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Memorial Day — How your dealership can give back to its community

The Memorial Day holiday is just around the corner. This is the holiday in which we honor the fallen soldiers who have fought for our freedom. As a business owner and member of your community, here are a few ideas that you can do to help the community celebrate this coming holiday.

Decorations are always a good way to show the community your appreciation for the military.  Decorate the dealership with red, white, and blue streamers; larger helium balloons for the dealership, as well as smaller balloons, to give to the children of your customers. You can also decorate with American flags, provide coffee and patriotic cupcakes or cookies for your customers to enjoy as they wait for paperwork to sign.

The way a dealership might give back to their community during the Memorial Day weekend is to offer all military personnel – active duty, veterans and their family – a discount if they purchase a vehicle during the holiday weekend. Also, as an added bonus, you could offer them with free oil changes for the first year after their purchase.

Memorial Day weekend is the official ‘kick-off’ to summer. People start planning their summer vacations, and trips to the beach, etc. In your advertising campaign, you could remind future customers how great it would be to take their brand new car on a road trip this summer. Offer customers incentives such as no payments till Fall (90-day deferment).

Taking Advertising Mobile

Next time you check your email with your cell phone, just remember one thing — your customers are doing the same thing. Mobile advertising is the new wave of car sales and regular customer services. Instead of spending a lot of money on newspaper advertisements, you can advertise online, which will give your dealership more exposure overall. Mobile advertising is beneficial because you are able to add some animation to the advertisement, thus making it more appealing to the viewers.  

Marketing Tips For Memorial Day

  1. Start Your Campaign Early: When in the car dealership market, you need to be ahead of the game every step of the way. Other dealerships are competing with you for customers and with the current state of the economy, there are not as many customers as there once was. Therefore, when a big holiday weekend approaches, you need to take advantage of the opportunity to attract new customers. Start advertising for your Memorial Day Weekend Event several weeks in advance by sending out flyers to current customers who are on your mailing list and posting internet flyers regarding the upcoming savings customers will be getting during the holiday weekend.
  2. Get Some Free Publicity: You can help the community celebrate the Memorial Day holiday by planning a barbeque event at the dealership for all loyal customers and potential new customers. Offer free hot dogs or hamburgers (with all the fixings), chips, and a drink just for dropping by the dealership and taking a test drive in one of the cars on the lot. This barbeque could go on the entire three-day weekend. Everyone loves to eat, especially if it is for free.
  3. Start A Campaign: What better way to show appreciation for the greatest sacrifice they made for our freedom than to ensure that every veteran in the local cemetery has a flag and flowers placed on their grave marker on Memorial Day. Involve local school children by sponsoring a field trip for them to take the flowers and flags your dealership buys to the cemetery to place on the graves.
  4. Be Creative: For the month of May, you could have a temporary logo designed for the dealership that incorporates the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag. This will show the community that you truly take Memorial Day and its meaning to heart.
  5. Show Tribute To The Veterans Who Gave It All: Show the community that you care as much about the veterans who lost their lives fighting for our freedom as they do. By allowing the people who read your advertisements and visit the dealership see that you are a real person they will be more inclined to want to do business with you. Make some special pens or notepads to give to your customers as complimentary gifts that have inspirational words of remembrance on them.
  6. Use Quality Paper For Marketing Material: By doing this, you are showing potential customers that you must be doing well with the dealership in order to afford the extra expense of such fine advertising material.
  7. Plan For Happy Hour: Who doesn’t like a good old happy hour? In honor of the Memorial Day holiday, you could schedule a Happy Hour for the month of May. Advertise that if customers come into the dealership during the hours of 3:00 PM till 7:00 PM, Monday through Friday, and 5:00 PM till 8:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday, they can receive additional savings on their new car purchase.
  8. Get In The Spirit: Encourage your staff to wear red, white, and blue during the month of May in honor of Memorial Day. You can even make it fun by having a ‘most creatively patriotic tie’ contest. Whatever it takes to get everyone in the spirit of the holiday.

These are only some of the creative marketing tips a car dealership can use for the Memorial Day holiday to get in the spirit and show your community, as well as current and potential customers, that your dealership truly cares about what this holiday stands for.

By decorating the dealership in red, white, and blue along with doing a few of these suggestions, you can guarantee your dealership will get a lot of much-needed recognition and business. After all, who can resist a party? Which is what your dealership is practically offering during the month of May. This can become an annual tradition that customers will start to look forward to year after year.

No matter how you decide to show your colors and spirit this Memorial Day, make sure you do one thing for certain – have fun while showing your patriotic spirit in remembrance of those who paid the ultimate price for us to live our lives as we do.

Resources: PSPrint, FiveStars

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Teresa Jenkins
Teresa Jenkins
Marketing expert and freelance writer for CBT News

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