Do you currently retain the services of an automotive advertising agency? If so, are they fulfilling all your expectations? Maybe you don’t know how to answer because you’re unsure of what expectations should be placed upon them. If this is the case, here’s a detailed list of many of the things an automotive advertising agency should provide.
What’s the Plan?
Does your dealership have a definite plan in place for long-term prosperity or does it seem like you are always looking at the short term just to get the most out of today? Is your current idea of “long-range thinking” 30 days from now? Many dealers just roll along planning everything month-to-month, but to be a true visionary for your store and its employees you should have a long-range plan. An automotive advertising agency can help you get one — and more important, carry it out, making tweaks along the way wherever necessary to ensure maximum effectiveness.
It doesn’t have to be about which dealer spends the most dollars on advertising. What’s important is advertising effectively (read: advertising smarter). Specifically, this means presenting your message to the correct audience, at the correct times, the correct number of times and in the correct manner.
Easier said than done, right? Yes, in fact, it’s nearly impossible unless you have the assistance of experienced creative personnel and media buyers who have the best industry software. An automotive advertising agency has the talent and tools to help you decide the right amount to spend and they’ll show you how to best use those funds to your advantage.
Dealers are not able to get the best rates for their advertisements without assistance. This is because they don’t have the purchasing power, media software and buying specialists available to an advertising agency. If you typically run a large volume of spots each month, imagine how much you would save if you were getting the absolute best rates in your market — because that’s one of the things an automotive advertising agency can do for you.
Proof of Advertising
A dealer cannot know for certain if they received all the radio and TV advertising ordered each month without a posting report. Without them, you have to take the stations’ word that everything ran as scheduled … and that the advertisements were heard and/or seen by the promised audience from a volume standpoint.
Many times this simply isn’t the case, but without a posting report, the dealer would never know. As a result, holding the stations accountable for their performance (or lack thereof) saves dealers significant dollars over the course of time.
Automotive creative is very effective when done correctly. It reaches prospects, informs them of a dealer’s products and services and ultimately helps them decide to make a purchase. This is best left to professionals, as this is certainly not any place to cut corners.
If your advertisements lack quality, your customers will not take you seriously. But production quality is not the only concern; your messages should always be consistent, credible and memorable. They also need to focus on the hot-button reasons that make people buy cars. Drawing people to your dealership so your staff can sell cars sounds simple, but every dealer knows it’s a major challenge. An automotive advertising agency can take your advertisements to the next level — and draw more customers to your dealership facility and website.
Acquiring the correct invoices from media outlets, checking them for accuracy and authorization, submitting them to the proper corporate channels for both pre-approval and co-op reimbursement and doing it all within an allotted time period is a time-consuming and often frustrating task. Automotive advertising agencies’ billing /co-op specialists are a great help by making sure all creative follows corporate guidelines ensuring eligibility for co-op dollars. They take the job of co-op submission off the dealer’s plate so they can focus on what they do best — sell cars.
As a dealer, you should be able to expect certain things from your agency. They should be thinking both long-term and short-term, always with your best interest in mind. They should be able to provide documentation showing what’s happening not only with your store, but those in your entire market. They should be able to give scientific reasons to support all their recommendations. They should be able to react quickly to any unforeseen circumstances that
may arise. They should be accessible at all times.
They should be able to show you documented proof media outlets performed as contracted. They should be trustworthy and transparent. They should know how to follow corporate guidelines to help you get co-op reimbursement. Their services should save you money, meaning you should have no issues paying them what they earn. Of course, they should work hard to gain an in-depth knowledge of your dealership, always representing it in a manner that makes you proud each time you see, hear or read something about your store. Steve Lorenzo