By Melanie Borden, VP of Marketing, Celebrity Motor Cars
The end of the calendar year is upon us! 2019 holiday events are ramping up, dealerships are laser-focused on hitting year-end objectives, and dealership leadership teams are working on getting rid of the remaining 2019 inventory sitting on their lot while beginning to think about what the next year will bring.
For those in a dealership leadership role like myself, planning your 2020 marketing budget and strategy is at the forefront of the horizon. We do not use an agency at Celebrity Motor Cars; we made the shift from agency to in-house in early 2018. All of the marketing strategy, events, budgeting, and planning is done by myself in conjunction working side by side with Celebritys CEO and COO.
To get ahead for 2020, I started working on our marketing plans much earlier than I did in 2019.
There are many factors in determining which media you should focus on for 2020. The following are some examples of considerations in determining where you go from here:
- Performance of your current advertising
- Gross profit of units sold – tied back into the specific channel
- The efficiency of your advertising – visible through your CRM
- Restrictions you may have with a specific vendor
- How many total vehicle units were sold as a result of your campaigns by media source
- Performance of third-party leads
- PMA changes
- Overall sales and service performance of your dealership(s)
- Community outreach
One of the changes many dealerships are making in this evolving landscape is to place a strong emphasis on local community outreach and PR. In our changing industry, this is a way to differentiate yourself from the competition. Grassroots marketing involving local businesses is a strong principle of our CEOs business philosophy, and it has been elevated to all of our media. In an earlier Dealer Magazine article this year I wrote about some of the benefits of leveraging PR for your dealership. Some of those PR benefits include:
Your competitors are leveraging PR (especially the auto groups nearby). They have a team of PR professionals in-house or within their advertising agency.
You need PR across all marketing channels. Won an award? Have a foundation? Hit a milestone? Tell everyone on all forms of media – website, social, email, advertising, press release, TV, etc. Consistency is key.
Search Engine Optimization. There is a substantial advantage that your press releases have in the SERP. You will see instant organic changes in the search engines.
The state of the economy and the automobile industry going into 2020, depending on your market, may also be a component in the end result of any marketing plans.
About the Author
Melanie Borden, a Fashion Institute of Technology graduate, has spent the majority of her 14+ year marketing career in the automotive tech industry. Melanie has worked in various atmospheres from social media startups to a public tech company in consulting, marketing, and business development roles. Presently, she is the VP of marketing for Tom Maolis Celebrity Motor Cars auto group where she develops and implements all facets of the marketing strategy and built the in-house advertising agency.