Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Top Ten Reasons to Continue Advertising in 2009

After my last post on how "scary" direct mail can be, I thought it was time for a Top 10 on why now is a better time than ever to continue investing in the branding and marketing of your dealership.
10. There is so much less noise! Be aware of the messages you are receiving. There are fewer ads on TV, Radio, in the paper and in your mailbox. Take advantage of others being too afraid to spend money. Get your message out now and it's much more likely to be heard.
9. Increase your market share. Following off of #10, a lot of dealers in your area are probably not advertising--why not tell their customers what you can offer them if they drive a few extra minutes?
8. It's working. I know with great certainty that direct mail is working, and from what I'm hearing for dealers out there so is Internet and social media marketing. If you aren't sure what I'm talking about, it's time to learn. (email me if you want help with any of the above)
7. Your sales people need it. I know the job market isn't booming right now, but there are other jobs to be had. Invest in your people by bringing leads in the door for them.
6. The dealership's image is depending on it. I watch the Today Show every morning. I don't know why at this point-if I listened & bought in to all the negative crap on there daily I might as well go find the highest cliff in Indiana. But, perception is reality. People are hearing that domestic brands are begging for money and on the brink of BK. If you pull all or most of your advertising-what is that saying to your local community? Common sense tells me the perception might be that ABC Dealer has fallen on hard times and can no longer advertise...which may directly impact your traffic. A lot of people don't want to buy a vehicle somewhere if they don't think they'll be in business in 6 months.
5. You have to market to create sales. I'm in sales too. I mostly market by picking up the phone 10-50 times a day and personally talking to people. What do you do? I'm business to business, you are business to consumer--how are you "talking to people?" And please don't say you have a sign on the building and an ad in Yellow Pages. If you aren't talking to people, why do would you expect them to come in and listen?
4. People are still buying cars. ...why would they come to you if they've heard about a better offer elsewhere? Now, more than ever, people are looking for a deal--show them how you can help.
3. Henry Ford said to. "A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time."
2. You can afford it. It seems many dealers are just sticking to "what they know" right now...print, radio & TV. Is it working? If you cannot put an actual number on the ROI or you know it isn't working--why are you still sticking with it? Shrink what you are doing with the untrackables and reallocate some of it toward something new, something trackable, and something that has been shown to work in the past few months. You can't continue doing what you've done the past five years, and expect to get the same results you got five years ago.
1. Depends on you and your answer to this question: Are you giving in or fighting back? How much good has come from "waiting it out?" some dealers are actually going after the market and prospering in these times. Manufacturers are coming up with great incentives, and used car sales are up! Fighting takes a daily decision to have the attitude and the behaviors of a fighter. People do have money and people are spending it. Be the one in the ring telling them why they should spend it with you--or sit in the crowd and watch the ones in front of you win the fight.
What do you think? Are you investing in advertising? Why or why not? Am I way off here and deserve to be set straight? Leave a comment! I know over 50 computers a day log on to this blog-I'd love to hear from some of you!

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