It is an understatement to say that marketing has become a pivotal part of the sales process. Years ago, ads and billboards did the trick. Now, dealership marketing teams can bring advertising messaging right to the eyes of consumers. Through fairly new techniques like social media ads, remarketing, web analytics research, and marketing automation dealerships can market to potential car buyers in effective and innovative ways.

However, these techniques do not come cheap. Dealerships that sell domestic brands spend up to $244,835 a year, while import brands contribute $325,043. Both expenditures are roughly less than two percent of the budget, but there are ways the average dealership can work smarter and cut their marketing costs per car sold. Read on for four ways to tame that marketing budget.

Don’t Pass on Free Tools

adsFree does not always mean poor quality. There are tons of free tools out there that dealership marketing teams can take advantage of to help sell cars. Instead of using the Adobe Suite for video editing, take a look at free tools like DaVinci Resolve or Hitfilm. Instead of purchasing the professional package for Hootsuite, can you get away with only posting 30 posts per day on all social media platforms for the free version? Dealership marketing teams should take a look at where most of their marketing budget is going, and see if there is a free or lower cost alternative.

Utilize SEO and Create Relevant Content

A savvy marketer understands that a well-designed website with compelling and relevant web copy will likely rank higher in search engine results. This realization is half the battle of marketing. The ultimate goal is to make the target audience aware of who the business is and how they can help. Creating value-added content in the form of educational videos, blog posts, and even industry case studies can make a dealership outrank its competition. Instead of having to put many ads in front of consumers, the website is front and center. It encourages consumers to visit the site without having to pay for ads.

Build out Your Email Newsletter and Focus on Repeat Customers

It costs a lot more money to attract newer customers than marketing to repeat buyers. Instead of always trying to pull new car buyers, marketing teams should take a look at who has interacted with them in the past and make reaching them a priority. Many email clients and CRM systems allow marketers to segment contacts. Dividing past customers into groups that focus on their likelihood of purchasing again can be a cost saver. The fact is that the time and cost to attract a new customer far outweighs the resources needed to follow back up with a past consumer.

Maximize Your Ad Spending

PPC and Ad spending are a necessary part of dealership marketing. While conducting both of these practices may be unavoidable, dealership marketers can add more efficiency to their efforts. Here are a few tips from Digital Dealer:

  • Dealers should keep their ad spending as location-specific as possible. They should use adszip codes to reach customers in the area.
  • Differentiate between areas where competitors have a dominant market share and locations where growth is likely. This will keep dealership marketing teams from wasting their time on areas already overtaken by the competition.
  • Focus on retention and developing long-term repeat customers.

Focusing on these three aspects of digital advertising will help marketers create and distribute ads that reach their intended audience. Instead of buying multiple ads, the goal is for dealership marketing teams to buy a few that are seen by their intended audience.

Final Thoughts

Dealership marketing is not always easy. Having to identify the competition, differentiate oneself, and create a low-cost strategy to reach a target audience is easier said than done. However, that marketing cost per car sold does not have to balloon out of control as a result. Dealership marketers have to become strategic in identifying what is bringing in revenue and what is failing to bring in a return. If marketing teams take a look at the ROI of all their marketing tools and ad strategies, then reducing that marketing cost per car sold will be much easier.

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