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There are a couple of common marketing tricks that most car dealerships use.
One of the most common tactics is using radio advertisements. Putting a catchy song on the radio with the name of the dealership in it makes the name stick in people's minds.
The same goes for TV commercials, but they are obviously more effective than radio ads. Up until 3-4 years ago, TV ads were the first and most common marketing tool that most car dealers were embracing. On the other hand, they are more expensive to make, and the state the economy currently is in makes dealerships cut down on them.
Talking about TV ads, one thing that hasn't changed is the way they look. Car dealerships always make some cheesy video spots promoting huge sales at “insanely” low prices and discounts, and they haven't attempted to make some more creative and innovative ads the way other industries have.
Another typical advertising tool is sponsoring. Supporting a local sporting event or a concert, where every time you mention something about the event, the dealership name also gets involved into the conversation and it's printed on huge banners for everyone to see, is pretty beneficial to dealers.
The economic crisis has obviously affected the marketing strategy in the auto industry. Advertising budgets have been cut and large promotional marketing campaigns, such as the above mentioned sponsorships have become very rare. Instead, car dealers are now more focused on newspaper ads and on offering discounts to attract new clients.
As far as current marketing trends in the automotive industry, it has started to embrace digital media and social networks as useful advertising channels, unlike the past couple of years. Direct mail, online banner ads and press releases are seen as the most effective ways to reach out to customers. Social networks are a great medium for advertising a product, and reaching a large audience and car dealers are beginning to realize that.
By Jordan Perch