Flash and dash is all well and good – but how well does your automotive direct mail actually target your customers? Do you even know your core customer base? Their tastes? Their preferences? Their expectations?
One of the biggest pitfalls in automotive marketing in general is assuming what was still is and always will be. Some of us who have been in the game for a long time fall easily into this trap – we’ve seen it all and we’ve sold it all and the needle on the record is stuck.
Still, the world is changing all around us and just because automotive direct mail has been a mainstay of your marketing campaigns since day one, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can just recycle or repurpose old ads and instantly make them new again with this year’s inventory.
For example, customers’ taste change. Culture shifts. What was socially acceptable (or unacceptable) is now off (or on) the table. Did you know that according the the latest MAP/IPM Marketing-GAP Tracking Study, more than two-thirds of ADM prospects who threw away their mailers did so because they found them somehow offensive? With such overwhelming numbers, are you so sure yours don’t fall into that category too? Again, ask yourself: how well do you know your customers?
There are ways to weight the scales in your favor, however. For example, 56% of those surveyed will at least look at a mailer more closely if they can see a coupon. That’s easy enough to integrate. Another 50% of respondents say they’ll open a mailer from a marketer they know – so, if you’re already well-known in the community, that’s another point in your column.
Still, market research is the essential first step in crafting an effective auto direct mail campaign. Let your marketing service do that leg-work for you every few years and allow them to familiarize yourself with your ever-changing market base. This knowledge won’t only be a boon to your marketing efforts, you can also apply it to your overall sales strategy.