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If you haven’t already, start both a digital and a paper file right now to spy on your automotive marketing competition. Label it “Competitors”. Give your entire team access to the digital version of these files/the Competitor folder. Don’t delay in doing this.

The summer is competitive in the automotive industry. If you’re not already taking a closer look at what your competitors are doing, now is the time.

Many dealership marketers refrain from checking up on competitors because they simply don’t know where to start. Here are a few handy tips to start monitoring the activities of your competitors’ marketing efforts throughout the summer months.

Save Their Automotive Direct Mailers

Your competitors’ mailers will tell you a lot about what they’re trying to accomplish. Are they trying to pull in recent grads? Are they doing summer promos that relate to the weather or community events? Are they having prize giveaways or parties to promote certain vehicles or sales? These are all things to keep track of.

Take stock of both the promotions and the design elements used, and enter that information in a spreadsheet for comparison. It’s a good idea to take note of the colors, the branding, and what basic imagery your competitors are using. How do these automotive direct mailers stack up to your own?

Useful Internet Tools

Take a look at sites such as Spyfu.com and Keywordspy.com to get an idea of what your automotive marketing competition might spend online, and how their search engine results are doing. Take this information into consideration alongside their automotive direct mail pieces and other forms of print marketing.

Watch TV and Read the Paper

Are your customers doing classified, TV or radio advertising? If so, how do their basic branding and promotional efforts fit in with their automotive direct mail campaigns? This information can give you a bigger-picture idea of what your competitors are up to, and how you can rise above their efforts with your own marketing.

Remember, summer is already super competitive, and there’s no better way to get an idea of what your competitors are doing other than to just look. If you have a great idea that your competitor steals next year, it’s pretty easy to guess why that’s happening. It’s best to use the information you have at your disposal this year to make standout marketing campaigns that will get clients talking about your dealership – then buying.