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Once you have conducted your market research and have your results, you can begin to draft your automotive dealership marketing plan. Your automotive dealership marketing plan is extremely important because it is the map by which you will navigate growing your business. When it is written, it should have your main objectives and strategies, to be fleshed out with specific tactics (tactics will be discussed in Step Three).
This is the time to set clear goals for your marketing. What do you want to accomplish? What growth do you aspire to achieve? The important thing is to set clear goals that are meaningful to your dealership and community. For example, if you are a dealership in a small town, don’t try to set goals that would fit a dealer in a large city. Your goals should be tailored to your specific situation and business philosophy.
What did you uncover in your customer research? What traits jumped out at you?
What do your customers attach the most importance to during the buying process? What speaks to them? What has lured them away from your dealership (if they have done business with a competitor)?
What we are trying to do is translate these customer insights into the type of marketing that will prove successful for your dealership. Use the information you have gleaned to brainstorm. What benefits does your dealership have over its competitors? Does this include your customer care, your pricing, service? Make sure to include in your brainstorming the use of emotion, personalization, and customer experience. If you are nailing it with all of these, make that central to your marketing. Since each dealership is different as is their market and customer base, these variables will change. There is no one sized fits all approach that will prove successful for every dealership.
Thoughtful, thorough analysis of your collected data (and some hard work) will reveal the best avenues of marketing success.
Beyond looking at your customers, your data should also reveal valuable information about your own marketing and that of your competitors.
First of all, it should tell you what directions aren’t financially viable anymore. There are many dealerships that have continued with the same type of marketing for years after it has ceased to make a difference, just out of habit. If your research and analysis does nothing else, it should alert you to this if it is a problem.
The results of your analysis can also help you identify new areas. This could include strengths you may not have previously considered to include in your automotive dealership marketing plan. Maybe you have low prices, and you’ve been competing on that score, when there is space in the market to compete on customer experience.
You can also evaluate good strategies that your competitors have used and what you might be able to do to elbow in on that area of the market. If a dealership is consistently and successfully marketing a specific aspect of their business, you may be able to compete by improving upon their strategy and processes.
Your competition may also be vulnerable to a major upset, if your market research has revealed that a competitor’s marketing efforts have been weak or unsuccessful lately. You can capitalize on this lapse to capture market share.
Oops, didn’t read Step One: Market Research? That’s okay. Just click to go back.
Next week, we’ll be posting “Step Three: Tactics” of the Car Dealer Marketing Plan Guide. Impatient? You can subscribe to our newsletter if you want it the second it comes out. Super impatient? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and start a conversation. We’re a business, obviously, but we’re here to help, no BS.