Like it or not, 2019 is coming to a close. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably in the automotive industry which means that’s good news. It’s good news because year-end sales can be a huge boost for overall annual sales goals and mean a big finish for car dealerships. If you’re looking for ways to help make sure your dealership has a big close this year, here are some tips for year-end auto sales.
Strategy, Strategy, Strategy
You can’t expect to have a huge boost in sales if you don’t do anything to get there. Now is the time to sit down with your automotive marketing agency and your dealership team and make a plan. Set up a calendar so you know everything that’s happening between now and the end of the year with your advertising. When planning, make sure you have the following:
- An aggressive plan
- Coordinated timing
- A cohesive marketing message
- A good year-end budget
- A good marketing mix
Okay, maybe you don’t actually want to attack, but you do want be aggressive with your year-end marketing strategy. Think about all of the dealerships and general marketing out there at this time of the year. You want to stand out, you want to be consistent, and you want them to choose you. Be sure your pricing is as competitive as it can be. Consider offering an additional incentive like extra money off a purchase, a holiday cash card with purchase, or even complimentary gift wrapping while they shop. People are multitasking at the holidays, and if you can give them an added bonus, it will help!
Time it Just Right
When sitting down to plan, it’s a great idea to have a calendar with you. Map out the end of the year with intentional boosts at the time it’s likely to have the most impact. For instance, the week before the holidays, your message is likely to get lost in a flurry of to-do lists and travel. Don’t waste too much effort during this time. Instead focus on the days leading up to that point and immediately after. Don’t stick too many messages out there at once and then go light on other times. Make sure to spread your marketing and budget out somewhat evenly during those effective times.
Get it Together!
Now is the time to get it together – your creative that is. You want to be sure all your marketing messages are consistent. There are 24 touch-points before a person buys a vehicle. If the marketing message is scattered with different creative and offers, those touch-points take a lot longer because it doesn’t resonate with the user. Most manufacturers advertise some of holiday or year-end savings. You’ll want to mirror that with a local and personal touch of your own for an even more consistent message.
Put your Money Where your Mouth is
Here is the part no one likes to talk about – the money. If you have a strong advertising presence already, you shouldn’t need to allocate much more for year-end sales. However, in the automotive digital marketing space, competition increases starting in November through the end of the year. That means it takes a little bit more budget to hit your targets. We recommend allocating some extra dollars for year-end marketing. Depending on our store size, anywhere from $500 – $3000 should do the trick. If you’re selling less than 75 cars per month, $500 is probably a good amount. If you’re selling 200+ cars per month, you’ll be at the $3,000 level.
Mix it up!
The holidays stirs everything up a little, and you’ll want to do the same with your marketing. When we say mix it up, we don’t mean change everything you’re doing. Definitely don’t do that – especially with what’s working and bringing you leads! You do, however, want to make sure you have a good marketing mix. A strong digital presence is a good idea all year, but during this peak time, consider adding some tools you don’t always use. If you’ve been doing social media and PPC, consider adding a targeted display campaign or conquest emails. The holidays are a good time to throw in some traditional as well. Consider some targeted postal mailers to your database as well as conquest customers. Just remember to make sure your marketing is consistent! For a little help on how to blend your traditional and digital together, download our Bridging the Gap guide.
This year, the year-end sales window is slightly shorter with a late Thanksgiving, so you’ll want to get started right away. If you need help developing your strategy, reach out to us today. We are happy to help your dealership get that big close!
Christine has spent the last 13 years strategizing, executing, and optimizing digital campaigns. She is certified in a variety of digital tactics including SEO, SEM, Social Media, Display Advertising, Email Marketing and Mobile Advertising and has been published several times on PRDaily.com. She has hosted digital trainings, been a guest lecturer for Graduate classes, and has spoken at the Digital Dealer conference. Outside of the office, Christine is a roller derby coach and also teaches Digital Marketing at William Paterson University.
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