My associate approached a dealer yesterday with a behavioral marketing campaign. The dealer asked him how long the campaign was and my associate said “six weeks”. The dealer assuredly replied “Don’t waste your time, we don’t do things like that”.
So, what does this particular dealer do? He thinks ‘short-term’ marketing: events, weekend blow-outs, etc. If you are in business to retain and grow market share, short-term thinking will not get the job done. Why? People buy on their schedule, not yours.
Crowds my make you feel good, but there is a downside. The dealer who thinks in terms of short-term marketing will lose at least one buyer for every one buyer they gain by trying to cram additional sales into a short period of time. Large crowds at dealerships (read; traffic) will make ready-buyers who are not responding to the ‘event’ seek another dealership to make their purchase just to avoid the crowd and the hassle of being serviced. Not to mention the extra expense of the event itself.
The dealer may receive a healthy number of sales for one month due to these short-term marketing efforts, but will suffer a loss of market share for the ensuing months. Well, then, how about doing the event every month: Over the course of a year it will not result in market share gains and will only end up costing the bottom line.
Short-term market planning and execution is a midterm and long term loser! My research reveals that dealers who operate on the ‘event’ philosophy rather than long-term, never retain or grow their market share over any reasonable period of time (say, 3-8 months).
A good question to ask a dealer, or if you are a dealer, to ask yourself: ‘what were the next 3 to 6 weeks like after such an event?” I’ve written blogs concerning the ‘cannibalizing the market’ which relates to this subject and I suggest reviewing those if this subject rings true to you.
The solution to the above quandary is to start strategically thinking in terms of calculated, consistent marketing that catches the eye of those who are actually in their buying cycle…on their schedule, not yours.