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Russell Grant

Russell Grant Vice President of Sales

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How To Spend Your Advertising Dollars More Effectively

As I travel the country visiting dealerships and speaking at 20 Groups there seems to be a common theme. How do dealers get the most of the Ad dollars? While this question may seem simple it has become much more challenging in the last couple of years. In fact, dealers are now spending Ad dollars with 20 to 25 Vendors on Average every month vs 10 years ago when it was just print, radio, direct mail, and TV. The reason dealers are spending with more vendors is because the ROI is much higher for all the products and tools than traditional media of the past. So, as the market is re-inventing itself the dealers are faced with several challenges.

  1. How do I keep up with all my vendors?
  2. How do I choose new ideas or product for my dealership?
  3. How do I implement these new ideas?
  4. How do I hold my vendors accountable?

The dealers are looking for new and more productive ways to spend but they are becoming very cautious as to how to make it all work.  Here is a different and much easier way to do this.

The bottom line is it all about GROWTH. We have all suffered from 2008 and now as the economy gradually improves it is time to GROW. So, How do we do that? Well there is only 3 ways to Grow your Business.

  1. Increase your number of active customers
  2. Increase your average profit per transaction
  3. Increase your customers’ repurchase frequency

So, as you are calculating your Ad Budget and figuring out how much to spend and where. Why not figure out how much money you would like to go to achieve these goals. Furthermore, you can hold your Vendors more accountable to provide you these results.

Just imagine the next time you have a Vendor pushing a new product you ask them.  How is it going to help me Increase my customers, profit per transaction, or frequency of customers? If they cannot provide you with a sufficient answer as to how their product or service will accomplish this than this may not be the product or service for you. Remember, everyone vendor has the latest and greatest product on the market.  But, how many of your Vendors really understand your business and your goals at the dealership. It is all about implementation with new products or services. If a vendor does not know how to apply their product to achieve your goals than your chances of success will become much lower. Because, this product or tool will never gain traction in your dealership!!!

The last suggestion I would make is this: Tools are fads and end to end systems are here to stay. When a vendor says they have a new tool I would run because that even if that tool is great it will not have staying power in the marketplace. Buy systems that help you achieve the goals. Now more than ever dealerships need the tracking, training, scripts, etc to make it happen at your dealership. If not you will be stuck with all these shiny tools that are not getting utilized by your employees.

Chris Costner
Great post Russell. All spot on. It certainly is good to evaluate our current processes before spending money that will be "chalked up" as a waste 90 days later. Thanks for sharing.
Russell Grant
Chris, thank you very much for the kind words. I appreciate the feedback.
Tami Paulus
I personally feel before approaching any vendor and making a deal with them its essential that they do understand your business only then you can think of any advertising investment. I think this point made by you is the most crucial part for any business owner.
Russell Grant
Tami, Thank you for the reply. I completely agree wih your assessment.

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