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Hi Mish...Truth be told, I hardly do 'conventional' advertising anymore and by that I mean TV, Radio, Newspaper. Thing is, with GM's low market share, and especially low in the DC area...how many real buyers am I going to get with a piddly little budget? $30k - $50k per month goes fast in mediums like the Washington Post. Now, if I was a Toyota store, or say...a Chevy dealer in Texas and my market was huge, bet I'd be all over the media. I feel that there's 2 kinds of advertising that works for me: (This maybe long, but I find you to be curious about all sorts of businesses, so I wrote it)1.)Image/Reputation/Community. A measly HALF page ad in the "Post" costs $10,000. And guess what? Mish will take the ad, and go to his nearest dealer and say "can you match the deal"? And more people are using the 'net, not the paper now.For $10,000...I can sponsor 5 local kid's ballteams per month. Donate to the high schools new library, and guess what? Coaches, parents, everyone sees it. Ditto boy scouts, girl scouts, etc. I cannot tell you how many customers say "you sponsored Johnnys baseball, so we buy here". This customer is more loyal and guess what? I didn't have to "give away" cars in the newspaper.Reputation: Today, a customer we've sold 9 cars to in 5 years came in. 45 days ago she bought a high mile used car for her kid. We inspect ALL our used cars, like Carmax. But with a 95k mile car, something will go wrong. Bottom line: $500 radio antenna part needed today, and we paid for the whole thing. Now tell me, do I OWN that customer for $500? Wasn't that better than $10,000 in some newspaper?2.)EventsThis uses some conventional media. BBQ's, free prizes, donkey rides (as long as the bloody city folk don't see the donkey :). So a local radio jock does a live remote from the showroom, and it's "enthusiasm" when people walk in.3.)NicheLatino marketing. I'm only now starting to explore this. 4.)Guerilla Marketing via the internet. GM's "Buypower" site is where MANY buyers go to get multiple quotes from dealers. While others spend money on advertising, we merely respond to the email and get this, we SEND a real copy of the invoice, SHOW them all the holdbacks, etc, and then undercut the hell out of competing dealers. There's no margin here, but we get our volume up this way. People are blown away that a dealer sends them the whole playbook, without being asked.So no "red tag" on the radio tomorrow. It's merely a "cmon over, bring the family, magic shows for the kids, no pressure while you look around, huge year-end discounts, etc". Sorry for the long answer, but thought I should explain why I don't follow the national-promo all the time.Jedi
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