Dealership Marketing

Two Important Goals for Long-Term Profitability

As multi-million dollar local brick and mortar businesses offering people a significant product and service, the expectations for what a dealer can and should be achieving must be high.

While I believe that the majority of dealers do strive for excellence, one area where dealers are not exceeding expectations is with Social Media.

Considering that social media sites such as Facebook have caused a permanent shift in the way we live our lives, conduct business, and advertise, this is a problem that must be solved. The dealers that do solve it will have a huge competitive advantage.

How does this tie in with long-term profitability, you ask?

Market Share Achieves Longevity

The path to long-term profitability hinges on your success in continually growing market share… profitably. Cutting prices eats at your profit so you can’t do that. Reducing marketing expenses decreases your market share, so that’s not a good strategy either.

Growing market share requires increasing exposure AND creating the ultimate customer experience, because an exceptional customer experience goes viral and sustains the business you acquire.

Unlike most franchise businesses where all the local store has to do is provide a customer experience consistent with the global brand, local dealerships do not have this luxury. Local dealers must provide a unique brand experience that engages customers and creates loyalty, advocacy, and influence.

If your dealership does not have a unique dealer brand that gives you a competitive edge, then your competition will continue to eat you (and your market share) for lunch. When the market goes flat (which it always does), you will lose because you can’t grow market share when it’s flat.

Customer Engagement with Verifiable ROI

Growing your market share profitably with verifiable ROI is key. The type of verifiable return on investment dealers need to know requires deep levels of attribution. Attribution such as:

  • What percentage of business is from existing customer relationships, what percentage is re-activated, and what percentage is newly acquired.
  • What the gross revenues and gross profits are in both sales and service as a direct result of a campaign.
Service Center Gross Profit Attribution
Gross Profit Attribution

While running paid social media ads is proving to be effective for branding and top of mind awareness and driving website traffic that is trackable, this form of push marketing does not:

  1. Fix the broken engagement funnel
  2. Provide the type of verifiable ROI described above

Dealers are looking for ways to promote their business and ultimately be profitable with Facebook. But until these metrics and measurements can be attributed through social media advertising, and until social media can be used to fix the broken engagement funnel, dealers will continue to be skeptical of the return on investment and how it impacts their long-term profitability.

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Free eCourse and eBook: Keys to Verifiable Social Media ROI

To assist with this, I (Ryan) have created a free 7-day e-course designed to explore the obstacles and causes behind why dealers and agencies are not able to produce a verifiable ROI with social media, and what it will take to do so (namely DMS and CRM integration with Facebook). The e-course is absolutely free and at the end of the course you will receive a free e-book that contains all the curriculum in the course, and more. It was designed for dealers, automotive marketing firms, and ad agencies alike. Please enjoy![/highlight]

In the world of automotive marketing, I blog for car dealers.