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Matt Hayward in Maine is Director of Business Development and a Senior Account Manager at CBC Automotive Marketing, an ad agency working across the United States with successful dealerships and dealership groups.

Bigger Isn’t Better: The Benefits of Hiring a Boutique Automotive Marketing Agency

I’m sure it has happened to you before in one way or another. A smooth-talking marketing salesperson from a big agency comes in with a glossy deck and slick pitch about how large and successful their agency is and that, you too, can be successful like the thousands of other clients they have. I mean, you can trust them…right? A thousand other businesses do, so they must be good…right?

The answer is not always as clear cut as Mr. or Ms. Slick would have you believe. Calling it a bait-and-switch may be too severe, but here is what typically happens with these big-box agencies as soon as you’ve signed on the dotted line.

First, you never hear from the smooth-talking salesperson again.  Their one job, after all, is to get you to sign up. They don’t worry too much about what happens after that. Next, you are often assigned an inexperienced recent hire to deal with on a day-to-day basis. If you are lucky, they are half-qualified and engaged. Too often, they are not properly trained, underpaid and overworked. It’s a recipe for frustration, failure, and wasted money / opportunity. Sometimes, rather than dealing with a pro who can directly get things done for you, you find yourself submitting “tickets” to make changes to your campaigns. Now, you seemingly spend more time on hold with your agency than they have spent working on your marketing.

Sound familiar? With big agencies, you’re always going to be a number. Their aim is often to sign you and hope you aren’t a high-maintenance client. They’ll often throw you an advertising package and say it’s custom-tailored to your business. It generally is not.

In the highly competitive world of automotive marketing, things change daily, whether it’s with your business or the industry. You snooze and you lose, my friend. We see it over and over again. The problem with big ships is that they turn slowly, whereas the smaller boats can quickly correct or even completely change course. More and more automotive dealers realize this. That’s why many major players in the retail automotive space prefer working with boutique, service-oriented agencies.

 

Why are boutique agencies better, specifically?

It is challenging to boil down all the benefits of working with a nimble, highly professional, expert-heavy automotive marketing agency. Here’s a partial list.

  • Boutique automotive agencies can truly act as your partner rather than just another vendor. Individual clients make up a critical percentage of revenue in boutique agencies, thus incentivizing them to work harder on your behalf. The success of the agency is intimately tied to the success of its clients (Entrepreneur). You’ll find that, by and large, boutique agencies are simply more passionate about the work they are doing for you. Your success is literally their success.
  • Custom marketing messages and campaigns stand out in a sea of cookie-cutter, template-driven programs. Unique content and messaging is in high demand, and with the rise of newer platforms, brands realize they need smaller, more flexible agencies to maintain their influence (Entrepreneur).
  • With less red tape to cut through, boutique agencies are more efficient because they are more agile and able to innovate and adjust efforts based on budget, trends, seasonality, digital metrics, etc., with less lead time. They get things done.
  • The advertising professionals you meet during the “signing” process know your business and often do the actual work. You have the luxury of building individual relationships with people who understand your unique needs. You can trust that an experienced pro is just a call away when you have a question or need to get things done fast. You won’t be calling a customer service number or submitting a work order ticket online just to get a new graphic on your website. “There’s a level of comfort that comes with knowing exactly who you’re working with, what to expect, and how soon you’ll see results.” (5 Reasons to Hire a Small Marketing Agency)
  • Your business matters more to your boutique agency team. You’re not just another call they need to get through, and you won’t just hear the same tired lines that they fed the last ten clients they talked to that day. Jess Philips, CEO of the Social Standard is quoted in Entrepreneur saying, “The best ideas always emanate from small teams who don’t just study social media trends, they live & breathe them.”

 

Auto dealerships have unique needs specific to their markets and their competition. They need unique strategies and approaches to build their brands and gain market share. With a boutique (yet full-service) automotive marketing agency on your side, you’ll have a more-efficient team working for you, doing unique, quality work. You’ll work through problems more quickly and accelerate your success. And you will have a partner that cares about your business intimately.

Whether you’re sitting in your dealership reading this and thinking “This is just what I need!”, or “Maybe I should look more closely at my current agency relationship.”, take the next step today. Reach out to us below, and let’s start a conversation.

 

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