You know the old saying, “throw everything up against the wall and see what sticks?” We probably don’t need to tell you this, but that shouldn’t really be your mantra when it comes to creating an automotive marketing campaign.
Still, and often without even realizing it, that’s precisely what so many auto dealers and marketers wind up doing.
Why? It’s simple: a lack of discipline.
To begin with, many auto dealers – especially during the recent economic downturn – are downright desperate to get more traffic and sales through their doors. This makes them candidates ripe for the picking by less than reputable marketers (ie: how many emails and phone calls has your office received over the past year about SEO services for your website? 25? 50? Lost count?).
One of the easiest ways to promote a more disciplined marketing strategy is to funnel your overall marketing services to an “all under one roof” vendor. This helps to create a uniform vision and an easy to track and manage budget, for one. Secondly, by having one marketing firm overseeing all of your efforts – and reporting back on them regularly – you can quickly perform audits on what tactics work, which need work and which simply don’t work at all. So, even if you do try a wide campaign that crosses all media and modalities at first, you can be much more nimble in your campaign management over time. That’s discipline. That helps to maximize your effectiveness and your budget.
By working with a one stop marketing shop, you also pare down your need to manage the campaign. You’ll likely have only one main point person whose job it is to report to you and oversee all elements on their end. Compare this to the full-time job you’d have to take on if you were to hire a different firm for every component of your overall marketing push.
Three other key elements of a disciplined marketing scheme are consistency, commitment and budgeting. You’ll need to be honest about your expectations and your budget with your marketing firm from the start and you’ll need to agree upon your level of commitment to every facet of your plan from the outset as well. If you’re ambivalent or wishy-washy in any way, a slow quarter could spark poor decision-making on your part.
A disciplined marketing campaign should not be misconstrued as being limited, however. In fact, a disciplined plan could include everything from auto direct mail to Facebook applications and QR codes. To make a broad marketing effort a disciplined one, every element (no matter how many you choose to take on) has to be in place for a reason. So long as market research and results are driving your decision-making on every tactic, you’re exercising the proper discipline.