Most effective advertising

James Jalali
This question is mostly for small to medium size dealers. What is most effective advertising type for small to medium size dealers? Here is my list of advertising source and their ROI from top. I tried to make it short. 1. Autotrader.com ( it works only if you pay top dollar) 2. cars.com ( Very fair to dealer and consumer) 3. Craigslist.com (Timing matters ) 4. Recycler.com (price is right for ROI) 4. SEO (too expensive for Small dealers) 5. Google Adword ( too expensive as well) 6. Radio (never tried it) 7. Direct mail (tried it couple of time), no result. 8. Email marketing (no idea) please let me know what is your experience, also if you are doing something different. Appreciate your input.
Robert Karbaum
Technically SEO is free.
Robert Karbaum
Your own resources should be on that list. Grassroots, social and most importantly your own website.
Shannon Hammons
What is too expensive. Isn't that relative. If you spend 1k but get a ROI of 1 million was the 100k to expensive? I personally think SEO is to vital not to do whether yo are doing yourself for free or if you are paying a pro you have to do it to succeed. Autotrader and Cars depends on location which you need, and if you need both. We have success with both, but some don't. Again though price doesn't matter the ROI is the key. I believe direct mail has seen it's time pass and personally do not use. We do some small local radio i.e. local sporting events. It's cheap and keeps you in front of locals, and it's involving something small town america listens too. We do use PPC. You dictate your budget and what you want to accomplish. Email marketing you can do out of your CRM and costs you nothing to do. Well that is my 2 cents worth,
Russ Chandler
I like to use the owned, earned and paid media approach>>> Owned Media: Website, social profiles, blog, newsletter, store-front, premium content, ect Earned Media: reviews, referrals, company culture, organic news, staff network, anything that is proof of your promotions, offers or sold customers that earns you car deals through word of mouth Paid Media: SEM, PPC, direct-mail, TV, Radio, Newspaper, 3rd party(AT, Cars.com, Craigslist), email and paid social ads This doesn't cover everything but you should get the idea where anything not listed would fall. At the end of the day, most advertising works to some degree, its more about what works the best for your dealership. Sure you can drop $25k on something that is valid advertising but it may not bring the type of customer you can convert or you may not have the inventory/staff capable of producing enough ROI for that investment.Try and find advertising that fits your size of inventory, staff and dealer culture. For smaller/medium dealers I believe having a solid foundation of owned and earned is where it starts. This is still going to cost some money but once the foundation is built its something you can continue to grow with less investment over time. To Karbaums point, SEO is technically free and with a solid foundation can be something you put internal effort into that results will significantly grow. Still, its not possible without the correct foundation of owned media. After you have the owned/earned covered you can receive much higher ROI on the paid and they should all compliment each other for a higher level of performance from having all 3 than any on of them can produce.
Christian Ziegler
@James - Interesting stuff. As for email marketing, I was a bit skeptical when I began our Vendor search for that category, but the results our Dealers are having with the two Vendors we've selected for email marketing have been A+. Recent send/sales results for two of our Dealer Members: Island City Hyundai: Emails Sent: 200,000 Cars Sold: 30 Cost Per Car Sold: $83.33 Kia Dealership: Emails Sent: 100,000 Cars Sold: 20 Cost Per Car Sold: $62.50

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