Let’s face it. Budgets are tight, income is down, and we are all scrambling to find ways to continue to do business. One of the comments we’ve heard most in recent days is that dealers have cut back their advertising budgets and campaigns in an effort to reduce expenses. While this is a short term solution to your cash flow problem, it is not really addressing the real issue.
Times are tough for everyone, and consumers are being very cautious with their money. Every retailer is competing for what little expendable income consumers have left, and it is important that your dealership is right there in the mix, competing for business too. It is just as important to stay in front of your customers when times are tough as when times are good; or even more so!
Many dealers are cutting out all print and traditional media advertising and heading for website, social media, and email blasts only. While this is a great way to stay in front of certain customers, it is hard to track, often overlooked by your customers, and tends to target only a few demographics out of your entire customer base. A common objection to this theory is that, “I look at my website statistics and email open rates!” but these statistics often need to be taken with a grain of salt. These are useful tools in determining if users are possibly interacting with a specific media, but unfortunately don’t tell us everything we need to know, like who is looking at this on my website and what is their buying potential. Email open rates are even worse, as many email provider’s statistics on open rates are skewed when users are looking at your email blast on a mobile device, for example. Additionally, most American’s have at least three email addresses. Do you have access to your customer’s primary email address or do you have the one they give out when they don’t want to receive something but want a one time offer?
When determining where to place your advertising dollars, you need to take into account, “What is my return on this going to be?”
Direct mail on the other hand is measurable, can be targeted at those most likely to make purchases, and has one of the highest success rates of advertising media. It is even more effective when combined with the above mentioned media such as websites, social sites, and email advertising. When determining where to place your advertising dollars, you need to take into account, “What is my return on this going to be?” Too many dealers take the cheapest route, or worse yet, stop advertising all together. This leads to customers forgetting about you and spending their available income on something else that has recently gotten their attention. So, the real question here is, “Can I afford NOT to advertise?”
This is where most dealer’s fall in terms of direct mail advertising. Our expert direct mail consultants can work with your dealership and make suggestions to help you maximize your advertising dollars and get the greatest results. We put our more than 20 years of experience in powersports direct mail marketing to work every day, for every dealer. One commonly overlooked trick is to combine co-op dollars from different manufacturers. This helps ease your burden in paying for a direct mail promotion and allows you to advertise more of your products. It is also said to “stick with what works”, and direct mail works, so if you have to pull money back from billboard, radio, or newspaper advertising to support a direct mail campaign, DO IT and put the money with an advertising campaign that customer’s won’t ignore, throw away, or change the channel on.
If you would like more information on how we can help you develop a marketing strategy that is most likely to bring customers into your dealership, please call myself or Chris Carmichael (x107) today.