Are You Willing To Revise Your Marketing Playbook?


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In the past nine months, there has been more changes to search marketing and social media than any other period of time I can remember. It is truly a special time for online marketing professionals as we invest to stay ahead of the learning curve for our clients.

In many markets the competition for online car shoppers is so intense that business owners feel that they are in the Super Bowl of online marketing, where every play (strategy) could be the difference in their sales each month and winning the “prize”. The difference between being #1 in the market or the country is getting smaller and smaller.

Businesses who understand the competitive nature of online marketing will only be rewarded with the “winner’s trophy” if their play book is evolving. Resting on past laurels is a game of Russian Roulette.

So the question for you to answer is this: “Are you using outdated plays that the competition already knows or that fails to move the needle like it once did?”

Creating a New Playbook

Internet Marketing PlaybookDealers wanting to be the next market leader and want to bring home the Super Bowl ring need to be testing “new” automotive advertising strategies. New is a relative word since I’m not suggesting ideas that some dealers have known about for years.

Dealers who are not testing 24×7 managed chat, mobile text marketing, retargeting banner advertising, mobile websites, and localized social media advertising are missing very important “plays” that will move the needle.

There are another handful of “new” ideas that are working at dealership we coach, Google is forever changing the rules. These changes give opportunities to those who are watching the ball.

Quick example: What process at your dealership is in place to identify customers with Google email accounts? What process has been setup to encourage them to “Google +1” your key website assets? Have you updated your blogs to integrate the +1 button?

If you are saying that you already tested chat, text-marketing, banner retargeting, etc. and they didn’t work for you I would respond that you had the wrong players executing the strategy.

Thinking Like Greece

I’ve also noticed a growing trend that dealers are shunning investing in new areas of opportunity because of fear of a double dip recession. It’s like the Greece austerity measures have crept into the mind of dealer principals and the thought of increasing or changing their marketing budgets have strong resistance.

No dealership will get to be the dominant player in their market by cutting budgets and reducing marketing investments.

I understand that for some dealers the summer months may be filled with anxiety over supply shortages. It been public for some time that some imports will not see their pipeline levels back to normal until September. So if this shortage is not new news, what has your dealership done to compensate for this reality?

In theory, this would be the best time to test new strategies but in reality the resistance to change is seemingly stronger.

I love to work with dealers that challenge their “lizard brain” that Seth Godin speaks about in his best seller “Linchpin“. (We all have Lizard Brains by the way!) I love to work with dealers willing to embrace change and work to create a customized marketing strategy for their dealership.

So if you are doing the same old thing every month at your dealership, you are like a football superstar that is sitting on the bench during the Super Bowl. So much potential but no commitment to engage your opponents.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Brian Pasch
Brian Pasch is an 20+ year veteran of the direct marketing industry. His career has spanned both management and technology roles. He is known for his expertise in consumer data warehousing models as well as digital marketing strategy. He is the author of four books on marketing and his latest book is entitled "Mastering Automotive Digital Marketing."


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