Ok, so automotive sales may be down nationally this year. This does not mean dealers must participate in a backward year.
Instead, drive your own dealership share higher using your marketing budget.
Two simple directional strategies to consider are sales volume and net profit. Of course you want both.
But isolating one path and creating momentum in just one of these directions is a smart start. Think of this decision as a way to start the engine and get moving forward.
Let’s say you choose sales volume as your strategy.
Focus on competitive pricing of inventory, best practices of the business development center, lot display of promo units, sales training and a high reach of your entire marketplace.
Although digital tools are a key part of your dealership today, you may find it surprising to find that traditional media, like broadcasting, is alive and well.
It is being used by digital companies successfully. Just watch TV and you’ll see plenty of ads for digital firms such as Carvana, CarGurus, AutoTrader, KBB, TrueCar, CarFax, CarMax, and Edmunds.
So there must be a way to use traditional media in today’s non-traditional shopping environment.
Broadcasting is today’s weapon of mass discussion.
You may think all of the people it reaches are not bottom-of-the-funnel auto buyers. True, there are people in these mass audiences that are at various points in the buying funnel. But through sheer scale of reach, you can affect decisions sooner.
Remember this: Consumers say the dealer website is the most helpful shopping tool when purchasing a vehicle. Dealers say a sales lead from their own dealership website is the most profitable. If these two statements are true, then direct leads driven from your website is the goal.
Dealer lessons are being learned. Some industry digital tools have made dealers money, and some have left them flat. More recently, dealers are beginning to realize the real dollar value of their data.
Adam Armbruster is a senior partner in the business growth firm Eckstein, Summers, Armbruster & Company located in Red Bank, New Jersey and can be reached at 941-928-7192.