Over the last decade, automotive marketing agencies made sense. They offered you plenty of benefits that at the time were “tailor-made” for your dealership and promised an unparalleled partnership and strategy in a time of a highly competitive (almost completely) advertising battlefield. And at the time, this probably was the best option for any prospective dealership looking to stay sharp against key players, and attract shoppers to the best of their marketing’s ability.
But it’s not 2015 anymore, and the reality is that technology has become so powerful that it’s ultimately surpassed what any one or “team” of humans can accomplish at scale. While automotive marketing agencies once made sense in their prime, it’s the dealerships that now utilize in-house automated technologies that will catapult over their competition.
At first glance, it feels natural choosing a face-to-face (or virtual) support team that translates into an authentic human connection, but we challenge you to dig a little deeper here. Handing off the baton to an automotive marketing agency that is not leveraging the latest technology means leaving money on the table.
Monthly Check-ins? More like monthly check-outs.
We’ve all been there. Signing on to that next monthly meeting discussing the A/B test campaign that’s been running over the past month and assessing new goals – something that could easily translate into a simple email. But waiting a whole month without updating your ad strategy just won’t cut it anymore. With an agency, you lack full control and accessibility to updated data in real-time on your stores from group performance to specific store performance. With in-house marketing technology, you’ll be able to get a pulse on how your dealership is performing and responding to the market 24/7. You can leave the monthly check-ins behind, and use that time to focus on what running campaigns are already bringing you the most success. Plus, the longer the tech is running, the smarter it gets – which means your marketing goals are always improving (bye bye gut-feeling, hello real results). So if you’re still having meetings once or twice a month with your agency to figure out how to improve campaigns, you’re already behind the systems that are working all the time – 24/7 – 3am on Christmas – Labor Day weekend – working to make optimizations to better your business.
Manual updates are a thing of the past and should stay there.
Since most agencies don’t have the sophistication to dynamically create fresh ads, they are left with an outdated, manual approach. In times where shoppers expect you to not only find them but target them personally, this strategy can become dangerous for your business. A manual strategy gives way for outdated ads, broken links, and more money left on the table. Thankfully, tech-driven solutions solve this for you. They empower the in-house marketing teams to create thousands of ads, making up to 10,000 (!!) changes a month by testing different messages and landing pages and also advertise all of your dealership’s inventory, allowing you to hyper-focus on branding/organic, and special campaigns, while the technology runs in the background to work double time.
If your ads feel generic, they probably are.
Shoppers are expecting the ultimate personalized experience and for good reason. No human is equipped to handle the endless complexities that come with your dealership like ads that need updating as inventory changes and or testing different copy (know instantly what copy is winning and adjust accordingly). As paid search becomes the most competitive advertising space, a manual ad creation routine won’t make the cut. Even if your copy and design are competitive, businesses need to make real-time optimization and decisions at any moment. Keep in mind that advertising can in fact be more human when it is more data-driven. Targeting every shopper with the right car at the right time feels impossible, but with smart technology, it’s not.
Think of this as more of a call to action. As Forbes puts it, it’s a call to stop allowing mediocrity to permeate your organization. It’s a call to stop wasting your money. Fundamentally, it’s a call to excellence for both agencies and clients.
Dealers – we urge you to sit down and ask yourself who or what can help you connect your data so that you’re leveraging this data across all channels in a coherent way.
Once you have a full-stack technology system in place that will respond to the dynamic market in real-time, one that you feel confident and proud to use, challenge yourself to take the leap and ditch your automotive marketing agency, once and for all.
We have a feeling you won’t regret it.