Now’s Not The Time To Slow Down

According to a recent J.D. Power and Associates forecast, new-vehicle sales in 2008 are expected to reach their lowest levels since 1994, dropping to 14.95 million cars and light trucks. This obviously isn’t good news for our industry, and your first instinct may be to cut back on spending (including marketing and advertising), ride out the rough times and wait for sunnier weather. But if you do that, you’d be missing a huge opportunity.

First things first… if you’re experiencing a slow-down in sales, the last thing you’ll want to do is to cut back on the only thing that can drive sales – namely advertising and marketing.

Second, slowdowns like this are an opportunity for the marketing savvy among us to capture market and mind share so that when things rebound, as they most certainly will, you’re in the driver’s seat.

One way to accomplish this is to ramp up your traditional media spending during this lull. Chances are you’ll even probably see some favorable media rates. But an even more effective way to capture the market and mind share you desire is to employ a number of digital marketing techniques. Such tactics as video emails, email marketing allow you to expand your reach at a cost per contact far lower than traditional media efforts. Here are a few things you might consider:

  • 1. Expand your base of opt-in customers – those loyal customers who agree to receive emails and other electronic communications from you.
  • 2. Use multimedia and email tools to expand the reach of your television and radio campaigns to your online audience.
  • 3. Expand the functionality of your web site to better capture leads and drive them toward closed sales.
  • 4. Use online coupons and other offers to create an incentive to act now.

These and other digital tactics, combined with a traditional media schedule, will position you well when the market turns around. Everyone else will cut back… and you’ll use this slow down to steal their customers and their market share.

D. Jones
Marketing Strategist/Creative Consultant
SmackDabble, LLC

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