Car dealerships are involved in one of the most cutthroat businesses there is. Competition is heavy, and there need to be a lot of sales in one year (from a limited pool of potential customers) in order to make projected profits. The most crucial factor in getting those sales is giving people a reason to come through the doors, and this will require a focused marketing campaign. Often these campaigns are multi-pronged; let’s take a look at some ways successful car dealerships have marketed their businesses.
Match the Message to the Target. A successful business person is going to have a different idea of the perfect car than the young mailroom employee just starting out; a senior citizen has different needs than a twenty-something. In any locale, there are going to be a wide range of people with an even wider range of desires when it comes to a dealership. Any advertising that is placed by a dealership should have the demographic of the medium in mind.
For example, if your dealership offers a discount or rebate on some models to post-secondary graduates, it is a good idea to mention the opportunity in an advertisement in a local university or college newspaper. Recent grads jump at the opportunity for a deal, and this type of program always generates interest.
Radio advertising is another area where a target demographic can be identified. Air play formats are designed to appeal to a certain group; listeners will often be very similar to each other in age, lifestyle, and even gender. There is no point in advertising a sale on used or new muscles cars on a station that caters to women with families; in the same vein, there is no better place to advertise truck prices than on a country station.
Create a Memory. Catchy jingles that get stuck in a person’s head may seem cheesy, but they tend to work. People don’t realize that they pay attention to advertising spots until they have a need, and the song they heard about what a great guy the owner of the local dealership is pops into their head. Guess where their first inquiry for a service or sale is going to be? Don’t underestimate the power of a hokey ad.
Try Local Sponsorship. Another method that is successful in promoting a dealership is in sponsorship. There are a lot of charitable causes and opportunities in every community, and it is in the best interests of the dealership to lend a hand through loaning vehicles or providing some aspect of service to these events. Name placement is the key here, and attaching your name to a good cause.
Probably most of these ideas will sound old to you, but the fact is that they are tried and true. All of the methods we list here are part of a successful, integrated marketing strategy that will see customers coming through the doors of a dealership, interested in the stock. Now, it is up to the sales staff to make the pitch and close the deal.