Three signs that your dealership’s digital marketing is getting too comfortable


No offense, but, it happens to everyone – things start to run smoothly and we get comfortable.

I get it, digital marketers for dealerships have to really work hard to ensure that we’re hitting goals and getting things to run like a well-oiled machine. And when this happens it’s easy to let go a bit and let the machine generate the fruits (or leads) of our labor.

But when do we cross the line between taking a breath and being TOO comfortable?

It’s human nature to always take the easiest path but, as digital marketers, we need to ensure that we keep on top of things and always keep pushing – otherwise, we may become stagnant or worse, get surpassed by our competition.

In my dealings with dealerships over the years, I’ve found three of the most common indicators that your dealership’s marketing is on the verge of being “ho-hum”.

Your last 3 promotions were all OEM promotions.

Not sure if you noticed but coming up with ideas for a promotion is sometimes pretty hard to do. This is why many ‘stagnant’ dealership marketing plans simply fall back to what the OEM’s is pushing.

Now I’m not saying that’s the wrong thing to do but if that’s the only promo you’re running month in and month out, you literally are doing the bare minimum at this point.

Remember, if you’re a Ford store and you’re only promoting doing ‘Ford employee pricing’ or you’re a Toyota store promoting “Red tag days”, guess what… so is everyone else. So what are you going to do to ensure they choose YOUR Honda store rather than the other Honda store?

Go beyond the coop dollars and feature YOUR store and your unique value proposition.

You’re messaging everyone with the same message

The mantra for marketing is “The right message to the right person at the right time”. This isn’t possible if you’re simply running one set of ad messages.

Think of it this way, Let’s say your OEM has a special finance rate on that shiny new SUV. Great! Let’s get the message out and get it on our ads! You make your ad and target your entire PMA. DONE! Where’s the coffee?

But not everyone’s interested in an SUV. Technically, not everyone is looking for financing either.

In this scenario, we’re painting with the broadest of brushes, and not segmenting our audiences.

Again, yes, we do recommend promoting your OEM’s offers, but if we’re only painting with a broad brush we’re literally doing the bare minimum.

Your lead goals haven’t changed.

What was your leads target last month? What was it before that? And before that? … if the answer to the last two questions is “The same”, well then we’ve got a red flag.

Increasing goals is risky. You will need to try new things and you could fail to achieve it. But, the alternative is worse because if you’re not trying new things to increase goals, some other dealership may.

These are just indicators that things may be getting a little too comfortable. If you see your dealership’s marketing guilty of any of these items, it may be time to get your dealership’s digital marketing off the couch and back into gear.

By Mark Byers