New vehicle franchised dealers spent nearly $6.37 billion on advertising in 2011; up from $5.88 billion in 2010. And although the industry still values traditional media as a reliable source for customer marketing; they have also begun to embrace digital channels as well. This creates an interesting, dynamic, marketing trend in the auto industry.
No matter how you choose to market to your customers, how will you ensure your dealership is getting the most out of each marketing dollar? How can you maximize your staff’s efficiency while also increasing response rates and lower marketing costs?
• Integrate Data: When possible take advantage of a true data integration service. It will not only save your staff loads of time, but you can also ensure the right message is being delivered to the right customer at the right time. If possible use a segmentation tool to save precious marketing dollars, and then create groups of customers to communicate campaigns based on their specific needs. This will allow you to provide a more personal one-to-one marketing strategy.
• Append Data: Ensure your communications are reaching all customers by completing a data append quarterly. You can assure that your data is up-to-date with the most recent customer information, plus you can correct any miss-keys that your staff makes when imputing the data. By updating your data and replacing any wrong or missing information, you can rest assured that your message is reaching all of your customers.
•Use Multi-Channel: Not every customer likes to receive the same message in the same way. The younger generation prefers digital communications because they are less intrusive and can be viewed quickly. Your older customers may prefer to have their information in a more traditional manor, such as print, TV or even radio. It is important to use a multi-channel approach so customers receive the right message through their preferred channel of communication.
• Measure, Measure, Measure: You will never know what works, if you don’t measure it. So, every time you complete a marketing campaign be sure to review the response rates, costs associated and time savings for your staff. Then you can begin to set benchmarks and work to improve these numbers with each marketing campaign. Just remember you can’t improve what you can’t measure.
By using these four techniques you will maximize your marketing results and give your dealership an edge.