The Debate Stops Here: How the 80–20 Rule for Dealer Marketing Budgets with Three Action-able Fundamentals Can Capture Your Customers Online Today
People who represented well-known brands at ad agencies and media organizations never fully understood why companies continue to sink significant budget into traditional marketing. At its core, traditional media is huge expensive and is extremely difficult to track, not to mention growing out of favor with consumers.
For example, total weekday circulations for newspapers fell 8% last year for both print and digital, and last year’s newspaper revenue was 1/3 of what was just ten years ago – 2016 marked the 28th consecutive year of declines.1 Traditional TV viewing has declined over the past five years by an average of nearly 21% across all age groups excluding adults aged 65 and older.2 Radio is about the only medium that hasn’t suffered heavy losses3, although Millennials prefer streaming radio over traditional radio.4
Some people firmly believes that if it isn’t digital, it won’t work. However, there are exceptions to every rule. And we now live in a world where a majority of consumers spend a majority of their time online and that’s where smart marketers – and their budgets – should be also, especially considering the fact that it costs approximately $150 of digital marketing to sell one car compared to $1,581 (over 10 times!) in traditional media spend.5
Here are three proven dealer marketing fundamentals known as the “*80 Supplemental-20 Rule”, a set of actionable strategies for dealers and for the agencies that represent facets of their business:
1. Let your brand do the heavy lifting.
OEMs spend a ton of advertising money to build your brand in the traditional sense. (The Super Bowl is an example) They are well equipped to run national TV spots, take on full page, four color ads in major media outlets, or national radio campaigns promoting sweet sales events. Auto Makers have tools and teams of people at their access to help strategize, create, plan, implement, and track brand campaigns on a national scope, bolstering your efforts on a local level. So let your brand do the heavy lifting.
2. Commit 80% to digital, 20% to targeted traditional campaigns.
Commit the bulk of your annual marketing budget, about 80%, to digital and third party leads. When done right, it’s affordable, effective, easy to measure, and helps you reach local customers beyond your efforts right where (and when) you want them – online, while they’re researching their next vehicle purchase.
Dedicate roughly 20% of your annual marketing budget to strategic traditional campaigns, like sports broadcasts (where local viewers tune in live at the same time) or ever-popular live and local news broadcasts. Lulls in regional dealer association advertising campaigns are opportune times.
3. Remember that digital companies invest heavily in driving consumers to you!
It’s really that simple. A company like AutoWeb, for example, spends virtually no money building its brand, yet significant budget in expert SEM to reach and convert millions of monthly car shoppers into dealer website traffic and leads so you don’t have to.
This is particularly critical in periods of sales declines when conquesting products, like AutoWeb Traffic, help you reach and engage competitive consumers to drive them to your website. After this much wider net is cast on your behalf, be sure to invest in digital tools that convert website visitors into showroom visitors. Products like virtual showrooms, text lead management systems, shop-by-payment calculators, and instant retargeting technology have proven to be very useful tools in website optimization and conversions.
The Bottom Line for Dealer Marketing Now:
Let’s stop the debate and be honest with ourselves. A majority of today’s car buyers are online and you should be there too – the right way, and for a lot less money.
Sources & Resources Researched for this article:
1) Pew Research Center analysis of AAM data, June 1, 2017.
2) Nielsen Total Audience Report: Q1 2017, July 12, 2017.
3) Pew State of the News Media 2017, compiled from 2017 Nielsen Audio Today 2017.
4) Music Business Association study and data analysis firm LOOP, July 12, 2016.
5) DealerSocket Data, February 2016.
Beth Bartlett is Regional Sales Director for AutoWeb, Inc., offering the industry a full suite of high quality lead products and advertising services, including AutoWeb Traffic, TextShield, SaleMove, and Payment Pro. For more information, text or call 770.733.5138 or email [email protected] For more dealer training, tips, advice, and news, visit www.dealer.autobytel.com.