When the pandemic first hit the United States in early March, dealers began to revaluate their department budgets and overhead costs to offset the drop off in sales. Unfortunately, one of the first departments to have strong budget cuts was marketing. However, as sales continue to rebound, many dealers are back to their pre-COVID ad budgets according to John Fitzpatrick, co-founder and CEO of Force Marketing. In this segment, John breaks down automotive marketing strategies that are proving successful in today’s uncertain marketplace.
At Force Marketing, John says that he’s seeing a smarter allocation of ad dollars in the areas that are most measurable. So, automotive retailers are really leaning into the idea that every dollar in marketing and advertising needs to have an ROI tied to it. Each ROI is a benchmark that needs to be improved and it needs to drive the right audience.
At CBT, we’ve spoken to many dealers that have said that in May and June, they were selling more cars with marketing budgets cut by sometimes as much as 75%. However, John believes that this performance was a short-term scenario based off of pent-up demand. He reminds us that 82% of car shoppers spend 90 days online researching before they make a purchase, so sales in May could have come from marketing strategies in March. That means, that marketing strategies today can influence sales up into late October of this year.
To hear more valuable insight and information from John Fitzpatrick, be sure to watch our interview above.
Force Marketing has been on the leading edge of technology-enabled, data-driven multi-channel marketing services for automotive dealers and other retail automotive professionals since 2007. As CEO, John oversees more than 100 marketing professionals and works with clients including large dealer groups, Tier II and III ad associations, and OEMs.
Force Marketing CEO John Fitzpatrick on Today’s Auto Marketing Recovery and Impact