When it comes to advertising, the value of consistency cannot be understated. Of course, keeping your message consistent is paramount to memorable marketing, but consistently running your media can be equally if not more important. Keeping your messaging on the air consistently, even during slower buying periods, can exponentially increase your return on investment.
Here’s an example of this. January and February are typically two of the slowest months for auto dealers. Many dealerships reduce their advertising during this time. Makes sense, right? Fewer people are shopping, so they spend less on advertising. While that might sound like the right thing to do, you’re actually hamstringing yourself down the line. The road to purchase for car shoppers is a long process that can last months or even more than a year.
It’s best to think of your marketing as seeds. You’re planting the idea in potential shoppers’ minds that you are the place to go for their next car. Consistent messaging grows that idea into an action, and even after they take that first action of contacting you or stopping by the store, it could be weeks or even months afterwards that they actually purchase a vehicle. That’s why it’s so important to keep your marketing up all year.
Fewer people may be buying during a certain period, but customers are still researching and shopping around for the best deals. Maybe they’re waiting for a tax refund or that big Christmas bonus before they buy. If you keep your media budget consistent year-round, you have a much better chance of capturing these active shoppers that are looking to buy a little down the road. Time and time again we’ve seen our clients that keep the same budget every month outperform clients that try to play the buying trends.
We’ve found consistent budgets to be more effective across both digital and traditional channels. Digital traffic helps fill the funnel for the next several months. These shoppers are often still researching where and what to buy. Leads that arrive in one month often start to pay off two, three, or four months later. Customers are shopping for vehicles even if they are not currently buying them, and their decision to purchase a new car likely started months in advance. If you slow down your digital spend when sales are sluggish, you could be hindering the response you get when sales typically pick up.
Traditional media campaigns are more front of mind for active buyers, but the same logic applies. They see your commercial while they’re watching the news one month, decide to stop by the store a few weeks later, and then finalize their purchase a few weeks after that. If you slow your advertising during that period you could lose those shoppers to a competitor that kept their budget consistent. Even if you give your campaigns a big boost in busier times, you could be too late. Customers decided where they wanted to buy months ago and your surge in advertising hits like a wet noodle.
On top of all that, you have to take media trends into account to capture the right audience. Looking at January again, sales are slow but it’s one of the busiest media months of the year. It’s cold and gets dark early, so people are spending less time outdoors and more time inside consuming media. In 2017, US residents spent more time watching ad-supported TV in January than in any other month that year1. Compare that to the end of summer when many of the best clearance offers are available. Plenty of people are buying, but they are consuming significantly less media. Whether it be TV, pre-roll, digital marketing, or social media, people are outside more and spending less time in front of screens. Just because more people are buying doesn’t mean more of them are seeing your advertising.
The best way to fully capitalize on your marketing is with consistent traditional and digital campaigns. Running a more even budget all year will provide maximum value and a steady stream of business for your dealership. If you’re looking for a media partner who can consistently deliver results, just contact the experts at The Automotive Advertising Agency. We have over 250 years of combined media experience, and we can develop a marketing plan tailored to your needs for maximum ROI. Give us a call at 512-610-7300, or contact us at TheAutoAdAgency.com/contact/ for more information.