Updated: Aug 18, 2021
3 DISCIPLINES to OWN Your Dealership’s Marketing Efforts
Who is currently responsible for Marketing at your Dealership? Whoever it may be, there are three key disciplines to own your dealership’s marketing efforts. We have identified these as Motivate, Collaborate and Execute. Through this process and transformation of your dealership's marketing efforts, you will find that you need a dedicated internal marketing resource or resources depending if you are one store or part of a group. If an internal team is just not in the budget, then utilizing a company like Automotive Marketing Gurus will help as we are an extension of your team that has your best marketing interests in mind. We hold vendors accountable, allowing you to save time and money, so the store can really focus on its employees, customers, process and profits.
Let’s start with MOTIVATE. By definition, to motivate someone is to “stimulate (someone's) interest or enthusiasm for doing something.” Now how does this apply to your dealership, especially from a marketing perspective? Motivation is important not only for your employees, but just as important for your vendors. It is important to get vendors excited about working for you and feel like your success is also theirs! You really want to be more than just a paycheck for them. Build that relationship with your day to day contact and help them be the best they can be! This not only helps your store get its marketing efforts optimized, but it improves your vendor as a whole. That is a win win in my book! There are a few ways to help with this. We recommend regular vendor audits, analysis and action communication! At AMG, we implement our MOJO process by performing an audit every two weeks for every dealership followed by an analysis. This includes auditing current SEM, GMB, Competitors etc. The goal of this is not to highlight a bunch of negatives to put down the vendor, but show the current wins and some ways the store can improve! This stimulates your vendor to be proactive and make changes mid-month or next month if need be! We also provide all of our vendors with real time store reporting that includes Google Analytics, Adwords, BING, Facebook, Inventory and more importantly CRM/DMS trends all in one place. Again, this encourages the vendor to be proactive and make changes mid-month if they see areas of opportunity for the store. All in all, giving your vendors the tools needed to be successful helps with your store's success!
After we have motivated our vendors, now it is time to COLLABORATE with them! We have provided them with all of the tools they need, but how do we know what changes are being made and when? Sure email could work, but who has time to go through hundreds of vendor emails to try to piece together what the conclusion of one discussion really was? Even if you are the dedicated resource for marketing at the store, it is just entirely too much to juggle. We highly recommend using a partner alignment platform, to help store all of your collaborative efforts in one place. Using this technology is fast and can all be done from your phone! This tool helps hold vendors accountable because let's be honest you are not the only store they are responsible for and they too will get lost in emails. This platform makes it easy for ALL of your vendors to keep track of what is launched, the creative associated with it and instigate any changes that need to be made. We also have a survey that is sent once a month to fill out your offers for that month. After it is submitted, it is sent to all of your vendors automatically and stored, so no need to worry about sending 10 or more offer emails at the beginning of the month. Garber Automotive has also built their own tool, you must check out Ryan Everson's implementation of this process! This is great for the dealership also because if you do choose to part ways with a vendor you have all of your data in one place! Do you want to know the creative that was used last December that worked so well? With just a few clicks you will have all that you need! We also provide you with an Executive Summary that includes your overall budget, current month’s budget, active vs inactive Channels/Services and overall company status of what is launched, overdue or being worked on. Collaboration is just another piece to the puzzle, but now is the time to EXECUTE!
Execution is the last of our disciplines to help you really own your marketing efforts. Whether it is your internal team or a group like AMG, it is important to lead your vendors through execution of best practices, your playbook and overall follow through. It is important to proactively plan and not just one month at a time. We recommend and execute for our current clients a high level year plan, more detailed quarterly plan, finalizing the plan for the month the month before, then executing the finalized plan! By doing this, it allows you to be organized and be on top of your marketing. Your budget will shift with seasonality, so there will be changes. If a vendor partner gives you the same budget for the entire year, RUN and FAST! We also encourage and execute quarterly vendor report cards. At AMG, we analyze 5 important metrics that all of our vendors should be excelling at. Customer service, creative, execution, proactive planning and ROI. This is reviewed with the dealer to make decisions, but also the vendor! If they are falling short, we want to give them an opportunity to make changes! While execution is the last of the disciplines that we encourage, we ultimately just want the dealership to be successful!
Throughout this article, I am sure you have identified some things that you are currently doing or maybe you have realized that you are not doing any of this at all. First and foremost, if you do not have a marketing resource or resources to be on YOUR side, then HIRE one. After you have identified this person or persons, utilize these three disciplines to truly own your marketing efforts!
If you would like to discuss your current marketing structure or are in need of a virtual marketing team please contact me directly as I would be happy to help!
Jonathan Thompson- Lead GURU- firstname.lastname@example.org | www.amg.team