Many of the customers at Jaguar of Tampa are gays, a result largely of marketing to them by both the auto maker and the dealership itself.
Besides Jaguar's gay-specific ad campaigns, the Florida store periodically targets that consumer segment. It does so by placing its standard ads in gay publications such as Pride, a regional magazine.
“We've seen pretty good results whenever we do that which is about every quarter,” says Rob Elder, who runs the dealership as well as Aston Martin and Saab stores in Tampa.
He says the dealership can gauge the effectiveness of ads in that publication and others because the store only advertises in one at a time. Accordingly, it can isolate how effective each ad placement is.
Once they are in the showroom, there's no special treatment for gay customers, says Elder. Nor do they come in with particular needs and wants beyond that of typical consumers.
“They want to be treated like anyone else — and they are here,” he says. “It's earned us a lot of loyalty from that group of people because a lot of gays don't expect to be treated like anyone else.”
Elder, whose family, headed by his mother, Irma B. Elder, owns several dealerships in Michigan and Florida, says it's not surprising Jaguar automobiles appeal to gays. But it's not so much because of the cars themselves.
He explains, “It's because Jaguar, in its marketing and advertising, pays a lot of attention to that group of people. If you are only advertising to one segment of society, that's just about all you're going to get as customers.
“If you open it up and advertise to a diversity of segments, well, that creates a lot of opportunities. We're seeing the benefits of that.”