Social media and technology has rapidly changed the way marketing and sales are implemented and carried out, particularly in the last several years. It seems our marketing departments are always receiving conflicting messages.
“Focus on appealing to millennials! But don’t forget about baby boomers in the meantime. Publish content on LinkedIn! Talk to more students about the value of trade and tech schools vs. regular universities. What about the lack of women in the automotive industry that aren’t being talked about or highlighted enough?”
All of these are valid questions, and incredibly important concerns from a marketing standpoint. But do you ever feel like you’re juggling so many things that you start to lose sight of who you actually are trying to reach as your target audience(s)?
Narrow it Down
I think one of the most helpful things to keep in mind when you are making a marketing plan for your business or dealership is that, no matter what, you are not going to be able to appeal to everyone. There will always be certain people in every category who have no interest in what you are advertising, selling, giving them information about, etc. And believe it or not…that is perfectly OK.
As a young woman still in my 20s, there are certain things that I feel just don’t apply or appeal to me at this time in my life. (Products for hair loss, the best strollers or car seats for children that I do not have, cookbooks on how to make artisan cheese.) But just because I don’t have a need for any of those things yet, doesn’t mean I won’t eventually, or that I don’t know of anyone who is actively searching for those things.
Narrowing down who your target audiences actually are will be a great start before you look at how to reach those groups. If your dealership has been around for a long time, use the years’ worth of customers and sales to see where you can find patterns in your audience. Also use those patterns to find out who isn’t purchasing from your company, so you can try a new approach with them.
Depending on the size of your business, I think narrowing your target audiences down to one to three specific audiences is a good start. You can even start by casting a wide net to see who reacts the best and then go from there. Finding your audience requires a lot of trial and error, so don’t be afraid to get creative with your techniques.
Use Your Immediate Resources
Another common misconception I often hear in terms of marketing is that in order to see strong results, you have to be willing to spend an exorbitant amount of money. While I definitely see the benefits to paying a lot of money to hire a great marketing agency, software, printed materials and the like, I also think your business should start out with the basics first.
Start out by utilizing your direct resources: your employees, free advertising on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and your website. Starting with the basics, you can get a feel for the direction you want to take when targeting certain audiences as well as how much you can accomplish without a huge budget off the bat.
Looking at other companies within the industry and who they target, as well as taking note of their efforts is another way to effectively use your resources by not spending any money. Take a close look at who they are targeting with their marketing and social media campaigns and how well it works for them. While your dealership may be of a different size and in a different location, chances are there are still a lot of similarities in who you are both trying to reach. While you don’t have to use the exact same approach, it is a good way to home in on what others in the industry are doing and what has been proven to work or fail.
Juggling more than one target audience is a task that every business has to overcome at some point and is something that will constantly shift as the industry continues to change over time. Make sure to take your time narrowing down who your audience really is, and effectively using your resources and you are sure to be up for the challenge of your greatest juggling act.