Some things just don’t mix. Does your marketing?
Oil and water. Toothpaste and orange juice. Alcohol and good decisions. Some things in life just don’t mix, and there is no reason to force them to. The same is true for your marketing. With so many different elements and strategies, it’s easier than you think to come up with a bad match. Here are just a few examples:
Short-term strategies and long-term results
Short-term marketing is often referred to as operational or tactical marketing. This type of marketing is focused on daily, weekly, or even monthly goals and typically results in “quick-wins” for your dealership. While short-term marketing execution is crucial, it won’t lead to long-term results on its own.
Think of it this way: let’s say you are growing a marketing garden. You could stick to only short-term plans. Maybe you hear your audience likes tomatoes, so you scatter a few tomato seeds one day. A week later you decide to add some cucumbers; carrots a week after that. Once you plant the seeds you are too focused on your next task to tend to what you have already planted. Sure, the hodgepodge of a garden you have put together might create the conditions needed to grow a few vegetables, but it probably wouldn’t be the long-term harvest you were hoping for.
The other option would be to create a long-term strategy for your garden before you ever set foot in the garden center to buy seeds. When you plant your garden with an end goal in mind, you can be more intentional with every step of the process. You will plant those short-term tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots, but they fit meticulously into the blooming strategy you have created.
Today’s Consumer and Traditional Marketing
We aren’t going to give you another unneeded reminder that “millennials use technology”. But moving past traditional marketing means something much deeper than simply using the internet. It’s not just about using different channels to advertise, it’s about how you advertise and the message you deliver. Today’s consumers demand a personal connection through authenticity. They will choose the business they connect with the best, especially when they can buy the same product from any dealership.
Here are some of our favorite ways to show authenticity:
Review your reviews
The reason traditional marketing doesn’t work the same way it used to is that consumers are skeptical of anyone trying to sell them something. They value the opinion of people they know and trust the experiences of other consumers. You should not only make sure to respond to reviews; you should also encourage customers to leave reviews.
Take reviews one step further: listen to your customer’s stories. This is more than just their experience in the dealership, but rather what lead them to such a big life decision. Reach out to customers with some sort of incentive and actually talk to them. These stories are gold for your brand’s authenticity. Share them on your website and social media to spark enthusiasm for your dealership.
It can be hard to resist going directly for the sale. But your brand will be better served over the long run if you take initiative to educate the customer about how to make the best decision. Choosing the right car is no easy task, so giving potential customers access to content that can answer their questions will build their trust in your dealership before they decide where they want to buy.
Multiple Vendors and Consistency
Many businesses opt to work with a wide variety of vendors for managing their marketing and digital presence. While each vendor might be an expert in their area, they can’t possibly all communicate with each other in a way that creates the holistic marketing approach you need to win customers over. Not only do you need to match your OEM’s messaging, you need to make sure your messaging is different than all the other dealerships customers are hearing from. If creative elements or messages in your marketing don’t match, it might cause confusion and negatively affect your brand.
If you have found yourself in this situation, we suggest untangling your mess-of-a-network by condensing vendors where you can, scheduling regular communication between your providers, and taking on a lead strategist to coordinate all of your marketing efforts and hold all of your vendors accountable.
In summary, it’s almost impossible to get the results you’re looking for when your marketing doesn’t mix well. Part of any holistic marketing strategy is creating the perfect concoction of marketing elements that complement and heighten the effects of each other.