What worked yesterday may not work today but may work again tomorrow.
Over the years, I’ve used these words to explain how both search engine optimization and social media marketing operate. They do not exist in a static environment. By their very nature, they are in constant states of change, both internally as well as in the ways that people utilize them. Automotive marketing is the ultimate game of “hit the moving target”.
The primary reason that some in our company chose to leave our corporate jobs with large automotive marketing companies and take a chance by building something from scratch is the need for a nimble solution in our industry. Some would say that there’s never been a worse time to try to build a company in this field because of the bulk consolidation of companies through OEM mandates, marketing automation tools, and the rise of the savvy marketing managers at dealerships. We saw it as an opportunity, each of which tie into the three biggest reasons that some would say we should never have left our jobs.
- OEM Mandates – While most OEMs are doing everything they can to bring companies towards the center of the pack, there will always be franchise dealers that want to be dominant. The OEM strategy makes a little sense; yes, you will bring some of the stronger dealers down but you will also lift the weaker dealers up. While this makes sense for the OEMs, it makes no sense to aggressive dealers who want to stay on top if they’re already there or get on top if they’re not. Our strategies are designed for individual dealers and small- to mid-sized dealer groups. An OEM or large dealer group would not be able to do much with our service because it’s built on effectiveness rather than scalability.
- Marketing Automation Tools – It’s amusing to watch the trends. Companies keep trying to figure out the shortcuts to success on social media and the search engines, but regardless of how many smart people they hire, they’ll never be able to fool the likes of Google or Facebook for long. Every new automation tool that finds success gets shot down quickly. All of the players in search and social have been exceptionally clear about their intentions. They do not want automation. They want manual effort. They want quality. They don’t reward software solutions or clever schemes. Long term, the type of personalized approach that we offer to our clients is exactly what the search and social giants demand.
- The Rise of Savvy Marketing Managers – This is by far the most puzzling when used as an argument against a company like ours. We have found that the better a dealership is at understanding digital marketing, the more likely they are to utilize our services. The automotive marketing world is vast and dealers who have people that understand this world realize that there are things that must be done at the dealership and there are things that are better sourced to trusted partners. We are that trusted partner, which is why we don’t offer packages. Everything we do is customized to the individual dealership. We fill the gaps that the dealership isn’t covering and we do not charge for things that the dealership can do better in-house.
As bulk vendors continue to get bigger, the need at the dealership and dealer group level to work with outstanding strategies and impeccable delivery is growing as well. Standard marketing automotive marketing strategies are good enough for most dealers. For the aggressive ones who are earnestly seeking success, there’s Dealer Authority.