Like all dealerships around the country, Huntersville Ford wants to be number one in its market. If recent history were any indication, however, that seemed like a pipe dream. For too long, the North Carolina dealership had month after month of lagging sales. Needless to say, the dealership wasn’t hitting its goals. However, in early 2019 things began to change.
Huntersville Ford did two things in early 2019 that greatly impacted their business. In March, the dealership reached out to DOM360, and before the month was out, a partnership was formed. Huntersville Ford also hired a new general manager. Under that new GM, they began changing internal processes and transforming their sales environment. Importantly, its people and its marketing were finally aligned with one objective in mind.
The dealership’s goal was clear: sell more cars. In February of 2019, it was lingering around ninth place in their market. For that month, its sales were only 44% compared to the same time just one year earlier, and the business was hitting only 64% of its Year-Over-Year (YOY) sales. That needed to change, and DOM360 set out to help them do just that.
Talking the Talk & Walking the Walk
From the outset, open communication was key. Huntersville Ford answered our calls and questions, they updated us regularly with what they wanted to push each week and we, of course, answered any questions or concerns they were having. That dialogue made our job easier and more focused. They didn’t “set it and forget it” as some dealerships make the mistake of doing. Marketing for the car business requires a lot more work than that, and Huntersville Ford did the work. But at DOM360, work is a whole lot more than talk.
Our agency drilled into their paid search, which we quickly discovered was not as effective as it could have been. We began to customize their paid search using different variables, such as specific cities and vehicles. We also used their DMS data that’s aggregated through Contology, our own cloud-based marketing engine, in order to show where the dealership was selling and servicing vehicles to make sure we were putting more dollars in areas of opportunity. In other words, we began targeting prospects on a granular level.
We also used the DMS data to build custom audiences in Facebook and Instagram so that we could advertise to their own customers through the popular social platforms. We buttressed that effort with short, creative pre-roll ads on YouTube and strategic emails that incorporated subject lines that encouraged higher open rates and designs that prioritized key messaging. To say our efforts worked would be an understatement.
An About-Face in About Six Months
In October, just seven months after forming a partnership with DOM360, the dealership hit 115% of its monthly sales objective. In doing so, it reached 130% of 2018’s October numbers. It’s worth noting that the average in the dealership’s market for the month was 80%. In addition, Huntersville Ford was at 104% of its YOY sales. All of those numbers meant the dealership was no longer floundering in the market; it was sitting firmly in 2nd place, which is a long way from 9th. While few of our clients have had more success in such a short period of time, we’ve never been known for complacency. We will continue to work hard, identify opportunities and leverage our data to make sure Huntersville Ford, like all of our clients, becomes the gold standard in its market.
It all comes down to a simple truth: At DOM360, our success is measured by our clients’ success. We come into work every morning with our core values as a guide. One of those core values pertains to relationships. We each stand for real relationships and make sure every interaction we create is meaningful. The success of Huntersville Ford is proof of that value’s power. It took a true partnership between agency and dealership. And that relationship is paying dividends for Huntersville Ford — and will continue to for a long, long time.