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This article at Adage reports that via economic recovery, ad spending in the automobile industry will increase by 14% this year.

New car tax incentives for automobiles other than hybrids are now fading as a possible tax credit, which is another sign of a better economy. This is great news for dealerships – obviously, more people are going to want to buy your cars.

One possible issue that might arise due to a better car economy is higher ad spending by your competitors. More money coming in without a doubt means more money to spend on ads. What does this mean for small to medium sized or used—only dealerships?

You May Need to Reevaluate

If a less-than-stellar Q4 in 2011 was part of your budget projection decisions for 2012, you may need to think again. The rapid pace of a healing economy means that your competitors could get louder than you – and you don’t want that. If the necessity to reevaluate and redetermine the budget is stopping you from considering a higher ad spend, you might want to think about that. Your competitors are coming after your customers – that’s not something to gloss over.

You May Need to Get Creative

New marketing techniques will prevail with higher budgets. This includes online techniques such as PPC or SEO targeting, as well as traditional automotive direct mail advertising. Neglecting one or both of these marketing areas with a decreased budget could have a negative impact on your overall sales.

Remember, dexterity in terms of how your marketing crosses offline and online platforms can ensure you more success.

Customer Service is King

The way you treat your customers will affect you in all areas. Prepare for bigger crowds by having more salespeople on hand during peak times and keep standards high for connecting authentically.

Prepare to use automotive direct mail services in larger bulk than you might have last year. Your marketing pieces can start your customers talking, and word of mouth will be a major way you can leverage cost-effective marketing power that brings people into your dealership. Understand now that you competitors may have larger summer marketing budgets that will launch them into a strong car-buying season during the fall and winter months. Don’t take your time when it comes to allotting more money to marketing if needed. Evaluate the budget now, and take a look at your overall numbers to see if a more expansive marketing campaign is needed.