Article by
Craig hooghiem in Strategy

Does this scenario sound all too familiar? Your new monthly offers arrive last minute, the first of the month is screaming at you, last month’s expectations are weighing on your shoulders and all that’s on your mind is to just get the new offers out to your sales team on time!

You are right. Speed to market is key. Missing a day of website updates in a marketplace where buyers seldom visit more than two dealerships before signing a purchase agreement could have detrimental side effects; ensuring your deals are accessible on the first of each month is your first priority. Always.

When incentives are often passed down from manufacturers it can be easy for a dealer to get caught in a promotional cycle of copy, paste, forget. However, once you have the offers up and you’ve plastered your store with promotional banners, is it really time to sit back and wait? Of course not! Rather than hoping that national ads do the trick, now is the time to start your 2nd Week Strategy and begin amplifying your offers.

With almost twenty years managing every kind of marketing and branding campaign imaginable in all mediums, I’ve come to learn that the idea is useless if you don’t create the right environment for success. This doesn’t start with the plan to amplify your offers, but rather it starts with creating the plan to make a plan.

Try a 2nd-week planning strategy.

  1. In week 1 you get your offers out and begin thinking about week 2.
  2. In week 2 your focus is on amplification of your own marketing efforts and ideas.
  3. Book a meeting for the last workday of the 1st week. In that meeting focus on a basic problem to solve: how can we creatively wrap and amplify this month’s offers. Work on it in the session – don’t just talk about the need but discuss real tactics that are easy to get out.
  4. Leave that meeting with a short list of “low hanging fruit” with real answers to these questions:
    1. What is the offer we are pushing? (Ex. Old Model Clear Out Offers came in)
    2. Who are we telling about it? (Ex. Current customers near the end of a lease or with older models we service, new customers in market)
    3. Where are we telling them? (Ex. on our site, on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Youtube and Email to current customers that fit the target market)
    4. How are we telling them? (Ex. We have 12 varieties of offers on 6 models – let’s do a “12 days of Saving Tips” poem socially and post each line each day with the offer. With segmented email, we can target the entire poem to owners of the older version of each model)
    5. What needs to happen next and in what order? (Ex. Bob needs to email us the offers, Carol needs to write the words, Tim needs to create the visuals and the web page, Fred needs to schedule, post it all and buy media online with a budget of $500, the project must be live by Wednesday)
    6. Write it all down. The key to success is to write it all down and confirm who is responsible for each action item. If you leave the room without all of it down on paper you have already started off with the perception that you plan is not fully thought out and therefore not that important.
  5. Book a review meeting on the same people’s calendars for 2 days later.
  6. Book an in-progress meeting for the Friday of week 2 to see how it’s going and review. 7. Take this process and repeat it each month The goal of your 2nd Week Strategy is not the plan you develop in the session, but the session itself. You are setting up the process to repeat the plan each month, working together as a team with a collective mindset around uniquely amplifying each month’s offers after they are up. 

Why is this so important?

The dealer down the street just got their offers too. Chances are their promotions they are also seasonal or following similar new car or service cycles. Worse, the sister-dealerships with the same inventory just got the exact same offers if you are in a larger region! Unless your focus is on amplifying your own efforts you will never eclipse the competition. You are merely following the rest of the crowd. The good news? Winter happens again every year. Tire changes happen every year. Your OEM releases new models every year and many of their national promotions happen annually, saving them time and money to reuse materials and create awareness (we all know who hosts the Red Tag Sale every year). With that in mind, by repeating the 2nd Week Strategy each month, you can look back on the following year, know exactly what you did and how well it worked. As scheduling these sessions becomes second nature within your sales department, the ideas they produce become stronger and so do your team members.