The power dynamic between businesses and consumers has changed drastically with the rise of advanced content sharing platforms and digital technologies. To cut through the clutter and reach consumers effectively, dealers need to use the advancements in marketing to send relevant messages across all applicable channels.
Simple right? Managing aligned messaging across multiple channels, both traditional and digital, can be tricky and time-consuming. In GSM's years of managing dealership marketing, we have uncovered the secret to successful marketing across channels: an annual marketing calendar.
An annual marketing calendar helps your dealership manage cross-channel communications, without bombarding customers or missing opportunities. Some benefits of having an annual marketing calendar are obvious, such as the ability to save time, and optimize your budget throughout the year.
However, many benefits are not-so-obvious and can help your dealership reach greater success. Once you create your annual marketing calendar with the help of a marketing professional, you can tweak and reuse it for years to come.
Here’s how you can create efficiencies within your dealership and make the most out of an annual marketing calendar:
- It’s never too late to start: If you haven’t started creating your annual marketing calendar yet, start today. Starting earlier will gives you enough time to lay out your goals for the year that gives you an advantage over competitors.
- Know which channels work the best for your dealership: Not all channels may fit well with your client base and your dealership’s business goals. However, your marketing plan needs to include multiple channels if your goal is to reach the most customers possible.
- Know your message: Be consistent. What are your differentiators, and how can you communicate those across the channels you will use?
- Know your goals: All employees and marketing efforts should directly support your defined goals. Your goals should be attainable, specific, relevant, and action-oriented such as: increase leads by 15% using direct mail, email, and Facebook advertising by the end of quarter 3.
- Commit it to writing: This allows you to map out your vision and all the actions necessary to achieve them.
- Create your calendar: 90% of the process is planning. Once you have your goals, strategies, and deadlines set, add them to your calendar.
The Tangible Benefits of an Annual Marketing Calendar
Here are the benefits you can expect internally and from a marketing perspective when you implement an annual marketing calendar:
- Alleviate having to plan promotions during the busy season when you don't have time-this prevents blackout months when you have no marketing offers and therefore no traffic coming into your dealership.
- Create annual goals and stay on track of short-term business goals.
- Compare performances and results then create benchmarks for the future.
- Have clarity and vision on how you plan to attract customers-prepare for the tough months or stay motivated during slow months.
- Promote your company on a consistent schedule across all media allowing you to be more competitive in a crowded marketplace.
- Never miss a promotional opportunity-no more wasted opportunities when you could have been marketing your dealership.
- Allocate your budget and tailor your marketing around manufacturers’ programs and their promotional events.
- Effectively manage multiple marketing campaigns-greater, structured planning leads to higher returns and an aligned message across channels.