The Most Cost Effective Use of Your Ad Dollars
As a dealership owner and manager you spend a significant amount of time focused on the number of cars sold and gross profit this month. Many financial reports and statements are based on monthly calculations of gross vs expenses, so if you are spending money on advertising this month you need to produce results this month. Direct response advertising is designed to do just that; spend the money today to produce results today. A direct response campaign motivates the viewer to take an action NOW, as a result of seeing the message.
It needs an offer. This is more than just an announcement such as a price or payment on one vehicle. Your offer should appeal to the majority of your audience. For example: zero money down, double your down payment today, or no payments till next year. The offer needs to be clearly seen in the message and repeated several times.
The viewer needs to know what to do in order to take advantage of the offer. The most effective direct response campaigns are asking the responder to call. Phone calls are very easily tracked and tend to produce the best conversion rates. It is much easier to talk to someone calling in than making numerous outbound attempts to reach them. On average it takes 7-10 attempts to reach someone from other lead sources. Most dealerships have a resource for tracking and even recording phone calls; the key is to use different tracking numbers for each direct response message and in each media outlet. For example, if you are on four different television stations running a single message, you should be using four different numbers. If you have two different messages running that’s eight different numbers. This will allow you to pinpoint which placements are producing the best results.
The urgency is the motivator. There needs to be an expiration date or a limited offer amount to get the response now versus later. This needs to be emphasized along with the offer. It should be clearly seen and repeated several times.
The method to respond needs to be clearly seen, easy to read and prevalent throughout the entire message. It is good to have the dealership logo throughout the message and undoubtedly there will be some viewers that will inevitably google search your dealership or go to your web site. However, if you are asking them to call the phone number this needs to be the biggest and loudest thing seen and heard.
The most successful direct marketers have someone overseeing their campaign on a daily basis; this can be an in-house marketing manager or an experienced direct response media agency. Keep in mind that a general advertising agency is not accustomed to tracking and analyzing results on a daily basis, and implementing ongoing schedule changes. It is important when choosing an agency that they have a proven record of success in direct response media. Ultimately, accountability, measurability, flexibility, efficiency and immediate results are what make direct response advertising the most cost effective advertising for your dealership.