Multi-Channel Car Dealership Campaigns: 6 Key Tips for Choosing the Right Channels


It’s tempting to jump at every marketing opportunity that comes your way. Whether you’ve been offered a new partnership or have a sudden increase in marketing funds, you should vet each opportunity properly. After all, some opportunities may not be the right fit for your dealership.

This same concept applies to developing and executing multi-channel marketing campaigns for your car dealership.

Multi-channel marketing campaigns use various promotional channels and/or platforms to drive a specific result, such as increased test drives or improved overall sales. Commonly used marketing channels include:

  • Website
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Video Production and Distribution
  • Direct Mail
  • Print Marketing
  • Broadcast
  • Radio
  • Digital Billboards/Out-of-Home Media
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising
  • Display Advertising

As you can imagine, it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed by your channel options. And, some channels may not make sense for your car dealership. So why pursue them? With this in mind, it’s imperative to evaluate each channel option properly.

Choosing the right avenues for your multi-channel marketing campaign isn’t a quick and simple process, either. You must review each channel and determine which works best—given your resources, goals, and budget.

To help you select the right platforms for your car dealership’s multi-channel campaign, here are our top tips:

1. Always Know Your Audience

Although it may sound like common sense, many businesses fail to keep their audience in mind when they select marketing channels. What’s the point of investing your time and energy into a specific channel if your audience won’t even see it?

To start your multi-channel campaign, first, consider your audience’s channel preferences.

For example, if you know your audience is a primarily middle-aged demographic, look into using channels such as:

  • Email Marketing
  • Radio
  • TV Commercials
  • Social Media Ads
  • Print Marketing

However, if you’re planning to target a younger audience, consider eliminating radio and local TV ads from your campaign.

Additionally, the geographic location of your audience will play a role in determining which channels to use. For instance, certain rural areas still have limited access to high-speed Internet access. With this in mind, more traditional channels such as print marketing and radio advertising will suit your marketing goals better.

Ask Your Audience

If you lack the proper audience insight and data to make an informed channel decision, create and distribute a survey to existing and past customers. Use this survey to ask about their platform preferences and which online resources and devices they use most. Common survey questions can include:

  • How did you find out about our dealership?
  • Which social media platforms do you use most?
  • How much time do you spend on your laptop/phone?
  • Where do you prefer to receive promotional materials about an upcoming sale?
  • Would you be likely to respond to an advertisement on social media/email/print/etc.?
  • Do you tend to click on paid advertisements on social media and search engines?
  • How many email newsletters do you receive a day? Do you interact with them?
  • Would you be open to receiving mobile marketing messages from our dealership?

The answers to these questions will help you gain a better understanding of which channels your audience enjoys and accesses.

2. Know Your Strengths

Unless you’re a brand new car dealership, you’ve promoted your business before. Take a look at historical sales and marketing data to see which campaigns and channels worked best.

Before you dive into new and exciting channels or platforms, take the time to review your dealership’s strengths in previous channels thoroughly. If you have experience in generating successful results with an integrated social media advertising and email marketing campaign, ensure that these channels are a focal point of your upcoming campaign.

Review which channels have brought you the greatest success and determine how they can work together for your upcoming multi-channel marketing campaign.

3. Choose Channels that Work Together

Remember when QR codes were all the rage? Everyone thought this was the advertising technology of the future.

Now, we rarely see them used in campaigns.

This technology was the marketing world’s attempt at connecting channels that haven’t worked well together. For instance, using a QR code, marketers were able to track how many people saw and engaged with a particular print flyer. When scanned, the QR code would direct individuals to a landing page online where they could complete an action.

When choosing your channels, make sure they work together seamlessly. As an example, if you want to use video advertising on YouTube, make sure you use a trackable link for viewers to click, which leads them to a landing page on your website where they can submit their information. From there, use the email address they provided to send them additional promotional information. If you think about how customers will hop from one channel to the next and what that experience should be like for them, it will help you select channels that integrate easily.

Using Traditional Marketing Platforms in Multi-Channel Campaigns

With more traditional mediums such as print marketing and radio ads, connecting the channels is a little more complicated. However, for certain demographics and geographic areas, these channels can work wonders.

If you plan on taking this route with your multi-channel marketing campaign, be creative with how you connect other mediums to these channels. For example, let’s say you have an upcoming promotion on used cars. You distribute a radio ad to generate interest in the campaign and entice customers to visit your dealership for a test drive.

While you’re at the test drive event, collect email addresses to continue sending promotional information to these customers. Through this simple step, you’ve just connected a traditional channel with an online marketing channel!

Track Everything

The key to a successful multi-channel campaign, regardless of the platforms you use, is to track every bit of data possible. The insight you gain from this information will help you see which channels work well, where you can improve, and how your audience is reacting to the campaign.

When you’re selecting channels for your car dealership’s campaign, always keep tracking in mind. If you don’t have a way to track the success or failure of a particular platform, why invest your time and money into it?

Additionally, consistent tracking will help you see how well each channel is connecting to the others.

Can Your Audience Understand the Campaign from One Channel to the Next?

The purpose of a multi-channel marketing campaign is to reach customers at the touchpoints they commonly use. For many of your customers, this will include multiple platforms, such as social media advertising, mobile marketing, and email marketing.

But if your campaign design isn’t cohesive and doesn’t translate seamlessly from one platform to the next, you’ll end up confusing—and ultimately, losing—customers along the way.

As you begin to piece together your multi-channel campaign, also consider the cohesiveness of each platform through your branding, messaging, and choice of marketing channels.

4. Use Channels that Work for Your Budget

Your car dealership’s marketing team should have a defined budget to work with for each multi-channel campaign. However, most channels also cost money to use, from the price per click on an ad to the cost of physically producing a billboard.

Since you only have a limited amount of money to leverage, you’ll need to use this as a factor in selecting the right channels. Fortunately, having a budget in place prevents marketers from spreading themselves too thin on multiple platforms, which could lead to lackluster promotional results.

Instead, focus on allocating your budget accordingly on channels you know will drive the results you want.

5. Track, Test, Adapt, Repeat

Marketers have to constantly test and review every aspect of their multi-channel marketing campaigns to achieve the desired results.

Keep a close watch on how your campaign is performing and adapt accordingly. Don’t be afraid to make significant changes if you’re not generating the results you need with your current campaign structure.

6. Align With Your Sales Team

When you create a multi-channel marketing campaign, your sales team must be on board with every aspect of the promotion. They’re the ones ultimately responsible for conducting the test drives and closing the deal, so they need to be knowledgeable of every ad, message, and channel you use throughout the campaign.

Before organizing your campaign, take the time to sit down with your sales team and pick their brains. Ask them:

  • Which marketing channels typically produce the best results?
  • What questions are potential customers asking about our promotions?
  • Which channels do customers mention when discussing how they found/heard about the dealership?
  • What customer insight can they provide to help create a better campaign?

Including your sales team in the campaign creation and execution process helps the overall success of the campaign, and it also gives them a greater sense of motivation and a desire to achieve.

Launch Your Multi-Channel Marketing Campaign with J&L Marketing

Selecting the right platforms and tactics for your multi-channel marketing campaign is vital to your success. Otherwise, your dealership may burn right through your marketing budget, reach the wrong audience, and receive little to no real results.

The J&L Marketing team has significant multi-channel marketing experience in the automotive industry, and we’re ready to put our knowledge to work for your business. Reach out today to see how partnering with our team for a multi-channel marketing campaign can drive significant results for your dealership.

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