Lauren Labunsky

Editor’s Note: The following blog is authored by Lauren Labunsky, public relations manager for Dealer Spike, a company that provides websites as well as a suite of online advertising solutions designed to help dealers increase sales and service profitability.

No matter how much money your dealership has to spend on advertising, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you aren’t focusing your effort on strategies that deliver trackable results and earn more money for your dealership than what you’re spending.

One thing to keep in mind when looking at your advertising budget as a whole is that an investment in a digital ad campaign, such as search engine/pay-per-click ads, is likely to go much further than an investment in a traditional ad campaign. Digital ad campaigns generally come at a much lower price point, yet they have the potential to reach many more people, making them significantly more cost-effective. If nothing else, a digital ad campaign should supplement its traditional counterpart. People spend the majority of their time online, so if you want a guarantee that your ads will reach the most potential customers, digital must be included.

Because digital provides the most effective way to maximize your budget, let’s take a few more steps in breaking digital advertising down:

  • A digital ad won’t perform at its peak if it isn’t targeted to the right audience. You want to send your message to relevant audience members who are likely to be interested in purchasing your RVs – if it goes out to everyone, you’re just wasting money and effort. Targeting methods on digital platforms like Google Adwords can go from broad to incredibly niche – giving you plenty of room as the advertiser to pinpoint and adjust the audience demographics for best ad performance.
  • It is best practice to use digital advertising strategies that complement each other. For example, it’s wise to use the same or similar design on search engine ads of all size formats. When a prospect sees your ad, you want it to be instantly recognizable and familiar. Similarly, digital ad campaigns should match or closely mirror the content you distribute through other channels, like email marketing. The more consistently a customer or prospect sees your message, the more likely they are to respond to it.
  • Being spontaneous in your strategy will serve your budget well. If a campaign or ad strategy isn’t performing well, cut it. If another is performing at a much higher level, devote more resources to it and watch the results improve. Generally, the more money you invest in an ad campaign the more opportunity it will have to be successful. Your ad will circulate more and reach a larger amount of people.

It’s important to keep asking yourself the question – Are we maximizing our budget? Money spent ineffectively on advertising strategies that don’t deliver results is money wasted. In a perfect world, you’d be using every cent of your advertising budget on strategies and tactics that will catch the eye of the right prospect who then becomes a customer. If that’s your goal, digital advertising needs to be incorporated in a strategic way. It may require more monitoring than traditional, but the ability to adjust your budget and tactics along the way is a huge advantage. It may seem more complex and tougher to navigate than traditional, but the cost-effectiveness and return on investment can’t be beat.