The vast majority of our clients hire us to do their content marketing for the sake of social media marketing and search engine optimization. That’s where our greatest strengths shine through for dealers; through content, we’re able to make a dramatic impact on the amount of cars they can sell.
Last month, we initiated and sat in on five pay-per-click presentations with various vendors on behalf of one of our clients. It was awkward setting a couple of them up because we offer automotive PPC as a service to our clients. When a couple of the companies we contacted saw this, they were a little hesitant to get on the phone with us and our client to show their product. It took some work to demonstrate to them that we weren’t doing it to learn about their “secret sauce” or anything competitive. We simply needed to help our client find the right solution.
We weren’t the right solution for our client for PPC. Their needs were different from the type of PPC we offer to clients and we made that very clear. Our knowledge of PPC practices made it important for us to be on the calls, but again it was challenging to convince some of the other vendors that we weren’t on a spy mission. At the end of the day, it comes down to proper partnership with clients. While I understand the skepticism that the other vendors had, it’s important to have a frame of mind that we must do whatever is in the best interest of the client first and of our own company needs second.
That’s a partnership. It means being objective. It means knowing strengths and weaknesses. Our strength in PPC is budget control and landing page focus. Our weakness is dynamic inventory ads. We don’t believe in them as much as other companies, so when we have a client that wants them, we work towards helping them find the right PPC partner to provide it.
Our industry is so competitive that both dealers and vendors often have a hard time accepting that a company would be willing to do something that’s not in their best interests. Our perspective is a little different because of one simple principle: alignment of goals. We offer SEO to dealers but if our efforts are not going to benefit someone because they’re already properly optimized or the opportunities in their market are too limited, we’ll pass on the business. We offer social media, but if the dealership has in-store people who have the capacity and the skill to make it happen better than we can, we won’t try to force the issue. We offer PPC, but if our service is not ideal for a dealership’s situation, we’ll help them find someone else.
Aligning goals means that we want to do whatever is best for the dealership because that will be what’s best for us as well. Our goal is to help clients sell more vehicles and if that means recommending a different service from the one we offer, we’ll do it. If what we offer is truly what’s in their best interest, we’ll push for it. If not, we don’t try to make a square peg fit into a round hole just for the sake of building up our own revenue. That goes contrary to the goals of the dealership and therefore goes contrary to our own goals.
An ideal partnership is built on mutual trust that everyone has the same goals. Our goal is to sell more cars. Your goal is to sell more cars. It makes it so much easier to make decisions with us when we’re all in lockstep with our motivations.