“Smarter” Marketing

July 23rd, 2014 | Written By: admin

ChalkboardSmart is a relative term, isn’t it? As a child, Albert Einstein was considered slow because he could not speak until he was four, and today he is considered one of the most brilliant minds ever. At the same time, this Nobel Peace Prize winner married his first cousin.

Successful service departments are always looking for ways to be smarter with the way they approach all aspects of their business. Technology is affording us the opportunity to do more with less these days, and service marketing is no exception. But there are ways you can overcorrect the direction you take in the name of being “smarter” that end up not being very smart at all. Here are some major mistakes you can avoid so that the choices you make truly are “smarter.”

Mistake #1: “Let’s replace mail with email because it’s cheaper.”

Remember: Let’s be smarter. ROI needs to be a major part of any marketing decision, not just cost. When operating a multimillion-dollar business within your service department, what you have to lose or gain in profit is a much higher value than what you can save in cost. Overall, an average of 27% of service emails sent out are opened by the recipients and only 6% have a unique click-through. Of the 6% that do click through, almost 2% are clicking to unsubscribe. If you ran a direct mail campaign and 73% of your mailers were thrown away, you would never do business with that company again. Yet some dealers are moving more of their marketing campaigns to email, even though they know emails are not getting opened. Emails can serve a great purpose in the correct setting, but too many dealers live in hope that they will work for service marketing, even when the numbers say otherwise.

Mistake #2: “I can do more by communicating less.”

How many of your customers service their vehicles with you on time? Our REV reporting suggests it is about 21%. Some customers delay, while others don’t service with you or go to another dealer, altogether. It would be great if marketing success was just a simple algorithm, but it’s not. Success in service marketing is about WHY a consumer should choose you, and not just WHEN they need to use you. If it were only about when, your entire budget would be spent on the sticker in the corner of the windshield. Being in front of the customer, selling your message, is vital. If you aren’t, it will only be beneficial for your competitors.

Mistake #3: “I want to put something into place and never touch it again.”

Most service managers are not classically trained in advertising and marketing. Automation can be as bad for your store as it is good. First and foremost, you need to be sure that if something isn’t working, it can be stopped. Most dealers we work with do not have high levels of success with canned products that do not adapt to their market.

Mistake #4: “Customer prospecting is the same as customer processing.”

There are many new software options for service departments these days that can really help business. They are valuable because they save time, offer your customers more benefits, and decrease your costs, among other things. Dealers make the mistake of investing money normally spent on driving in traffic on software tools that have nothing to do with marketing. If you choose to spend money on software instead of marketing, that is one thing. Many dealers, however, are doing less to market their store without realizing it. They see less traffic and realize, after the fact, that they have not been reaching out to their customers nearly enough.

Set your objectives effectively with this test: Is it Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely? Focusing on the traditional formula for SMARTer marketing, instead of changing direction based on trends, really is a smarter way to go. We’d love to talk with you about smarter marketing for your service marketing.

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