Digital marketing has created a lot of new opportunities for those of us living and breathing the automotive marketing world.
Auto dealers and marketers have known for a long time how effective digital marketing can be.
You get results that you just can’t get from traditional marketing tactics (the way you used to).
As our dealerships have moved online, this has come at a cost – reduced showroom traffic.
Obviously, when your showroom is hopping with a lot of high-quality traffic it is much easier to get your sales team pumped up.
We all know that a sales team with a good attitude and high energy will sell more cars compared to a team that just sits around or worse… stands in a circle out front smoking cigarettes.
All our data and research point to one solution – a milestone event.
Take a second and look back over the last ten years. What is your biggest sales success story? What are the most units your store has delivered in one or two days? What’s your store’s record?
For most dealers, these successes are a result of some sort of private sales event that they hosted.
However, over the last few years, some dealers have struggled to get the results they want and need from traditional marketing tactics.
Always trust data over your own intuition!
None of us has the right or the power to predetermine what the marketplace wants. You do not know in advance what the best price, offer, or approach will be.
The fact is, the marketplace has voted.
Promotional events and direct response marketing campaigns are producing better results today than they have for several years and for several reasons…
- Better data = better results. Offline and online data help data analysts better identify in-market audiences. The days of saturating your market with 10,000 to 20,000 pieces of direct mail are over. Today, you should be able to target significantly fewer people and produce the same if not more high-quality leads.
- Social media allows you to promote your event to thousands of people over and above your target list for no additional costs.
- Markets are no longer saturated. Digital marketing should and does command a larger amount of a dealer’s time, attention and money. Promotional events stand out more today because not as many dealers rely on them every month to hit their sales quotas.
- Very advanced landing pages, ringless voicemail, sophisticated BDC support and triggered emails can all help increase response and sales.
However, not all promotional events are created equal.
If you decide to run one or multiple private sale events this year there are some opportunities where clients and prospects have already voted with their time and money – and the results are consistent and they produce a high ROI.
If you are looking for the surest way to succeed with your next event – choose a milestone event.
Milestone Events are the surest way to succeed and always produce showroom traffic and increased sales.
Milestone sales event results stand out for the simple reason that they are bona fide winners, earning thousands upon thousands of dollars for the dealers who promote them.
Important… You can’t just show up like everyone else and expect great things to happen.
Sales event success in today’s automotive market requires a very advanced strategy but it has to be turn-key and simple so it is easy for you to maximize the potential.
It requires the ability to transform data into actionable insights. Those insights must be the driving force behind your marketing strategy. Gut instinct doesn’t work today.
The market is much smarter than you or I. You must know exactly who, what, where, when and how to invest your always-stressed marketing budget to produce the greatest results.
Private sale events’ success rates are tested and 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 don’t tell the whole story – that’s why for over twenty-eight years, we’ve also surveyed showroom traffic for 98% of our campaigns.
Every dealership has milestone event opportunities (and yes… when your manufacturer is celebrating a milestone – you should piggyback those milestones as well).
Here’s a list of the top-performing milestone event opportunities you have…
- Anniversary events (your dealership’s anniversary or your manufacturers) are highly believable, credible and successful.
- Grand opening events are outstanding for new point openings and new ownership.
- Re-grand openings can be used after a store remodel.
- Commemorating the retirement of a Founder or General Manager
- New model introductions
You must leverage milestones into sales events because it helps you differentiate your dealership from the competition, attract new prospects and enable growth.
Differentiating your dealership in today’s business climate can be tough and you have to take advantage of every opportunity you have to be different and create offers that have higher perceived value than those of the dealers you compete against.
You must make the most out of every opportunity that draws positive attention to your store. Your milestone not only offers a believable and credible reason to promote, but it also conveys to your customers and prospects that your dealership is doing well.
A well-planned and executed milestone event pays huge dividends by…
- Increasing conquest and repeat business
- Spreading recognition in your community
- Boosting employee morale with an exciting showroom atmosphere
Being unique and different is critical today – How to create an event that is completely unique in your market
For some events, you will have heavy competition. Let’s face it when there is a new model release most of your direct competitors will also coordinate their own private sale events. The same goes for events such as model clearance, year-end savings events, Presidents’ Day, etc.
When there is heavy competition it is harder to rise above the noise and stand out from your competition.
Anniversary, Grand Openings, Re-Grand Openings and the retirement of your founder or well-respected general manager is unique because you will be the only dealership in your market promoting it.
I am shocked by the number of general managers I talk with who do not know their store’s anniversary month. My own stores celebrate their anniversaries with private sales events every year and you should too. It’s one of the most profitable things you can do.
On average it is our best performing campaign and it is the event that has set every store’s sales record.
Anniversary events humanize your dealership. In an increasingly commodified business landscape where car buyers have more and more choices, your commitment to celebrate your history with your customers will give them a chance to emotionally connect with you and significantly up the chance that, when given two purchasing options, they’ll go with their heart and choose you.
Happy and energized employees make for happy customers. Your dealership’s anniversary is a perfect opportunity to give your current employees another reason to feel proud to have had a part in shaping your history – now and for the future.
These milestone event opportunities have a lot in common. They have built-in believability and credibility as to why you are promoting the offer.
When these milestone events are well-promoted and executed, they are proven to capitalize on a blend of factors: the consumer perception that dealers will attempt to achieve their sales goals with reduced prices and less negotiation.
Plus, there are certain endorphin-spiking opportunities that appeal to the consumer’s sense of occasion and the excitement of being invited to participate in (celebrate) something special. Everyone wants to make the list.
Remember what you’re selling. You are selling the event itself – not your product. You are selling how you will save the consumer time, effort and money.
You can sell the vehicles once they walk into your showroom.
If you want more information on how to optimize your next milestone sales event…
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Be unique and show up like nobody else!