Category Archives: Standing Out from Your Competitors

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The 3 Essential Components for Running an Exciting Social Media Contest

By | Cruise Packages, Home Improvement / HVAC, Improving Social Media Engagement, Increasing Sales / Gross Margins, Outstanding Marketing, Standing Out from Your Competitors | No Comments

When it comes to running a social media contest, there are a number of important factors to take into consideration, including the prize on offer, the effort and information required of entrants, the best social platforms to use, and more.

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Same Car, Same Specs: Incentivizing Customers to Choose You Over the Competition

By | Automotive, Gaining a Competitive Edge, Powerful Closing Tools, Standing Out from Your Competitors | No Comments

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn

If you’re an auto dealer, then no doubt you already know who your competitors are. After all, knowing who you’re up against allows you to work on standing out from them. But sometimes that’s easier said than done, and you’re still left with that question: “How do I stand out from my competition?”

That’s exactly what I’ll be answering here by focusing on three key areas:

1. Knowing your competitors
2. How incentives give you a competitive edge
3. Marketing for the highest returns

Knowing Your Competitors

Competition offers consumers more and more choice. And while this is fantastic for the customer, it does mean that you need to spend time ensuring you actually understand your competitors.

But what exactly does understanding them mean? Consider the following when getting started:

Where they’re located: the closer they are, the easier it is for a prospective customer to check out their offers – but even if they’re a town or two over, don’t underestimate a customer’s drive to get the most bang for their buck

What they sell: naturally, your biggest perceived competitors will be those that sell the same vehicles as you do

What payment options they offer: outright purchases, monthly installments, interest-free for X number of months/years, etc.

Perks: what do customers get from your competitors when buying from them? A year of free fuel, complimentary check-ups, extended warranties, cash-back, etc.

How they market themselves: is their marketing better than yours? Are they more active on social and most digital channels, or they more traditional with print, TV, radio, etc.?

With location, you owe it to yourself do a quick Google search of your competition. Let’s say you’re a Kia dealership located near Cleveland, Ohio. When you do a quick Google search of competitors within that space, Google Maps returns the following results:

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As you can see from the top 5 results alone, all of the dealerships have great customer ratings, and all of them are within reasonable proximity of one another. Across some of these dealerships within the region, they offer monthly payments such as:

• $223 per month (36 months) for the 2017 Kia Sorento LX
• $184 per month (36 months) for the 2017 Kia Sorento LX
• $179 per month (36 months) for the 2017 Kia Sorento LX
• $229 per month (36 months) for the 2018 Kia Sorento LX

You get the picture. Point being, all offers are within a $50 difference per month, with the 2018 model being the most expensive.

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO STAND OUT?

What if you’re that dealer offering the 2017 model at $184 per month and your prospective customer is seriously considering the $179 per month deal? What makes your slightly more expensive offer more appealing than your competitors? Same monthly payment option, same model, same color…

With the right perk, you can turn the tide in your favor.

Now, what would make a customer want your offer?

Travel Incentives! An Auto Dealer’s Competitive Edge

Okay, so you have $184 per month vs. $179 per month. The former, over a 36-month period, is an additional $180. That extra $180 the customer is putting into that dealership can be completely accounted for with a travel incentive.

Image the dealership with a slightly higher monthly repayment rate handed their customer a travel certificate that allowed them and their partner to go on a 5-day cruise with food, beverages (save the alcoholic variety), and entertainment all included.

What is $5 per month compared to a cruise that will offset that slight price increase by thousands?

The customer buys a vehicle, and then they get a cruise. And if a couple is buying the Kia Sorento LX, chances are good they’re parents. It’s often how the vehicle is marketed.

Gifting the parents with a relaxing cruise where they can spend five romantic and rejuvenating days together certainly beats saving $180 over three years. This is a great approach to incentivizing customers to go with you.

Marketing for the Highest Return

When it comes to actually marketing your incentive offer so that it will help you stand above the rest, you need to have full buy-in. After all, travel incentives are designed to help make it easier for your dealership to close more sales.

The list below shows some of the essential points to remember for the best marketing performance:

• Make sure you and your management team are all onboard with the effort (the aforementioned full buy-in);

• Ensure your sales staff are jazzed about the campaign and offer the trips at the point of sale (read here to learn more about getting your sales team behind an incentive initiative);

• Make sure you have put up all marketing materials in the showroom – posters, balloons, window decals, etc.;

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• Market the incentive on your website, social accounts, email, and other digital channels;

• Work any advertisements of the campaign into your current budget – do not go beyond it;

• Boosted posts on Facebook are a great way to promote the campaign for little money. $25 per week is more than enough for good exposure; and

• Again, offer the travel certificates at the point of sale – do not wait for customers to ask, because most rarely will. You want people to know the offer is still ongoing, and this will create a bigger buzz and bring in more customers.

Along with the above points, take some time to consider how you’d like to implement these incentives into your sales efforts. Will they be used purely as closing tools or will they be part of a larger promotion or contest?

We have even more great advice here on how to get the most out of travel incentives across various applications.

Let’s Talk

Ready to best your competitors? Fill out the form belowcontact us online, or give us a call on 1-866-883-2968.

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How to Make Your Dealership Stand Out

By | Automotive, Outstanding Marketing, Powerful Closing Tools, Standing Out from Your Competitors | No Comments

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

You have a dealership full of fantastic vehicles for sale, but across from you is another dealer that also offers great vehicles. To your right is another dealership, and to their right there’s yet another. It’s a common scenario that most auto dealers face across the country.

For you, it creates one simple challenge: how on earth do you make your dealership stand out from the rest? For anyone seriously considering a new vehicle, or just a random passer-by, they have so many to choose from. Beyond the vehicles’ manufacturer logos, it can be a bit tough to differentiate. So either you hope they really love the lineup of vehicles you’re selling, or you find a way to command their attention so they give more than a passing gaze.

Know Your Customers and Competition

Your Customers

One of the first essential steps to standing out is getting to know everything you can about your customers and your competitors. First of all, where is your dealership located? Is it in a high-class suburban city area surrounded by neighborhoods comprising mansions? Or is it in a working class part of suburbia where many people earn an average wage?

You need to understand the financial status of your customers, as well as what they consider important in life, to narrow down what and how you should be selling. Chances are a husband and wife who both work full-time and have three kids aren’t going to be taken by a luxury sports car. They want a safe vehicle that can do good mileage on a single tank of gas, has modern amenities with plenty of cargo space, and is built for the long-run.

By knowing who your local – and therefore most frequent – customer base is, it will allow you to refine all other aspects of your dealership, too.

Your Competitors

Naturally, you want to know your competitors. No one ever won a sales war by just “winging it.” What do your competitors do to make their dealerships stand out? Look at things such as signage, which cars they have displayed prominently out front, how their dealers dress, how their dealership is laid out, the promotions they run – even go in and assess how they greet you. What words and accompanying mannerisms do they use?

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Knowing your competitors goes far beyond the physical location, of course. What does their website look like? If they’re on social media, what voice do they employ? Be sure to check their vehicle listings and the language used there. Also of critical importance, and relating to the above point about your customers, how do they treat their customers both in-person and online? If they have great relationships with their customers, you want to find out why.

All of the above matters, because it’s essential to the next point…

Define Your Image and Brand

It’s hard to tell you exactly what to do here, because every dealership differs. But, suffice to say, a luxury brand dealership wouldn’t want to have untidy dealers with dirt on the floors, or horrendously unkempt restrooms.

In the end, though, it doesn’t matter whether you sell Ferraris or Fords, all dealerships should look clean and professional – that’s a given; but differences will naturally exist. For example, Fords are typically family vehicles whereas a Ferrari is more of a one or two-person luxury vehicle. So while having standalone chairs for customers to sit on could make sense in a Ferrari dealership, you may want to have couches at a Ford dealership so that mom, dad, and their two kids can all comfortably rest.

Beyond these basics, however, your image and branding can reflect the emotions and mental associations you want your customers to experience. Blue has been tied to feelings of security of safety – why do you think Facebook, a social network that handles billions of users’ personal data, settled on blue as its dominant color?

The colors you choose for your particular dealership and how they fit into your branding outside of the manufacturer logos can greatly inform the emotional association people form of you. For such emotional links to be effective, those very same feelings must be elicited through your products, customer service, and all other customer-based experiences.

Marketing

We know a lot about automotive marketing here at Odenza: 70% of our clients are in the auto industry. Along with a unique travel promotion being a fantastic way to stand out from the other dealerships around you, you need to have an ongoing and defined marketing strategy.

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This marketing, whether executed through more traditional mediums or newer digital channels, is how you push your dealership beyond the confines of its physical location. In many ways, it’s how you can take your image and your brand and give it that definitive presence it both needs and deserves.

If your target market is the typical family earning an average wage, then drive your entire presence to that. Create images and branding of smiling families going on adventures in your vehicles – the manufacturers you’re working with may have such images for you to utilize. But what about writing blogs about fantastic local road trips, getaways, or festivals that are perfect for families to enjoy?

Do you host a family day at your dealership? It could be something worth considering. If you do, just remember to keep their priorities in mind.

Of course, we understand that there are always parameters when you’re a dealer – there are things you can or can’t do depending on the vehicles you sell. However, parameters are never a barrier to creativity. Once you know your customer base and what your competitors are or are not doing, you can start to build a brand and marketing strategy that appeals to your customers and excels where your competitors are dragging along.

The best way to market is to embrace all channels. You can utilize the traditional avenues when you want to promote something to your local base on a broader level. Digital channels, be they social media, email, blogging, or video-sharing, are a great way to maintain a consistent presence and to build a relationship with your ideal base. Digital marketing also allows for impressively specific micro-targeting.

This way, you maintain an ongoing presence that keeps your dealership front-of-mind so that when you do run a promotion, be it a travel offer or otherwise, those local customers – or even customers one or two towns over – will have a higher likelihood of being driven in. Remember that a promotion still needs to make a real impression. If there isn’t anything of actual value on offer in the eyes of your target market, then you’ll find the ROI significantly lacking.

Want to Stand Out? Get in Touch

For the past 20 years, Odenza has helped auto dealers across North America stand out and succeed through the utilization of travel incentives. With a wide range of incentives to choose from and the ability to help dealers build their presence on and offline, Odenza Marketing Group is committed to helping businesses of all sizes make a mark and, most importantly, succeed.

If you’d like to find out more, be sure to contact us online, fill out the form below, or call us on 1-866-883-2968.

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Competing Against the Alternative: How to Finish First

By | Airfare Package / Vegas, Driving Repeat Business, Gaining a Competitive Edge, Industry, Powerful Closing Tools, Standing Out from Your Competitors | No Comments

Do you remember when you had to be good at more than just one thing? You had to be good at your job but you also had to be able to change the oil in your car, switch over the winter tires, you had to be able to sew and cook; in other words, it was common to be able to do a number of things and that’s how we lived. I still remember that you couldn’t be a professional soccer player – you had to be a soccer player and do something else to make a living.

Nowadays you can make a living doing just one thing. What used to be exclusive to the realm of the artist or the professional is now available to all of us.

Specialization

An interesting thing happens when everyone is so specialized. All the specialization leads to less competition. Well, less competition by meaning of a direct competitor; but what increases are the alternatives. So when you’re a business owner, or sales and marketing professional, you’re faced with not only competing against other businesses or people that do exactly what you do, but now you’re also competing against the alternative.

What are the customers’ alternatives?

As specialization continues to increase into the world of super-specialization, what you end up with are many more alternatives for your product – but the alternative of your product may not always be obvious. For example, is your new car competing against a home renovation company? Perhaps new home furniture is competing against the down payment on a new car in your prospective customer’s mind.

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Often they will have to weigh options as to what they will invest in first: a car for the family, getting renovations to their home done, buying new furniture, going on a long-desired vacation, etc. So even if you narrow down your business’s area of specialization, you will still always be vulnerable to these entirely different alternatives. It’s an area of competition that many businesses tend to overlook – especially businesses that sell big ticket items.

The sales team

If you are in sales, you will be impacted by this in a bigger way than just about every other department in your organization. This is because speaking to the customer can’t be a rambling on about your own product. The questions you ask must be geared towards an overall understanding of the parties with whom you are talking.

This will be further complicated for those that are selling into any major decisions such as the purchase of furniture, home improvement services, or a vehicle. The complexity lies by the fact that these decisions are usually made by more than just one person in the family. You are often dealing with your customer and their spouse, and in some cases your customer and their entire family. Once again, it’s the sales department that will have to face this increased complexity right there on the frontline.

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With this in mind, it’s critical for anyone in sales management to teach your people that they’re not just competing against the other specialized competitor; but to also be aware that they are likely competing against another alternative which may not be immediately obvious. This requires a greater emphasis on creating a comfortable rapport with not just the direct person you’re selling to, but the other people that may be “coming along” with them. More time should be taken to ask the customer more questions so that you have the full picture and, as a result, can address those concerns that are within your ability to influence.

Asking the right questions and offering the best answer

Let’s take a look at an example. Say you’re trying to sell a $40,000 car to a mom and dad with two kids who are also wanting to go on a vacation soon. Depending on the financing options they have available to them, the purchase of that $40,000 car may be feasible or they may decide that the better option is to hold off for anywhere between six months to a year so that they can go on a nice summer vacation first. Even if financing, there will still be a deposit.

That’s why it is so important for a salesperson to be able to ask the right questions, to get to know the buyer and family’s financial pain points, and to understand what matters to them on a fundamental level. When you put in the effort, you not only have more opportunities to decipher and address their key concerns, but you also build a rapport and reciprocal trust. It gives you a better chance of making the sale, and removes the proverbial elephant in the room.

For the marketing department, it’s critical to be aware of the most common alternatives to your product or service. Even though you may be in a very small niche as it is, you must still outline and understand the alternatives your customers might be inclined to purchase rather than your product. That way, just like the sales team, you can address these alternatives and find ways to refine your message so that people are more drawn to your products and/or services.

If this alternative did happen to be that a family, and prospective customer, were also hoping to go on a vacation in the next year, then you could cater to this alternative by including a travel certificate as a purchase reward. That way, they end up buying your product and can still go on that much-desired vacation – thanks to you.

The below image shows a couple who experienced exactly this. As the customer, Heather Vos, said: “Our vacation to Las Vegas was amazing! We received this vacation as a gift when purchasing our Nissan.”

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Remember that, no matter the alternative, you need to think beyond your own business. People are constantly weighing their options against their finances to determine what they can afford next. Asking enough questions will help you to establish trust, and an understanding of their needs. Then you can position your pitch, your product and your marketing appropriately and get the sale!

Want to talk right now? Call us on 1-866-883-2968 or fill out the form below.

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This is How Travel Incentives Boost Digital Marketing

By | Airfare Package / Vegas, Improving Social Media Engagement, Marketing, Outstanding Marketing, Standing Out from Your Competitors | No Comments

Travel Incentives Boost Digital Marketing

With digital marketing becoming wider spread and more powerful all the time, chances are your business may have be suffering from the same problem that many others are: having your marketing stand out against the competition. As with any aspect of marketing or advertising, remember that there are no magic tricks when it comes to succeeding. Digital marketing, whether it’s on Facebook or via an email, requires patience, trial and error, refinement, and constant effort.

In more ways than one, digital is the slow-burn approach to marketing. You will often have to spend hours at a time every day just crafting the content that will go out in your emails, social media, on your blog, and much more. However, the good news is there are ways for you to achieve temporary marketing boosts. These boosts have an immediacy to them that help complement the more slow-burn aspects of marketing and, for lack of a better phrase, pick up the slack in the meantime.

So without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

Travel Incentives and Digital Marketing: Perfect Companions

No doubt if you’re on our site, chances are you have an interest in travel incentives or, at the very least, want to learn a bit more about them. In the digital space, travel incentives can be utilized in a wide range of ways, from being a contest prize to simply being the incentive you’re offering in-store for anyone who purchases a certain product or spends X amount of money.

I’ll be showing you a couple of examples in the next section, but it’s always worth accounting for why something like a travel incentive or travel offer can work so well in the digital space. On a fundamental level, it’s really like any other special, limited time offer. Think of Amazon’s Prime Day deals or the Cyber Monday sales that happen the Monday after Black Friday.

The platform doesn’t matter – people want deals, they want great things for less money, and they want things that can better their lives. While you could argue the retail stampedes of Black Friday aren’t exactly bettering our lives, it’s also part of the reason why digital sales and digital shopping has become appealing by comparison. No lines, less likelihood of a sudden inventory shortage. So when you capitalize on the power of digital over traditional brick-and-mortar, it can have tremendous results.

Part of this is due to Millennials. Remember that Millennials are the largest generation in the US, so a company’s success can now lean quite heavily on them. Even industries that were concerned about Millennials not being in a position to buy their products, such as the auto industry, trends and supporting statistics tell a very different story. So with such a large portion of the population falling within the Millennial bracket, you’re looking at a demographic that grew up with and has gone on to fully embrace platforms where digital almost always reigns supreme.

Integrating Incentives with Digital

There are plenty of ways in which you can integrate incentives with your digital marketing efforts (or just your digital presence in general). One such example is how Fasada Home Remodeling, Co. promoted their free trip offers on their website via a “special offers” page.

As owner Ivica Jukica said: “We had a ‘special offers’ page, with details of the offer and images of the possible destinations that the customer could go to with this promotional program.” It helped craft a picture for prospective customers on what they could expect from the experience. And while Fasada’s mean of converting these customers was still ultimately at their brick-and-mortar location, their drive to fully embrace the power of the digital space boosted the campaign even further.

Another example is Visdom Mortgage Solutions, who we helped create and build their Facebook page. In the initial stages of building their social presence online, we focused on a combined effort of organic and sponsored content.

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On the sponsored front, Visdom utilized one of our Las Vegas travel incentives and we incorporated it into a focused and purpose-driven campaign of using that incentive to significantly build their page views, engagement, and overall follower numbers on Facebook.

Our efforts were executed over a period of 76 days and yielded Visdom phenomenal results, taking their page from 0 likes and views to 764 likes and thousands of views and engagement among Facebook users.

Measuring Digital Performance

What’s great about marketing on digital platforms is that almost everything you do is measurable. Whether you’re posting organic content or sponsored content, there are a host of metrics and analytics you can refer to. If you watched the above YouTube video about Visdom, you would’ve seen some real-world examples of the metrics you can have access to on Facebook.

These metrics give you an instant glimpse into how your efforts are working. Is that digital ad really hitting the numbers you wanted? What about sponsored post on LinkedIn or the most recent tweet you threw up on Twitter. The fact that most online metrics are also real time means you can identify your successes and shortcomings in the digital space and make alterations and refinements as needed.

This type of immediate insight and analysis is perfect when it comes to promoting travel incentives through digital channels. A value-added product such as an incentive will command plenty of attention, so being able to track how your promotional efforts for it perform online is invaluable.

If you want to learn more about how travel incentives can help your digital marketing efforts, be sure to get in contact with us online or fill out the form at the bottom of this page. Want to talk right now? Then give us a call us on 1-866-883-2968.