Automotive Marketing Tip: How to Own Your Market

Tired of coming back from the factory meeting just to hear that you’re not on top in your city and that your local market share is slipping? Tired of wondering where to spend your money and finding it almost impossible to track what automotive marketing efforts actually work? Well, you’re not alone…far from it really. Many operators at car dealerships around the country feel the same way. So what do they do? Typically they react to the news by hiring a new advertising agency, redoing the marketing plan; and/or by firing a general manager or sales manager!

But the real answer is pretty simple: you have to focus your automotive marketing efforts on YOUR market. That’s right…own your backyard. Let’s be completely honest here…stop worrying about the whole city! If you dominate your market area, you can win the bigger war citywide.

Here’s the brutal truth…it’s not going to be easy. And it sure as heck isn’t going to happen overnight! It’s going to take commitment. Here are a just a few of the ways you can spend your automotive marketing dollars locally in order to own your market:

1. Send targeted direct mail to your top performing zip codes…but don’t forget about your backyard zip codes. Don’t assume that these people are going to come to your dealership just because you’re in the neighborhood.
2. Purchase cable television ad spots for your backyard…and your backyard only.
3. Put up local billboards; advertise at bus stops and on benches in your neighborhood.
4. Get involved in your community and sponsor local events.
5. Offer an incentive program to specific zip codes where the customer gets a better deal simply because they are a resident in that area.
6. Sponsor a high school sports program or local team (kids or adult recreation league).
7. Ensure that you have a sound service-to-sales conversion plan.
8. Be nice to your neighbors. Customer service is such a pivotal part of the automotive industry and it can make or break your dealership.
9. Engage in location-based marketing through the use of social applications (such as Foursquare, Facebook, etc). For an in-depth look at such applications read our blog, Remember, it’s all about “Location, Location, Location.”

If you keep your eye on your backyard and engage in these activities, you’ll spend less, make more and shoot to the top of your rankings. Go ahead. I dare you!

~ Missy Jensen, Social Media Manager at DMEautomotive

Missy designs, deploys and maintains the social media initiatives for DMEautomotive in an effort to increase brand awareness, distribute company and industry news, provide updates on products and services and promote consumer engagement. Missy enjoys the process of learning; researching and watching projects come to fruition!

Prior to her transformation into a web specialist and work with DMEautomotive, she has 10 years of experience in the marketing and communications industry. Missy served as the Director, Handicapping & Communications for a regional golf association and helped successfully launch and maintain a cutting edge technology-based ticket resale program on behalf of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Missy attended St. Lawrence University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Psychology. She also holds a Master’s Degree from Miami University in Oxford, OH. She can be reached at and check her out on LinkedIn.

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