Take a look inside some of the largest automotive sales event successes: year-in and year-out, six high impact sales promotion opportunities out produce all the others.
Do you know which ones they are? (One may surprise you.)
More importantly, are you hosting all six?
Sales event success in today's automotive market is simple: it requires the ability to transform data into actionable insights that guide marketing strategies. Your agency must know the who, what, where, when and how of spending the least amount of your always-stressed marketing budget to produce the greatest results. This is the goal of every campaign. Success is measured by performance in sales, response and profit figures. Get it wrong and it can be costly. Get it right and the sky's the limit.
While some overlook the core marketing disciplines of testing and measuring, we’ve found that diligent review provides a goldmine of actionable insights. We’ve collected data through millions of dealership sales, parts, and service transactions. But numbers alone can’t tell the whole story – that’s why for over twenty-five years, we’ve also surveyed showroom traffic for 98% of our campaigns.
The following insights are just a few we’ve garnered from our ‘feet on the street’ feedback and data analytics. Keep in mind that this research has come from campaigns J&L created: both the successful events . . . and the events that were outperformed.
The following six sales event opportunities consistently and dramatically increased response, sales and profit.
These sales event opportunities stood out for the simple reason that they are bona fide winners, earning thousands upon thousands of dollars for the dealers who promote them. The first four sales events are specific to automotive industry conditions and are good occasions for the consumer as well as the dealer. The other two top-performing sales events are day specific. Let’s explore the reasoning behind each.
1. Year End Clearance
This theme continues to set a predictably high standard of return, thanks to the enduring perception of consumers that dealers will be prepared to discount their inventory more aggressively at the end of each month, and even more so at the end of the year. You can choose to blend this theme with the holidays or not, with similar results. Consumers always associate good deals with the end of the year.
2. Anniversary (either Dealer or Manufacturer Milestone)
Most people associate a party or get together with a birthday or anniversary and an Anniversary event gives dealers the ability to take advantage of that celebratory mentality. Anniversary sales events typically get some of the highest response rates of all our themes. With a fresh, original approach, dealers can ride the positive perception by advertising some type of special deal, special inventory, or special finance incentives.
3. Model Year Clearance
Like Year End Clearance, this theme plays on what consumers have come to recognize as a time to get a better deal and benefit from a dealer’s urgency to get rid of older models that are still on the lot. These perceptions automatically boost traffic to these events . . . and not just the window-shopping kind.
The stats on Model Year Clearance alone show a staggeringly higher purchase rate than any other theme.
4. New Model Introduction
New Model Introduction, on the other hand, brings a high response from consumers that are always the early adopters of new technology and new products. The people that stand in line for 14 hours when Apple introduces the new iPhone take the same approach to buying cars.
Although there are typically nice incentives associated for a NMI type of sale, most people that attend these events are probably more concerned about being the first one to have the new model of vehicle and might be willing to pay a premium price to do so, thus allowing this type of event to appeal to more people.
The common theme among these four events is that when people come in the door, they are typically in a buying mode and just need the dealer to drive the deal home.
5. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and
6. President’s Day
We’ve grouped these two day-specific sales events together because of the powerful return they both show for a federal holiday, and for a Monday.
First, most consumers associate getting a better deal on a vehicle with particular themed event. (Think how Black Friday invokes a craze among consumers spurring them to get in line at 4am to save additional money or to be the first person to purchase that new or elusive toy.)
Second, these events combine this perception with the fact that most people have these federal holidays off and are free to shop on a weekday. (Many consumers see avoiding the busyness of weekend shopping as a win in itself.)
Third, when dealerships extend their hours over MLK or Presidents Day and advertise unique incentives and new inventory, they galvanize the sense that this is not only the most convenient time to buy, it really is the financially-smartest time too.
When these six events are well-promoted and well-executed, they are proven to capitalize on a blend of factors: the consumer perception that dealers who are urgently trying to achieve their sales goals are more likely to reduce prices and negotiate, and that there are certain endorphin-spiking opportunities throughout the year to appeal to the consumer’s sense of occasion and the excitement of being first in line to get something new.