I’m about to bust one of the biggest marketing myths for you, and save you some money. I’m quite certain you’ve been told to increase marketing spend around the holiday season. And on the surface, it may make sense. More people shopping means more volume, which means you should invest more to capitalize on the opportunities.

But cost doesn’t go up with more shoppers searching for “Honda Accord new,” for example.  Cost will only go up if competition on keywords increases. So when we think about dealerships and the holiday season, where more shoppers may be searching for cars to buy as presents or end of year splurges, keywords don’t necessarily change. You (and your competitors, to be frank) are all using make/model/year/condition keywords to drive traffic to your inventory. This doesn’t change during the holiday season unless a new competitor enters the market, regardless of the season.

Despite the competitive nature of the holiday season, as long as your dealership is shifting budget strategically, you’re in good shape. So instead of throwing more money into campaigns, leverage an automation platform that will put more money into where the shoppers are. If more shoppers are spending time on search, then the budget should be shifted from social to search, and fast. If in-market shoppers are searching for specific vehicles or conditions, then make sure your paid ad strategy reflects this and boosts the relevant inventory keywords over others.

Take Luxury Brands as an example. They often get a holiday boost in sales. Data suggests these end-of-year luxury car buyers are largely urban with household incomes above $350,000. An automated, smart marketing tool will realize that adjusting messaging rather than spend would be the better move here.

“Google Internal Data and comScore indicate that there are 40 million searches for incentives, deals, Black Friday, or year-end material from early November to late December. During the holiday season, dealers should increase their marketing presence across platforms with messaging that communicates their offers, sales, and incentives.”

This holiday season, it’s all about the marketing strategy. Therefore having the smartest tools in your back pocket will make the biggest difference when prepping for any (if any at all) market impact during the holiday season.