There's a Car Dealership on Every Exit: How to Make Your Marketing Stand Out

Emma Sosnoff

Emma Sosnoff About The Author

May 25, 2021 10:32:00 AM


There's a Car Dealership on Every Exit: How to Make Your Marketing Stand Out

Car dealerships are competitive businesses. Many of them have neighboring lots with other dealerships, and large pockets of different dealerships can be indistinguishable to busy customers looking for a new car. Combined with comparable promotional deals, similar billboard ads, and standard sales talks, your car dealership may be getting lost in the crowd. Instead of doubling down on basic marketing strategies, it's time to get more creative and take a new approach to marketing your business. Make your brand stand out with these three novel approaches: 

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Use a Targeted Marketing Approach 

Screen Shot 2021-05-19 at 10.29.49 AMMany car dealership ads are so generic because they are designed to appeal to a broad market of consumers: families, new professionals, older demographics, and everyone in between. But focusing on one specific demographic or buyer persona in each marketing campaign can get you much better results. Instead of focusing on the bland, generalized benefits of a new car, identify your target market and the unique pain points they're experiencing that might drive them to buy a new car. Break down your audience by: 

  • Age 
  • Gender 
  • Lifestyle 
  • Income 
  • Family and Car Users 

You can get these answers by analyzing your current pool of recent buyers or by surveying people who walk onto your dealership lot. With these details, you can segment your market and design ads based on their needs and perspectives. 

Along with researching your customers, you can analyze your competitors. Learn more about the market segments their ads are focused on and how they target consumers. With this insight, you can either find markets they aren't serving or develop more competitive marketing strategies.   

Developing buyer personas based on the market segments you want to prioritize doesn't give you more insight into the proper messaging and benefits. You can also better determine which television channels, radio stations, and other advertising media are the right fit for each group. 

Invest in Digital Ads 

When many people think of car dealership ads, they picture billboards and signage or balloons at the actual dealership. But most people start their research into a new car online. Expand your marketing strategies to include digital marketing so you can begin building a relationship with your audience as soon as they start thinking about buying a car.  

With digital ads, you can: 

  • Gather more data about your target markets and create more refined profiles of your buyers 
  • Expand awareness of your brand name by putting ads in front of general audiences on social media, news sites, and streaming television services. 
  • Create paid ad campaigns on Google that display your ads when consumers search for terms related to car purchases 
  • Send personalized emails to your subscriber list about upcoming promotions, warranty details, and maintenance services (if your dealership has an on-site garage) 

With digital marketing, you can access far more platforms and interact with consumers throughout their research and buying journey. 

Employ Creative Marketing Techniques 

Screen Shot 2021-05-19 at 10.29.56 AMIn every marketing campaign, it's important to be memorable and create a unique brand identity for your dealership. Not only is that the only way to stand out from the hundreds of other ads consumers see every day, but it's also the only way to separate yourself from competition dealerships. It doesn't do your company any good to have an ad that gets viewers' attention but contributes to a different dealership. 

Consider these strategic approaches to reaching out to your audience: 

  • Align your dealership with a local community fixture, such as nonprofit organizations or educational and recreational groups. Sponsorships and nonprofit initiatives make your brand unique and give you deeper ties to the community you serve. Being affiliated with a well-regarded local group also helps build trust. 
  • Develop unique features. Ideas such as virtual buying options and apparent safety and cleaning procedures make shoppers feel safer during the pandemic.  

Instead of starting your next campaign immediately, take the time to brainstorm new ways to reach your market and deliver a memorable message. 

Conduct Ad Retargeting 

Marketers have known for a while that shoppers at different points on the buyer's journey respond better to different types of messaging. A car buyer is starting to consider if it's time for a new car to have different needs than someone comparing the technical details of their final two options. So create multiple messages and make sure you advertise to both previous shoppers and consumers who have already visited your site or dealership. Not only can the different messages build the relationship by making visitors feel uniquely valued, but multiple points of contact with a consumer make them more familiar with your brand (and more likely to make a purchase). 

Make Your Marketing More Memorable With the Right Media Partner 

Screen Shot 2021-05-19 at 10.30.04 AMAdvertising in highly competitive markets is challenging, primarily when you and your competitors use the same playbook. Differentiate your brand with more targeted ad campaigns through traditional and digital media and create unique, personalized experiences. A media partner can help you start, manage, and analyze your new campaigns. Learn more about what we offer at Meredith Arizona today to see how you can start standing out from the crowd. 

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Topics: Marketing ROI, Industry - Automotive