Thursday, September 11, 2008

Advertising in a Slow Economy

There seem to be only two schools of thought when it comes to the debate on what to do in a down market with your advertising dollars. To spend or not to spend. These aren't the only options, and smart dealers know it. So what do you do in times with the economy isn't the "high tide rising all boats?" Do you create a tide of your own to boost your own business or sit and wait until...the election is over, or gas prices drop, or the stock market rebounds or the first of the get where I'm going with this. In times like these you have to keep your name out in front of your market, and you have to start thinking creatively. Here are three simple steps to getting started: 1. Take stock of your market. What are other dealers doing? What aren't they doing? Don't be afraid to look at other industries. Search out the other highly successful businesses in your area and talk to the other owners, managers and advertising execs. What can you incorporate into your business model that works for them? 2. Spend. Spend smart. It's essential to keep your name in front of your market. Taking a month or two off completely could lull someone into false security. There is such a thing as residual advertising...but it will run out. If what you are doing isn't working try something new, just be sure to research the new product, the new company and the new professional that should be consulting you every step of the way. 3. Track your results and ROI. This seems like a no brainer right? Do you do it though? Do you know how much money you actually made off the last TV campaign you ran? Do you know how many sales on your last super sale actually came from the direct mail and newspaper ads? How many were just walk ins? Find a company that is sophisticated enough to offer tracking tools, and use them! How else are you going to know when to stay and when to walk away? This is a time for everyone to take a really good look at where the money is going. As business owners, and personally, we all have areas we can reasonably cut back just as we can all find areas for growth.

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