Have you ever tried to plan dinner while at a family reunion? I've never experienced chaos happen so rapidly as I have to watch all the different opinions flying around the room as to what and where everyone should eat.
Oddly enough, I've experienced that same type of chaos watching marketing teams try and come up with a strategy that everyone buys into. From opinionated exchanges and aggressive pointing to raised voices and hands on hips, there is a way to avoid chaos in both situations:
Leadership (and way more of it).
We need more dealership leaders involved in marketing to communicate and set expectations around the desired outcome as well as set the tone by which everyone completes their work. Otherwise, chaos ensues.
That said, there are a few key points to ensuring that dealership leaders and marketing teams create the most effective strategies possible.
1. Never Shoot From The Hip!
Remember that scene in "Alice In Wonderland" where Alice arrives at a fork in the road, and is met by the Cheshire Cat?
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to!
Alice: I don't much care where --
Cat: Then it doesn't matter which way you go...
Alice: So long as I get SOMEWHERE
Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if you only walk long enough...
What's my point?
Too often marketing teams and agencies implement strategies without understanding what the objective is. Leaders rarely communicate beyond "sell more cars" which sadly doesn't provide enough of a framework by which teams can succeed.
On the flip side, most agencies install cookie-cutter outputs that rarely consider what makes their dealership partners unique.
After months of "work," dealers realize the proverbial shooting from the hip has placed them at a fork in the road that took them somewhere but where they actually wanted to go.
This leads to the next point...
2. Document The Desired Outcome
Merriam-Webster defines success as a "favorable or desired outcome..."
In a fast-paced industry like automotive, the only way to achieve success in marketing is to define and document what "favorable and desired" means to your dealership.
Remember, it has to be more than "sell more cars." It must be more clear and the steps toward its achievement must be spelled out.
Doing so will help us breach the 30-day cycles that currently shackle us to lackluster results and mediocre output.
If there is one thing I've learned in my 20+ years in automotive, it's that defining objectives and setting measurable time-based goals are a must.
3. Planning and Implementation
Where the leader sets the tone, marketing success requires those who can take the vision and implement the various pieces of the plan.
So few take the time to properly plan the roadmap to success which often leads to costly backtracks and repairs moving forward.
During this phase of a marketing strategy, teams should consider what potential roadblocks there may be, how to overcome them, and chart out the assets, people, and phase lines that should be implemented along the way.
4. Communicate Like Your Life Depends On It!
I've said it a million times and I'll say it again here: According to today's standard of communication (with all the texting and snapping and dm'ing) if you feel like you're overcommunicating, I promise you are barely communicating just enough!
Effective communication is the bedrock of any thriving marketing strategy. It doesn't require long drawn-out meetings. Daily standups can keep everyone moving in the same direction, keep the team organized and help avoid any unnecessary family dinner fights.
Learn More About How To Implement a Winning Marketing Strategy
For an in-depth exploration of this subject and to gain further valuable insights, tune in to our podcast episode: 'Breaking The Status Quo As A Car Dealer with Ed Roberts.' We delve deeper into the world of Implementing a Winning Marketing Strategy.
5. Embrace Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Marketing isn't just about the tools and resources you have. It's about how you use those tools and resources. Although shiny object syndrome is a real thing in the retail auto industry, conversion rate optimization is the equivalent of cleaning that old pair of sneakers and falling back in love with them.
Simply put, CRO is the process of identifying areas of a website that could perform or convert higher, making those changes, and then waiting the appropriate amount of time to determine whether the changes led to the desired results.
In our industry, the norm is usually to make sweeping changes to websites or ads, which have a long-term adverse effect on marketing performance.
Rather, marketing teams (and level-headed leaders) should opt to create hypotheses about what minor incremental changes can be made and then measure the outcome of those changes.
If this sounds like too much work, just send us a message for a free consultation: we can help!
After all the good news is FlexDealer Can Help Your Dealership Shine Online with the best Marketing Strategy
Elevate Your Dealership's Marketing Strategy with FlexDealer
After nearly two decades of helping dealerships realize their full potential online, we're ready to help yours do the same.
Contact us today to discuss the unique needs of your dealership and how our full suite of services can accelerate your growth!