Most car dealerships use direct mail to find new customers. Some dealerships blanket everyone in a specific market with their mail piece while others are more targeted in their approach. Using our buy a mailing list tool a car dealer is able to find very specific demographics; they can market to households with families of three or more people, children turning 16, age, income and many other consumer segments that make sense for their promotion. Using our direct mail price calculator will also show you how much it will cost to send direct mail to these prospects.
Yet many dealers fail to keep their marketing message on point with their advertising message. From copy to design, the marketing and advertising message needs to reinforce each other. Several years ago a friend was looking to buy a car. His family was young and safety was a high priority. For a long time Volvo has been marketed as safe and reliable vehicle – so this young family hauled themselves to a local Volvo dealer. The salesman met them with the dealerships most recent ad flyer in hand. He spent a long time speaking about the Memorial weekend promotion and how the great deals would soon be gone. My friend kept asking about the safety of a specific vehicle. During the 10 minute interaction the salesman never left his advertising script – which did not match the nationwide marketing of a safe, reliable vehicle. My friend left without even a test drive and has never purchased a Volvo.
Marketing a car dealership can be a wasted effort if your messages do not reinforce and strengthen each other. For example, imaging the following:
- You advertise a special pricing only for the weekend, but your marketing literature is all about safety. Is this a hit or miss?
- You advertise special pricing for minivans and other family cars. Your flyers also mention the free snow-cones and popcorn to help with the kids. This is a hit.
- You advertise 3 years of free car washes and you market how clean and shiny the car looks and how much money the buyer will save over time.
Most people underestimate the complexity of marketing. In fact, many car dealerships hire their marketing team from a pool of former salespeople. Sales and marketing are two different things. It may be that your dealership could be making more money on the same marketing budget – if things were done just a bit different.
Run advertisements and you will pull in the foot traffic and make sales. Market effectively and those sales will turn into long-term customers who influence their friends and family to give your business a chance to earn theirs.