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In your backyard: what to do if competitive dealers are advertising in your area

Here are some tips on detecting when a dealership is advertising in your city and what you can do about it.

Dealerships are competitive with one another, to say the least. Whether you are seeing more license plates from competitive dealers in your area or the ads are becoming obvious in your backyard, knowing that someone is trying to pull from your community can make you a little defensive. Here are some tips on detecting when a dealership is advertising in your city and what you can do about it.

How to know if a dealer is advertising in your area

While most automotive marketers and managers are always on the lookout for what’s happening in and around the dealership, there are a few somewhat obvious places to check for advertising:

Google and Bing

Type in your dealership’s name on Google. See if anyone is running ads in your area for your name. There is a decent chance that someone else is there. The good news here? Bidding more on your own name on these platforms is fairly easy to control and shouldn’t cost much. Work with our advertiser on this one.


Check your local newspaper. Given that there aren’t that many small or even metro newspapers left, some dealerships don’t have a lot of choice when it comes to which paper to advertise with.

Check your reports

Your manufacturer should provide reports indicating when people in your area have purchased from other dealers.

What to do about dealers advertising in your area

Bid against them

On search engines like Google and Bing, you have the option to protect your territory by spending what is often an insignificant amount of money, usually pennies a day, to at least maintain your status in the top three. Work with our advertiser and figure out a plan based on your location and dealership’s name.


Fire back and advertise in their backyard. Create a compelling message about why one would buy from a dealer not directly in their neighborhood. We wouldn’t suggest offering different discounts as that will be confusing to other customers. Read more about geotargeting here.

Ensure your service is outstanding

Let’s be honest, you can’t have your eyes on every possible advertisement another dealer could run on your customer or in your backyard. One way to help maintain your existing customer base is to provide great service overall. Great experiences make customers feel compelled to shake off even a well-crafted message by another dealer. Bad experiences make them more open-minded about at least taking their chances.

Target who to follow up with

If you are noticing that a competitive dealer is selling more within a certain area, target those areas with more follow-up to ensure you have at least a recent contact point. Whether you are following up on a recent prospect or service visit, a phone call or text is appreciated.


While you can’t exactly stop another dealer from advertising in their area, you can step up by excelling at customer service and advertising in their backyard too.

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Ben Stewart
Ben Stewart
Ben is a contributing writer and reporter for CBT News with 10 years of dealership experience in automotive marketing. Ben loves all things cars and putting together strategies that help dealerships succeed.

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