As marketers and entrepreneurs, we are always on the lookout for the next great thing – the silver bullet to help us pull in the best ROI for our outreach efforts. And, for as many “next great things” that have come and stayed (Social Media, Landing Pages), there have been twice as many “next great things” that have come and gone (pop-up ads) or that the jury is still out on (QR codes).
For as important as it is to be progressive with your marketing strategy – and to be open to trying new things – it is equally important to hold onto the methods that have served you well until there’s verifiable proof that they’re not delivering for you anymore. Consider, for example, the tried and true automotive direct mail method. Sure, it’s evolved. Its designs can be much bolder. It can tap into customer analytics and be considerably more targeted than other mass media outbound strategies like billboards and print ads. Still, there’s something very retro about sending a piece of paper mail to a prospect’s home address – and that is one of the reasons why it works. It’s guaranteed to reach its target – to sit in their hands – and to prompt them to make a decision about whether or not they want to pay attention to it. Email can’t make such promises – especially not with Spam filters and Junk folders.
A truly forward-thinking marketing mix is just that – a mix. As tempting as trends may be, it’s not merely marketing’s job to drive response – it should also build your brand. Perhaps print isn’t the best way to go these days, but thanks to its rapid decline, it’s a better deal than ever and shouldn’t be overlooked – and with media ownership being what it is these days, it could garner you multi-platform deals across various outlets (print, broadcast, etc.) in your market. Social media presence is hugely important to boost engagement and awareness, but so too is basic and pervasive brand name recognition – something a ubiquitous billboard on a highway can provide.
It can be tricky to find the right marketing mix for your dealership – and more difficult still to resist the temptation of some of the more modern and “easier” methods. So long as you are consistently measuring results against your expenditures and seeing stability or an upwards trajectory, all while staying in the know as the tools continue to evolve, your marketing will continue to be fresh and effective.