You’ve invested a tremendous amount of time and money in your business over the years – specifically on employees, equipment, service trucks and other business expenses – with the goal of driving sales. However, in order to grow and gain that market share you are after, you will need to invest in marketing. Not just marketing, strategic marketing.
If your dealership is already investing in marketing, please keep reading as you might find some nuggets of information that could help. In addition, just because you’re investing in marketing doesn’t necessarily mean your initiatives are effective.
Here are a few steps on how to market your construction dealership.
Planning: Developing a yearly marketing plan is a critical first step that all dealerships should practice. The planning will take some time, but will pay off in the end as it will provide strategy, budgets and timelines, and outline responsibilities for all involved. In addition, a competitive analysis should be completed to fully understand how your competition is marketing themselves.
The plan itself will include items such as goals, objectives and ongoing marketing communications items such as print ads, direct mail, social media, website items, SEO/SEM, public relations, open house events, video and more. Communications items can range from financing and rental incentives to parts/fluids promos to preventative maintenance offers to drive shop work. All marketing items should be tracked, measured and analyzed to improve future marketing efforts and results.
Having all key stakeholders involved will allow for all to voice thoughts and get everyone on the same page. From there, all will have a clear understanding of the marketing approach, goals and objectives moving forward.
Co/Op: From my experience in the industry, I can tell you that Co/Op funds are not completely used and when they are used they are not effective. First off, I highly recommend taking advantage of Co/Op funds. Co/Op should be discussed and outlined during the planning process. This will help offset costs and determine budgets. Secondly, to make Co/Op effective for your dealership you must make sure your brand is visible and properly shared with the OEM. There must be a call to action and other types of measurable items to track effectiveness. Some of the Co/Op items may not be trackable such as open house giveaway bags, balloons, etc. and that’s ok. I’m specifically referring to direct mailers, emails, ads and other outbound marketing communication items.
Brand Consistency: All communications from your email signature to your print ads, direct mail, PowerPoints, etc. should be constant and professional looking. End of story.
Data: There’s so much data out there! Data from OEMs, data from third parties and more. Utilize this data to your advantage. Your marketing team should have access to this data and you may need to hire a data analyst or give the data analysis responsibility to the marketing team. Look for trends in your market, review contractors’ fleets and other equipment data. From there, develop communications that speak to these prospects via a range of marketing channels which should be a mix of direct mail, email, sales calls/visits, etc.
For example; we know Joe Contractor has three mid-size excavators in his fleet which he financed X number of years ago. Our dealership knows that the life cycle of a mid-size excavator is X number of years and two out of the three of Joe Contractor’s excavators are coming up on the end of their life cycle. Now is the time to send him communications about our brand, our mid-size excavator offering, financing opportunities and so on. In addition, arm the sales rep with these marketing tools and have him make a visit.
Marketing and Sales: Sales and marketing should be aligned and work together. Marketing will work with the sales team and develop a strategy and marketing tools for the sales team. It’s essential that these two groups work together in order for your dealership to grow.
Outside Partners: Expand your partnerships with others in the field of marketing such as your local printers, website companies, social media gurus and, heck, even an ad agency that specializes in your industry. By creating partnerships with marketing professionals, it will take some of the day-to-day work (and then some) off you and your team’s plate, so you can do what you do best: service customers and sell equipment. Furthermore, these professionals know marketing and can guide you along the way, keep an eye on budgets, track and report results, provide ideas and provide an outside point of view.
Many times I’ve asked contractors while on their job site or at a trade show, “Have you heard of this brand?” and all too many times I hear the word “no”. What bothers me is that there’s a dealer that represents that brand within that customer’s territory resulting in missed opportunities. Investing in marketing each year should alleviate this issue and other brand pain points, as well as assist in gaining that market share you covet.
Would you like more information on how to market your construction dealership? Get in touch with us!