Enjoying what you’re reading? Sign up now.


Put Marketing Blind Spots in Your Dealership’s Rear View

Cars in the rear view mirror
Article Highlights:

  • For successful marketing, you have to get personal.
  • Staying on top of current trends and practices is key.

We all know the vehicles that have those pesky blind spots, and some are worse than others. You try to merge–blind spot. You try to change lanes–blind spot. These blockers can be tricky when you’re driving, and the same can be said when your dealership is navigating through the digital marketing landscape.

You may be wondering: what exactly is a marketing blind spot? Really it can be all sorts of things—your dealership may be overspending on less valuable searches, or perhaps under-investing in profitable platforms. Blind spots in your marketing can become a common oversight, and it happens even within the largest, most successful dealerships. The tricky task comes from identifying these blind spots and learning how to course-correct when its affecting your own marketing.

Let us help you gain some clarity.

The Importance of Identifying Marketing Blind Spots

Most of us have been driving long enough to know the steps in identifying blind spots, as well as what precautions need to be taken to keep yourself and others around you safe. You might double check your left and right side mirrors, turn your head and look over your shoulder, use your review mirror and backup camera, or ask the passenger for additional help.

Your marketing requires the same due diligence and attention to make safe yet productive choices.

For example, have you ever wanted to…

  • Change lanes, moving your budget from one place to another, without asking for insight from an expert?
  • Skip viewing or participating in performance reviews because, say, you’re using co-op dollars for that marketing cost anyway so what’s the harm?
  • Stick to the same rout(in)e instead of trying a new way to get to where you want to go because you’re afraid you won’t be successful?

You just might be (blissfully) unaware of your own blind spot—but hey, we all have them. Before any accidents happen, there are three common obstacles to start paying attention to so you can learn how to look out for those in your digital marketing blind spot:

Hazard Alert: Merging into Generic Messaging

It’s easy to get caught up in the automation of everything. Use this template for A, B, C… use this automatically generated message for D, E, F. We get it—these tools can make marketing a little easier, and there’s nothing wrong with finding ease in your strategy.

The problem arises when you use these tools without really knowing your audience, which is your blind spot in this case. For successful marketing, you have to get personal. If you want your audience to take action, you can’t skimp on the creative, custom elements that make you stand out. Customers notice the details that you put into your marketing and messaging. They notice if the copy doesn’t match graphic or the video doesn’t align with the call-to-action or the message doesn’t align with the platform. These messages can start to look messy, automatically generated, or, worst of all, like you didn’t care to know your target audience’s wants and needs in the first place.

Quick Tip: No two dealerships are alikeMake yours stand out. Use these creative elements to make your campaigns pop:

  • Customer testimonials
  • Personalized CTAs for follow-ups
  • Moving animations or interactive buttons
  • Popular hashtags or trending phrases

Hazard Alert: Poorly Focused Targeting

Remember that people can get annoyed with ads. With the improved marketing and tracking technologies of the last few years especially, your customers expect a more personalized experience with your brand than what a dated “spray and pray” marketing approach can ever offer.

Spreading your marketing message and budget thinly across your entire audience (or not even identifying and targeting a particular audience at all) is unlikely to be the best use of your dealership’s efforts. Digital marketing allows for precise and specific targeting, allowing you to reach the right audience, at the right time and place, with the right message in mind. Combining this with effective planning and testing will help to convert your customers at the lowest possible ad spend.

Quick Tip: Targeting based on previous marketing results, consumer behavior, market trends, and transactional data can be used to create the perfect message for each recipient. With customized email, direct mail, and newsletters, you can be sure to encourage action with messages that reach customers and prospects with offers and content that’s relevant to them in their own buying journey.

Hazard Alert: Being Stuck in the Rear View

We’re heard it time and time again: “But we’ve always done things this way…” (Oh boy.)

Being stuck in old ways, following an old marketing strategy, is one of the most common blind spots in dealership marketing. If your dealership is spending time or ad spend on something simply because it’s always been done, then it may be time for a re-think. (This is especially true for instances where you’re spending on something that has limited tracking or may be underperforming but has run un-checked for a while.)

Sometimes these activities take place routinely and almost subconsciously. It’s important to take a routine assessment of your marketing practices—ask yourself why you are doing certain things and whether adjusting your strategy should be considered. If you aren’t sure if you’re dealership is fully utilizing its resources, it doesn’t hurt to talk to an expert in the field for additional guidance.

We aren’t saying that the regularly scheduled marketing activity you conduct, such as display ads on partner websites or sponsoring an annual auto convention, can’t be a successful strategy for your business. It’s simply important that these activities are done intentionally. The classic, “but we’ve always done…” activities should be critiqued and changed as needed, along with all other marketing activities that may have become outdated.

Quick Tip: Staying on top of current trends and practices is key. Want to be memorable? Consumers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text. Get your message to stick with video ads.

Hazard Alert: Only Using Your Digital Backup Cam

It’s easy to become fixated on the online marketing channels and forget that your offline strategy needs some love too. These two outlets work as a tag-team, and one can’t function well if your dealership forgets the other entirely. Your dealership’s offline activities need to be reviewed as part of your marketing strategy and brought into the same loop as your other marketing channels. The simple act of ensuring that your customer records are clean, accurate, and updated can save your dealership TONS.

Quick Tip: One great way to enhance your offline marketing is through targeted direct mail marketing. It’s common to hear direct mail marketing surrounded by terms like “outdated” or “junk.” It may be easy to dismiss direct mail in today’s digital-focused world, but 57% of customers said that direct mail made them feel more valued as a customer.

All in all, blind spots aren’t always easy to see, and that’s okay. It’s important that your dealership takes the time to assess whether these blind spots are affecting you—after all, they may prevent you from overspending or underperforming simply due to an oversight. Sometimes taking a step back and letting the experts help can allow you to take those barriers away, and maybe even prevent some crashes along the way.

Share this Article

Anna Perry is a marketing communications professional at Reynolds and Reynolds. She is an expert on Reynolds’ suite of cutting-edge marketing products, their functionalities, and how they can be utilized to improve dealership success. Anna received her Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Marketing from Miami University, as well as her Associate’s Degree in Business Management Technology with a concentration in global and social computing.

Related Articles:

Woman holding mobile phone

Texting Tips: 5 Steps to Better Messaging

Fine tune your texting skills to send an impactful message every time.

Maximizing Your Marketing Potential with QR Codes

Nearly 89 million US smartphone users scanned a QR code with their mobile devices in 2022 – a number predicted to reach more than 100

ipad with Google displayed on screen

Build a (Google) Profile You Can Be Proud Of

Your customer is searching for a trustworthy mechanic. If your dealership doesn’t appear, how could they possibly choose you? That’s where your Google Business Profile

Robotic hand reaching out to touch human hand.

From Bots to Buyers: How AI is Changing Dealerships

Learn how to navigate the exciting landscape of Artificial Intelligence, and how it can help your dealership thrive in this new age of technology.