all amount to for dealers? Well as much as dealers have wanted to finally say goodbye to the papers it looks like they are here to stay. As long as people need news, no matter how or where they go to get it, there will probably be a place where dealers will have to advertise. Especially if on-line publications move from just national to regional or even local publications." -Paul Portratz
Jennifer Bourgeois
Consider 4 competing stores quite a blessing...I have 22 other same franchise dealers within a 25 miles radius in my local market! They advertise in the paper too...yikes!
Chad Sabatka
Forget focusing on newspaper and focus on how to separate your website out from the other Chevy dealers in your area. There is a lot more room for growth in that area over the newspaper. In all I only found a handful Chevy stores within a 30 mile radius that were not Cobalt. Only to name a few that use Cobalt as main site......
Jennifer Bourgeois
Thanks Chad, I am very much good as far as website and digital marketing goes. I have a second site far superior to any of these that is going live on the 24th, very excited! But specifically in this blog I am asking about the news paper.;-) Unfortunately, I have to spend some of my budget on it right now so I need to find a way to track it.

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