Month: April 2018

How do you increase the likelihood consumers will notice your digital ad AND act on it?

BY CEO & Founder Steve White April 23

Nowadays, the competition for consumer attention is fierce. Many dealers focus on attempting to do a better job than their competition when it comes to ads. But, the truth is, you aren’t only competing with other dealerships, but with every retail business which does digital marketing.

Think about it. Those consumers you send your messages to aren’t in an exclusive automotive targeted group. No, the fact is consumers all have varying interests; from their hobbies, to their online and offline purchasing habits, to any other activities that interest them; and these interests place them straight in the crosshairs of a boatload of retailers.

So, realizing that those consumers you are attempting to deliver your message to are also being targeted by every other retail sector, how do you increase the likelihood that they will notice your digital ad AND act on it?

Here are four factors to consider when creating an ad that should help increase engagement and conversion:

1. Be Relevant – Start by knowing who will view your digital ad. “Spray and pray” techniques no longer cut it. Ensure your message is relevant to those who see it. Don’t try to make one cookie-cutter ad that appeals to your whole audience. It won’t work.

2.Know Your Audience – Sometimes the group you think is your audience really isn’t. A classic example is a jewelry store that caters to female fashion. This jewelry store may think its targeted audience is females… and females could certainly be in there. But what about the males who so often gift jewelry to their spouses or significant others? They would also be a relevant audience.

However, you can’t have a single ad that will appeal to both demographics. The purchase motivation is very different between the two groups. The same goes for car buyers. An inexpensive economy car could have a ton of audiences, including those with modest incomes, young buyers, buyers looking for fuel economy and parents looking to buy a first car for their kids. Every one of these groups has different motivations and a boilerplate ad could never appeal to all of them. Vary your ad creative by audience and you’ll find your customer’s paying closer attention. 

3. Outside-the-Box Creativity – Most of us really don’t like seeing ads. That’s why we fast forward through commercials, toss mail in the trash without opening it and flip through magazines to the next article. Yet, there is one time per year that households huddle together in front of the television and, many times, watch simply to see the commercials – the Super Bowl! Super Bowl commercials are so appealing because they are made to be engaging, fun and entertaining. Brands bring in the big guns when it comes to creativity -- and, considering the cost of a Super Bowl ad, rightfully so.

Just because you’re not creating a Super Bowl ad doesn’t mean you can’t add some creativity into it. Don’t be afraid to be funny or outside-the-box. You’ll find that consumers respond better when your ad is different.

4. Leverage Emotions – Engaging with your audience in a way that moves them emotionally is what can make your ad a smashing success. The basic human emotions often tapped by many of the great ad agencies are happiness, sadness, surprise and anger. Emotions are also exactly what motivates consumers to act. If you can make your audience FEEL, you have their attention, but also a better chance to earn their business. Make them laugh. Show them how your product can make them happy. Illustrate product features by tying them into real-life. People will relate, understand your message better and connect with your brand.

The key to making a digital ad that your customers love is centered around all these factors. If your message is relevant and delivered at the right time; the messaging and images targeted to the proper demographic; if it is creative and taps into your customer’s emotions; you may find that not only do they love THIS ad, but start anticipating your future ones.  READ MORE »

If you're going to judge the performance of your marketing staff based on sales, make sure they have the time to focus on sales driving activities.

BY CEO & Founder Steve White April 09

Marketing is an incredibly complicated and convoluted field which involves everything from direct marketing, to brand management, customer communications, social media, public relations and on and on. Whether you call the person responsible for your digital marketing efforts the “CMO,” or delegate these tasks to an Internet Manager at your dealership, the fact remains that many of you are setting them up to fail.

According to an article on, the average lifespan of a CMO in a consumer-facing business has dropped to 3.6 years. Sadly, – at least for our industry – many probably think 3.6 years is actually pretty good.

The article’s theory is that a CMO’s job performance rating (and hence their priorities) are typically tied to a company’s growth, while their actual job responsibilities are tied mainly to marketing communications. This, then, poses two interesting possibilities: CMOs get tired of doing a set of tasks for which their performance is not judged. Or, their manager decides they are not doing a good job and lets them go.

While branding, figuring out the correct positioning for the company, and communications tasks  are important to a dealership’s well-being, they tend to be extremely time consuming, leaving little room for your marketing team to focus on activities that directly drive sales.

If you're going to judge the performance of your marketing staff based on sales, make sure they have the time to focus on activities which directly drive sales.. Some of these activities, such as analyzing campaign results and digging into data, may not be immediately visible to you, but are extremely important in optimizing your marketing mix to drive more sale

While most dealerships (with the exception of larger auto groups) don’t have actual CMOs, those same responsibilities still exist, as they do for any size company. In the automotive world those responsibilities often rest on an individual with a pay plan that is based on sales – which presents the same problems as above. For example, an Internet Manager tasked with many of the same responsibilities yet judged solely on their sales performance. They are sure to be chastised when these extra tasks aren’t adequately accomplished.

Take a look at your marketing and the staff to whom you have assigned various marketing responsibilities. Consider reevaluating if their pay plans are aligned with the priorities you’ve set for them.

This can help you achieve more effective marketing performance as well as increased employee engagement and performance. While the data you need to increase your marketing performance and grow your business may be there at your disposal, if nobody is focusing on it, the dealership will continuously be scrambling to keep up while losing revenue.  READ MORE »