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Mar 17, 2011
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Ryan
Would you agree that your digital marketing is less and less effective every year? That’s not because you’re doing anything wrong, it’s more the fact that there are just more players coming into the game every month with the same tactics you've had success with which are now diluting the playing field.

What are some strategies or techniques that your dealership is deploying to attract potential buyers at all stages of the journey, whether they are actively shopping or passively shopping?
 

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
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Jeff
Would you agree that your digital marketing is less and less effective every year? That’s not because you’re doing anything wrong, it’s more the fact that there are just more players coming into the game every month with the same tactics you've had success with which are now diluting the playing field.

What are some strategies or techniques that your dealership is deploying to attract potential buyers at all stages of the journey, whether they are actively shopping or passively shopping?

When I at MBH over 10 years ago, once I got us dialed in - we were doing 10+ used cars a month (with 40-50 used cars in-stock) on AutoTrader.com alone. "Dialed In" meant taking a few photos of our inventory. With time, others caught up (and the fact that my ATC rep was showing my competition what that little Mercedes-Benz store was doing each month, and how.) I showed them... I started taking MULTIPLE 20+ WITH interior shots. The competition caught up. So then I would write catchy descriptions and price to market and figured out how to destroy it on Craigslist. Next, I was running my own paid search campaigns corresponding to my inventory and linking directly to the SRP or VDP (that took a lot of work and dedication back then.)

I could go on and on but my point being @Ryan Gerardi - of course it all eventually becomes less effective to some degree. Either the competition catches up and dilutes the playing field OR customers become numb and move (or directed) down a different channel.

Attracting potential buyers at all stages of the journey can be costly, because it's become SO fragmented. Now more than ever, you really need to know WHO YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE.

However, with that being said and seeing what I've seen since returning to the dealership side of the business - it surprises me by how many dealers are skipping the basic best practices for merchandising their inventory AND their dealerships. Instead of focusing on what really matters, they're gravitated to New Shiny Objects (as @Stauning likes to call them), website widgets coming at you from the left and right and more and more form fill lead converters - because all the latest studies are showing that MORE and MORE consumers are filling out online lead forms... :blah: :blah: :blah:

Maybe if we weren't blowing our budget on new shiny objects, dealers could afford to be in more stages of the customer's journey.
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
4,090
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Joe
"Dealer's are like snowflakes, no 2 are the same"

In that spirit, not all dealers should be moving time and money up the funnel to influence buyers... because.... they're not buyers yet.

Example: Mega Store vs Micro Store

Mega Store has the size and scale to go up the funnel and plant seeds.
Micro Store has few units for sale (relatively speaking), so, marketing spending should be highly targeted.

We're in a war to sell cars...
--Mega Store can carpet bomb (drop piles of cash all about and count the kills at the end of the month)
--Micro Store should think like a sniper (thoughtfully deploy cash and watch it closely to see it create ups)


Just my wacked way of looking at marketing strategy.
-Uncle Joe
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
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Alex
Nice :bump: @Alexander Lau

@Jeff Kershner states the issue pretty well in my opinion. In a nutshell, he’s essentially saying this is just plain old fashioned competition. It is just moving faster online.

I feel like the needle is shifting again though. Because it is so difficult and costly to be good at everything it is nearly impossible for one competitor to own it all in a marketplace. This assumes that most of the marketplace has equally competent (or incompetent) competitors without a superstar forcing everyone to continuously up the game like Jeff did.
 
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