Remember the Pontiac Aztek, what about the Cadillac Catera and don’t forget the mighty little Toyota Echo. The automotive advertising world is changing more rapidly than it ever has before. There are hundreds of media formats, programs even methods of planning and buying media. But one thing that remains a cold hard fact (and please don’t let it hurt your feelings if you actually like any of the products mentioned above) “when you advertise core products – you are talking to a larger share of the market with an interest in what you are merchandising.”
- Example 1 – A Honda dealer’s core product lineup includes Accord, Civic, Pilot, Odyssey and CR-V, but Accord and Civic account for 65% of his new car volume. Is there any question that his TV and Radio dollars are better spent advertising Accord and Civic rather than trying to push a cold product like the Ridgeline?
- Example 2 – A Ford dealer’s new car sales are up in % this year while new trucks are down. Ford has just launched the new Flex…they are not selling and are stacking up on his lot. You have a limited ad budget and F-150 is still the #1 selling truck in America. There is not even a shadow of doubt – you advertise F-150 all day long, using every penny you have and steal share from other Ford dealers selling F-150s.
- Example 3 – A Toyota dealer has sold all of his Corollas except for what he has sitting on the ground, maybe 15 or 20 and is not getting anymore for the year. Corolla has been his number 1 selling vehicle for the past 4 years so we better think about advertising something else right? WRONG – advertise Corollas as aggressively as you ever have before until you sell every last one. Then start advertising Used / Off Lease cars or even certified Corollas as if nothings different. I guarantee 90% of the average people on the street cannot tell you the difference in a certified car from a new car.
Advertise your core products – regardless of what you may think, there will always be more buyers in the market for a core product.
John Paul Strong
John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 140 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive Merchandising.