Your Automotive Marketing Specialists

Your Automotive Marketing Specialists

4 Steps to Planning Your 2020 Marketing Strategy

4 min read

Each year, we plan New Year resolutions or prepare for a fresh start in some aspect. 2020 is just around the corner so it’s time to start thinking about your new sales and marketing goals for the New Year. If you start your planning now, you’ll have a better chance of creating successful strategies for the upcoming year. You may have had a strong 2019 – keep that train going! Don’t fix what’s not broken – although, you should still have goals regardless. Did your sales and ROI meet your expectations overall in 2019? What did you spend in advertising this past year and did it pay off? If you didn’t have the strongest year, there are a few things to consider before diving into a (possible) new marketing strategy.


1. What worked for you in 2019?

Find out what worked best for your dealership overall, throughout the entire year (or even what didn’t work). Or, if you had one particularly strong month – what did you do differently that month? Did you achieve your desired results from the campaigns you ran? Do an overview of all the campaigns you ran, compare the results and see if it met your expectations and go from there. If a campaign didn’t meet your expectations, it doesn’t necessarily mean to kick it to the curb. One of the best parts of digital advertising is that you can always analyze and adjust as needed. It is possible you didn’t have a big enough budget, you weren’t hitting the right areas, or may even be as simple as your creative lacked luster or quality calls to action. If you already went through this process, then we would suggest it might be time to try other avenues and start fresh this New Year with new campaigns and new marketing ideas.

2. Analyze what your competitors are doing vs. what you’re doing

Each month, manufacturers will send out reports of how all the dealerships in the region and state rank against each other in overall sales, sales by model, etc. If your competitor is always ranking above you, take a peek into what they’re doing. Of course, some things like your competitor having a much larger inventory than you or if they have a better location are out of your control – which could have something to do with why they are always ranked so high in those sales reports. There are strategies that are in your control, though. Are you advertising competitive numbers? Are your SEM ads showing lease offers and other incentives? While things like geography, keywords or targeting can be important to get right for your digital advertising, check to see what content your competitors are advertising and see if there is anything you can replicate or do to “one up” them. Focus on what sets your dealership apart from others and use that to your advantage.

3Set your goals for 2020

There should always be a clear and attainable goal with every advertising investment you make. Of course, every dealership’s goal may be simply to sell more cars. However, your goals should be more specific – how many cars, which models do you want to push, etc. It doesn’t have to stop at sales – perhaps you want to also exceed in your service department. How will your dealership reach these goals? We are big believers in various digital marketing solutions such as, Search Engine Marketing, Advanced Retargeting, Facebook Ads (just to name a few). However, your content is also one of the most important parts of your marketing and goes hand-in-hand with many of the marketing strategies we offer. After all, it is what your potential customer will be viewing before they come into their dealership. It is also what gets their attention and hooks them.

4Finally, make your budget for January 2020

Now that you mastered the “big picture” of 2020 and set your goals, it is finally time to dive into the detail-oriented part of budget planning. What are you comfortable spending on a monthly basis? Factor in how much you will be reimbursed by co-op each month. Normally, as an agency, we plan out our client’s budgets on a month-to-month basis. Your automotive advertising agency should be able to give you recommendations on which strategies will work best for your dealership and budget recommendations on each marketing solution you decide to use. For example, SEM budgets are based on your location, your competitors and even the size of your inventory. After the first month of 2020, you can analyze again and adjust as needed for the next month and so on.


Remember the key steps to a successful New Year are to analyze your past marketing strategies, what your competitors are doing and of course what your goals for 2020 are. Automotive advertising is not a “one size fits all” approach. Different campaigns and tactics may work for one dealership, and not the best for others. Your budget, location, brand, creative, etc. all play a part in whether or not a particular campaign will be successful. Each year, new developments are made in the marketing world to help further advance your dealership’s success – so if a current digital tactic didn’t work the best for you, keep your eyes out for a new one!

If you’re interested in revamping your current marketing strategies and budget recommendations based on your 2020 goals, please give us a call at 877-958-4524 or email us at​