Owning and running your dealership puts a lot on your plate. At any given time, you are thinking about inventory, staff, expenses, and of course, advertising. It’s difficult being an expert at everything, so it would be nice to rely on the knowledge of professionals out there, particularly when planning and executing your advertising.
But be careful! Some of those experts are pushing you into cookie-cutter solutions that they think will work no matter what you sell—from insurance through televisions and shoes. They don’t understand that buying a car is fundamentally different than those other products, and their oversimplified advice is not the best advice for you! The good news is that often your competitors will take the advice of these experts, so their advertising will all be the SAME and yours will stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Most radio advertising “experts” will tell you that you should hire professional voice-over talent as a way to improve the “production values” of your radio spots. They suggest taking one of two paths—hire a voice actor or take advantage of the on-air talent at the station you plan to advertise on. Hand in hand with this suggestion is the implication that you should not be the one starring in the ads.
But who knows your business more than anyone else? YOU!
Don’t get us wrong—we know that most of you are not actors. But think about it—your advertising should be establishing you and your sales team as the solution to all your market’s car-buying needs, and that is NOT about acting; it’s about you sharing your passion and desire to sell nicer cars , newer cars, cars that make people’s lives better. Actors don’t understand that—to them, you are just a job to be done.
You might be asking “what about the radio personalities?” Before you even consider this path, do one simple thing. Spend an hour or two listening to the radio station and count how many ad reads the on-air talent does in a typical day. Do you really want to be just one more product they mention? Do you honestly think that will make you stand out in the listeners’ minds? No—it should be you they are hearing, and your unique voice is far more likely to stand out, as opposed to someone telling them about cars, restaurants, local festivals, wacky news, and everything else.
When you know you are going to be the face (voice) of your advertising campaign, you can start to create advertising that is catered to your personality and the personality of the dealership. Doing this will reinforce that you are the car expert who has all the answers your buyers need. They hear your advice on the radio and then they can come and see you at the dealership. It adds a level of authenticity you will not get from a voice actor or radio personality. Plus, you’d be surprised at the power of celebrity—people love to meet the voices they hear on the radio, be it DJs, local traffic reporters, or the stars of advertising campaigns. So they will be excited to meet you and discuss their car-buying needs.
The more ads you do over time, the better you will become at it, until it is second nature. And if you are not paying voice actors to perform your spots, you can funnel more of your advertising budget to running the completed ads. Tune in next time to find out what else “the experts” are wrong about.