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Plotting the Perfect Advertisement

March 2008, F&I and Showroom - Feature

by Tom Herald - Also by this author

Advertising is one area in which dealers continue to get into hot water. Every dealer wants a competitive edge in the market, but offering unrealistic deals to attract customers can cause extensive monetary and legal troubles for a dealership. The key to effective advertising is to know your customers, and to offer realistic but tempting deals to get them onto your lot.

The things that worked in advertising 50 years ago continue to work today. Despite the changing of times and the onset of technology, people still react the same way to effective advertising. And with so few well-done dealer ads out there, an effective one will really stand out.

Creating the Right Image

When writing any type of advertisement, dealers should keep in mind two things:

1. Most people don’t make a buying decision based on logic; they buy based on their emotions.

2. People don’t want to feel like they’re being coerced or pushed into anything; they want to feel like they arrived at a buying decision completely of their own free will.

The second consideration is more difficult to accomplish than it sounds. There’s a very fine line between making customers believe they came to a decision on their own versus making them feel pressured to make a purchase. To achieve successful sales, you must learn that distinction and master the art of vehicle selection and re-selection.

What a dealer is doing with advertisements is creating an image that is desirable to consumers. Remember, a vehicle says a lot about a personality. Even though people need reliable transportation, they want image. Looking good and feeling good are important emotional draws when writing effective sales material in the car business.

Using the Right Formula

Writing an effective advertisement is actually quite simple. If you consistently apply the basic fundamentals outlined here, you will see your traffic count rise and hear your phone ring more often.

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