Is it fine to have a strategy-less dealership marketing approach? Maybe you never thought about it? Maybe the entire concept is foreign and seems unnecessary. Let’s take a quick look at this.
Strategy-less Dealership Marketing
The notion of a strategy for marketing can be really foreign to many. However, modern digital marketing is very complex due to the number of channels and methods to reach prospects. What used to be really simple before the web, or even a couple of years ago, has become more and more complicated. Without a plan (aka strategy) how do you know where you are going and even if things are working?
A strategy-less dealership marketing approach lacks goals, methods, and even more importantly direction. The main reason a strategy is so critical is because it serves the central model that unifies and identifies the timing and focus of all your content and tactics.
Tactical Marketing is Typical
A common element of strategy-less marketing is that it is a cobbled together attempt at tactics. This approach is a well-meaning effort to achieve more leads. It concentrates on doing things. Frequently the choice of things is purely based upon beliefs, history, word-of-mouth, or concept, but rarely upon any facts. The approach fails to examine the big picture. Thus it’s always about the same thing….”I just want more leads.” The tactically based strategy-less approach fails to integrate efforts and has no central philosophical methodology and system.
Scary “Marketing Agencies”
What is really scary are the number of dealership marketing agencies that completely lack an understanding of marketing methodologies. They just respond to requests for tactical marketing like social networking, paid advertising, blog posting, reviews, email, etc. In many instances these tactics end up failing to achieve any worthy objective and over time their messaging becomes diffused and weak.
A great example of this is a campaign or tactic that is designed to get website traffic. While the results may be fantastic with plenty of visitors, engagement may be very low and their bounce rate is extremely high. This is typical of the kind of customers that seek us out for help. But this is just one type of problematic marketing tactic that results from no adoption of a centralizing methodology as a guiding strategy.
An interesting fact is that those caught up in tactics concentrate on performance to exclusion of accurate measurements and strategy. Thus, money will drain away while results are frequently hit or miss. Optimizing for specific tactics without a strategic methodology will always have lackluster conversion-to-sale of the long term.
What is needed is a methodology that concentrates on the realities of buyer’s behavior. Core to that is tuning messaging and timing of message delivery to meet your prospects needs.
A Marketing Methodology – The Buyer’s Journey
Here at NetSource Media the cornerstone of our marketing methodology is the Buyer’s Journey. The concept of the Buyer’s Journey centralizes on your prospects shopping/buying process and how to meet them where they are (digitally, psychologically, and in their lives). It is designed to build relationships and deliver the proper messaging at the right time.
We are experts in understanding the stages and approach buyers take when shopping for RVs, Trailers, Powersports, and Marine products. As buyer’s progress through a shopping timeline their digital informational needs change and the digital marketing channels they frequent and engage with changes as well. The Buyer’s Journey ensures alignment between the buyer, messaging, channel, and tactic throughout their shopping experience.
This is modern marketing.
The Binary Buyer
In the past, companies have imposed their own desires upon customers – and got away with it. Dealerships superimposed pre-Internet shopping approach upon the Internet consumer. An un-examined assumption in marketing was that I just present inventory to prospects and they will contact us and purchase. It is a one dimensional approach to the modern multidimensional digital buyer. This is a binary approach to customers which is based on the concept that prospects are either ready to buy or not. However, that thinking just doesn’t work and is not aligned to reality. Now, the Internet puts the shopper in the driver’s seat.
Without a comprehensive marketing understanding, there can be a continual attempt to engage with prospects in a binary fashion. One of the cornerstone issues behind the binary approach is an unspoken concept that shoppers need to be molded into customers. That’s very backward and non-functional. These days it leads to either overt or unconscious resentment of the dealership.
The reality of the Internet age is that everyone shops for pretty much everything and, as a rule, the larger the price the longer and more numerous the various shopping stages prospects are involved in. Now companies must adjust to customers versus customers adjusting to companies.
The Role of Website and Digital Marketing
What’s interesting and horrifying is that most “marketing agencies” are really nothing more than an evolved website company. There was, and still is, a need for websites and many “agencies” got into providing tactical marketing services. However, making a website does not qualify anyone as a “marketer” and certainly not knowledgeable of Internet marketing strategies. As an aside, even now, website complexity is turning that art into the dominion of technical marketers rather than graphic designers.
Marketing involves conversion and most involved in website design really concentrate on presentation. Their goal is making it functional and look good. It isn’t bad to look attractive, but do not be confused, that isn’t marketing. To top it off, even though digital marketing has been around for years, expertise in digital marketing is not widespread. And for most businesses, marketing tactics are execution and dissociated for strategy.
So, it goes back to the notion of “getting more leads” as a strategy.
If you are dealing with a marketing agency that cannot offer a comprehensive strategic dimension to the marketing they are providing to you, it’s time to find a new agency – and we can help.
We are ready to assist you – from conversation and planning to execution – and beyond. CLICK HERE to reach us.