Automotive Myth Busting: One Size Fits All Advertising

It’s Saturday! Blow up the Balloons, blow up the squiggly air man thingy, get your game faces on and get ready. Barely anyone will walk on to your lot today. Any ideas why?

Before you continue reading this article, do me a favor right now and go grab your local newspaper. Open it up to the first auto dealer ad that you see. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but you’re likely looking at a spread that has pictures of vehicles, finance/lease rates and the price of the vehicle right? The top banner of the ad says something like, “Biggest Sale Event of the Year!” or something to that effect. This is what I call “One Size Fits All Advertising”.

The Problem? This form of advertising rarely fits any size. It’s more like NO SIZE FITS ALL! Let me explain why.

** Perhaps the most important message of the whole ad gets the smallest piece of real estate. Whaaaa?

When you consider your own journey to purchasing a vehicle, what were some of the things that you considered high priority? Was it price alone? If you were just beginning research, did your wish list have anything to do with price or was it more about safety, size, look, feel, economy, etc?

Here’s what I’m getting at. If you’re *human, you have emotions. Your emotions dictate your wants/needs. Your wants/needs help you create value. And the things you see value in, you spend money on. Based on this theory, I suggest taking some time to create customer segments. I’m not asking you to pre-judge the people that will fall into these segments BUT, doing so will help you dial in your advertising efforts so that you can promote the things (features, programs, events etc.) that these segmented groups of people will be most receptive to.

Here are some possible customer segments off the top of my head.

  • Young families

  • Retired/Seniors

  • Military/Civil servants

  • Union workers

  • LGBT

Let’s use young families as an example. What are people with young children typically emotionally interested in? SAFETY, more space, climate control, fuel economy, convenience, seating capacity and so on. Now look at the newspaper ad from earlier. Does it  even remotely speak to the emotional needs of young families? If not, how many qualified people from that customer segment should you expect to see on the lot?

Do you see where I’m going with this? To get the most out of your advertising, you need to focus your advertising efforts on the things that people are interested in. You need to speak to their emotions. The way you find out what they’re emotionally interested in is by creating customer segments. Once you create segments, you should design ad campaigns that speak to the customers in each segment.

In my next article, we’ll look at how this concept translates to the web so that you can get your dealership website dialed in and converting more qualified traffic.

*I’m assuming that if you’re reading this article, that you are in fact a human.

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