This month’s edition of CarDealer Magazine finds G-Forces’ Tim Smith looking at how auto dealers can survive the recession by finding the marketing campaign that works for them, and sticking to it.
A recent newspaper article from a ‘noted’ psychologist declared optimism as the key to professional success in a recession – we’ll fair better if we’re smiling cheerfully. Thankfully this article was printed in the paper’s science section rather than business and for good reason.
Business advice from a psychologist usually found analysing body language on an Orwellian-titled reality-show is not the best advice for a company operating in a recession.
Blind optimism is more of a danger than an answer for business. Simply smiling and getting on with it is the equivalent of sticking your head in the sand while loss-making habits continue.
What will help companies get through these turbulent times and avoid the red ink being used for their statements is finding what they do best, sticking to it and seeing it through.
Take, for example, the high street music stores: one teetering over the edge and one gone before it was time for the January sales. Compare such lacklustre performance to a music shop like Rough Trade who are currently thriving and the “find what works best and stick with it” rule applies. Rough Trade sell only music, you don’t step through the doors only to battle books, emblazoned shirts and mp3 accessories before you get to the music in a supposed music store.
While Auto dealers aren’t about to start selling box sets of the latest American sitcom on dvd, the need to find what works best and stick with it still applies for success when it comes to marketing your dealership. The importance of web marketing for your automotive website and dealership is well documented and the best way to find success in a recession is to find which marketing campaigns work for you and stick with them.
A full understanding of which marketing campaigns are working well for you and which aren’t is vital. There are many good tools available to analyse traffic generated from online marketing, including Google Analytics and Webtrends, and just as many – Mediahawk or BDM -that track success of the phone-based campaigns. However, to fully grasp which of your campaigns are working for you and warrant further investment, a program that collates online and offline data, such as Net Director LeadBeast, is ideal.
By collating information from both online and offline tracking, what marketing campaign is working for your dealership becomes clear. All users of LeadBeast have noted how significantly lower cost-per enquiry is from online marketing compared to offline.
It’s still important to note that balance is imperative but there is still too much credence on offline marketing. The pendulum is swinging toward web marketing and will continue to do su until the correct weighting is found for effective marketing strategies.
Only by investing in online marketing campaigns and sticking to them will dealers become increasingly optimistic. When the dust settles after the economic implosion you’ll be poised to take an even bigger bite of the market and reap the rewards of your hard work.