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Traditional vs. Digital Marketing in 2018

Dealers that have a well balanced diet of traditional media, sprinkling in direct mail too, and a solid digital offering are the dealers seeing the best results.

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As an agency, we get to see trends on a larger scale than individual dealerships do. One of the things we’ve noticed this year, as well as talking to peers and customers is that traditional media is still very much alive and kicking. Dealers that have a well balanced diet of traditional media, sprinkling in direct mail too, and a solid digital offering are the dealers seeing the best results. Whether you use an agency or not, I’d implore you to chat with your 20 groups, local dealers and friends you may have made across the country in similar markets to yours and ask: How’s business? What’s working for you? Keep a note pad of all the answers and look for the common denominators.

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You may be surprised to find that even newspaper could be on that list. If I had the ability in this short blog post to give you case studies, what you would see is that dealers who are breaking records right now are not all using digital to do it. In fact, a high percentage of them will tell you they aren’t even on Adwords or Bing in nearly any fashion. TV, radio, mail and even strong conquest e-mails are some of the items we see dealers not want to take off their budgets.

The reason I chose to write about this now, is that 2018 has been an interesting shift toward less and less digital within our walls and the conversations I have outside of the office. The past five to eight years saw the digital explosion where dollars were being spend less and less on traditional and budgets moved sometimes nearly 100 percent to digital (and social).

A few key points to keep in mind as you do your homework. Creative is very key in the success of the traditional (or as we call it now a days offline media). The dealers seeing success are “standing out” they are creating water cooler talks and making people laugh again over the electronic airwaves that are TV and radio. So, as you find success stories while doing your homework, ask those dealers to send along their spots and watch them. I am willing to bet you won’t be bored. The bottom line is success leaves clues. Find the dealers that are killing it and breaking records. Break down their ad budget, processes and infrastructure too. I truly think you will be surprised at how much offline “traditional media” has to do with that success.

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Good selling!

Troy Spring, CEO, Dealer World

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