There are things that we want to scare us – haunted houses, ghost stories and slasher movies. And then there are things we don’t want to scare us, like the fear of losing customers to competitors and wasting money on ad spend. When you compare your dealership marketing budget to the $9 billion Americans spent on Halloween last year, it might not seem like Mounds* of moohla. But play your candy right, and your digital campaigns could do the work of fistfuls of 100 Grand bars. 

Okay, Smarties, let’s roll:  

  • Insights 
  • Optimization
  • Emotional drivers 
  • Event sponsorship 

*Warning: Readers with allergies to puns and word play should grab an EpiPen.   

Skip Nightmare on Balance Sheet: 
Go for Insights and Optimization Instead  


How can your dealership connect the Dots and stop wasting ad spend on digital marketing campaigns that don’t get the job done? Here’s a strategy that’ll work like a dream – delve into insights and then optimize your dealership marketing for better ROI.  

Automotive insights 

Go from missing sales to nailing down the kind of sales in your market that lead to more profit per vehicle – and longer-term relationships through your service department. Plus, referrals and future sales. All thanks to the power of automotive insights and data points.  

  • Figure out how well you’re doing at keeping buyers who live close to your dealership – they’re less likely to go to competitors for sales and service.   

  • Understand market share and your competitive position, then identify hidden opportunities to sell more cars.  

  • Align your inventory to better reflect the market area demand, so you can keep (and capture) more buyers.  


Consumer insights 

 Improve your dealership marketing campaign’s audience targeting and you’ll increase the effectiveness of your dealership ad spend. Because reaching the right people (at the right time) is key to any digital marketing campaign. Doing the research to uncover consumer insights isn’t for Dum Dums, you have to figure out:  

  • How your market works 

  • Who your customers are 

  • What automotive marketing mix is most effective 

  • How to connect with prospects and reconnect with customers  

Once you’ve got the answers to up your audience targeting, it’s like hitting PayDay. 

Treat yourself: Check out eight Actionable Audience Target Tips for Auto Dealerships, including developing dealership marketing strategies to deploy tactics; implementing tools to determine ideal target audiences; using data to reach new markets – including young buyers; and launching digital marketing campaigns to sell more vehicles. 



 With so many digital touchpoints on the auto buyer journey, you need to know what dealership marketing is working (and not working) for your dealership. That’s where campaign optimization comes in. It gets to the bottom of what’s worth your dealership ad spend, what’ll increase your ROI, and what can go away. Optimization is a continual process; one you need to deal with Now and Later:   

  • Set the right metrics to determine whether your campaign is generating the right leads, engagement and/or awareness. 

  • Test and adjust campaign elements for continuous improvement – creative, time of delivery, sources of sales and more. 

  • Pay attention to industry trends, consumer interests, the economy and other things that could be affecting your dealership marketing campaigns.   

Get Sticky as Peanut Butter Taffy:  
Connect to Customers with Emotional Drivers  


Dealership marketing frequently focuses on tactics with functional drivers – sales incentives, price points and promotions. But to really connect with customers, your digital advertising needs emotional drivers too. Things like customer experience, community involvement and what makes your dealership different.  

A recent research study found that consumers may begin (and end) brand interactions with rational considerations. But emotional responses are responsible for everything in between. They’re what inspire brand “stickiness” (loyalty) and advocacy (referrals). It’s when emotional connections are damaged – the Kiss of death – that customers revisit rational considerations.  

To keep things sticky, keep in mind that a majority of customers surveyed expect companies to: 

  • Know their purchase and service history – and draw upon that knowledge to personalize interactions. 

  • Respond to negative social media posts within three days – and not to respond to positive posts in a self-congratulatory way. 

  • Earn and protect their trust – and be protective and respectful of their personal information and data. 

Treat yourself: Check out three tips for turning service into sales and deepen customer relationships by giving them what they want. Appraisals, loaners and offers.     

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF:  
Sponsor Events and Show Your Commitment to Community  


Let’s take Reese’s because, well, they top the list of Halloween candy favorites. Know how every couple months they hit the market with a holiday-shaped peanut butter cup? Specially designed and wrapped to trigger a must-have response? Your dealership could use some of that, but in the form of events. Events that focus on – and engage – the community, creating an emotional sugar-high that keeps your dealership top of mind. So customers think of you when they go to buy their next car.  

Want to Skor an event partner? Connect with USA TODAY NETWORK EVENTS and connect with your target audiences. USA TODAY NETWORK event sponsors benefit from millions of dollars of added value media support. And events are promoted and covered by editorial staff, providing unprecedented earned media reach. 

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF: (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) began in 1950, when a Sunday school class collected money for needy children, instead of candy for themselves. This annual tradition has helped raise nearly $177 million for the organization. 


Contact us to learn more about automotive insights, optimization, emotional drivers and event sponsorship. 


Related Content:  

How Modern-Day Baseball Can Lift Your Dealership to More Wins 

Why Customer Insights Are Crucial to Audience Targeting 

Actionable Audience Targeting Tips for Auto Dealerships 

How to Stop Wasting Money on Digital Ad Spend (Add link when published) 

Deepen Customer Relationships with Service Clinics 




Driving Brand Loyalty with Emotion  

Halloween Spending Statistics, Facts and Trends 

How Stuff Works: American Halloween Traditions 

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF