In an era when new vehicle margins are razor thin, it’s difficult to compete on price alone. The good news is you don’t have to. Although many customers claim that price is the most important factor when it comes to purchasing, we all know from experience that other factors weigh into the decision.
With heavy traffic and congestion, sometimes a customer will only have two seconds to glance over and scan your lot. Sometimes the simplest of messages will grab his or her attention and ultimately make a big difference in your bottom line.
Effective marketing means more than just spreading the word that your dealership is open for business and hoping customers find vehicles they might want on your lot. This approach might have worked for previous generations of dealerships, but today’s customer has evolved.
Often, a business that is part of a franchise will have trouble carving out its own niche. Usually it is the company selling the franchise that is responsible for developing the branding message for all the franchisees. The automobile industry might be the exception to the rule.
All car dealers are exposed to two inherent and interrelated forms of risk, creative and financial. In managing risks, what all successful auto retailers have in common is having the capacity for both and a willingness to periodically step outside the comfort zone to take calculated risks, probe opportunities and seek greater gains.
To be truly competitive in such a landscape, dealers increasingly have to be not “jacks” of all marketing channels, but masters of all marketing channels.
I personally work with some of the top dealers across the country and speak to, consult with and present to hundreds of others. I see a common thread of concern on the decrease of lead form submissions.