• Connor Hyde

Your Best Marketing Tool Won't Come from Your Marketing Team

Jingles and radio ads. Mailers and billboards. Sporting event sponsorships and TV commercials. For decades these forms of advertising have become synonymous with marketing in the automotive space. Do these advertisements draw eyeballs? Absolutely. Are they worth the money and effort your marketing teams put into them? Absolutely… not. In 2019 your biggest ROI isn’t going to come from generic physical advertising. In fact physical advertising shouldn’t even crack the top 3 of your marketing efforts.

There has been a considerable shift to social media in the industry and the dealerships who can cultivate a big enough following reap the benefits by creating brand loyalty and an engaged community. Running giveaways and promotions is a great way to keep those who may not be in the market for a car engaged so that when they are they’ll trust your dealership to help them find the car they’re looking for.

If you’re paying for a radio spot or a billboard, odds are you’ll be stuck with the same 1-2 ads for the next 8 weeks. If you watch football you’ve probably seen the same ads 100 times this season and if the game isn’t recorded it’s almost better to sit in silence with the tv turned off while you wait for the game to come back on. With digital marketing you can post as often or as seldom as you want. In 2019 you have the ability to be where your consumers are at all times: right in their pocket. But even then this isn’t the best marketing strategy for getting eyes on your inventory.

You probably saw this coming, but if you want the most bang for your buck in 2019 you need to turn to your buying team to deliver the best marketing results. While it’s important to create brand loyalty and awareness through whatever channels you use, it’s even more important to make sure that you are driving traffic to your dealership/VDP/website through your inventory pricing. In a study conducted by V12 data it was determined that 71% of shoppers are shopping based on price alone. That means that no matter how great your jingles are or how many giveaways you’ve done on Facebook, the majority of people only care that your car is priced right. They may not even know what car they want, just how much they want to spend.

There’s a reason why you’ve seen so many CarGurus commercials over the past year. They want you listing your cars on their platform and they want your consumers to see them. In 2018 they spent $65.5 million on advertising alone. That’s great news for you because that means they’ve already spent money advertising your cars without you having to spend a dime. On top of that they offer a free listing service because they know that whoever has the most inventory on their site will win. Your job is to make sure that you have the car customers want at the price they want it for.

So how are you going to do that? How are you going to make sure that your inventory is priced right so it’s appearing in every #1 spot with a “great” rating attached to it? Are you going to keep trusting your gut at the same auction your dealership’s been going to for 20+ years? Are your buyers going to continue to spend seemingly endless hours each week in the quest to source and bid on the cars they think will make you the most money? If only there were a tool that could not only tell you which cars sell best in your area, but also where to buy them to ensure you make more front end profit… wink.

That’s Drivably in a nutshell. If you want to ensure that you’re commanding the number one spot at the top of every search results page your gut alone can’t get you there. Unless of course you’re fine with losing money on the sale with the plan to make the money all back selling GAP insurance and premium warranties. But you aren’t a warranty and GAP dealership. You’re a car dealership. It’s possible to make front end profit in 2019, you just have to use the “marketing tools” to get you there.


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