According to the NADA, car dealers spent over a billion dollars on local radio advertising last year.
But what that billion plus dollars bought was just time, 60 second spaces between the latest Dierks Bentley song and the DJ reading the weather report. Many dealers spend very little time, effort or money on the CONTENT, the actual spot that goes into filling that 60 seconds of otherwise dead air.
Creating an effective radio spot for your dealership is actually the result of four different processes and if you just scribble a few notes on a legal pad and hand it off to your sales rep the day before the spot airs, odds are the best thing your spot will have going for it is that it’s exactly long enough to fill the dead air that you’ve already paid for.
No amount of audio magic is going to make your spot work if the message you’re sending is weak. When you’re scribbling notes for your sales rep keep the customer in mind by using the “So Freakin’ What?!” rule of thumb. You’ve been in business since the Eisenhower administration? “So Freakin’ What?!” What does that mean for the person listening right now who’s in the market for a new or used vehicle?
Don’t tell them about you and your store and your cars. Many dealer spots could be summed up by a simple High School Cheer: “We’ve got cars. Yes We Do! We’ve got cars. How ’bout you?”
So Freakin’ What?!
Tell them about how you can cut their monthly payment, put them in a car with better gas mileage and help get their loan approved in 30 minutes or less.
But don’t try to tell them everything. If you try to emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing. Pick 2, maybe 3 major points and have the spot built to emphasize those.
And put in deadline.
Deadlines create urgency. Urgency creates excitement. Excitement creates enthusiasm. And enthusiasm sells cars. Period.
Terry Lancaster is the Vice President of Making Sh!t Happen at Instant Events Automotive Advertising, a Certified Radio Marketing Consultant and has been helping car dealers stand out, get noticed and sell more cars via radio since the Reagan Administration.