Our Top 5 Tips for Refreshing Your Marketing In 2015
The new year is already underway. Is your dealership’s 2015 marketing plan finalized and in play, too? Things may be relatively quiet now, but actively marketing early and continuously will build awareness and momentum so you’ll be top of mind with existing customers and new prospects when they’re ready to buy for their spring/summer push.
(And if you’re a truck dealership, your audience is still working, under conditions that are likely to generate greater need for parts and service, not to mention repairs. Will they think of you for those things?) Marketing in 2015 should be a full-year program. Here are five ways you can start right now to refresh your marketing plan with both new ideas and improvements.
Does your brand image need a facelift?
If your corporate identify package is old and getting weary, this is the perfect time to give it a 21st Century look. Everything visual about your dealership — from business cards to advertising to the look of your website and email templates and, yes, the appearance of your showroom and shop – should be consistent and reflect who you are as a business:
- Sturdy and reliable, like the trucks or construction equipment you sell.
- Innovative and leading edge, so customers know you’re the partner to help them meet the future profitably.
- Friendly and helpful, because every potential sales or service customer needs advice they can count on.
This is your primary sales tool now, so it has to be sharp. An outdated website will just sit there spinning its wheels instead of securing the leads you need to grow and helping build your dealership’s reputation. Your website has to be an easy-to-navigate, interactive, highly informative resource for prospects and current customers.
You need well-targeted landing pages designed to convert leads. And it’s essential to have a blog and publish articles on a regular basis. If you aren’t meeting these basic criteria for marketing in 2015, your next call should be to your marketing experts. Talk to them about your “back end,” too, to be sure you’re squeezing every drop of marketing fuel out of your email automation and your analytics.
Focus on differentiation.
When was the last time you shopped the competition, at least online? In order to effectively differentiate your dealership from others, you have to know what they are saying about themselves, on their website and in their social media interactions.
And speaking of standing out from the crowd, do you have a meaningful customer loyalty program in place? Now is an ideal time to establish one, if you haven’t done that already. Promoting your rewards program now will ensure customers consider that important sales factor when they’re ready to purchase new equipment or a new truck, and any customer who hopes to make a profit in 2015 will appreciate your loyalty rewards that help them get there.
Yes, you’re busy and it’s hard to break away. But remember the saying “out of sight, out of mind”? Deputize your key staff to represent your dealership at AGC or ATA and local business gatherings, participate in community volunteer activities, take on speaking engagements, etc. Join (or participate more) in a LinkedIn industry group. Take sailing lessons or some other fun group activity where you’ll meet new people.
Create a “first” campaign to kick off the new year.
Concoct a contest that celebrates your customers’ achievements – perhaps the first one to put 100 hours on a new piece of construction equipment or drive 10,000 miles in their truck. Reward the winner with loyalty points and, of course, share their “first” in words and pictures on your website, social networking platforms, etc.
Whatever you do to refresh your marketing in 2015, do it with your customers and best prospects in mind. You’ll be their dealership of choice when it’s easy to see what’s in it for them.