We hem. We haw. We decide. We buy. We go. Then what? First,
let’s go back to the start. What is the education budget of your dealership?
There is likely a marketing budget, a maintenance budget and even a coffee budget
(especially if you’re a high-line store). Where is your education budget? How
much is spent on outside support and consulting away from a vendor rep or “consulting”
reseller that simply pushes products and trains on them specifically?
Sure, it is important to take care of your image, your
facility and your customers. However today, more than ever, the investment made
in dealership staff is more important than the payroll investment and on par
with any other expense or cost center. The number one thing that can move a
business forward is typically forgotten, let alone budgeted for.
So the dealer, general manager, marketing or Internet
manager make it to a conference. Once everyone is happily back in the nest, 30-95%
of what is learned is lost or not executed on (delayed loss). $2,000-3,000 is
spent to have one to two people there; however sustainment investment typically
runs about 5-10 times what the event does. Where’s the investment to ensure the
information, implementation and platform for success? $10,000 will usually be
spent in a flash to simply appease the manufacturer’s rep with some local newspaper
advertising to push the new model,
where’s the $10,000 over six months to keep the dealership staff on the leading edge?
Information is great, fantastic, liberating and exciting.
However the actual implementation and sustainment is more so and the other
benefit is you actually get to see the results rather than simply reminiscing “remember
back at that conference when the guy (or gal) talked about doing that new thing”
and then getting back to doing things the way you…always have.
The cost of the information is practically zero. Yes, some companies
and publishers in the industry charge you for webinars with expert speakers but
where’s the follow up and how do you actually do what they’re talking about.
The cost of implementation is significantly higher but it’s the only way to get
Don’t go to the conferences if you won’t back it up with the
real investment. Don’t send your staff to get information that, with about five
minutes of searching on Google, is otherwise available within the confines of
your dealership. And don’t send your Internet director for the “amazing networking
events”. Get the rubber to meet the road by attending, considering, spending,
measuring*, reviewing and reinvesting.
*measuring that involves using a proprietary
dashboard rather than an unbiased third party is typically a short-sighted
The greatest reward any dealer will receive from their
digital marketing is no different than any other investment, like a facility
upgrade or a redo of the fixed operations department. It causes people to work
and think in fresh ways, generating better results.
Invest in the best assets you have and make those efforts
ongoing. Replace "I liked that conference a lot and will likely go again, especially if I can fit in a couple rounds" with "I can't believe the growth we've had from doing what the speakers taught us about and am already booked for next year".
See you at the conferences!
Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results