Article

Six Reasons to Buy Internet Marketing in 2006

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Todd Swickard - Also by this author

Everyone has talked about it for the last two years. When I first started introducing people to Internet marketing, I basically got the same responses that I used to get when selling online classifieds: “This is a fad. This won’t work for our dealership. This is just another way to get in my wallet.” Well as you see the online car classified business is bigger than ever. 98 percent of the dealerships out there have a Web site and work leads off of it. The naysayers may be wrong again.
If you haven’t heard of this thing called Internet Marketing, you may want to see what the brokerage fees are for selling your business. It isn’t the silver bullet of marketing, but you definitely want it in your gun because it makes quite an impact. Internet Marketing gives you marketing presence, tracking ability and returns that have never before been seen in the advertising arena or in the online lead space.

So as you forecast next years marketing plan, here are six reasons to buy Internet Marketing in ‘06:

IT IS CHEAP. Ok, so everyone tells you that things are cheap and you get what you pay for. This time they actually might know what they are talking about. You truly do get what you pay for. Tell the search engines what you want to pay for a customer and they will deliver traffic to your site. Sounds simple right?
It is actually cheaper on other levels also. You always have production costs involved in other media. Even if they tell you production is free, you have paid for it somewhere in your invoice.

IT HAPPENS TODAY. If you haven’t read a paper, magazine, or watched any TV then it may shock you to find that everyone is talking about either advertising on the Internet, finding “stuff” on the Internet or how at the time of this article Google was at $414 + a share. It is the media that people are using to find things. It used to be the newspapers and then the yellow pages. 2006 will be the year of internet search.

You can change, update, and monitor marketing campaigns in real time. No waiting, planning, production or forecast meeting to figure out how to make it happen. You can impact the quality of traffic, the number of visitors and the message to the masses in minutes, not days.

THE MASSES. The Internet used to have a certain demographic when it first came out. Smart, rich and upscale people that were interested in finding deals on expensive cars. Now jumping to 2006, it is masses: poor and rich, good credit scores and bad, geniuses and morons. Internet usage and broadband (high speed access) keeps going up. The demographic now represents the entire populations not just a select few.

LOCAL. Advertising on the Internet used to get you leads from Alaska for a dealership in Florida if you didn’t do it right. Now the marketers and the search engines have become much smarter in getting the message to people in your backyard. The search engines are becoming the new yellow pages. If you need something or want to find something, most people will go right to a search engine to find it. They have a higher click tendency on a local site than a national one.

QUALITY. Tired of getting the same lead that every other dealer gets in your area? The solution would be to send them to your own Web site. You then know that they are only coming to you. Every dealer I talk to says that their site has the highest close ratio of any lead source out there other than a referral.

ACCOUNTABILITY. Finally, a marketing strategy that has measured results unlike anything in the history of advertising. For the first time, you can track the results of your advertising dollars in real time. Your dealership can cost effectively justify the money that you pay and what you get in return.

I tell all my clients that Internet Marketing is not the golden road to retirement and that you shouldn’t shift everything over to it, however the smart ones are shifting a portion of their marketing budget to it. They are finding it to be a solution that works. They are measuring its success. 2006 will be the year that dealers demand quality and returns from all their advertising and marketing sources. Have a great year and good luck selling and hopefully I will see you on the Internet.
 
Vol 3, Issue 1

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