If you want people to visit your auto dealership, may I suggest relevant advertising.
It’s not easy. When your competitors run irrelevant advertising — which they do, ad infinitum — it would be quite reasonable for you to assume that they know what they’re doing and imitate them.
I just passed a billboard showing a large photo of a side mirror, with a headline telling you that a dealer who listens is closer than it appears. I suppose the advertiser thinks the board is clever, which is debatable in and of itself. More to the point, the dearth of good-listener dealers is hardly a hot topic at the dinner table. Dealers who expect prospective car buyers to place hand on heart and say, “This, this is what I’ve been waiting for” are in for a disappointment.
Provided, that is, they know how to track sales from the campaign. Most don’t, so perhaps they are safe from disappointment after all.
Or, take the ubiquitous “service after the sale.” At least one dealer tried (and failed) to clever it up with “We back up every car we sell.” Given that most new cars come with a warranty, post-sale service is hardly a surprise. Do not count on it to serve as a Unique Selling Proposition unless and until your competitors run ads that say, “After the sale, go to hell.”
Then there’s “we’re not pushy.” There are three problems with that one: 1) These days, so many dealers push non-pushiness that it sets no one apart. 2) Even if it’s true that your sales staff never push, which I doubt, no one believes it. 3) Though the pushy dealer stereotype is a common consumer complaint, its lack is hardly a draw. So you don’t push? Fine. What do you do?
There is no shortage of dealers who blather about low prices. Advertising low prices builds a preference for comparison-shopping, but not for your dealership. Moreover, unless you’re Wal-Mart, “low price” comes off only as a token line that no one takes seriously.
Building a relevant brand for an auto dealership is difficult, especially since each line you carry comes with a brand of its own. That is precisely why so many dealers default to cleverness (or so they think) or showiness in hopes of attaining, substance aside, name recognition.
So, how do you create consumer preference for your dealership? See Paragraph Number One above: Try relevance. As for how you go about getting there, well, come on. You can’t expect me to give away every secret for free.