As we just saw, Platinum Performers, on a median basis, devote 5% of their revenue on advertising and marketing in 2013, and they spent that money primarily on traditional forms of advertising: TV, radio, newspaper and direct mail.
Reaching customers digitally is key as well – despite the majority of budgeting going towards traditional forms of advertising. Online coupons are a popular trend among the top performers, with 100% of Platinum Performers offering online coupons to their retail customers.
Additionally, 90.9% of Platinum Performers manage a Facebook page and they are also more likely to have a Twitter and YouTube account compared to other dealers. Lastly, Platinum Performers beat others when it comes to updating their own websites: Platinum Performers are 690% more likely to update their dealership’s website once each week.
“We use Moving Targets for a birthday program where they can come up with a demographic, salary range and an age group and then blast the mailing group with a, ‘Happy Birthday! Come see me for a free oil change’ message.” – Tripp Lee, General Sales Manager of Frasier Tire Service
To further their marketing efforts, 100% of Platinum Performers collect customers’ phone numbers, make/model/year of vehicle, and address. Ninety percent collect a physical address and 63.6% collect an email address. But, only six of 10 Platinum Performers collect vehicle service history.
Other Marketing Details:
- How do today’s tire dealers get the word out? Well, Platinum Performers have very different ideas about the most effective and efficient means of advertising and marketing:
- Platinum Performers dedicate an average of 8.9% of their advertising dollars on newspaper; other dealers spend 6.3% there.
- Radio (10.4% vs. 9.9%) and TV (16.6% vs. 10.4%) also get significant notice by top dealers.
- Yellow Page advertising, though, only sees an average of 2.3% of the top performer budget vs. 9.5% for other dealers.
- Unexpectedly, Platinum Performers spend less on events – 6.4% vs. 10.5% – and on their websites – 12.1% vs. 18.3%.
- Top dealers are on top of things when it comes to social media (10.6% of their budget vs. 4.1% for other dealers), direct mail (12.7% vs. 10.3%), and online reputation management (3.4% vs. 1.5%).
“The local newspaper offers a 4×4 sticker that goes above the fold on the front page. I can reach 24,000 households for $500. We do that eight times a year and promote seasonal specials.” – Tripp Lee, General Sales Manager of Frasier Tire Service
- Speaking of digital media, 90.9% of Platinum Performers have a Facebook page vs. 75.7% of other dealers; 36.4% have a Twitter account vs. 20.6%; and 36.4% have active YouTube channels vs. 21.5% of the others.
- When it comes to the game-changing – and relatively simple – act of collecting key customer data, neither group shines. Here is how many claim to regularly collect the following customer information:
- Phone Number(s): 100% (Platinum Performers) vs. 97.3% (Others)
- Vehicle Make/Model/Year: 100% vs. 87.3%
- Street Address: 100% vs. 85.5%
- Email Address: 90.9% vs. 59.1%
- Vehicle Service History: 63.6% vs. 40%
- Customer DOB: 9.1% vs.1.8%
- Names of Friends/Relatives: 0% vs. 1.8%
“We’re in the 5th largest city in the country – the conventional media advertising here is very expensive. With just six locations, we’re talking almost 5 million people and a large majority wouldn’t come to us anyway because we’re not in their buying market. Someone would not drive a half hour across town to get oil change and tires rotated. Social media allows us to target our customers.” –Kim Sigman, Partner/GM Community Tire Pros & Auto
- Astonishingly, 36.4% of Platinum Performers fail to perform any kind of customer satisfaction survey, compared to a 43.3% fail rate for other dealers.
- The most popular method of conducting customer follow-up surveys is online, favored by 45.5% of top performers and 33.9% of other dealers. Next is in-store surveying, done by 9.1% of Platinum Performers and 13.8% of others, followed by a mail-in survey, used by 9.1% of the best dealers and 3.7% of the rest.
- Location computer systems are used heavily by both sides for things like tire and part ordering, business email, retaining customer records, service bulletin searches and general Web browsing.
- But business computers are also employed to manage a dealer’s social media (72.7% for Platinum Performers and 50% for others), manage dealer websites (72.7% vs. 48.2%), and handle customer reviews (54.6% vs. 44.6%).
- When it comes to keeping their dealership websites fresh, Platinum Performers hold an edge: 72.7% of the top dealers update their websites at least once a week, 9.1% say once a month, and 18.2% claim once a quarter updates. Other dealers trend to once a month (40.4%) or less than once a quarter (20.2%).
- When it comes to monitoring web success, Platinum Performers tend to be a bit more on the ball, with 9.1% reporting daily analytics checks, 27.3% claiming once a week reviews, 9.1% checking their analytics once every two weeks, and the majority – 36.4% – handling it once a month.
- Conversely, 2.8% of other dealers dig in once a week, 9.4% look at progress once a week, 7.6% check web analytics every two weeks, and 36.8% wait an entire month.
- When it comes to time invested in social media, Platinum Performers average 3.6 hours per week compared to 3.2 hours by other dealers.