Your 2018 Marketing Plan: What to Focus On


As we move into 2018 it is important to remember that we cannot rely on 2017’s marketing strategies, but a lot can be done by studying the marketing trends. If radio advertising brought in piteous response, then you should maybe reign in a big radio advertising plans for 2018. A year in review is the best time to do some serious reflection on last year’s successes and failures.

Because it can be difficult to take an objective look at our business, due to emotional investment in the outcome, investing in a professional opinion is worth your while. A third-party analysis of your website’s content and traffic can be an invaluable resource. Perspective is a powerful thing.

You are far less likely to notice a crack in the wall if all you do is stare at the same wall every day. If someone else comes in and points it out though, that will forever be the future focal point for your eyes. The same goes for marketing trends or so they say.

Go Digital

With the new year right around the corner, parents are still trying to find the proper amount of screen time and schools are still trying to budget for new computers. Though keeping some tangible advertising such as mail flyers around is a must, dealers must embrace the digital.

QR codes on those flyers is a really easy way to do this. Sure, your web address is right there, but that involves typing in letters and symbols. Invest in a QR code to get customers to your website quickly.

Use a professional content team to keep your site up to date. Not only is throwing up a “SOLD” sign on a vehicle a way of letting the world know your selling team is awesome, but it alerts customers to changes at the dealership. There is something about a countdown to being sold out of something that motivates buyers.

Use Videos

If you have the money to get a professional videographer down to your lot to do a commercial, do it. If you are really pressed for time, money, or just like making commercials, do it yourself. Whip out a camera and shoot a campy commercial for your dealership. Those parents still trying to figure out how much screen time to allow their kids will appreciate the throwback and your younger market may not feel like your dealership is such a drag.

Live feeds are everywhere now. Your favorite television show probably has live interviews with the stars right before the show now. Why not have your sales team do live feeds from the cars exploring the various features. The bonus to that is that very few people expect high-quality live videos. As long as the “stars” are audible people will watch.

Get Creative With Your Content

You can get creative with your content without reinventing the wheel. Just invest in content developers who are unique in their own right and have knowledge that covers all things cars. As opposed to having one content writer writing everything and things getting stale, hire another and pull from freelancers.

Two constant content writers with their own spin are great. Completely different voices from all angles are memorable and authentic. In a world where you see a lot, but rarely get what you see, that is priceless.

Get Local, But Know Your Surrounding Competition

When a car company releases next year’s models, they let everybody know. There are email ads, television advertisements, and even good old snail mail flyers. Advertisements are everywhere and if someone is looking to buy or even thinking about it, they know what is out there.

So assume they look up the 2018 Cool Crossover With Sweet Sweet Rims. Do you carry it? If so, in what colors? With what features?

Those stickers on the windows that have the average gas mileage and features on that particular vehicle should not be the first place a customer finds that information. People shop online now and hate waiting. When big brands release new models, get your ads up.

No one wants to drive three hours to get a vehicle, but if they are not made aware of its presence five miles away, they will. People will find a way to get to a car they want so that they do not get sold on something else.

Because people want instant gratification and getting what they want, it is helpful to know what is going on around you. There is no way to keep all options in stock. Knowing how much it would cost to add a feature versus having one with that feature sent to you or having to be picked up is powerful.

For example, a customer wants a truck. They would like a standard, but understand that strangely automatics are now the standard. The deal breaker that keeps them from driving off the lot in the truck sitting before them is that there are not leather seats. Additionally, the model that you have with leather seats is a boatload more and the customer would not be able to afford it. If the customer is willing to drive the truck home that day and have the leather added later, you have made a sale.

The Conclusion Summary For Review

The biggest thing you should focus on in 2018 is that your customer base is changing! It happens every year. A new set of people are getting their driver’s licenses and a different generation is hanging up their keys. This can be very difficult to predict at first, but that is why they released 2018 vehicles in 2017. Vehicle manufacturers are allowing for the learning curve.

This year’s car buyers are buying for fun, fast, and sleek rides. As such, they want their purchase experience to be just like their new car. Even experienced consumers dislike being at the dealership for hours and possibly coming back in a couple of days. The difference is that your more experienced customers are more wary of online purchases.

Market to the new drivers. The old drivers will come back out of familiarity or loyalty. Now is the time to build a future loyalty base.