In today’s world of constant noise, it’s more difficult than ever to market your dealership. Dealers are constantly trying to guess where the best ROI is when considering how to spend marketing dollars. How much money do I invest in traditional marketing? Online marketing? Direct mail marketing? The rep from each medium will tell you that their media is the best to use for your dealership marketing. Dealerships are in competition with their competitors within their DMA for airtime and attention, and even their OEM.
With the cost to acquire a new customer increasing each year, how you choose to spend your dealership marketing budget becomes even more important. I know dealers that have chosen very different routes. Some chose to have no traditional marketing and are all digital. While others are at the opposite end of the spectrum with no digital marketing at all and insist on “old school” methods of marketing. I’ve actually heard stories of a dealership that seriously debated whether they should get rid of their website and buy an inflatable gorilla for the building. And I am not joking; I really did hear this.
Marketing your dealership is always going to be tough. The key thing is to know what method is getting results and returning the best ROI for your dealership. With a little investigation, and with proper tracking, it is possible to zero in and be much more accurate about what’s working for your dealership.
By utilizing your own reporting and learning some easy tricks, the process is actually quite easy to manage.
Here are three things that you can do to get a more accurate idea of what’s working for you.
- Use call tracking. I’ve yet to see a dealership that does not have a pretty busy switchboard. There are still many consumers who opt to pick up the phone rather than submit a lead online. Many advertising sources will provide some tracking statistics for you. However, even if they do, have your own service. Rely on the statistics that your own service provides you.
- Have different offers on each medium. It’s okay to have an oil change coupon included in your dealership marketing plan. However, don’t fall into the trap that many dealers do and have the same offer on every media. Change up the offer. By having different offers, you can better track which offers are working and which of your advertising mediums are actually generating business.
- Make the coupon printable and required. Too many dealerships that have offers, either online or in traditional print, are not requiring the customer to present the coupon. In addition, I’ve seen many service advisors who will actually offer the coupon to the customer who doesn’t even know it exists. By allowing this, you completely negate your ability to track which offers from which ads are actually working. You may also be unnecessarily costing yourself money. If you want an “offer” specifically available to that service customer who inquires about one in the service drive or over the phone, create some specifically for those people. Make your advisors and cashiers accountable for the redeemed offers during the end of day cash reconciliation.
By implementing these three items into your dealership marketing plan, you’ll be able to easily monitor the results. This includes not only tracking your offers; but also the mediums in which those offers were delivered to the customer. With this information, you’ll be able to make better decisions and be able to shift money to the offers and mediums that deliver the best ROI.
How is your business tracking ROI on marketing dollars?
What mediums seem to work best for your dealership?