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Digital advertising: The proof is in the data

By Ryan Brown

A few months ago, I talked about the need for dealers to get more proactive about their marketing efforts. Now we are into spring and sales have picked up. You took my advice immediately and implemented a marketing strategy early and it is full throttle. Hopefully, you are keeping up with the times and buying habits of consumers and adopted a digital marketing strategy. Ideally you realize that more people are online on a mobile phone than they are watching TV or listening to radio. Look around next time you go out to eat with family. It is a digital world we live in. So how do we as business owners capitalize on this as an opportunity? How is your advertising performing for you?

In our industry with tight margins, we must be certain that every dollar we invest into our business is being effective. This absolutely includes our advertising dollars. So, a few questions to ask yourself about your advertising:

First off ask yourself, “Who does my advertising target?” My deeper question is, what kind of customer do you want to target? If you want to target every single person that lives within a 40-mile radius of your store, get your checkbook out because it is going to cost you. My point is, choose advertising mediums that allow you to select customers who are interested in what you sell. Digital advertising products do this better than any other medium. Another way to look at this is, don’t spend money advertising to people who are not interested about your dirt bikes, motorcycles and ATVs. Don’t waste money on TV, radio, billboards and print when a large percentage of those viewers don’t care about what you are selling. Spend your money more wisely. Digital products target customers who are specifically interested in powersports related products, the stuff we stock in our stores. This way we are not wasting money on impressions trying to sell dirt bikes to people who think knitting is dangerous. Your ads go directly to powersports consumers.

What kind of data does your advertising give you regarding performance? If you are going to spend thousands of dollars every month, don’t you want to know if it works? Digital advertising does this for you, unlike traditional forms of media. Traditional media sells you an “estimated” number of people that are “likely” to see your ad. There is no guarantee to how many will see an ad. After the ad runs they cannot come back to you and tell you the exact amount of people who saw it. With digital advertising, you can get daily reports of how many people saw your ads, how many clicked on your website, how many gave you a lead, or how many clicked on a button to call your store! And just like the first question, we are advertising every single impression to people interested in powersports.

Finally, how do you quantify if your advertising is turning to conversions? If you are smart, you are logging your digital data for future reference, you have phone calls recorded for quality and training, and you even have a traffic counter on your front door. Then as sales are up or down, you have good raw data to compare as to why. Does your billboard, TV, or radio ads provide this kind of data?

After spending years in powersports dealerships and now visiting dealers daily, the most common topic becomes how do we get more customers and reach them for less money? The good news is that digital advertising does everything you need it to do. It delivers results and it backs it up with data to prove it. It also does this at a much lower cost than traditional forms of media. Not that traditional forms of media won’t work, but doesn’t it make sense to keep up with the times, be efficient with our money, and get proven results? Digital Advertising proves itself with data!

Ryan Brown is vice president of powersports at Big Time Advertising, a digital advertising agency focused solely on the powersports industry. Ryan has over 15 years of experience in the powersports industry as a rep and GM of a national top 10 multi-line dealership. He uses his knowledge of the powersports industry and digital advertising to put together winning advertising plans that deliver more leads to dealerships across the country.

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