The automotive industry has certainly seen its ups and downs. Trying to get people to buy any big-ticket items can be tricky and requires some clever marketing. Getting people to buy during an economic slump can be nearly impossible.
But you still see ads for cars, regardless of what may actually be going on within the automotive industry. People still need cars, it’s up to the marketers to convince the car buyers to get theirs.
Tier One: Automotive Manufacturers
This is the car manufacturers themselves. They often have the biggest budget for their marketing campaigns. This is where the campaign starts. You can expect to see very slick ads featuring new cars.
These ads will often have a well-known celebrity as their spokesperson. Actors, sports figures or musicians, beautiful shots of the car, shots of cars smoothly rolling around mountain roads with breathtaking scenery.
No expense is spared when it comes to these ads. This is where the new products are revealed and you will find these ads being premiered with great fanfare as massive events, like a super bowl or the Oscars.
You can also expect to see these cars showing up in popular movies and television series as product placement. It’s all about setting the brand in motion and showcasing the new models.
Tier Two: Regional Dealerships
This means that several dealerships within an area, say, a tri-city area in your state, pool resources and run ads that will support all of them. These ads will be on your local televisions, radio and online advertising spots.
By building the brand already set forth by the manufacturers, they can use promotions and other incentives throughout the area to push the brand further. This is where the dealerships spell out discounts and other incentives, like low interest, no money down and so on.
These deals will be in effect throughout the area at the dealerships selling that brand. They may seem similar to the tier one ads but they are more focused on your local community.
These ads will mention your ‘local’ dealership as well as other considerations. Upcoming events, sales deals, and any awards or other accolades they have received.
Tier Three: Local Retail Dealerships
These ads are focused on the dealership right in your area, town or community. They will have their own jingle and local personality. While they don’t have the budget of the first two, they are nevertheless effective in their own style of marketing.
You will see them at public events, getting their pictures taken at local social events and often hosting their own events. They may have a local celebrity like a newscaster or comedian come down for a sales event.
Their budget may consist of ads online, ads in a local newspaper and radio spots or their jingle. Flyers, the inflatable dancing tube, moving signage outside the dealership and word-of-mouth are all still very effective marketing tactics.
They also get attention by donating their time or items to local community events, taking part in annual fairs or school functions and simply being a presence in their community.
Three Tiers Together
While the automotive industry changes as rapidly as the marketing needs, the three-tiered system works for each level individually and as a whole. Each serves its own purpose and ultimately improves brand and increases sales.
Marketing is moving toward more online and interactive marketing techniques to engage with their customers. More involvement at all levels keeps sales strong and customers loyal.
It’s important for the automotive industry to engage with all three tiers as not everyone looking for a car will see all levels of marketing. It’s vital that marketing reaches all areas where potential customers may be.
The person seeing the slick, expensive ads may not see the ad on the side of the bus or the person in the small community may never see the ad with the celebrity.
Marketing For All
Advertising for the automotive industry is expensive. From ads running during a national event to celebrity endorsement, it adds up. Marketing campaigns need to ensure there will be a return on the investment, so make sure you work with a proven specialist in your niche.
That means covering all the areas that will reach new and existing customers. That also means going where the customers are. Getting ads online is a smart investment, as most of the people looking for information on a new car start there.
Technology is also opening the door for marketers to be far more inventive and creative with their ad campaigns. Ads that not only show the product but tell a story. People relate to seeing themselves represented in the ads.
Keeping up with your competition means engaging in all three tiers of marketing to ensure you are reaching everyone you need to and letting them know why they need your product.