Ask any dealership what they want from their auto ad campaign and the answer is always the same…more leads, traffic and sales. As you craft and modify your ad program, the following 12 “B’s” will help make your campaign effective and cost-efficient.
• BE DIFFERENT: The very first thing you should do is take a look at what your competition is doing, and start doing something else. Place your ads on different mediums, create a unique and different message, employ a different style of message delivery, and create a different image.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you have to be different. Imitation might be the greatest form of flattery, but it will fail to generate sales growth. Huge gains can be felt quickly when you look, act and talk in a manner that is different from your competitors.
• BE YOU: Present yourself in a manner that fits your personality. If you and your sales staff project a down-home feeling, don’t try to look like a Senator in your ads. Conversely, if your staff wears collared shirts and ties, don’t be a cowboy.
• BE EMOTIONAL: All decisions are emotional. Talk to the heart of the consumer. Speak in their terms. Step inside the shoes of Joe Consumer and find out what moves him. Don’t just spit out facts. Engage the consumer and start creating a relationship.
• BE THE LEADER: At all times, look and act like a leader. When you present your company as the leader, consumers will think that you are. Always be proactive and don’t react to tactics used by your competitors.
• BE CONSISTENT: Success comes with consistency. Next to creating the most compelling message possible, consistency is the strongest force in advertising. People tend to buy from the places they know, trust and are familiar with.
• BE DECISIVE: Decide in advance what you’re aiming for. You’ll never reach your goal if you don’t know what the target is. Know what you want your campaign to do.
• BE FOCUSED: You’ll never sell everyone and you can’t reach everybody. Focus your efforts on in-market buyers. Spend some time researching and defining who they really are and target them. Don’t waste your time or money trying to reach people who don’t need you.
• BE MEMORABLE: Many water-cooler conversations go like this: “I saw this great ad last night. I can’t remember what it was for, but what a great ad.” The goal of advertising is to draw attention to you, the advertiser, not the advertising. Are your ads advertising or entertainment? Will consumers remember you? If consumers can’t name you, what good was the ad?
• BE INFORMATIVE: Package your ads as useful, relevant and meaningful information the consumer can actually use and relate to. The most effective advertising doesn’t look like an ad at all. The non-ad contains useful information your prospects are interested in. Tell them what they want to know.
• BE POSITIVE: Why waste time bashing the other guy when you could be convincing potential customers that you are the better choice? Ads that focus on the negative traits of competitors rarely generate the desired response. In fact, when you tell consumers that your competitors are guilty of some poor practice, deep down they’re thinking you might be guilty too.
• BE SIMPLE: Resist the temptation to load your ads with multiple messages and offers. Complex thoughts, a laundry list of details, lots of product offerings and price points will have the audience tuning out in less time than it took for you to read this line. Each ad should contain one main point. If you find yourself with nine points you want to share, create nine ads. Now you have a campaign.
• BE READY: Many advertisers sweat and fight over the details of the ad campaign behind closed doors. They finally give the OK and those charged with implementing it go to work. The ads hit the airwaves and consumers respond. Only the front line employees don’t have a clue what’s going on. Make sure you keep everyone on your team informed.
By developing a plan and staying on track, you can make this the best year you have ever had.