It doesn’t have to be a race to the bottom.
Dealership marketing is not what it used to be.
If you're in a market dominated by hard-selling video spots, you need to differentiate yourself in order to survive. Anyone who doesn't is going to feel the hurt.
We’ve put together a case-study exploring the benefits of brand-first marketing. The results are incredible.
Why should you listen to me?
Before I started Congruent, I built a multimillion dollar company from the ground up. That company, Image Auto, grew into one of the northeast's largest repair and reconditioning vendors for dealers. In July 2018, Image Auto was acquired by Dent Wizard International, the largest automotive reconditioning company in the country.
I’m still deeply involved in the automotive space. Throughout my time, I’ve heard the same conversations about margin compression and shifts in culture challenging the dealership model. I hear this from virtually every dealership I’ve spoken with. These challenges are real, but by far the biggest challenge dealerships face is their own inability to build brand equity.
Top-of-mind is nothing but a short-term tactic. Dealerships that employ brand and storytelling create a people-centric culture that attracts repeat customers and long-term talent. Continuing my passion to serve dealers, Congruent helps automotive clients become better through its emphasis on clarity of message and brand-first marketing. This focus helps dealers to make better hiring decisions, communicate more effectively with their customers, and battle compressed margins.
What’s brand-first mean?
Your dealership's brand is not a manufacturer.
Your dealership's brand is not a logo.
Your dealership's brand is how people feel when they hear your name.
If your marketing strategy resembles a high-pressure, algorithms- and analytics-first selling strategy then you need to change, too. You fight every battle and win every sale one at a time. Long-term thinking results in brand building. Working through your brand strategy is one of the biggest investments you can make in your dealership's long-term trajectory. Building your brand is like putting money in the bank. It earns your customers' respect and trust, gaining you valuable lifetime buyers and brand evangelists.
Need some proof?
It sounds counterintuitive to try selling cars without talking much about selling cars.
That’s the strength of brand equity. It almost doesn’t matter what you’re selling, because if your customers understand and care for your brand, they will be receptive to buying it.
Think about Amazon… You’ve probably spent hundreds, maybe thousands, over the course of many transactions. Their brand is all about being the biggest and easiest-to-use marketplace. And they are. If you need to buy something, you head to Amazon because you get whatever you want for a price you’re willing to pay. You trust the quality before it arrives because it’s been reviewed by numerous strangers who can vouch for it.
The element of trust is the key to brand-first marketing. In communicating your values and empathizing with the customer, you build trust. Trust builds long-term relationships. Relationships lead to everything else you want: sales, repeat sales, lifetime customers.
Below is a piece Congruent created for one of our dealership clients. I’d invite you to give it a watch, then check out the case-study we made covering the campaigns ran for the dealership. (Spoiler: Clicks cost 5% of industry average. You read that right. 1/20th of what you’re used to paying for traffic that stays on your site longer and actually shops VDPs.)