Why is Muhammad Ali considered the greatest boxer of all time? Simple, his approach to boxing significantly differed from his competition. He realized he could not rely solely on the knockout punch as a way to win. So, he took a sport that previously had relied largely on power and added speed and endurance to help him outlast his foe. He consistently set his strategy based on his opponent’s weaknesses, and used them as opportunities. All of that allowed him to rise above and become “The Greatest.”
So what can Ali’s approach teach automotive retailers about dealership marketing? His principles – consistency, speed, and endurance – are the same ones retailers can apply to help make their marketing “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
Dealerships today face the daunting challenge of reaching Internet-paced, mobile-wielding consumers whose expectations are ever changing and ever growing. Those consumers are in control of their own car-buying journey and no two are the same.
As a result, dealers should be prepared for prospects to jump on the “vehicle-buying band- wagon” no matter when or where the opportunity arises. There is no single knockout-marketing channel.
While each marketing channel has unique benefits, they shouldn’t be viewed as singular or optional for your dealership. To keep your marketing off the ropes, ALL of the following opportunities have to work together:
- Email Marketing – Generates 37% of your leads.
- Direct Mail – Creates a 46% lift in conversion with email marketing and is your number one channel for conquest.
- Website Behavior – Conversion rates from organic traffic to the web- site rose 47% with the addition of incentive-based behavioral marketing.
- Pay-Per-Click – Using targeted remarketing gains 16% higher click- through rate (CTR) and 35% higher conversion than traditional display.
- Electronic Media – Creates a 24% lift in CTR in email marketing.
- Content Marketing – Produces a 66% lift in traffic for the website.
- Social Media – Generates a 64% increase in CTR and a 36% increase in conversion with email marketing. Once you recognize the benefits of a multi-channel approach, then you’re ready to apply Ali’s principles and win. Here’s how:
- CONSISTENCY – Ali knew he would have to be consistent with his attack on an opponent. It’s equally important for your dealership to be consistent with the message you put in front of your customer in every channel. For example, the message that goes out in email also should be conveyed prominently on your website and reinforced in pay-per-click advertising.
- SPEED – Instead of investing all of his energy in a few well-placed punches during early rounds, Ali would let the opponent swing away and waste their resources. He knew being strategic about his punches was better than matching an often bigger, stronger opponent blow by blow. For dealerships, having a big ad budget is great, but optimizing that budget to get the most leads out of your marketing is far better than just slinging money around for “aware-ness.” Have the speed and flexibility to move your budget around to the channels that mean the most, and know what the goals for each of those channels are.
- ENDURANCE – Endurance training in marketing requires making the right adjustments to build your stamina. You have to train using each channel to work towards your goal: More leads that lead to more shows that win you more sales. You won’t become a prizefighter overnight; it takes time and effort to refine your technique and your message.
In my upcoming articles, I’ll unpack different marketing channels and focus more closely at how each one works and what your goals should be. With the right resources and insight, your dealership’s marketing channels will work in-sync together. Let’s get to training.
Author: Larry Bruce
LARRY BRUCE is a 30-year veteran in retail automotive dealerships and digital marketing. He currently is founder and CEO of OnlineDrive, a digital marketing firm recently acquired by Reynolds and Reynolds. Larry has successfully launched three tech companies, all of which intersect with automotive retailing and digital marketing. He started AIMData, a targeted marketing suite of tools for automotive retailers and ClickBuyDrive, an online vehicle buying application, both of which he sold in 2008.