Every Day’s a Competition: Think Outside the Box


If there is no competition, there are no winners. I love to win. I love to beat the odds. I love to compete knowing that it makes me a better, stronger person. But if there’s no real competition, then winning just doesn’t feel like winning. Case in point, with Labor Day weekend, there are countless dealerships with Labor Day marketing campaigns. Look at the following graphic. What do you see?


Just a simple Google search reveals four dealerships using Google Ads to boost their online traffic. There’s only one problem, they all look the same. Each of the dealerships appear to use the same corporate provider for their online marketing. Each of the dealerships in this search looks pretty much the same. What would make someone choose to visit one site over the others? There’s really nothing that distinguishes one from the others.

When you have one provider for corporate dealers, there is no real interest in one dealership being competitive with another. Competition has been taken out of the equation and you are left with “cookie-cutter” ads. When there is no investment from the provider in competition between clients, everything looks the same—and the results are the same.

What makes me so competitive in life and business is the fact that competition makes me a better person. It makes me hustle harder knowing that I can be better. Wouldn’t you want the same desire for your dealership? Don’t you want your team to hustle harder because your goal is to not just compete, but to surpass a competitor?

The same goes for your online marketing. You must stand out from your competitors and do more than just the minimal online campaign if you want to compete. It’s more than just surviving with other dealerships, it’s about thriving amongst your competition. If there is no competition, there are no real winners. When competition exists, the customer is the real winner.

About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as an account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40.” In 2018, Strong was named CEO of the Year by the BBJ. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.


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