Nov 162013

dpball From Dan Ball’s Desk . . .

I’d like to share some recent observations of trends I see RV dealerships adopting with their marketing plans, and why you might want to reconsider the direction your dealership may be taking.

Observation:  Dealers are spending more money than needed in specific media channels without getting the results they desire.

Have you ever felt poorly and the doctor says “Lets run some tests?” The results come back, and you look them over but really have no idea what you are supposed to see there. The doc says everything looks fine, but you don’t care how great the doc says everything looks, you just know you feel lousy. Looking at analytics is like that. You can Google the abbreviations, the numbers, the ratios to try to get an understanding. Yet you must rely on a professional for an interpretation. And, what your marketing specialist sees as success, may not line up with what you consider success. There are lots of new marketing companies, with new ideas well suited for mass merchants, but not for RV dealerships. You can’t think, Target. You can’t think Automotive. You must think RV. And if they can’t ‘think RV’ I don’t care whether they handled accounts for Sears, Pepsi or Charles Schwaab, you may be in for a long and bumpy ride while they miss the ‘big picture’.

My take: “If you are not capturing the majority of RV sales in your market, I don’t care what your analytics say and how wonderful your graphs and charts look, you can do much, much better. Traffic means absolutely nothing if it doesn’t lead to RV sales. The most important thing you can do with your traffic is convert it. Are you converting your traffic to sales? If you aren’t why not?

Observation of analytics and rv sales

Dealers are not providing a message to their customers that compel them to act.

Your marketing budget is arranged to spread your message through multiple channels to reach your potential customers. What are you telling them ‘out there’? Are you making them an offer or giving them a reason to shop at your dealership instead of your competitor’s? Are you telling them about manufacturer and dealer incentives? Are you telling them how to complete the offer? Are you inviting them to the appropriate pages on your website where you can complete the sale? If you aren’t, why not?

My take: You must send a strong message. The delivery system is more available than ever, with constantly expanding places for your message to reach consumers. There’s a frenzy of activity and news centered around monetizing new avenues of social and digital media. But that is absolutely no excuse for a watered down message. In fact, it is more challenging than ever to be the one that stands out! For more than 30 years, we have been delivering the most effective RV consumer advertising messages for the RV Dealers who have thrived, even when the economy struggled. We know that because of the documented best years in business our clients have experienced. Dealers that have left us to try the newest, latest thing in marketing, always come back once they compare the difference. What’s the difference? The largest return & profit you can make on your advertising investment. And it all comes down to delivering the right message. Are you delivering the right message? If you aren’t, again I ask you why not?

megaphone want a return on your advertising investment?

Observation: Dealers are concentrating their budgets on an extreme internet presence, but not handling the most basic and fundamental goal of their own dealerships. Developing a balanced marketing plan that will enhance their ability to sell RVs.

All of the new agencies, internet marketing specialists and self-made in-house RV marketers in the world cannot help your dealership without a fundamental understanding of your industry, a deep understanding of your specific potential customer, and the ability to coordinate a balanced advertising schedule. Did you know that 77% of people watching television are online at the same time? How about what RVers like to listen to on the radio? Do you know what the most common long-tail keywords RVers search for and what they don’t search for? Knowing your customer is different than knowing what they watch, what they listen to and what they seek as well as where they visit online. Knowing your customer is different than knowing what messages they respond to, and where they respond to them.

My take: In order to ensure that you’re implementing the most effective marketing program, both online internet marketing and traditional marketing must working cohesively together. You never want to exclude media, leaving those consumers unexposed to your message. Developing an overview of your specific audience, and the methods needed to reach them, you can coordinate and execute content placement and inbound marketing channels along with a balance of traditional advertising channels, including TV, radio and print. You may be spending a lot of money where you don’t need to be, and not spending enough where it is critical.


Let’s have a conversation. I would enjoy reviewing what you have in place and providing you with a complimentary consultation.

Dan Ball

Nov 142013

dpball From Dan Ball’s Desk . . .

TV Advertising

Recently I was speaking to a cable TV advertising account executive and she mentioned to me that she had an interesting conversation about our agency with a client of hers. He was inquiring regarding one of the RV dealers we represent. He confessed to her that no matter what time of day he is viewing television, Chilhowee RV always seems to have an ad running. This client, owner of a large auto dealer group with several franchises, had quite a budget for his own advertising, and was astounded by the number of commercials the RV dealer was running.

Know What Your Prospective Customers Are Watching

The account executive explained to the car dealer that our agency had been placing media this way for nearly 30 years for this RV dealer. “They know exactly where and what the dealership’s prospective RV customers, are watching and place their ads accordingly.”

You see, the car dealer being a prospective customer, was watching all the programming that Chilhowee RV was advertising in, and knowing his own cost, thought the dealer must be spending 4 times what he was. Not the case. The auto dealer was the one spending 4 times more money.


Get the Most Value from Your Media Buys

Obviously the auto dealer is a great candidate to purchase an RV. We can determine that by his viewing habits. This illustrates that if you aren’t strategically placing your media buys to get the most value, and the biggest impact, your dealership could be losing out. This means reaching the right prospective customers. Now, this auto dealer hasn’t purchased an RV yet. But I’m quite certain that when he does take that step, Chilhowee RV will be on the receiving end of another RV purchase.

Target Your Specific TV Audience

Conclusion? Target your specific TV audience. Buy media accordingly. And, take advantage of the best value by buying early. If you have doubts, or need help evaluating your market, contact me and we can discuss how to get the biggest impact from your advertising for the best return on your advertising investment.


Dan Ball