Over the last year and a half, the conversation has shifted from when the next disruption would take place to how quickly dealerships could pivot just to stay relevant. During this period, some found opportunity to grow while some opted to scale back. Undoubtedly, everyone found themselves wondering the same thing: “What am I missing?”
Perhaps the answer has more to do with the culture of digital marketing and less about actual performance. In an era of vanity metrics, Zoom meetings and an influx of proprietary tech, it’s easy to lose sight of the things that matter and become distracted by the next trending tool or application. When trying to answer the question, “What am I missing?” we have to begin with what you are already doing, who you pay to do it and how that information is communicated to you.
Now more than ever, digital marketing has made most of us creatures of habit. You find something that works well enough, and you stick with it because the thought of changing adds yet another burden to an already complex list of things to manage. The thought of change forces you to ask things like, “What if I’m wrong?” and, “What if it doesn’t work?” Subsequently, when something new comes across your desk, you simply respond, “We already do that,” and move on. But do you? Do we give enough thought behind where your marketing dollars are spent and what piece of your strategy is missing? If we thought less about the burden of change and vendor consistency and more about dealership needs, we would start finding the answers to the question, “What am I missing?” That’s where marketing mix and strategy come into play – and why they matter.
Digital marketing is not a simple box to check off your management list, but rather it has layers that should all be considered when creating your marketing strategy. Do you have an omnichannel approach? Do you have the ability to pivot your message as your inventory levels, staff and budget continue to evolve? Do you track the data appropriately? Do you focus on “driving traffic to your site” for every opportunity?
Such a culture has kept us from seeing the difference in specialists versus generalists. While it may be easier to have a “one-stop shop,” is it really more efficient? If every agency was good at nearly every major service offering, then why are there so many? Strategy is not selling more cars or driving more traffic, but it is defining your goals, building your message and executing the deployment of that message. Marketing mix allows you the freedom to maintain that the message is delivered efficiently into the homes and phones of the people who are most likely to convert. Everything cannot matter to every dealer because one size does not fit all, and not all dealerships operate the same way. So, why do we force our digital marketing into a box and then become uncomfortable to recommend change?
The landscape of automotive digital marketing has changed, and so should you. When considering all factors at play, does the money you spend work best for your dealership? What’s stopping you from shifting budget to other profit centers? If you want to answer the question, “What am I missing?” then we have to change the culture and be more comfortable talking about what matters, not simply responding, “We already do that,” when the conversation about mix and strategy presents itself.DHG’s team of digital marketing professionals can help you answer questions about your strategy and how marketing mix can impact your dealership. For more information, reach out to us at DHGDigital@dhg.com.