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Sales Tip - Dealers Trade Radio Spots for Auto Trader

An RAB member called from a medium market after learning one of his auto dealers is spending $6,000 per month in Auto Trader for each of his two dealerships. Yes, $144,000 per year. Our member wanted help on selling against online auto-centric sites.

We provided recent articles from the Articles On Demand section of www.rab.com that help to better understand automotive marketing. We provided links to the Competitive Media section that includes information on the advantages AND DISADVANTAGES of Interactive advertising. We recently did a webinar on Auto Dealer Marketing (http://www.rab.com/webcasts/wod.cfm) that included the topic of branding through radio for dealers using digital advertising.

Clearly, Interactive advertising works better when consumers have a favorable image of the dealer. Radio, an intrusive medium, creates that favorable image.

Dealers are not going to stop advertising in digital. It works. Dealers are selling cars from Internet leads and they are getting an efficient return on their investment. Our best opportunities are to sell dealers on the need to BRAND through an intrusive medium like radio, and drive consumer research to THEIR OWN WEBSITE where they do not have to pay for the leads.

If you don't know where your dealers are spending their ad budgets, do your homework. Check the automotive websites to see if your dealers' ads are appearing. On those websites, request information on your dealers' brands to see how the lead is handled and by which dealer. Here are February's top 10 most popular sites according to eBizMBA:

Yahoo! Autos (http://autos.yahoo.com/)
AutoTrader (http://www.autotrader.com/)
Kelly Blue Book (http://www.kbb.com/)
Edmunds (http://www.edmunds.com/)
Cars.com (http://www.cars.com/)
AutoBlog (http://www.autoblog.com/)
MotorTrend (http://www.motortrend.com/)
CarMax (http://www.carmax.com/)
Automotive.com (http://www.automotive.com/)
CarAndDriver (http://www.caranddriver.com/)

Once you have a handle on the amount your dealer is spending with dot-coms, you can recommend a campaign that enhances their digital efforts by adding radio. Radio is the insurance policy that assures their digital success continues.

Source: John Potter, SVP/Professional Development, RAB