Incentive War, Speak Your Piece

Car Seller Social Media Leads

The question is being debated in several reports detailing U.S. auto sales – have they peaked in 2015?  It would appear the total number for 2016 will not surpass last year based on August sales trends reported so far. But one key marketing tool is on the rise as a result of sales and that is incentive spending. It increased drastically last month to $3,559 per vehicle compared to $3,419 in August 2015. (The record is $3,753 from December 2008).

Import and domestic manufacturers are step-raising the ante, some almost weekly, and the key to taking advantage in any dealership is a rapid response. Our most successful dealers are the ones who have processes in place to get the word out in both traditional media and online venues, immediately.

With shoppers moving through a more prolonged shopping cycle, impactful incentives that are only available for a limited time can be final the piece that becomes the tipping point. The first dealer to get in front of them is very likely to see them in their showroom or be contacted through social media. Rapid response, like the early bird, gets the sale, and very often a trade-in as well.

Acknowledgements to Automotive Remarketing “Have auto sales truly reached their peak?” Sept. 9, 2016

About the author

John Paul Strong: As owner of Strong Automotive Merchandising, a company that increases traffic up to 1,000% for dealerships, Strong lives by the simple concept that your attitude affects your success. Without a positive mind set he would not have been able to grow the company over the last decade from just 10 to over 80 full-time employees. The rapid growth is thanks to his ability to keep the company on the forefront of technology, market changes and an infectious talent to motivate and keep employees striving to fulfill their potential. His beginnings in direct mail gave him the tools and skills to develop incredibly successful marketing plans. From there he moved on to traditional forms of media and has now mastered the dynamic world of digital and social media advertising. With over 150 dealers to please, Strong takes a hands-on approach and personal attention to detail in all aspects of marketing strategies. His expertise in plan development gives him a keen sense on how to maximize a dealer’s budget and ultimately increase their bottom line. Strong is a passionate speaker in the automotive industry. He has authored two books on creating next day traffic. He graduated from the Executive Education Program at the Harvard Business School. Strong received a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Montevallo. He lives with his wife and three children in Homewood, Alabama.


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