|When it comes to allocating marketing dollars, most dealers have it backwards. Newspaper, television and radio have been such an integral part of their advertising programs for so long that many dealers still place those mediums at the top of their advertising priority list, while their Internet marketing programs receive a relatively small percentage of the overall budget.|
The problem with this strategy is that the majority of advertising budgets are still geared towards passive consumers. Internet marketing, however, provides dealers with the opportunity to reach active consumers (i.e., people who are already in the market and looking for information on what to buy and where).
A smart strategy today means allocating the majority of the marketing budget to reach active consumers. The advantages of deploying a targeted Internet marketing program include being able to accurately and quickly figure ROI and cost per lead, alter marketing efforts accordingly, and ultimately achieve a much lower cost-per-sale than other mediums provide. In particular, dealers should be paying very close attention to search engine marketing (SEM) and consider it as their number-one priority when it comes to allocating the budget.
The case for paid search is simple. The shift in consumers’ car buying towards the Internet has been fast and is fairly comprehensive. Search engines are ubiquitous; anyone who wants to know anything starts by going to a search engine. Although many dealers prefer to be ranked in the “free” organic search engine results, what they don’t realize is that high search engine optimization (SEO) rankings almost always result from a synergistic campaign that includes both SEO and SEM.
Additionally, paid search offers the following advantages:
Allocating the Marketing Budget
Paid search marketing is a targeted form of advertising that connects dealers directly with active consumers in their local market. The ROI, cost per lead and cost per sale are easy to figure and speak for themselves, which is why SEM should be the top priority when dealers allocate their marketing budgets.
The intent of the alliance is to give consumers more flexible choices when making vehicle purchase decisions.