No one said automotive marketing was easy. As car dealers, we do it because we have to. Getting people in the door to buy cars is our top priority. Once they’re with us, we can wow them with the excellent sales and service they’ve come to expect.

But what if automotive customers just aren’t coming? What if you’re throwing everything you’ve got at the wall and nothing is sticking?

Let’s make it easy: you innovate.

When all other methods fail, you need new methods. “Thinking outside the box” is an overused expression, but it’s used so much because it makes so much sense. Thinking outside the normal parameters you work in changes things. It sells cars.

Here’s an example.

Think Like Sears. Remember being a kid and looking through the Sears catalogue around Christmastime? When it came to mail order, Sears was a household name back then. You may have asked your mom to look at the “Sears catalogue” as opposed to any other type of company advertising. Here’s why:

In the early part of the last century, mail order catalogues were big business. Suddenly, customers all over the US could get whatever they needed without venturing to often far away, busy department stores. Sears wasn’t the only name in the game – retailers like JCPenney were also trying to get their catalogues read. A race started to become THE catalogue families placed as reading material on their coffee tables.

So how did the store catalogue become the “Sears catalogue” for so long? Well, somebody over at Sears thought outside the box. Sears started cutting their catalogues to smaller, bulkier sizes – meaning that the Sears catalogue was always stacked on top of all the other catalogues.

So what happens when you think like Sears? You look at how your customers perceive you and what you offer by considering not just how they use your products, but your advertising as well. From there, you create materials that naturally get you seen by putting you on top – by making you stand out from your competitors.

Are you putting the same revenue into TV and radio, sending the same messages and expecting the same results?

Are you offering the same kinds of incentives you offered this time last year?

Are you engaging lost customers?

Are you failing to incentivize sales people and reps that crush it month over month? Is everyone within your department judged on the same performance metrics?

What methodology is in place to track metrics?

We’ll talk more about this in the coming weeks – but for now, refuse to be stuck. Innovate. Because if you’re not willing to innovate, someone else will. Why would you want someone else to take your opportunity?

Do you need help innovating? Let’s talk about it. Tell us your biggest innovation issues and let us help.