Best PracticesDealership Marketing

7 Questions You Must Ask Before Planning Your Monthly Marketing Campaigns

Marketing campaigns can be used to target a weekend, a week, a month, or a quarter. With many of our clients, we help them prepare for a new marketing campaign every month. This means a unique message across all advertising platforms focused on one specific purpose. It can be based around a sale, a holiday, an event, or more, but it is themed to that one month in its messaging and design.

However, before you go and say “Let’s make July our truck month and we can push trucks” (on the beginning of July no less), you need to plan for it well in advance if you intend it to have an impact to your organization. And why wouldn’t you?

1. What is the theme?

Your marketing campaign can be anything from Customer Appreciation Month, Safety Month, Trade Buyback, Back to School, Thanks Giving Back to the Community, Keys in a Box, Summer Splash, A Christmas Story, or more. In the end, you want to have a theme that allows you to create a distinct visual design that is easily identifiable to your audience.

2. What event or different customer experience will be tied to the campaign theme?

As it stands, your marketing campaigns should be more than just an offer to save money, but rather one that comes with a slightly different experience. Customer Appreciation Month should bring with it a Customer Appreciation Party. Summer Splash can bring with it seeing your favorite service writer in Hawaiian shirts as you’re given a lei when you arrive. Or a free day at a waterpark. If you want to execute a campaign, make sure it has a visual, in-person element to it at least one day during the month. A day where you can reward customers, capture content, and celebrate the marketing campaign.

3. How will we use media to promote our campaign?

Everywhere you are dedicating ad dollars can be used to support your marketing campaigns. Are you spending money on TV, radio, newspaper, Internet radio, direct mail, social media, pre-roll, and your website? Each channel is a medium you should use to promote the theme and the campaign. If you are sharing news about your special promotion on social media, it should also be on your website. You can talk about it in your radio ads. You can include it in your direct mail to your database. It can be blasted out in an email. Promoted on pre-roll video. Even have a television commercial about it. To do it right, a good campaign influences all of your marketing channels.

4. When and where will you capture content and video?

It’s not just enough to create content and shoot video to promote your campaign. You must also capture footage while you’re executing the campaign. Show shoppers taking advantage of the savings. Share images of the special experience you’re delivering. Film testimonials of customers discussing the campaign. Will you drive to get those testimonials or approach people in house? Will you invite them in? Where will the digital media be captured? Post videos of people enjoying the events. Executing the campaign is great and all, but if you haven’t documented the energy and excitement, sharing as the month progresses, you’re missing out on all of the goodwill and buzz a great marketing campaign brings with it.

5. What days are we distributing content?

Now that you have images, video, and written content, don’t just slap it up online as soon as you have it. You need to create a content distribution plan. What specific days will different content be posted? Maybe every Wednesday you will post one type of content and every Friday will have a customer testimonial being dropped online. There needs to be a daily and weekly schedule for posting (on your website and social media). Look at the month’s calendar and plan it out in advance, day by day. Then stick with it.

6. What is the budget for the marketing campaign?

You need a budget, and I don’t just mean the money you spend on your regular advertising and PPC (that may have mentions of your theme for the month). Dedicate dollars to giveaways, events, bonuses, decorations, table tents, treats, prizes, presents, packaging, printing, parties, and more. To pull off a themed campaign well, you must invest in the branding that goes along with it, in and out of the store. Need more information, here is a blog all about how to master a marketing budget.

7. How do we measure our success?

To understand whether or not a marketing campaign is successful, you must decide how you are going to measure. Is it solely based on the profitability of a department or the ROI from a sale? Or could it be based on the lives touched, or how many townspeople show up to your event? Could it be measured in reviews or testimonials or website visitors or possibly something more subjective like community feedback, goodwill or smiles? In the end, you spent money so we must know how to determine if the results of the month’s campaign were valuable and worth the effort.

Marketing campaigns can be designed to benefit your sales, your service department, dealership awareness, community involvement, customer retention, or company brand. Both what your needs are and what your audience is seeking should all be weighed when determining the right theme. But no marketing campaign consists of only a message or a single advertisement, it has to permeate through all of your outbound advertising.

Smart, holistic, marketing campaigns take tremendous planning, creativity, and execution. At the same time, when performed properly, they deliver much better results than the run-of-the-mill offer-based advertising most dealers do. Your advertising initiatives need to envelope everything you do. They create energy and excitement. They’re easily identifiable and help build awareness, which is exactly what your advertising is meant to do. All of these culminate in more traffic and more profitability. By following these steps when planning your marketing campaigns, you’ll finally understand how to make your company memorable.

When all else fails, DealerKnows offers automotive consulting to marketing teams looking to execute successful marketing campaigns. Just reach out.


Marketing consultant & process leader, specializing in automotive. I'm also a writer, speaker, movie buff, and Dad. --President of DealerKnows--