How to Be Disciplined With Your Automotive Marketing

A significant key to your automotive marketing success is discipline.  But how does your dealership create discipline for your organization to ensure that success?  The most effective way to build and encourage discipline is by establishing uniformity and responsibility across all your marketing vendors and internal marketing teams.Paul Ryan, DMEautomotive

As a car dealer, your marketing department consists of many moving parts…from those who handle the direct marketing campaigns, to the media buyer who is responsible for newspaper, radio and television ads, and others who may manage your internet/digital marketing efforts.

Your Automotive Marketing Game Plan

With all these different parties involved, it becomes increasingly important that your dealership develops a detailed game plan for each, outlining the strategy, target audience, theme and messaging, and call to action.  Though the game plan itself may differ slightly for each particular niche, you must ultimately establish an overall game plan that delivers a consistent targeted marketing message to all audiences.

Effective Automotive Marketing Solutions for Your Dealership

So, let me ask you this: does your automotive dealership include all members of your marketing “team” when you discuss your upcoming marketing strategy?  In other words, are all direct marketers, media buyers and digital marketers included?  Most of you probably just answered “No” and may have noted how impossible and unrealistic that may seem.  If you’re unable to coordinate all your marketing parties, here’s a recommendation I’d like to make.

For each of your external marketing teams, it is imperative that you create a document that identifies the following:

  • Strategy
  • Target Audience
  • Budget
  • New Customer Value
  • Action
  • Consistent Commitment (Monthly / Yearly)

Discipline Within Your Automotive Marketing Efforts

Remember: The art of being disciplined with your automotive marketing centers around two important factors: uniformity and responsibility.

When you put together a comprehensive and detailed game plan…or identify how your dealership can be represented in direct mail pieces, traditional advertisements and online, you will be able to send a consistent and identifiable message to your audience.  Do you want to get serious about a comprehensive and uniform plan?  If you don’t have one already, consider creating a brand standards guide to ensure that your corporate look and feel is thoroughly outlined and established.

Automotive Marketing Effectiveness

When you take the time to implement a consistent plan, you should begin to see positive results by the end of your first quarter.  However, I caution that you don’t just sit back and think all the hard work is done…rather, make adjustments quarterly with the team.  And don’t forget to stay on course because your consistent message will be delivered and drive the appropriate traffic to your dealership.

Regarding responsibility, you must hold all parties accountable for their part of the “game plan”.   If a vendor or marketing provider does not perform its planned marketing strategy, the cohesiveness of your marketing efforts will be compromised.  Do not accept untimely and unplanned marketing implementations.  If you notice undisciplined performance, discontinue that relationship and replace it with an automotive marketing provider that has a robust marketing platform centered on consistent, scheduled and timely communications.  There are no exceptions, as deadlines are important to create common themes and strategic implementation.

Automotive Marketing Planning – Being Uniform

When you implement a uniform plan and demand accountability from your automotive marketing vendors, your dealership will notice a significant improvement in, not only marketing effectiveness, but also in general overall efficiency and effectiveness because all of your teams are in step.

In conclusion, it’s vital to remember that in order to be disciplined with your automotive marketing efforts, two vital factors are needed: uniformity and responsibility. In a perfect world, everyone in your dealership’s marketing department (whether internal or a vendor) needs to be “all hands on deck” in pushing out an effective, disciplined campaign. Therefore, by being uniform and responsible, an automotive dealership that utilizes a detailed game plan can succeed both effectively and efficiently.

~ Paul Ryan, Field Account Manager @ DMEautomotive


Paul Ryan brings over 25 years of experience in sales, sales management, marketing, and client services. He joined DMEautomotive in February of 2008, as a Regional Territory Manager. With proven success as an inside sales representative selling the FullCircle Solutions’ Bullseye program, he was recognized frequently as Sales Person of the Month and received the highest honor of Sales Person of the Year for 2008. In August of 2009, Paul managed, “Direct-To-Dealer” – Mail Division, responsible for overseeing the sales for the “Direct-To-Dealer” Mail Division. Currently he is traveling in the Midwest as Field Account Manager. Paul graduated with a B.B.A, in Business Administration from Iowa State University in 1982.

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