Whewwww....what a week in the global capital markets? It was the single greatest week of equity losses in the history of the stock exchanges. With our political leaders indecisive and the issues seemingly snowballing, we need to prepare for a protracted economic slowdown.
What are you doing to insulate yourself and grow your business in lean times? When the economy dips and consumers move into a state of fear, brand loyalties are heavily scrutinized and the purchase funnel extended. Car shoppers spend much longer time online evaluating their purchases. They are hunting.
While most Dealers are minimizing their ad spend, you should be looking for marketing opportunities. Most of your competition is in hiding. The landscape is not as crowded. You'll never have a higher probability of getting noticed. You should be in the "dollars per eyeball" game. Where can you target the most in-market shoppers in the cheapest way possible?
Online of course. Do more to push people to your website. Provide an opt-in survey or allow for some focus groups. Ask them what they like about your site and how they'd like it changed to improve their shopping experience. Make sure it’s easy to navigate, engaging and measurabe to conversion. Provide multiple clear and concise photos for every single new and used car in your inventory. Position your fixed ops marketing as a need with coupons and offers updated daily.
And most importantly, utilize SEO to specifically guard and brand your stores online reputation. Car shoppers are looking for value and products and services they can trust. Nothing can destroy your store's reputation like negative publicity or forum posts from people who endured a poor experience at your dealership.
Now is not the time to cut and run on your marketing budget, it is time to spend money wisely.
“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” Henry Ford
Marketing never stops. If you stop your marketing, you are wasting the brand equity you have built so far. These are tough times, but they may be some of the most creative and opportunistic in years. Embrace them!