Don't commit digital Suicide.
Sitting in a few conferences over the past few weeks, I have been able to confirm my suspicions. There are many dealers and vendors that think tradition media is dead. They are on the road of committing digital suicide for dealers all over the country. If you are lucky enough not to be infected by this yet, you will be able to dominate your market easier than ever. I should mention I am a fan of digital. Our agency would not tell any client that should not be in, on, around, deeply invested in digital. The win here is not to commit digital suicide by placing all of your efforts in digital, unless you are in the 5% of dealers that makes sense for.
Here is where the problems begins: Dealers and managers alike are being told by everyone these new "shiny tools" of the digital age is a must have and you have to get in the game. Well, it is really about 2000 shiny tools from 1000 vendors who sell them. Now, again there are many many good vendors and good products, the issue is if you did all of them you have a budget of @ 250K a month and you can in fact kill your store. Bottom line, it is confusing. When it is confusing, you can easily make poor decisions base on trial and error methods. You can easily get WOW'd by technology and sign too many contracts that are "just $1000" a month based on the wow factor and listening to the analytics of clicks and visitors etc.
The answer: This varies depending on your market, and how you can buy traditional media along with the opportunity to OWN traditional in your market. You need to do % analyzation of what % of your money should go to digital and what portion should stay in traditional to capitalize on the fleeing dealers headed to the land of the “web” based on all this excitement and WOW factors. If you have a good traditional agency that truly understands the how to use cohesiveness of the two, traditional media and digital technologies, you will dominate your market by putting your eggs in two baskets and making the most educate decisions in both worlds. It is not a competition of the two, it is using them both intelligently. I have not met one digital agency that would not agree and even like the results of pushing digital traffic using traditional media. Think about this, Where did you hear about AutoTrader.com, how did TrueCar launch their site? How did you hear about godaddy.com or monster.com?
These huge INTERNET companies pushed their digital presence with traditional media to build their brand. Dealerships can do exactly what they did in their local market. We have tracked and can still prove that beyond pushing site traffic, which by the way is supposed push lot traffic as end result, that we can push deliveries in a very fast ROI process. Sometimes by turning on radio formula or TV buy that is formulated to have immediate impact, within one week. Not to mention that if you have stopped mailing your data base with a tangible hard copy mailer direct in the mail box, you already have the digital suicide knife in your hand. There is about nothing that still provides that fast ROI and saves you from having "defectors" that go buy elsewhere.
To close, please take note of the word “formula” in the last paragraph. You can not just buy media anymore, without knowing the reach and frequency formulas that will provide success. These formulas are based on science, just like the digital numbers game, it is about how many people we reach and how frequently we reach them with a STRONG message. The end result is that it will provide a good ROI like any properly formulated numbers game. So, embrace digital, make solid decisions on your game plan and do the same with traditional. If you have any questions on how to make these decisions because it is confusing as heck, reach out to me for a free analysis using our product "ADvestigate" that scores all ads you are thinking of running to help you make these decisions to get the best ROI you can every time.
Best Selling co-author