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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Gary May

Gary May President

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A Blue/Black Dress. A White/Gold Dress. A Car Sold? Whatever...

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Expose your business. Better yet, expose yourself!!

It’s not about who bares it all. No, the game is about who gets the exposure at the right time. And most of the time, we perform poorly.

Marketers have been talking for decades about exposure, impressions, brand recall and market share. And while nobody (at least here) needs to be convinced that exposure should be primarily online, we’ve once again been shown that the conversation shouldn’t be about advertising.  Yes folks, exposure leads to conversation. All kinds of exposure… ;)

So what does the color of a dress have to do with car sales? Both a whole lot, and absolutely nothing. Within a short while of the “dress” explosion last week, automotive b-to-b social media was abuzz with puns,  memes and conversations.  Some of those actually made it to the retail channel. No OEM or retailer had an “Oreo” moment due to what color a dress was. And it was all an experiment anyway.

Marketers are being shown up, at an alarming rate, by the media of individuals. And we are still concerned with the “right” newspaper ad for the weekend? Millions of people joined an online conversation about screen resolution and perception, yet nobody sold a car from it.

And there could have been some massive fun, too. “Buy a new (fill in car brand) and receive a (fill in department store) gift certificate toward any color dress you want” could have shown up on websites, email blasts and social media within minutes. No, it was all about the weekend ad, which gorilla looks good on the roof, or what new incentives will be, or pouring over month-end reports, instead of selling more cars through created connections.

What’s more disarming than making someone laugh? What’s more unexpected than having someone think they just had the least “automotive” experience they’ve ever had?

Exactly how to make a popular culture phenomenon part of your marketing is not the point here, realizing that you have the opportunity to capitalize on more of these types of occurrences is.  Ad agencies and media companies aren’t the ones who do this on the fly. We are.

Salespeople (and managers) are so focused on the “script”, the “road to the sale”, the “processes” and the such, we take so much of the human element out of making car buying fun.. 2009 was the first time we had a client sell a car specifically (and nearly solely) through social media. Stop thinking about what to say and simply start the conversation. Even if you don’t have a dress on…

 

You can read more IM@CS posts here on DrivingSales.com or on our blog

Mark Dubis
Gary, thanks for sharing these great insights. And as one of our top industry trainers said at a recent conference in San Francisco, "If you are doing the same thing you have always done and are expecting different results, you must be a car dealer."
Gary May
Thanks @Mark! Let's see if insight and thoughts turn into action....

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