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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.