This past week I have been on vacation in Italy. While I have been away from the US I have still been tethered to US business activity via the Internet and my iPhone. I’ve watched the wild ride that the stock market has taken in the past week; a thousand point Dow Industrials swing!
As predicted, the financial media is back in the limelight. Financial channels are showcasing their panel of market experts who are eager to share their speculation, predictions, and calls for a bleek future. These shows generally feed the panic in the marketplace.
I am not minimizing the impact on whose have received margin calls or who have seen their investment portfolio drop once again. These are scary times indeed! Yes, the markets do impact consumer sentiment but as a business owner you can’t control how a nation thinks or feels.
Car dealers know that people need reliable transportation to get to work, school, or to buy food. Dealers know that when a car lease is up, consumers will need a car. There are some things that dealers can rely on regardless of the current position of the S&P 500.
This week is reminiscent of the panic cause in the 2008 stock market collapse. Many Car dealers survived that mess! Our clients are having a strong year and some are reporting record earnings in 2011. The market is cyclical. We can’t pretend that this recent downturn wasn’t predictable with our current leadership (or lack of) in Washington.
While the value of our dollar is uncertain and the cost of travel in Italy is absurd, many car dealers I speak with are not panicking. They are using this opportunity to get a jump on those that are weak in the automotive industry.
In the automotive world, dealers that are pulling back their marketing and advertising are easy prey for those who can “press” when the marketplace is filled with uncertainty.
Of course you can’t press the competition unless you have a solid automotive advertising and marketing strategy in place. A solid strategy that is not a “flavor of the day” game plan.
The days of spending without an integrated marketing strategy are over. Dealers need a clear measurement process in place that gives them confidence in their business operations regardless of the “noise” that is in the financial marketplace.
Business owners that pay too much attention to new reports like CNN, CNBC, or Bloomberg will likely lose their way and not invest in their business as aggressively as their marketing data tells them.
So, are you confident that your marketing and advertising strategy is fully leveraging your budget? Have you investigated all the new opportunities to market your business at a lower cost per sale? If your answer is yes, turn off the TV and focus on selling more cars. The profits will come.
If you have not yet invested in creating an integrated marketing and advertising strategy, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get one created. Turn off CNBC and get back to business,.
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing
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