When it comes to sales results, not all months are equal.

But the need to market your dealership is constant. Here’s why…

We all know that there are certain periods of the year, typically during the summer months, when your dealership will be busy and you will need to compete with other dealerships to get in front of shoppers. It makes sense to bump up your paid ads so you can increase your online visibility, right?

In between these seasons, it may seem unnecessary to market your dealership as heavily as you do when your customers are clamoring to buy a unit. However, as we mentioned in a previous guest publication on OPEBusiness.com, pausing and restarting your ad campaigns could penalize your overall marketing results.

Hit the Ground Running
“But I don’t have any inventory. And any shipment I receive sells out almost immediately. Why would I need paid ads?” We completely understand that inventory is scarce and demand is high, but we are looking beyond the current sales climate and suggesting a proactive strategy. We foresee an approaching end to inventory shortages and shipping delays, though it remains unclear when we will see a relative return to normal supply chains. That’s why dealers need to be prepared with paid ads.

Paid ads deliver the most rapid results of any digital marketing tactic, but they still require time to reach their peak performance. Don’t wait until the inventory is in your hands to start promoting it ー you may find your ads lagging behind your competitors’, which have been running for the last few months.

Remember, online marketing is not a reaction to having customers; it actively drives more business to your dealership.

Sell Inventory Before It Reaches the Lot
“I can’t sell inventory I don’t have. Won’t my shoppers feel cheated?” True, you can’t deliver a unit that isn’t on your lot, but you CAN collect pre-orders and deposits for units BEFORE they arrive. Let’s say someone is shopping for a new boat and they have contacted three other dealers already and been informed by each that they’re out of luck. They are starting to feel really frustrated, but then they come across your ad promoting a beautiful new boat ー the exact model they want ー with the message “Available for Pre-Order Now!” Instead of your dealership becoming Disappointment #4 and losing that lead, you’re contacted by the shopper, who is eager to place a deposit and claim the boat.

You see, with paid advertising, you aren’t restricted to only promoting the inventory that’s sitting on display ー you can build hype and keep anxious buyers engaged with your dealership by promising a future delivery. (Want some organic ways to promote incoming inventory? Check out our previous blogs on tips to drive sales through pre-orders.)

Run Seasonal Ads
Of course, while the presence of your paid ads is always important, the content can shift from season to season. For example, inventory such as boats, lawnmowers, snowblowers and winter gear is more likely to be in demand during their appropriate season. If your dealership carries a lot of seasonal items, it makes sense to promote these during the months that they are most popular.

Similarly, if you’re running a promotion or recently welcomed a new inventory line to your dealership, one of the most effective ways to get the word out is through paid ads that appear wherever your prospects are browsing (ie, search engines, social media, YouTube, etc.). This is especially valuable if your online platforms have a small to moderate following.

If you want further proof of the importance of running paid ads, keep an eye out online for ads from your competitors. Odds are they are prevalent as dealerships everywhere increase ad spend to keep their units selling fast. If your dealership is not being competitive, you may lose leads to another store that ran more ads and built a larger online presence. While maintaining active ads can require distributing more funds to your marketing budget, the ROI will be worth the cost when you see a positive reaction to your pre-orders and continue to see strong sales beyond the current climate.

When it comes to running paid ads, ARI is always in your corner. Feel free to connect with our marketing experts today for industry-specific advice!