by Anna Halloran
Why Consistency Matters in Dealership Marketing
Do you have a favorite show; one you sit down to watch every week? Maybe it’s Saturday Night Live, maybe it’s The Voice (or any other variation thereof). Whatever the program, it has become a staple in your routine, and you look forward to it on a regular basis. Now, think about what happens when that show randomly goes on hiatus. Your dedicated hour of relaxation is now gone, and you have to look for another show to fill the void.
I can hear you asking: what does this have to do with marketing? While consumers may not be seeking out traditional and digital media just to watch commercials, they do create habits around their media consumption. That’s why consistency in marketing is so important. People are consistent in their habits, and the best marketing is consistent as well. Let’s break this down in a few different ways.
Consistency in Budgeting
Let’s look at a real-world example: At the beginning of a given year, some dealerships will inevitably choose to pull back significantly on their marketing buys. They see January and February as historically slow months for them, so they figure why not save some money until March? Instead of thinking in YOY, I encourage you to think about the buying cycle of the auto-intender. From the research stage to the purchase stage, it typically takes about 90-days for the consumer to buy. So, if you reduce your presence in January and February, you’ve lost the top-of-mind awareness at the top of the sales funnel, thus shorting yourself potential buyers in March. (Plus you’ve reduced your chances of having a strong January and February – creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.) Having a consistent marketing strategy means you will be top of mind for buyers both today and tomorrow.
Consistency in Branding
Brand recognition is developed with consistent presence, but also with consistent branding. For example, when you see a red and white target on a commercial you know it’s a Target ad, or a yellow tag means you’re watching a Best Buy ad. One of the most common mistakes our agency sees is dealerships with inconsistent branding elements, such as logo usage. Your logo is often your introduction to consumers, and your visual connection to them, so you need to make sure it’s present everywhere you’re present, AND that it’s always the same. For more details on this check out our Dealership Brand Blog.
Consistency vs Competition
I don’t have to tell you the automotive industry is TOUGH. Popular brands are often only 15-20 miles apart from one another (sometimes even less), meaning customers have plenty of choices when it comes to where they buy. This is great for the customer but challenging for dealerships. If you are surrounded by competition, whether similar brands or otherwise, it is imperative to have a consistent marketing presence. Think back to the consumer habits we talked about at the beginning of this blog. If you’re not there when customers are looking, they aren’t going to wait around for you or seek you out elsewhere. They’re going to be drawn to the brands they recognize, in the places they consume media often. If your competition is there consistently and you aren’t, you generally will lose. Simple as that.
Consistency is king in marketing. Whether it’s in budgeting, in branding or against competition, practicing consistency will almost always be in your best interest. If you’re looking for an automotive marketing agency that practices what it preaches when it comes to consistency, let’s have a conversation!