Every business has a unique personality. One of the first steps towards an effective marketing strategy is identifying and clarifying your dealership’s unique temperament. Below, you will find a few examples of common dealership personas. While there is no one right choice, it is crucial that the disposition portrayed in your marketing be indicative of the experience a shopper can expect when they arrive in your showroom. Multiple personalities disorder can wreak havoc on your messaging confusing potential shoppers so work together with your team to solidify your unique “self.”
Stoic, Wise Grandfather – This dealership uses clean, simple, somewhat predictable yet effective marketing. No jokes, no pop culture references; rather, they approach business with a no-nonsense attitude. The Memorial Day Sale is simply called “Memorial Day Sale.” Rare social media posts are informational, educational, and purposeful. No fluff. They spend $6,000 per month on Autotrader and have a young sales manager “managing” their social media with one post per week and no ads. They don’t understand the importance of automotive SEO and their website is the original OEM-mandated version. You may have seen their billboard when you drove into work this morning.
Kooky, Fun Aunt – This dealership is a bit wild, untamed, and unpredictable. Marketing materials may contain puns, jokes, borderline off-color humor, and pop culture references. Humor is interwoven in most social media posts and some traditional media. Entertainment is the primary goal of all marketing efforts with education and information secondary. The opportunity exists to offend or alienate the increasingly sensitive masses, so this approach is inherently riskier than others. When executed correctly, however, a loyal fan base of like-minded, fun-loving locals will develop. Auntie understands social media and advertises effectively, although she occasionally becomes embroiled in a comments section argument and has been blocked by several family members.
Cool Mom – The Cool Mom dealership is a comfortable mix of safety and fun. Humor is not off-limits, but it must be tasteful and PG. They do not push the envelope with potentially divisive references but are also unafraid of interjecting playful themes into marketing materials. This dealership will focus heavily on local events, charitable opportunities, and involvement with the community. Partnerships with the SPCA, local food bank, and other organizations strengthen ties with locals. Cool Mom has social media on lock down. She has a robust Facebook business page with thoughtful daily posts, Instagram is equally well-managed, and her reputation management is on point. Every positive and negative review receives a well-thought-out, personal, and humble reply.
Drunk Uncle – This dealership is easy to identify. Their radio advertisements consist of shouting, belligerent, old school messaging, and obnoxious sound bites. Their TV commercials are poorly produced and involve cliché themes like “No Money Down!”, “Everyone is Approved!”, “Deals Won’t Last Long!” Typically, these are the commercials which have you frantically mashing the mute button. They have wrestle mania events in the showroom and a gorilla on the roof. It is worth noting, however, that while this personality is over the top and annoying, it is proven to be effective for those who commit. Drunk Uncle spews his crazy all over social media and although seemingly out of touch, he does quite well with hyper-targeting the unique shopper segment he serves.
Tech-Savvy Teenager – This dealer didn’t move out of its parents’ basement until it was 30, but when it did it had developed a unique set of skills to market to younger generations of car shoppers. This dealership has a robust presence on all social media platforms, even ones the other dealers haven’t heard of. They wouldn’t dream of spending money on third party websites because it’s “funding the competition.” They also do not use traditional media like TV, print, and radio. Instead, the Teenager focuses 100% of marketing efforts online with Facebook ads, retargeting campaigns, Instagram ad placement, robust Pay-Per-Click, continuous SEO efforts on their website, and grass roots marketing techniques.
There is no right or wrong personality for your business and each presents unique pros and cons. The key is continuity. Be certain to communicate the persona you want to portray to individuals involved with all levels of your marketing. The TV, print, and radio team must use the same voice as the social media manager. The person responsible for building unique landing pages must write copy with the same tone as the person responding to your reviews on Google. Everyone needs to be in sync with your vision of how you want to be portrayed.
If you would like assistance developing your dealership’s unique personality and integrating it into your marketing efforts, contact Dealer Authority today for a complimentary consultation. We specialize in custom automotive SEO, PPC, and social media marketing.