Blending your marketing tactics

Consistency is important when it comes to advertising your dealership. You want to present a clear, consistent image and message to your customers.

You also don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket – while it’s great to be super active on Facebook, for example, you also want to have a strong presence in your customers’ email inboxes.

Three major personality traits of most customers today:

  • Communicators: They are active on social media and in online communities. They are also likely to give and take advice from others.
  • Engaged: Especially true if they have a great experience at your dealership and/or are very excited about their purchase – they are likely to follow you on social media platforms like Facebook.
  • Connected: They always have their smartphones with them, so it’s easy for them to gain and share information at any time.

The best way to format your messaging to get through to your customers:

  1. Develop an understanding with your customers. What are their pain points? What motivates them?
  1. Form a powerful message and stick to it – example, “The best quality boats at an honest price.”
  1. Use the same language your customers use to connect with them. Tell them why they need your boats. Make it personal – get on their level.
  1. Deliver value to those following your message. Share articles that are relevant to your customers’ lifestyles, maintenance tips for your units, etc.

Keeping these things in mind, it’s worth mentioning that email communication is so valuable in reaching your customers. According to Active Network research, 91 percent of consumers check their emails every day, so even if people aren’t responding or interacting with your company emails, you can be sure they are being seen. Email is a consistent and powerful method of business-customer communication, and nothing else can quite compete.

However, your message should still be shared across other channels as well – on your website, company blog, social media pages, online ads, and traditional advertising materials circulated by your dealership. Reinforce your message everywhere customers are able to find you. Create an ongoing relationship with your audience and build trust with them. Make it known exactly who you are as a business.

In any marketing campaign, results are what matter. Utilize online analytics and look at things like number of email opens, number of ad clicks, website visits, and more. On the traditional side of marketing, consider store visits and numbers of purchases. Results tell you if your message was effective. Adjust your strategies to successfully target your audience.

Lauren McLean is the public relations manager for Dealer Spike, a company that provides innovative websites as well as a suite of powerful online advertising solutions that help marine dealers help increase sales and service profitability. For more information, visit or call 800-288-5917.

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