Be a contender! (contender for ready business, that is)
If you’ve ever run any type of direct marketing that was quantifiable, that is to say, that you track the actual sales against the manifest, you’ve probably heard a dealer or GM say “Well, I would have sold most of those people anyway.”
That’s actually fairly close to the truth, but NOT CLOSE ENOUGH!
Let’s put this under the “Why advertise, if that’s the case” banner.
Why? From the standpoint of direct marketing as a form of advertising, the purpose and the way to measure effectiveness have to be clearly defined.
- You want to put your dealership in ‘contention’ for the customer’s business at time in which they are considering a vehicle purchase.
- You want to connect with the most contenders (ready to buy customers) that you possibly can in the most cost efficient method possible.
You want to be a Contender and you want good coverage among the right people, to put it another way. What other logical goal can you expect from direct marketing? Not too much else. Sure, dealer’s have been trained to measure the success of direct marketing by ‘traffic’ produced by incentives or time sensitive specials, but those are not logical if you look at why you advertise in the first place. You advertise to create opportunities to create income. Correct? You measure your success by how you retain and grow market share.
You’ll notice I said market share, not number of cars sold. No amount of cost-effective advertising can increase the volume of a market (number of cars sold in a specific period), but a dealer can increase their share of that market through effective methods.
So, would the dealer have sold to the people who were marketed to directly ANYWAY? Yes, some of them, but it’s incredibly hard to determine which ones. That’s why you advertise. Get into contention for the business and have enough sense to harvest the opportunities in a way that keeps you in contention. And…measure the overall effect on your market share – before, after and during any initiative. Don’t measure traffic and numbers, you’ll only be fooling yourself.