Your Ad Campaign Will Wipe Out – Will You Know When?

The dreaded wipeout.  It happens to every surfer.  Usually every session.  And it’s no fun.

It typically goes something like this:  You’ve picked your wave and it looks good.  The lineup is clear and it’s all yours.  You’re close to the peak (the best part of the wave) and you start to paddle.  Got your speed, good position, ready to pop up but then something goes wrong.  Maybe you missed the drop, maybe it closed out on you or you just got your footing wrong.   Doesn’t matter – you’re about to ingest a fair amount of salt water and get crushed by the wave.

Can you hear the old Beach Boys song yet?

When marketing your dealership, you can have the most researched media plan, compelling creative, incredible offer with wildly aggressive pricing and an all star crew but still have your campaign fail.  In other words, you just wiped out.

Creating a successful marketing strategy is the ultimate game of understanding human behavior and what consumers find meaningful.  Due to the fact that what’s important to your consumers today isn’t even on their radar screen tomorrow, you must know your customer and adjust your strategy or risk wiping out.

What are some signs that you’ve wiped out?

    • When sales momentum slows.  I’m not advocating micro-managing your sales on a daily or weekly basis.  But when you start to see a trend in your leads, inquiries and close rates declining for 14 to 16 consecutive weeks, you can be confident you’ve wiped out.
    • When no measurable gains have been identified in a 90 day window.  If no significant improvement in your sales or lead generation activity is seen for a full quarter, give serious thought to changing direction. 
    • When your feedback is “consumers just haven’t figured it out yet.”  It’s not the consumers’ job to figure out your campaign.  It’s your job to clearly communicate the benefits of why they should give you their money.  
    • Whenever you talk down to your customer.  Arrogance is not limited to large businesses alone.  Small companies are guilty of criticizing their customers for not appreciating all they do for them.  You  need to appreciate every customer you have and every penny they choose to spend with you.  While your existence depends on your ability to attract and retain customers, they owe you nothing. 
    • When you start saying: “All consumers want is the lowest price and nothing else”.  No one every wants to over-pay, but few are purely price driven.  You can’t blame consumers for not responding to your ads if you haven’t given them a reason to buy from you.    

Ultimately, the success of your campaign lies in truly understanding who your customers are, what they want, and how they want to be treated.

The wipeout is going to happen.  Will you be ready when it does?