In the wonderful world of web, we as consumers are exposed to subliminal messages and overbearing marketing lists that have become second nature. And while automotive dealers have a plethora of knowledge, having seen the industry progress firsthand, some of the marketing ploys they ask for get lost in translation due to the stimulus-overload we are already in the midst of. Simply put, there are too many features available on websites, and everytime we add a new feature something gets lost in the shuffle. We, as designers, are often tasked with creating carousel slides to catch the eye while there are better tools available. If you read my last blog, about trusting your designer, then you’ll remember that sharing your vision and goals is an important part of the process — but letting us help guide you with our professional knowledge is just as important. After all the main goal is to improve the communication from Dealership to Marketing Manager to Designer, culminating in getting the message through to the customer loud and clear. And as a former dealership employee, marketing manager, designer, and customer, I can tell you with all honesty that these lanes of communication could be improved.
We should start off with the goal, and in most cases we are told that the objective is to “Sell more cars.” This works for a majority of content on your website, but this goal isn’t perfect (or realistic) for each and every request. In some cases, we get pigeonholed into carousel-slides or landing pages that don’t receive ample traffic for the above goal or request. When I was a marketing manager, I would often receive requests for Sale Landing Pages or Carousel Slides that looked something like:
“Hey Adam, we’re having a sale on (this date). Can we get a carousel slider for the sale?”
This request isn’t terrible, however with more information the results could be exponentially better than just another carousel. When the above request makes its way over to the web team, they will be guessing on the creative for the slide (not to mention thinking to themselves, “Another carousel?”).
Below are a few points of information that would greatly impact the results in a positive way. Information that would not only limit the back-and-forth (leaving you less time to worry about other business) but would also help achieve the goal of selling more cars. This information should include, at minimum:
- The goal, whether that be getting more physical traffic into the dealership, and/or more form/lead submissions, and/or more newsletter/mailing-list subscribers, and/or more service appointments, and/or you get the idea.
- The sale dates. Would you withhold this information from the customer? Of course not. So why would you withhold it from us?
- The specific vehicles, if any, that intended to be highlighted. A photo of a Mustang usually looks a bit more appealing than a photo of an Escape. But if you’re highlighting Escapes that logic goes right out the window.
- The dates that this information is allowed to run. Because we dislike receiving those frantic phone calls saying “Pull that page!” probably as much as you dislike making them.
- Any other caveats. This ranges from if advertising should be used to compliment this information, if there is creative freedom allowed or if it falls under co-op, and any other rules or guidelines that need to be followed. Did you hate the last design we did? We won’t be offended — but if we don’t know we can’t fix it. Be honest with us, and the results will always be better than the last.
After receiving the above information, our experts can suggest multiple avenues to generate awareness. We may propose a homepage hero-image before the sale and then another during the sale dates. We may propose an accompanying banner image on the inventory page, the contact page, and even a sale specific landing page. We may even propose yet another carousel. The point is, you know your business and we know ours. We know that multiple pages improves awareness. You tell us what you want to promote, and we will do everything in our power to promote it.
By giving additional input during the initial process, automotive dealers put their dealership in a position to have a greater return. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Greater return on your investment, and better results on the lot? Not to mention, the creation of positive habits and better communication. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — here at Strathcom Media we are experts at what we do, so long as we understand your goals. So be forthcoming about what you want from us, what you like and dislike, and what your goals are. If we are on the same page after that initial conversation, the results will speak for themselves.