In my last blog, I mentioned the upcoming holiday season and the challenges and opportunities involved.

Automotive News recommended increasing marketing and incentives during the fourth quarter to combat a projected slump in sales – but for dealers this means increased competition for showroom traffic and leads!1

How to Capitalize On the Holidays with Your Marketing Click To Tweet

The good news is that vehicle sales have risen during the fourth quarter of the last five years, so there’s still hope for 2018.2

Holiday spending is expected to follow the trends of years past3 and continue to rise (nearly five percent) this season.4

That said, I doubt any of this is surprising to you.

Everyone knows to up their marketing during the holidays and dealers know to influence car buyers with holiday sales and end of the year clearances.

But, what’s the perfect strategy? How early is too early to begin holiday marketing?

If you want to capitalize on the holidays with your marketing, then you need to have a strategy!

How to Capitalize on Black Friday with Your Marketing

Consumers have bought into the idea of Black Friday sales. They believe Black Friday is one of the best times to find a deal on a new vehicle and they’re ready to buy.5

In fact, data shows that your dealership will be 50-75% busier on Black Friday than on a normal weekend day and 15-20% of all November deals will be secured on Black Friday.

Doesn’t sound bad does it? Why would you worry about your marketing if it’s already going to be one of the busiest days of the year?

Unfortunately, every dealership will be taking advantage of this day to draw more shoppers to their lot! If you don’t consider your marketing and give consumers a reason to choose your dealership over the competition, then you risk losing shoppers on one of the busiest vehicle shopping/buying days of the year.

This means you don’t just need to have a marketing strategy for Black Friday, you need to have a marketing strategy that’s better than everyone else’s.

One answer to this problem is to offer shoppers a chance to get Black Friday deals ahead of the crowd with a pre-Black Friday event.

Car buyers who might be ready to buy in October and early November will hold out for Black Friday deals. This ends up hurting sales from the end of October to Thanksgiving!

By inviting shoppers into your dealership ahead of time and offering the same or even better incentives than Black Friday deals, you’ll influence shoppers into your dealership during the slower weeks before Black Friday and takes advantage of consumers’ Black Friday sales mentality.

In addition, Edmunds recommends that consumers who are looking to buy a car before the end of the year do their shopping before Black Friday and be ready to buy on the day of.6

If you can help these consumers beat Black Friday traffic you’ll gain a competitive advantage over your competition and sell shoppers who would normally hold off for Black Friday or holiday sales.

How to Capitalize on Year End Buyers with Your Marketing

If you want to capitalize on year-end buyers, then you need to reach them where they’re at.

And, though digital marketing is key to accomplishing this, there are a few strategies that will work to draw consumers who don’t respond to normal marketing methods.

First of all – don’t bump normal marketing methods. Direct mail is not dead and neither are traditional marketing strategies! This is the time of year when mailboxes are flooded with offers and incentives. Don’t let your competition gain an edge in the mailbox – or the inbox!

Secondly, you must consider the buying journey. Consumers don’t want to interact with a dealership until they are ready to buy. So, they do all of their shopping online and predominately on third-party sites.

Offer consumers a chance to interact with your dealership online and find the information they need to choose your dealership over the competition! In order to do this, you must offer them something that no one else can offer… information.

Think With Google said that being there and being useful (offering shoppers the information they need to choose and buy a car) is essential to influence shoppers to choose your dealership over the competition.7

And remember, urgency is key! This is what compels consumers to action – the fear of missing out on one-time or short-term deals. Make sure that your marketing will capture readers where they’re at with offers they don’t want to miss!

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This is a critical time!

Don’t assume sales will increase simply because of the time of year. Be proactive with your marketing and consider where consumers will be and what they’re looking for. You’ll like the results.