Surf Where The Waves Are

Surf Where The Waves Are

While this seems pretty obvious, scores of people wonder why some beaches have great waves while others stay flat (great for swimming, bad for surfing).

When I started surfing, I too had no idea of what it took to make a rideable wave.   I thought any beach on the ocean would produce a surfable wave.

Without sharing the entire science of how a wave is made, here’s the short list of what goes into it:  Wind, tide, swell direction, phase of moon, storms, sandbars, is it a beach break or point break?, reef or sand bottom?  The list goes on.  Seems that waves are influenced by over 140 things.  I learned this from a guy who has surfed his whole life and won lots of competitions.  Not gonna argue.

So how does this apply to automotive marketing?   You have to put your message where your market is.

This isn’t new information but I’m still amazed at how many dealers refuse to research the mediums they plan on using.  They never stop to answer the question “are my targeted customers consuming this medium?”  Like most business owners, dealers often follow the herd mentality and assume that since others are using a particular medium, they should be there too. 

Just like a surfer needs to know if waves are breaking at a particular beach, you need to do some research to find out if the customers you are trying to reach are consuming the medium you plan to use.  Do the demographics match your targeted profile?  You can’t sell tires to people who don’t drive. 

To make matters worse, they often use a shotgun approach to their media plan.    Most dealers seem to want to buy a little bit of everything – TV, radio, Internet, SEM & SMM packages, sports marketing programs, etc.  Because they buy a couple ads in a lot of places, they think they’re covering the market.

Unfortunately, this strategy doesn’t work. The result is too many people are reached with little to no repetition.  Consider the benefits of focusing on a smaller group of people and make yours the name that pops into their head when they want or need what you sell.

If you want to catch a wave, remember to surf where the waves are.  

And if you want to sell more cars and tires,  put your message (and money) where your market is.