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Eric Elliott

Three Ways Auto Dealerships Aren’t Engaging Their Community

Feb 12,2018 / automotive advertising

Auto dealerships thrive on the people that surround them. Many have far reaches, entire regions of the country that come straight to them for automobile purchasing and servicing needs. Few dealerships know how to take advantage of the pool they’re located in and most struggle to even appeal to the fish in front of them. Let the community know your name.These are three ways dealerships fail to engage their community.

Seasonal Campaigns:

Many dealerships choose not to run seasonal campaigns. They opt instead to use the same ads year round. The ads become stagnant and something the viewer has seen time and time again. Consumers exist on a rotation of attention during the calendar year. Seasonal ads are wildly effective because they play on the emotions and the feelings the specific time of year brings. The wild free hot summers, cozy winters, shiny holidays or rainy springs can be leveraged to nudge prospective customers towards your dealership.

Changing Offers:

Some dealerships run offers for long periods of time with no variety. This provides a standard for what people can expect but if left too long makes them think it will always be available. Well maintained marketing for dealerships change ads every two to three weeks. Effective offers have an expiration date, a way of forcing the buyer’s hand if they want to take advantage of the deal. Push them to either accept or decline the offer by implementing a timer. These offers should be decisively crafted. An engaged community is one that celebrates the cogs that truly make it run. Be a part of that by designing specials for specific demographics. For instance, incentivize purchases for first responders. Not only will it attract that demographic but it will build trust in those who have any sort of connection to that demographic. Analytics aside, the more human centric your dealership can become, the more success you’ll find.

Community Service:

Community service is repeatedly overlooked by dealerships. Things like sponsoring children’s sports teams and representing themselves at community events are all forms of very effective advertising but never enough. Every dealership that thinks it’s fine to sponsor one team has it wrong. You need to be irrevocably woven into the fabric of the community. Your presence should be that of a pillar of the community rather than just another business. That will earn you respect that turns to business. For every upgrade you make to your dealership, you should make three to your community with your name branded on each.

Some dealerships command the industry for entire counties, some are next door neighbors with competitors. Regardless of dealership size or reach, the most important way to market is through engagement and most dealerships don’t do enough of it. Do not expect to make a withdrawal from the community without first making several deposits.


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