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Advertising is a Four-Letter F Word: Fail

Advertising is about traditional tactics and branding. Modern marketing is about content and bonding. The main difference is the storytelling. Your dealership offers a lifestyle product — the creative opportunities are plentiful, and yet most of you take the easy way out and “spray and pray.

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Dealers — I own a modern marketing firm and I’m going to tell you to stop advertising, Why? Because it’s a four-letter F-word: Fail.

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All you guys are traditionalist — you can’t get out of your own way and then you get mad at the marketing guys because you can’t figure out the system. Figure this out: Stop advertising.

Instead, introduce yourself to the new era of getting people’s attention — it’s called “modern marketing,” and it’s more effective and cheaper than traditional. Yeah, I’m a young pup in comparison to most dealership principals — so my tactics and intent aren’t jaded by the days of radio remotes and newspaper ads. Sure, they were effective at one time many moons or decades ago, but that’s not the case now.

So, what is effective?

Facebook.

Instagram.

And, yes, your demo plays on those fields.

Advertising is about traditional tactics and branding. Modern marketing is about content and bonding. The main difference is the storytelling. Your dealership offers a lifestyle product — the creative opportunities are plentiful, and yet most of you take the easy way out and “spray and pray.” It’s this mindset that cripples your advertising efforts — making decisions based on personal opinion and “who’s taking me to Tahiti next month?” — instead on determining what’s most cost effective and creatively engaging.

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Think about your demo — they don’t watch TV and most are too sophisticated to listen to radio. So, if you’re spending your dollars on those traditionally “safe” media, you need someone like me to tell you “No!”

Don’t be a traditional advertiser.

Don’t over-spend on over-inflated ratings.

The people you want to connect with are on their phones. They want to know what makes your product and your dealership different. They want to receive your message. But your methodology is too traditional and your placement approach is too weak. So, stop advertising and start on a path of modern marketing — the results are better and less expensive.

Brian Barlow

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