It’s always a challenge for auto dealerships to pick the best time of the month to focus on advertising. Automotive marketing is a tough game when it comes to differentiating yourself from the competition.
But there are ways to select the best advertising times for your auto dealerships, depending on some key factors such as your target demographic, location, and product selection. However, you shouldn’t fall into the trap of not advertising all month, only to scramble during the last two weeks to run ads and hit revenue goals.
That’s why we’re providing some ways that radio advertising for automotive dealers can spark sales, and the best times of the month to run them. Let’s go ahead and get started!
Why You Should Keep Advertising All Month
By not waiting until the end of the month to advertise, you’ll achieve the proper frequency and consistency of your ad efforts. While it’s good to advertise when there are specific needs or promotions, that doesn’t serve to create any long term awareness benefit. Advertising all month will create the consistency needed to keep your dealership top of mind for consumers.
A few other reasons to advertise consistently is that it builds brand awareness, pre-sells to customers, and builds a steady pipeline of new business. You can also utilize action or awareness campaigns throughout the month. In action campaigns, you draw consumers to perform a specific action, whether it be to commit to a sales appointment, make an actual purchase, etc. Awareness campaigns are simply for the purposes of brand recognition and awareness. By alternating effectively between the two, you’ll be able to come up with a game plan that allows you to advertise continuously throughout the month.
The Best Times to Advertise
Choosing the best times to run your ads is crucial in order to stand out from the competition. The automotive industry in general tends to run advertising that pushes consumers towards an immediate action, such as “Come to our Sale!” or “Buy Now!” This is very transactional marketing with very little branding tied into it. Auto industry advertising can sound alike in the minds of many consumers, who often don’t even attend the sale events because they know another one will likely come along the next month. Not to say that you shouldn’t advertise sales events, in fact quite the contrary.
By running ads that have a core brand message and take a more “soft sell” marketing approach, you’ll build more credibility with your audience so when you do advertise that sale event, people are more likely to actually attend. Some of those soft-sell branding ads could touch on topics like the history of your dealership or how your business works with the local community (cause marketing). The point is to avoid a constant stream of “Sale! Sale Sale!” ads that will allow you to stand out from a crowded field and in the end increase your sales totals.
With that being said, here are some of the key points to consider when deciding which times to advertise:
Drive Times - One of the best times to advertise simply due to the sheer amount of people that are commuting in their cars, listening to the radio. However, this also makes it one of the most expensive.
6AM-7PM - Keep in mind that a majority of dealerships will only run ads during prime time (the 6AM-7PM) window, and many of them are reluctant to even advertise on weekends. However, the weekday/weekend daytime slot is important because you’ll be able to reach the total audience base of a given radio station. You’ll also be reaching different audiences at different times instead of the same audience at the same times.
12AM-12PM - Although advertising on radio past midnight might not seem like the best time slot, it’s important to remember that there are a lot of second and third shift workers in mid-Missouri. These workers often listen to radio as a welcome distraction or to simply keep them awake. Think of all the factories, hospitals, and students in the area that are up at all hours of the night. Advertising during these hours could be a huge opportunity to engage this audience on a daily basis, especially since it’s when your competitors are less likely to run ads. These less expensive ads also go towards mitigating the cost of your more expensive ads in primetime.
Finally, don’t forget to involve your media partner when developing your long-term advertising plan. They’ll be able to help you plan advertising times for your auto dealership, in addition to integrating your branding with other channels such as live events and social media.
What advertising days and times have worked well for your auto dealership in the past? Go ahead and let us know in the comments!