Blog: How to Market a Dealership During a Pandemic

The coronavirus outbreak will not last forever. This is perhaps the most important thing to remember.

There’s the tendency to be concerned that things will not change. However, there are indications that this current crisis will cycle through, and things will work out. Based upon that, I’m advising clients on how to turn this time into a time of opportunity.

There are a few things to think through. Below is a list of items to consider as you address your marketing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Buying Cycle

How many days does it take a shopper of an RV to go from awareness to purchase? Perhaps 30 or 60 or 90 days? Also, consider that a more expensive purchase may have a longer buying cycle.

Next, think about what’s involved for shoppers to move from awareness to purchase. They have to move through a process and that requires gathering information. Shoppers have to think through potential purchase options. Retreating from marketing during this time of crisis means destroying your pipeline.


If you are not visible, you are not relevant. If you disappear, prospects have no idea if you are in business. This is the time to firm-up your presence. I would contend that this is the worse time to pull back marketing visibility.

Marketing Takes Time

Cranking up marketing takes time. If you pull back, turning it back on will not be as easy. Building content is time-consuming. Make sure you partner up with an agency that can help you during and after this outbreak.

Establish Rapport Now

Do you have the means and proper messaging for prospects and customers? If not, there is no better time than now to get things ironed-out. Relate to your prospects and provide real value.

This may be missing from your existing marketing, but there is no need to let it remain like that. Messaging correctly is not simple and requires creativity and guts.

Seasonality, Stress, and Vacation

This is an extremely stressful time. People are going to want to breath after this subsides. Will you be in a position – and be able – to advocate for RVs as a perfect vacation?

There are tendencies that we all have during times like this. Our responses vary from running away, ignoring the issue, being paralyzed with uncertainty, etc.

These apply not only to us, but also our co-workers and customers, as well.

Be aware of your personal tendencies and set them aside as best you can. Look to others who have the capacity to help you. Now is the time to take this head-on and be creative.

But if you can’t do it, which is understandable, work with an agency that can.

One of the most difficult things for dealership business marketing is that dealers are used to turnkey tactical marketing. This means merely doing things the exact way they always have done them.

It’s excellent to have processes in place and doing a rinse and repeat. For starters, it’s a very predictable and affordable way to do things. However, during these times, it is absolutely critical to use new strategies. Those strategies do not just happen – they are invented. They take experience, creativity and innovation.

Generating ideas is undervalued.

During this time, we are putting together two emails a week to our clients suggesting various solutions that they can do so they are better equipped for this situation.

For one, build content! For example, create a video about why you like the brands you carry.

It definitely it a time to step-up your game and a creative agency should be able to assist.

Kevin Shayne

Kevin Shayne is the director of marketing for Netsource Media and RVUSA. Prior to his career in digital marketing, Shayne worked as a vice president of IT. It’s with this experience that he brings a strong background in processes, systems, technology, and crisis management.

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