Friday, November 7, 2008

Should you quit spending money on advertising?

I just got out of a meeting with our VP. She asked how things were going, and I told her I was struggling with really getting into conversations with dealers that are totally shut off to advertising right now. I've heard things like this from several of you lately: "we're just not spending money right now," "there is no reason to throw good money after bad," and "I can't move my market right not." Once you say it that seems to be the end of the conversation. I do have the pleasure of working with a lot of dealers, event teams and ad agencies that know even if they days of the $300,000 gross profit sale are gone for the time being, there can still be a huge value in investing in advertising. They aren't willing to give up and let the market take them on it's roller coaster with it, they are planning strategic moves to keep themselves profitable. These people are not only "weathering the storm" but becoming stronger so that when things start to loosen up they'll be positioned to be the leaders...while everyone else just starts to ramp up their TV, radio and mail presences again. Most of you have probably read this quote before, but when a colleague laid it on my desk last week it couldn't have been more timely.

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time." -Henry Ford

So, if you're one "pulling in the reins," next time you talk with your marketing consultants--in radio, TV, print, direct mail and Internet--just be OPEN. Ask what others are doing, what's working, what new things have they released to help you get through these times? Some might not have any answers, but some will. An open conversation might lead to a solution you never knew existed... “If I had asked customers what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” -Henry Ford All "Fordisms" aside, I wish you all crowded showrooms this Saturday and Sunday*! *Good wishes only offered toward dealers that choose to and are allowed to be open on Sundays. Any dealer that does not meet this criteria is only wished crowded showrooms on Saturday. Not valid with any other verbal or written tidings of joy or happiness.

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