Automotive Marketing – The Head and the Heart
We’re all searching for that holy grail, the absolute, the complete winning method for automotive marketing.
The grail changes from one year to the next. Recession, Brexit, Boom, Bust, a hike in interest rates all affect a consumer’s will, priorities and decision making. So, particularly in retail sales, manufacturers have to box clever, nail a proposition in line with customer need and desire and produce captivating work.
Add to that, tighter emissions testing, pollution charges and the northern migration of fuel taxes and you get an industry that is moving between strategic and tactical marketing faster than a Bugatti Veyron travelling on a space shuttle!
Trade in deals for older diesels, 0% finance, fee insurance, 3 years free servicing. There’s deals a plenty out there and there’s a mix of desire and aspiration for the brand savvy, then offer centric marketing for the perhaps less brand discerning buyer. An automotive marketer has to be all things to all people.
Car Retailer Marketing
Some of the team here at Plan B, have spent years working in the dealer marketing sector. Working with both manufacturers and dealer groups. Now more that ever, the business of selling new and used cars, aftersales marketing and finance marketing has become more sophisticated. With so many options for buyers out there, a brand’s esteem and reputation must be managed and built through all new channels of media.
One of the Plan B team goes back to the days when car lists came into the agency via facsimile and even remembers sending out bromides for publications. There’s a few years experience!
Independent specialist retailers must attract high value customers and be able to compete with the larger retail groups with high quality marketing and a brand that builds confidence and trust in their service and the added value you would expect from a ‘family run’ style business.
Link: Millennium Car Group
CarWow changes the retail landscape.
CarWow is another way that the marketplace has changed in favour of the customer. Price sensitive consumers ask dealers to bid for their business. This is where the head and heart approach of car retail marketing is at it’s most important. Your brand, reputation, image and reviews must elevate your selection above perhaps a slightly better deal. You compete for peace of mind and kudos sometimes as well as the deal.
Independent retail marketing answers.
The ongoing management of your online profile and image, particularly for the smaller independent retailer should be high on the agenda. A joined up approach of brand, database, online and offline marketing, social media and PR is a full time job, often split between time poor non-specialists in the smaller dealership. This can lose marketing cohesion and create ineffective campaigns.
However, combining their industry knowledge with an external agency who can guide the brand towards its competitive advantage, provide a strategic marketing plan to the business and take ownership of the dealerships image and profile, can have great results, all paid for by the additional revenue from the extra sales.
So, if you’re a Dealer Principal, General Manager or Owner Operator of a specialist or semi-specialist independent car dealer, start thinking with your head and heart and talk to Plan B Creative. We’ve got a plan for you.