Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
Michael Cirillo

Michael Cirillo Chief Executive Officer

Exclusive Blog Posts

The Perennial Sales Starter Kit

The Perennial Sales Starter Kit

Outside of having some online training that I could do on my own time, a 2-Day Sales Training Course, shadowing the top Sales Consultant (at my initiative)…

How SEO Impacts the Service Department

How SEO Impacts the Service Department

Digital marketing in the dealership often is viewed and conducted solely from a sales perspective. But the service department, often called the "backb…

What 89% of salespeople are failing to do...

What 89% of salespeople are failing to do...

  According to Dale Carnegie only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals. We all know how valuable referrals are but when it comes time to ask for a …

Why Your Online Shoppers Don’t Take the Bait

Why Your Online Shoppers Don’t Take the Bait

You think you’re dangling an enticing lure in front of your customers’ eyes. You plan to set the hook and reel them in. But what you don&rs…

Click-to-Call [Infographic]

Click-to-Call [Infographic]

  Most dealers understand the importance of making it easy for customers and prospects to find contact information. Websites often have prominent &…

Call in the SWOT Team. What You Need to Know About Your Marketing Before You Start Marketing!

Dealership SWOT Analysis

There is a lot of clutter in the marketing world.


It doesn't matter where you turn, it's almost a guarantee that you're hit with some level of marketing or another. From ads on your phone and laptop, to television; radio and print, it's difficult to escape.


And 'escape' is what most people do. Because there is so much marketing clutter out there, as human beings we've learned to ignore it.


The level of clutter has contributed to much more fierce competition. Everyone is fighting for the limited attention of potential consumers. There's only one problem, though.


Everyone (especially dealerships) are all saying the same thing. From 'Low monthly payments' to the 'best selection of used cars', how is the consumer supposed to know who is telling the truth?


It's time for you to focus on differentiating your dealership from the rest. Broadcasting the same message as your competitors won't do the trick. It just shows how you are all the same, not different.


Don't get me wrong. I understand that for franchise dealerships, the OEM has certain promotions for you to share each month. That doesn't mean that as a dealership, you can't get creative and pull yourself out of the clutter.


Call in the SWOT Team


When I sit down to consult dealers and ask what makes them different, I always hear the same answer.


"We have a higher quality product." or "Our team takes pride in great customer service". For Pete's sake, STOP! If you truly believe this, than your finger is not accurately on the pulse.


You're running a multi-million dollar business. Before you start contributing to the marketing clutter out there, you need to call in the SWOT team.


Okay, so I'm just trying to be clever with a play on words. I don't mean SWAT team, I mean you need to get your team together and create a SWOT analysis for your dealership.


A SWOT analysis is a crucial marketing planning method. It  will help you identify current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for your business.


Take some time to take a deep look into your company. List out your dealership's strengths. These could include your store's culture, management team experience, brand and core values. Additionally, take time to list out your weaknesses, opportunities and any threats.


Once you've taken the time to create these lists, the next step is to align strengths with opportunities. You should immediately see some ways that you can position yourself for success in the marketplace.


Now align your weaknesses with opportunities. This will help you understand what your dealership needs to overcome to take hold of other opportunities.


Next, look at your strengths in contrast to any threats to your business. Threats might include other stores with deeper pockets, or groups that are expanding with more stores in your area. The idea isn't to get depressed, rather, it's to learn how you can leverage your strengths to offset any threats.


By completing a SWOT analysis for your store, you will begin to understand your unique position in the marketplace. You will identify business goals that are unlike your competitors. This will make it easier for you to position your store for growth while your competitors keep guessing at the best way to compete.


The point I'm trying to make here is that you have your own company. As such, you should focus on achieving your definition of success in your own way. Start leveraging your strengths, overcoming weaknesses, taking hold of opportunities and softening the blow of your threats.


Once you know with clarity what you're trying to achieve, you will have a greater ability to market your store to the right audience. You will be able to address the customers' needs wants and desires in a way that will resonate with them. You will attract the people that  you want to work with and who want to work with you!

What you need to know before you start marketing is who you are and what makes you unique. Doing a SWOT analysis is an effective way to build a solid marketing foundation to build from.

Missy Reid
I think if most dealers are honest, they'll suspend the SWOT process once they find they don't have a solid brand that's based on clearly articulated core values born from the company's beginnings. Then the process—if done effectively—will stop at the "W." Overcoming this weakness can take months, and dealers don't have that kind of time. I'm not suggesting dealers should press pause indefinitely because they don't have a brand; I'm just puzzled as to why they don't. I have some ideas about that (too many to include in a comment thread), but for now, I think it's important to acknowledge the importance of branding and not skirt over it as if the branding W in SWOT applies to very few. I'm fairly certain it applies to most of us. OK, so the Debbie Downer part is over. Great post. You're so right about clutter and stock messages. Hence, everyone should discover their brand.
Michael Cirillo
Missy, I don't think you're being a "Debbie Downer" here. I agree 100%. That's kind of what I was insinuating by stating, "You're a multi-million dollar business" - in other words, act like one. Call in a branding specialist, a communications and marketing specialist to help so that a stop motion takes effect and there can be an end to the crappy, cluttered marketing out there. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!
Missy Reid
It's so nice to talk to someone who recognizes this. I'm new automotive, but I'm not new to PR and branding. I often feel like I'm in the twilight zone. :)
Michael Cirillo

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now