Marketing Inspiration from Amazon

Marketing Inspiration

A sales manager once told me that if I wanted inspiration, then I should copy a salesperson who is successful. That advice still makes sense.

Successful dealers are always looking for good marketing ideas. Since Amazon has its marketing game down to a science, let’s borrow some ideas from them.

Use Your Customers’ Data to Uncover More Sales

Letting your customers tell you what they want to buy ‘next’ started decades before Amazon made a science out of analyzing customer data to recommend upsells. One good example is Harland Sanders, the man who founded Kentucky Fried Chicken.

At one time Sanders owned a gas station. He noticed that customers were asking him where they could buy lunch, so he opened a sandwich shop on site. His lunch customers, often people traveling through town (this was before Interstate highways), began asking him to recommend a good hotel, so he started his own hotel. His hotel patrons began asking him to recommend a good family restaurant, so he opened a restaurant.

His restaurant customers were complaining about the long wait time to have fried chicken prepared for them, and how bland it tasted with just salt and pepper. Hearing that complaint often enough, Sanders perfected a way to prepare chicken fast by using a pressure cooker, and with batter that he had pre-seasoned with several spices. That led to KFC as we know it today.

The point is this; what have your customers been asking for that you’ve dismissed without much thought as ‘trivial?’

Want to Sell More Cars to Seniors? Give Them What They Ask For

How many complaints have you heard from your customers about all the electronic gadgets on today’s cars?  Many people say that learning how to use the electronic accessories is irritating. The owner’s manuals are little help and that CD or DVD that came with the new car is still in its wrapper.

Why not give people what they ask for? Produce some short ‘how to’ videos and put them on your website. Have your senior staff members do simple presentations on how to use the gadgets. Keep it simple.

But like Sanders, promote it heavily. Link to the videos with Facebook ads that you send to every AARP member in your trading area. Then count how many times your ads get liked and shared.

Coupon Books

Yes, in this digital age people still like having a small book of coupons they can keep in their glove box. Perhaps you can use them to promote discounted detailing services as well as the usual maintenance items. How many ‘trivial’ complaints have you heard about all those dim headlight lenses that need to be polished so they are clear again?

Use a Type of Co-Branding. Hold an Invitation-Only Sale

Want to sell more trucks? Have an invitation sale, only for people who buy from local sporting goods stores. Perhaps you could give them a discount for having a membership card at those stores. The stores will probably promote your truck sales by email free to their members, because it makes them look good too.

Piggy Back Advertising…Invite Local Merchants to Sell in Your Store

Think small. Which local merchants would like to set up a table in your showroom, or on your lot, for a few hours each week? Their traffic helps you, and your traffic helps them.

Artists typically love to promote like that, just to get exposure, along with sculptors and other artisans. Is there a new locally-owned bakery in your neighborhood? Invite them to set up shop for a few hours. Don’t ignore c0-branding and free advertising. Amazon doesn’t.