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Blog: 6 Tips on Marketing a Dealership During a Pandemic

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“Business as usual” has been a term we haven’t used for more than a decade. And those who insist on not trying new ways to market or promote their RV business will soon find it difficult to keep up with the competition.

Today we are witnessing a new challenge on how we conduct business. CEOs, presidents, and owners of RV dealerships and factories (from large to small) who are willing to explore new and creative ways to continue communicating with customers will benefit greatly after this critical pandemic virus passes.

Customer behaviors are changing, and you need to know how respond to their buying habits.

There is no “magic bullet” to solve your problems. Instead, you should be willing to learn different ways to stay in front of your existing and potential customers.

Before developing a marketing solution for your company, consider answering these questions:

  • Who is your customer? For example, identify what they purchased from you, how often do they visit your store for products, where do they live, what places and campsites do they enjoy in their RV, etc.? 
  • What are your core services/products? How often and what method are you using to promote these to your customers?
  • What are the profit margins for your most popular services/products?
  • Do you use discounts frequently to increase sales? Do you mainly see an increase in sales when you offer discounts? Is this your primary marketing strategy?
  • Do you know your average transaction size, and the average transaction value of your customers?
  • How are you maximizing your online presence?
  • Have you incorporated other marketing strategies, such as cross-merchandising or tie-in promotions with non-competitive companies?

These are only a few questions to help you better understand who you are and what position your RV dealership fits into the market. Using this information, you can begin to develop a marketing plan that separates you from your competition.

Retargeting

Mainly used in online paid ads, this is when you target consumers based on their previous actions. Done correctly, you can customize your retargeting offers based on the website pages (including landing pages) your prospects have visited.

Data studies show 45 percent of consumers will buy when retargeted. You also can apply this to customers who visit and purchased items at your RV store. Do you check to see what related products can be marketed to them? Did you explain how purchasing bundled items can save money? Using a solid program mix with social media is what you need to do.

Omnichannel Marketing

By keeping your customers interested and engaged you have a higher percentage of them purchasing products. An example of this is to have an app for your store’s items. Rather than only having a catalog or listings of RV’s on your website, customers are more likely to browse an app, which can have links to various pages either on the website, or a landing page.

Today’s consumers use their handheld devices to make purchases and they are hungry for information. Unlike years past, they no longer rely on a sales rep to educate them on the different products or services. An app, or even a digital touchscreen in your store for customers to interact, will give them the freedom to view the products you offer.

Layaway

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, this was a method used to help consumers and retailers survive. In the 1980s, most retailers dropped this method because credit cards were becoming the process to make purchases. This old form of buying might be one solution for your customers to make purchases. It reduces the financial risk of retailers and makes it affordable for consumers living on a tight budget.

Publicity

Limited marketing budget or not, a PR plan should be a main part of your marketing strategy.

Let customers know how you’re improving your facility to be safer during this pandemic, and how you are making their purchasing experience better.

Be more aggressive with online ordering, and publicize it with news articles, promotional programs, tie-in campaigns, creating events, and social media posts.

Pick-up Service

During this stay-at-home time, many RVers want to get back into their RV and travel. This is an excellent time to offer repair and maintenance services.

Let them know you offer free RV pick-ups and returns for servicing. When doing this, you can offer special incentives on repairs and products.

Outside Objectivity

Occasionally you may need to get a fresh perspective on how to increase visibility and awareness, which in turn will result in more sales. Marketing professionals will evaluate the current market conditions, identify your core strengths, and present a tailored marketing plan to meet your objectives.

 

BIO: George Carson and his publicity/advertising agency (CARSON MARKETING.) has been a dynamic force since 1980. He has created successful ad campaigns and publicity programs for a variety of clients in the RV, automotive, sports, food, and entertainment industries. His exclusive core branding approach identifies the best solutions and strategies to help companies become successful.

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George Carson

George Carson and his publicity/advertising agency (CARSON MARKETING, INC.) has been a dynamic force since 1980. He has created successful ad campaigns and publicity programs for a variety of clients in the RV, automotive, sports, food, and entertainment industries. His exclusive Core Branding approach identifies the best solutions and strategies to help companies become successful.

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