Let’s face it – running a car dealership is not easy.  

• Loads of pressure to hit revenue or number targets on both sales and service. 

• You may feel like you’re losing sales staff left and right in a revolving door.  

• Your inventory turn rate could use some work.  

• Finding quality used cars at the right price is its own nightmare sometimes.  


So, by the time you get to your dealership marketing strategy you don’t have time or energy.  


We get it.  


Sometimes in automotive marketing, you end up feeling stuck. Your dealership marketing campaigns are not performing the way they should. You and your marketing staff can’t really pinpoint why the ad campaigns are acting so funky.  


Seriously, we get it.  


There are so many touchpoints along the auto consumer journey, it can be hard to tell which ones are really making an impact, and where to focus your dealership marketing efforts. 


Honestly? The easiest way to identify areas for automotive marketing strategy improvements or changes to a specific digital ad campaign is to optimize through testing.  


And, yes, it takes an investment of time, but if you can end up with more efficient advertising spend and you know what works, it’s worth it, right? 


What to Consider for Dealership Marketing Optimization 

Choose a specific factor and determine if you can implement a few tests to see what variation produces the best results. Creative is usually a good place to start when working on digital campaign optimization. However, you can also test audience targeting, platforms, ad sizes, specific difference on call to action wording or design, and more! You can even test offline dealership marketing campaigns by using call tracking tech


Apply a simple A/B comparison test with different creative on separate segments of your target audience. Then see which creative performs best. Make sure you allow for enough time in the testing period to gather enough data. From there you can use the higher performing creative for the remainder of the campaign on all segments of your target audience. 


Or, if you have two potential target audience groups around different opportunities, consider testing creative specific to those audience segments. Test creatives A & B with audience segment 1, and creatives C & D with audience segment 2. Make sure the calls to action and messaging you are testing apply to the specific audience segment – no general messages in this type of testing! This approach allows you to optimize for messaging tailored to a very specific audience


Creative testing doesn’t have to mean designing entirely new ads and campaign assets. Consider adjusting only one of the following: headline, call to action wording or image background. See which performs better in your campaign tracking and reporting, and then apply that to test which audience segment is more responsive. After all, the goal for your dealership marketing campaigns is to reach the right in-market auto shoppers with the right message. 


Apply What You Learn from Your Dealership Marketing Campaigns 

The important thing to keep in mind is to keep applying learnings from your campaign optimization, so you can continue to work towards your campaign goal, and your overall business goal. In doing so, you will work towards maximizing your marketing ROI, by increasing either the efficiency of your dealership marketing campaign in reaching the right people, the effectiveness of your campaign in conversions, or even both. 


What you learn from campaign optimization covers a micro level of learnings. However, you can also apply learnings external to the campaign itself. For instance, even with creative that is performing well, on target audience targeting and the right platforms, if you spot that your marketing campaign response is decreasing, there might be other factors at work.  


Always remember to revisit your dealership business goals, and the competitive landscape based on auto insights and intelligence on what is going on with market share trends and consumer interest. Maybe the reason you are seeing a decline in your crossover campaign is due to big inventory shifts in the market, not because of the specific creative you are running. 


It’s an Art and a Science 

The tips above can get you started, but digital advertising campaign optimization can get pretty intense. Marketing is an art and a science, so you need to keep in mind both micro, campaign-level details, as well as macro, market level forces. By applying insights from both, you can make informed decisions on how to adjust your dealership marketing and advertising campaigns. 


Here are some great resources to spark ideas on what to try when optimizing your dealership marketing campaigns: 

We are big believers in advertising optimization. So much so that we have invested in smart optimization technology for social ads, search marketing and targeted display.  


We even have data scientists who analyze what’s going on with our dealership clients advertising campaigns. Seriously wicked smart folks who make sure our ads are smarter and more engaging. They apply learnings towards product development, and creative design – all informed by actual digital ad campaign data across thousands of dealership campaigns all over the United States. 


Talk about the power of campaign optimization! 


Contact us to find out more about our comprehensive auto insightscampaign reporting and  tracking technology


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