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Category Archive: Advertising

Paul Potratz

What Black Friday Taught Us

Close up hands holding credit card and using mobile smart phone outdoor, Online shopping, woman happy.

Online sales for Black Friday topped out at $3.34 Billion; up 21.6% since 2015. Let that sink in for a minute. The prediction was $3.05 billion, which would have been just an 11.3% increase over 2015. This means sales were up almost 10% from what was predicted.

What does this tell you about today’s shopper?

It certainly does not say we are in a down economy or that consumers are scared to spend money. However, these Black Friday record sales provide a vital perspective that most are ignoring. In fact, I am willing to bet the majority of you reading this blog are ignoring the telltale signs of what’s happening. Don’t stress—you still have a few weeks to catch up. Yes, only a few weeks—I can assure you we are going to see a major shift very soon.

I am referring to mobile. Wal-Mart attributes mobile devices to driving 70% of its Black Friday traffic. Other retailers also received significant mobile traffic that accounted for increased sales on Black Friday. The wake-up call is that retailers saw a 33% increase in mobile traffic over last year, which is a $1 billion increase for one day!

These numbers are nothing to be ashamed of—or are they?

The fact is, the numbers could have been much higher … and when I say much, I mean much, much higher! Let’s be honest, we now live in a society in which we don’t even have the patience to wait 30 minutes for a pizza to be delivered. The same goes for mobile experience: Shoppers have no patience for a poor mobile experience.

Case in point: 55% of all 2016 Black Friday website traffic came from mobile devices. In that same amount of time, mobile conversions (or sales) were at an average of just 2.4%, while tablet conversions were at an average of 4.6% and desktop conversions were at an average of 5.5%. As you can see, a lot of opportunities and sales were lost due to poor mobile experience.

The Drunk Person Shopping Test

So my question is, what can you do as a dealer so you do not miss opportunities due to a poor mobile experience? The answer is simple. See if your mobile site will pass the “drunk person shopping test.” The next time you’re out playing golf or having a few drinks with non-automotive friends, ask them to visit your website on their mobile phone and ask them to do the following tasks:

-    Find a specific car by year, model, trim level, and color

-    Compare two models based on trim levels

-    Value a trade

-    Schedule a service appointment

-    Find used car specials and new car specials

I also encourage you to videotape them navigating your website and share that with your team.

Don’t stop with just one friend testing your mobile website—have several non-automotive friends use your site and film them all. I can assure you it will be one of the most valuable and insightful actions you take to ensure 2017 is a record year for your dealership. And remember: What you learn from your “drunk person test” must be fixed. 2017 is the year that every marketing effort should start with a mobile-first strategy.

Final thought: Apple iPhone is expected to lose market share to Google’s new Pixel phone in Q1 and Q2 of 2017, then gain it back in Q3 and Q4 with the new iPhone 8. The result will be that 75% or more of all website traffic will be mobile.

Think Mobile, My Friends!

Get more insights on how to improve sales at your dealership with NCM Associates’ 20 Groups and Training.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/12/what-black-friday-taught-us/

NCM Associates

#askNCM: Why should I market a vehicle before reconditioning?

Marketing and detailing vehicles for resale are primary processes for any successful used vehicle department. But how should you time these activities?

The answer comes down to marketing. If you wait out the reconditioning cycle time, Robin Cunningham warns, you’ll slow down the sales process … and reduce your profits!

How do you time your reconditioning and marketing activities? Tell us below! Want to #AskNCM a question? Leave a comment below, and we’ll answer it!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/04/askncm-why-should-i-market-a-vehicle-before-reconditioning/

Jody DeVere

Socially Conscious Brands Win with Women

Optimistic Female In Car

Auto dealers continue to increase their level of giving to charitable causes, according to a recent survey data from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and Ally Financial.

More than 70 percent of new-car dealers surveyed in September 2014 said they increased their charitable giving in 2014, up from 65 percent last year. About 43 percent of dealers said they expect to increase their contributions again in 2015.

The bulk of this giving is staying in dealer’s local communities, as nearly 90 percent of dealers said their contributions go to supporting community service and local organizations. More than 65 percent of dealers surveyed said they organize staff volunteerism opportunities in their community.

Women consumers view their role in creating social and environmental change as extending well beyond the cash register. Companies can serve as a catalyst for sparking donations, volunteerism and advocacy by giving consumers a spectrum of ways to get involved.

Partnering with women consumers in this way can serve as both a reputation and bottom-line builder.

Cause Marketing Wins with Moms:

    95% find cause marketing acceptable.

    92% want to buy a product supporting a cause.

    93% are likely to switch brands.

    61% of purchased more cause-related products in the past year.

Source: Cone Cause Evolution Study, 2010

According to a study by Research International Ltd., 86% of consumers are more likely to buy a product associated with a cause or issue. About two thirds of Americans have a greater degree of trust in companies aligned with social issues. 64% of consumers feel companies should make cause-related marketing a part of their standard business practices.

Women are more likely than men to believe that supporting causes creates a sense of purpose and meaning in one’s life, makes them feel good about themselves and enhances the feeling of belonging to a community. Men and women are generally in agreement when it comes to which particular causes they choose to support.  For both, feeding the hungry and supporting our troops are among those that rank the highest, and as expected, gender-related health issues like breast cancer and prostate cancer are significantly more likely to be supported by women and men, respectively. 

Women Are Strongest Believers in the Power of Supporting Causes

8 in 10 American women believe that supporting causes creates a sense of purpose and meaning in life; and feel everyone can make a difference through their support.

Women Support Companies that Support Causes

Cause marketers often target the female demographic with campaigns, and with good reason

survey results confirm that American women are significantly more likely than men to show their support of a cause by purchasing products or services from companies who support the cause.

*Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact

Communication findings are part of the larger Dynamics of Cause Engagement study.

Millennials: A Critical Cause Demographic

Millennials, more than Non-Millennials, prefer active engagement in cause campaigns, such as volunteering their time (31% versus 26%), cause-support purchasing (37% versus 30%), encouraging others to support a cause (30% versus 22%), and participating in fund-raising events (27% versus 16%). Thirty-seven percent of Millennials report being drawn to products co-branding with cause campaigns where their purchase is a form of support. 

American Millennials: Deciphering the Enigma Generation.

Top areas women support most as volunteers and with charitable donations:

1. Health care charities related to women, children or family support.

2. Local youth & family services

3. Education

4. Preserving the environment

5. Arts, culture, or ethnic awareness

6. Help people in need of food, shelter, or other basic necessities

7. Improving neighborhoods and communities

Who you partner with as a charity makes a difference with women on her purchase decisions,  your reputation, positive word of mouth and your local market reach.

Tip: Visit Charity Navigator http://www.charitynavigator.org/ to review charities before you partner with them to determine the charity reputation and how funds are being utilized.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/11/8028/

Jody DeVere

Surprising Facts About Selling Luxury Vehicles to Women

Young Woman on Phone

Luxury car dealers, do you know your audience? If you’re like most that I’ve spoken to, you may be selling cars with the wool over your eyes, assuming that the affluent male is your crème de la crème, and some wealthy widows, female executives, and women entrepreneurs rounds out your market. But a recent study seems to show that just isn’t the case, and as the CEO of AskPatty.com, a website dedicated to providing automotive resources to women and helping auto dealers like yourself attract and retain more women customers, it surprised me, too!

The Shullman Luxury, Affluence and Wealth Pulse, Autumn 2014, has revealed some very intriguing findings on who is actually buying in the luxury market. First of all, it’s not all affluent people. In fact, 61% of buyers with a household income of $250,000 or more don’t own a luxury car! Interestingly, it seems that the Millennial generation of women are driving more luxury vehicles than one might assume. While most of us are targeting the older crowd, it seems that millennials are more interested in a luxury lifestyle than boomers or generation X members!

According to the study:

“The $75,000-249,999 affluent segment is the primary buyer of all the luxuries consumer spending , including luxury vehicles. The second-largest buying segment for all luxuries was mass-market America (those with less than $75,000 in household income). The very high-income buyers (those with $250,000+ incomes), although fewer in number, typically spend the most on average for each luxury bought and tend to buy more luxuries per adult than the other two income segment. … The number one luxury buying generation today, according to this survey, is the Millennial generation (18-34 years of age in 2014) who constitute 45% of luxury buyers.”

So, let’s take a moment to consider our target – the new target: the millennial woman!

Facts About the 18-34 Segment of Women Today

So, if we’re going to be selling to millennial women, we need to understand how they operate. They’re not baby boomers, and they’re not Generation X, so those approaches are going to ring false with this group. It’s also worth noting that in my experience at least, these are women who are actively working in advertising much of the time, so the trite marketing methods are going to fall flat. They know all those tricks!

Today’s millennial women are a technologically connected, diverse, and educated. They prefer the speed and convenience of smart phones and email to telephone conversations or walk-in business. In terms of work, they tend to have more job market equality than previous generations, and are earning four year degrees at a higher rate than male counterparts. This higher income translates to higher overall household income for their families, and it also means a new kind of family – one where the mother is the sole breadwinner.

Millennial women share some things in common with boomers and Gen-X-ers. They are also brand influencers who quick to share their opinions with friends, family and their online communities. A majority of social media outlets are predominantly female users, and they use them to speak their minds! Millennial women want to be included in the conversation, rather than being told what to do or what to purchase. They value inspirational messages, important causes, and most of all, they support brands who support them.

Marketing to the Meme Generation

When it comes to advertising to millennials, remember that this is the generation of the “meme.” That means that iconic, engaging visual marketing plays an important role in what resonates with them. Don’t shy away from humor, and focus on making your messaging instantly accessible and simple. Ever looked at Pinterest? It’s just a wall of photos, but to the millennial women, it’s a wall of ideas, conversations, and opportunities to do something amazing. Consider this: 58% look to Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration for everything from meals to makeup to home décor. Most of all, these women are “social shoppers,” social media users who value the opinions of their social media peers more than anonymous reviews or snappy slogans.

Cause-related marketing also works with millennial women, as long as you take care to ensure that your cause means something. They’re quick to spot practices like “pink-washing” (that is, coloring a product pink for breast cancer awareness month but not actually providing any meaningful support for the cause), so choose your charities wisely and remember that transparency is key! When you commit to a cause, it should embrace your entire company. For example, consider TOMS Shoes. Their message is clear, simple, cause-driven, and instantly accessible: for every pair of TOMS Shoes you buy, they will donate a pair to a child in need. This clear, concise message, coupled with transparency and accountability, has made the company absolutely huge with millennial women. To date, they have provided shoes to over 10 million children.

So let me ask you again, luxury car dealers: do you know your audience? Are you shifting your practices away from the older executives and widows to encompass the generation of Pinterest projects and Tumblr blogs? If you’re not approaching your marketing plans with the goal of making instant accessibility the core of your brand, then you could be missing out on the number one buying segment of luxury vehicles today.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/08/marketing-to-the-meme-generation-surprising-facts-about-selling-luxury-vehicles-to-women/

Lycia Jedlicki

What has a Better Return on Your Investment: Training or Advertising?

training_image

If you ask a dealer how much their monthly advertising budget is, they usually can tell you that number right off the top of their head, along with approximately how much they spend with each vendor.  However, when asked how much they spend on training each month, you will probably get an “I don’t know” or “not enough” answer.

Truthfully, most dealers do not have a monthly training budget. Dealers for the most part don’t like training; they just expect their people to know what they are supposed to do and to know what it expected. Training just isn’t as exciting as advertising. But let me ask a question: If your advertising brings in a lot of show floor traffic and vehicles through the service department, and your people just do a “so-so” job with them, is it a good investment? Wouldn’t we be better off transferring some of our advertising budget to training? After all, don’t we want to make sure all of our customers get treated properly?

We as dealers spend thousands of dollars monthly to bring people into our show rooms and service departments, yet when we mystery shop ourselves, most of us cringe at the results. So again, I ask you this question:

Are your people properly trained, and if not, why not?

I have two dealers in different 20 Groups that  took money out of their advertising budget and moved it to training. What were the results? A Volkswagen dealer from Chicago, Illinois is going to have his best net profit year, while Volkswagen is having a very tough year. A BMW dealer from Florida also invested some of his advertising budget in training and his net profit is up 51%.

These dealers did not just invest in automotive training. They did leadership seminars through local colleges and the BMW dealer brought Toast Master’s into their dealership so he could make sure his people knew how to communicate with their customers.  These dealers decided to invest in their people, and it has paid off handsomely.  As the Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, Florida says, “Happy employees make happy customers.”

Challenge yourself with this question when doing your advertising budget this year, “Are my employees going to handle my customers the way I would like them to all of the time?” If not, maybe it’s time to rethink how you are spending your money so you can get the best return or your investment.

UV Training

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/04/what-has-a-better-return-on-your-investment-training-or-advertising/

Ali Mendiola

40 Percent or More of Your Website Traffic Comes from Mobile. Are You Ready?

mobilesite

You build a website thinking that customers will take the time to go to a computer and do their research. After all, they’re going to spend thousands of dollars on a new or pre-owned vehicle, so you want the experience they have on your website to be scalable, colorful and rich in content and tools.

And you’d be right. Your website must offer lots of brilliant content in a design that makes your cars shine, and with digital retailing tools you must connect the online world with your in-store shopping experience. Your website must be a digital conversion machine.

There’s only one catch: That picture is changing, and fast. Today, according to comScore and Mobile Metrix, around 80 percent of people in the U.S. own smartphones. So when it comes to car shoppers, it makes sense that many are actually using a smartphone, or tablet, to visit your site, search inventory and conduct those all-important first purchase steps. In fact, according to traffic on the Dealer.com network, more than 40 percent of visits to dealership websites come from mobile devices.

That’s four out of ten potential buyers looking at your inventory on a screen that could be as small as a business card.

That’s not a trend. It’s a fact. Mobile shopping behavior will and is continuing to gain momentum, to the point that your sales and marketing solution must accommodate the differences. Check out this interesting article from Dealer.com on the most important differences between Responsive, Adaptive and Seamless mobile design. Part of that design approach must also include retail tools that help ease the process of conversion from shopper to buyer.

It’s not enough to have a search-and-user friendly mobile experience; the same digital steps that dealers count on to help speed car buyers through the initial purchase steps of a website should do the same on the mobile equivalent. From searching inventory to calculating payment, checking realistic finance offers and trade-in values, these types of efficient digital tools – when designed correctly – are more valuable because they’re available when and how consumers want to shop, and when they want to buy. That sort of on-demand and mobile-first approach to digital retail is a significant difference maker.

It’s critical that dealers provide consistency across their sites and apps, no matter what device is being used to access the information. That’s not only about the look, feel, and information displayed on a site, but also when it comes to providing an online shopping environment. Too often, in fact, talk of a mobile experience ends at the research phase when what dealers need is a complete package which includes mobile and tablet-ready Digital Retailing tools. From trade-in to finance, those tools empower shoppers to find the perfect vehicle, serve up pricing and payment solutions in line with your dealership criteria, and even provide trade-in offers based on your inventory needs.

The reason? Convenience amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life. The reality is that people want to complete more of shopping transaction wherever and whenever they can – sitting in the carpool line before the school bell rings, between meetings, or waiting at the doctor’s office. Those spare 10 minutes are valuable opportunities to get shopping and research done via whichever type of device consumers wish to use. Dealers and their staff, as a result, have to be ready. Those that are ready will improve sales and the overall buyer’s experience.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/03/40-percent-or-more-of-your-website-traffic-comes-from-mobile-are-you-ready/

Jonathan Dawson

The Five Ingredients of a Personal Brand

Personal Brand

You should know by now that you need to brand yourself. (If not, then read my last article!) For a salesperson, branding simply means doing a few things to separate yourself from all the other sales people in your field, and even at your store. But how do you start developing a personal brand? There are five basic brand elements or “ingredients” you should consider implementing:

The first ingredient is a nickname.

I know we all like to think our name is memorable, but the sad truth is that people forget names all the time. Common names, unique names, short names, long names – Your customers WILL forget your name unless you give them something else to remember.

Consider using a nickname instead of your name. My student Nate Allen goes by the nickname of the “Official Singing Salesman.” As you’ve probably guessed, he likes music and enjoys performing custom made songs for his customers at the dealership. Just think about it. If someone told you to go in and ask for the Official Singing Salesman, how likely are you to forget it?

The second ingredient is a slogan.

A salesman in Atlanta uses the slogan “You will get the royal treatment.” The slogan goes with his nickname, ”King Stinson.” Imagine customers telling their friends, “Go see King Stinson and he will give you the royal treatment!” This is unique and is not something customers will easily forget.

The third ingredient is a logo or imagery.

Creating unique business cards, key chains, bracelets, or buttons that have your brand image on them is a fantastic way to become unforgettable. My student Monti Hansard uses pigs with purple wings as her brand image. She has them on her custom business cards, her personal vehicle, and on her desk. Everyone knows to come in and ask for the lady who loves pigs.

The fourth ingredient is having your own website.

For example, check out KevinTheJeepGuy.com. You’ll see that Kevin uses this website to share his story, customer testimonials, and contact information. Having your own personal website means you have a central place where customers can learn about you, your brand, and your product.

The fifth ingredient is color.

Bill Stout from Wichita uses gold and black as his brand colors. He’s a fan of the Wichita State University basketball team and uses their colors for his brand. He will only wear gold and black and uses these colors for his website and business cards. He calls his desk a “shrine to WSU.”

I know it’s overwhelming to figure out what your brand should be, but the key to developing a brand is to start small. Do not add all five ingredients at the same time. Instead, start with just one idea, such as a nickname. As you get comfortable with one ingredient, start adding more over time.

Here are a few questions to help you get started:

  • Is there something interesting or unique about you that people tend to notice or comment on?
  • Which one of these five elements immediately resonated with you?
  • What would be a unique way for your customers to remember you?
  • What could you have fun with?

I believe that spending time and effort on developing a brand will produce better results than begging customers to buy from you.


Upcoming NCM Institute course: Principles of Service Management Mastery, October 28-29 in Kansas. City. Click the banner for details.

service_mgmt

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2014/10/the-five-ingredients-of-a-personal-brand/

Ron Wheeler

Three Reasons Pre-Roll Video Should be Rocking Your World

vid_monitorPre-Roll Video, or as I like to call it, Internet TV, is the fastest growing media in history. Yes, I said history! Pre-Roll Videos are advertisements you see before the video you may have selected to watch online.

Personally, Pre-Roll Video is the best advertising medium I have ever seen. And for those of you who know me, know that I’ve been around awhile.

Bottom line is this: Everyone has chosen to spend thousands of dollars with just one of the three power points of Pre-Roll Video. Now we can marry the power of Direct Mail, TV and Search. What you end up with is Pre-Roll Video!

Power Point 1: Direct Mail
Just like with direct mail you can target specific individuals and specific geo targeted areas. For example: You can target an area by zip code, mileage or drive time. Drive time is my favorite. Second, you determine the filters you wish to use to select prospects. Big data companies are sharing all their data and now you can target these individuals by URL. Let’s say you’re a Cadillac dealer. You might choose to target:

  • People who own a luxury car
  • People who have owned a Cadillac
  • People who currently own a Cadillac
  • People in the market for a Cadillac

You can then take your Pre-Roll Video and it will run only to those individuals who live in the Geo Targeted area you chose.

Power Point 2: TV
The power of TV is incredible and we all understand this. People who view your video are more likely to remember your message by a significant margin. Pre-Roll delivers all the power of TV but without the waste. You control the desired frequency, you control the targeted audience and it connects with the customer 24/7. Cost, as you can imagine, is significantly cheaper as well.

Power Point 3: Search
If you like PAY PER CLICK you’re going to love this. At anytime while your prospect is watching your video they can click on your ad and they’ll be directed straight to your website. Yes, Pre-Roll Video has the power of search. So anytime night or day your ad can be shown and bingo they can engage with your website while they are on their computer or tablet.

It’s big! Three Power Points all wrapped into the fastest growing media in the world. But in the spirit of infomercials…. But Wait There’s More! Your competition is in the dark. That means you can own this opportunity! So as they say, remember you heard it here first! It’s time to Rock and Roll!

ad_digital

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2013/11/three-reasons-pre-roll-video-should-be-rocking-your-world/

Russell Grant

Five Must-Ask Questions to Better Position Your Marketing Spread

puzzleAs I speak to dealers it is clear that it is becoming increasingly difficult to develop a marketing strategy as more and more services and programs are being offered. Innovation due to big data has flooded the marketplace with plenty of marketing options. Dealers are left with tough decisions with respect to their ad spend.

Here are Five Questions to Consider with your Marketing Budget

1. Are you at the front of the food chain? Not a day that goes by that a dealer doesn’t tell me that more and more customers are shopping them on the Internet. Because of this, once the customer gets to the dealership the profit in the deal is minimal. Even this is a best case scenario because sometimes the customer doesn’t even get to the dealership. This is when I ask dealers this question: Tell me about your lead generation and your spend?

Dealers usually tell me how much they spend on 3rd party leads and how frustrating it is. I ask them about using their owner data so they achieve more 1st party leads than 3rd party leads. The key is using the data to drive your marketing so that you can identify your customer at the front of the buying cycle. The more 1st party leads you create, the less 3rd party leads you will need. Remember, a 3rd party lead has been passed out to several other dealers. Your success rate and ability to make more gross is diminished the further down the line you are.

2. Are you spending the majority of your budget on the people with whom you will have the greatest impact? I would compare this to politics. The first goal is to rally and excite your base. Second is to go after the swing votes. The further you move from left to right or right to left, the less impact you will have. The same is true in marketing. Start with an Owner Marketing Plan. Next, look at becoming more strategic with conquest marketing. Conquesting has become more cost effective with digital techniques. In the future, this will become more advantageous as you will be able to use better data to streamline your efforts.

3. Are you staying in front of customers who have shown interest? This has become a point of emphasis as dealers can drive a lot of visitors to their website, but conversion to an actual appointment is often low. Retargeting has become a great way to stay in front of these customers. Remember, customers are now in the market and doing research for up to 180 days before they buy. It is vital that we stay in front of this customer beyond initial contact. Email campaigns are a cost-effective way to accomplish this goal.

4. Are you making it easy to buy from your dealership? Great marketing should go beyond a response; it should also make it easier to buy from your dealership. When we get a customer response, if we don’t make it easy to buy, then it becomes too easy for the consumer to just go to another dealer’s website. Marketing has to push people down the sales funnel. By engaging your customer this way, it takes your customer to a deeper level within your dealership and diminishes the need for the customer to visit other dealership websites. We should value marketing that creates more dealership appointments and test drives.

5. Are we measuring correctly? Every dealer I speak to wants measurable results. Who can blame them? The challenge is: are we using measurements that correctly gauge how customers buy? Measuring customer timeframes will help us calculate the effectiveness of our spend. We should also calculate how much time on average it takes to close the sale. For example, if it takes an average of 62 days from initial contact to close of sale, then you need to figure how to lower the average number of days to close. Choose a sales process or marketing tool that will help you better track each customer, expedite the process and keep the sale in-house.

Look at your budget and ask these five questions, then look at programs for the future. This should give you a great start and, more importantly, a better position for your dealership’s budget. Innovation is coming to the marketplace – make sure you’re positioned to benefit from it.

internet

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2013/10/five-must-ask-questions-to-better-position-your-marketing-spread/

Russell Grant

Five Mistakes Dealers Make With Their Owner Marketing and How to Avoid Them

marketing-strategyOne of the best things about my job is the fact that I get to talk to so many owners, GMs, dealers, sales managers and service directors about their dealership’s owner marketing strategy. Or, in some cases, need for one. That’s when I find my work the most rewarding, when I’m speaking with dealers who are ready to reap the benefits of developing and implementing a strong, sustainable owner marketing strategy.

Because remember, there are only three ways to grow a dealership:

  • Increase your number of active customers
  • Increase your profit per transaction
  • Increase your customers’ repurchase frequency

And the most effective way to accomplish these goals is with a well-planned and sustainable owner marketing strategy.

But over the years I’ve heard some of the same responses again and again when discussing owner marketing. It doesn’t matter what part of the country I’m in, the size of the dealership, or the OEM. They’re the same five mistakes and they have the same damaging results.

Number 1: “I need to focus on new business.”
Dealerships often concentrate on bringing in new customers, and that’s important. But the fastest way to grow business is to focus on previous customers. More than two-thirds of consumers have two or more vehicles, yet less than one-third have purchased them from the same dealership. If a dealership builds on relationships it already has with satisfied customers, it can increase driveway share and see that percentage rise much more quickly and cost-effectively than with traditional conquesting.

This strategy also has the added benefit of improving retention, which means being able to close a higher percentage of deals with higher profits. Because it’s a proven fact that previous customers are willing to pay more and negotiate less.

Number 2: “I already have a marketing plan.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a dealer tell me he’s running a promotion because, “I’ve got to make my month” or “I need to hit my numbers.” That’s not a marketing plan—there’s no strategy, there are limited targeted communications and virtually no data mining. If you’re lucky, it might get you out of a tight month, but it’s not a sustainable growth strategy plan.

Dealerships need an owner marketing program that’s strategic and data driven. Fortunately, dealers have an enormous amount of data about their customers’ sales, service and F&I histories, which means they can develop extremely competitive offers, communicate them via multi-channel campaigns and target those customers who are most likely to respond. A dealer needs to communicate with his customers when it best serves them, not when it best serves him.

Number 3: “My CRM does that.”
Sure, a CRM can identify customers with good equity. It can generate birthday reminders and supply email templates. It provides resources and information, but it doesn’t create a strategy. It can help dealers communicate with customers, but it doesn’t help them motivate customers. And that’s a critical difference.

Data should serve as the foundation of a dealership’s strategic plan, driving its marketing decisions. But data alone is not the plan. The data needs to be used to develop compelling offers that get customers to take action. And for that, a dealership needs an owner marketing strategy. Not just a CRM.

Number 4: “My service lanes are already too busy.”
The easiest way to activate a customer is through the service drive, and it should be a part of any owner marketing strategy. Period. Not only for the service revenue, but because an active service customer is six times more likely to buy their next vehicle from that dealership than a non-active one.

Number 5: “The OEM doesn’t give good enough incentives.”
A dealer’s strategy shouldn’t be based on something he can’t control — incentives alone won’t give his dealership a competitive advantage. He needs to dig deeper. Talk to customers sooner. Say something different. Everyone may have the same incentives, but only a dealership has its customers’ data. The dealer can use that to create multi-channel communications that motivate customers by displaying their new payment versus their old payment — without even showing the incentive. That’s a marketing strategy that puts the dealer in control.

Advertising_Complex

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2013/07/five-mistakes-dealers-make-with-their-owner-marketing-and-how-to-avoid-them/

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