Marketing Is About To Get Really, Really Hard!

August 22, 2011

Put a Post-It note right where you can see it and write down:

Marketing Is About To Get Really Hard!  What Am I Doing About It?

It’s the calm before the storm.  

Are dealers about to be caught unprepared?  The answer is a resounding YES!

If you thought marketing was challenging in 2009 watch the next few years closely!


There’s a dealer or two in your market who is preparing to dominate your market.  They’re developing an integrated marketing strategy that focuses on relevancy.  They understand the change in the air.

Here’s what they know!  The market place wants you to be relevant to their information needs and their communication preferences.

Many experts are calling it circle marketing or small town marketing.  Either way the consumer wants more relevant information and on their terms. 

For example this is going to affect:

  • How you approach Google Ad Words
  • Where you send  your consumers
  • What offers  you make
  • How you connect via Social Media, Digital or Traditional Media

Every message and path needs to be Integrated!

Social Media has forever changed the landscape.  It has empowered people to get relevant information and to share their experiences.  They’ve  discovered they can dictate how they wish to be communicated with.

Stop and write down  Social Media is my friend not my enemy.  It’s the missing link.  The link that will allow you to fully integrate your marketing efforts.  It will allow you to reach the circles and to be the leader in small town marketing.

Don’t think I’m talking about Facebook.  Facebook is only a tool.  I’m talking about the entire social media world.  It’s a place not a tool.

Integration strategists understand by expanding your frequency and interaction between media channels,  you’ll expand both your reach and your frequency while maintaining your brand and retail message.

Remember this>>> “The early adopters of integration strategies are thrilled about the reluctance of it’s competitors to keep pace.”

Don’t stick your head in the sand.  Marketing is about to get REALLY, REALLY HARD!

If your  RV  ad agency is not taking to you about integration they might just be too old school.  Don’t let their lack of vision affect your future.  Ask about small town marketing. Ask about relevancy.  

Give me a shout if you want to talk integration.. I love it!


The New Marketing Triangle For Your RV Advertising

July 16, 2010


The Master Merchandising Triangle has been the corner stone of  retail advertising programs for the past 30 years.  Inventory, Sales Staff and Advertising were the three legs to the Master Merchandising Triangle.  Each need to be in place for an effective marketing plan.

The concept is this:

Inventory:  Desirable inventory at the right price point is in place and ready to be promoted.

Sales Staff: A well trained and informed staff is ready to sell the promotional vehicles.

Advertising:  An attention getting  message and a good buy with lots of frequency is in place.

When all of these were aligned you could count on a successful promotion. Today; however, the advertising leg of this triangle has changed drastically. When Lee Galles created PRA (Planned Result Advertising) the only marketing channels available were broadcast television, radio, newspaper and direct mail. 

As a result I would like to share with you the new RV Marketing Triangle.

The three legs of great automotive marketing are now:

   Traditional Media “TV, Radio, Direct Mail, Newspaper”

   Digital  ”Websites, Text, Email, Banner Ads”

   Social Media   “Blog, Facebook, Twitter”

   You can’t ignore  these three critical marketing channels.

 One doesn’t replace the other, they only enhance each other. When all three areas are
working effectively the integration is magical.  They grow in strength with
each other and are enhanced far beyond their singular strength.

Today, many dealers are questioning traditional media.  If you want to make
your traditional media stronger, add digital and social to your marketing
plan.  If you want to make your digital marketing more effective, get
involved in social.

One reason dealers are hesitant to execute under this New Marketing Triangle is budgeting.  

Budgets are tight and dealers are just not sure how to integrate the three.  Here’s some simple but effective advise.

  • 70/25/5 Budget Plan

        70% of  your budget should be in traditional media.

         20% percent in digital.

         5% percent in social media.

Reality is this:  Social Media doesn’t cost a lot of money just a lot of
time.  You only need to budget $2,500 to have the most powerful plan in your
market.  It’s really a no brainer.

Your RV Advertising needs to focus on the New Marketing
Triangle.  Three good legs are a lot better than two.

How are you doing on your new triangle?

RV Advertising: 10 Things You Should Do In Social Media

May 14, 2010

Feel free to walk down this path.

 If you’re looking at social media you need to know when and where you should walk.  And yes you should walk before you run.   I’ve  attached a great list  of DO’s when joining the conversation.

This were provided by  Dave Nelson a social associate of mine.  He gave me his permission to share them with you. Take a look let me know what you think.  


Do the up-front planning as you would for any important new business or RV Advertising initiative.   Define your target audience, detail how you intend to create value for them, and map out how you expect them to create value for you. Document your approach and objectives per medium (blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.).

Do read and listen first. In the beginning, listen and learn for a few weeks before responding. In general, spend twice as much time listening as responding.

Do display your Personality, and keep the content Interesting and Entertaining (the old radio adage “PIE”). Remember that people buy from people; show your professional self.

Do be authentic. Never before has a medium and its participants been more skilled at smelling a rat and turning against the perpetrator.

Do remember that social media is about two-way conversation. Conversation builds trust; trust leads to sales.

Do favor timeless content over the time-sensitive (note: this varies based on the medium and there are exceptions). We live in a time-shifted “Tivo” world and there’s wonderful leverage in creating a blog post (for example) that will have value to new readers weeks, months, or even years from now.

Do remember that “push” is out; “pull” is in. In today’s information-rich world, people want to opt-in, choosing where they spend time. Give them a reason to choose your content.

Do keep your eyes open. Use Google Alerts,, Linkedin Groups, Ning networks, and more to listen to the conversation about your company, your competitors, and the best practices in your industry.

Do exhibit the patience of Job. As the party with more power (a business relative to a customer/prospect), attacking or being critical will frequently backfire and word will propagate quickly.

Do learn from your audience (as they will learn from you) and rapidly evolve your products and services to meet their needs. They’ll suggest valuable ideas you’d never think of.

This is a terrific list.  The last point reminds of a quote.

“Survival of the fittest.”  Not really true!  It just means you’ll last longer than others but in the end you’ll fade away as well.

You really need to think like this quote!

“The one’s that have the ability to change and adapt are the ones that survive!”

Let me know your thoughts.  Let me know which points you like the best!



RV Advertising: 100 Motor Home Leads In 10 Days

April 12, 2010

Numbers like these seem unreasonable today.

The market has just shrunk to the point this type of traffic isn’t possible right?

The answer is a big fat NO!

The numbers are in your favor. Motorhomes haven’t lost their appeal. In fact the desire to use one is only growing. There is a also a market out their of motorhome wanta-bees waiting for you to make them an offer that allows them to say YES! 

Industry Insights had this to say about fractional jet ownership.

As the fractional companies grew, the number of clients grew faster.

According to Wichita-based AvData, the number of fractional shares held by shareholders increased from three in 1996 to 4,731 in 2001. 

The potential is even greater for the RV industry.  To drive this kind of motorhome interest you’ll have to open your mind to fractional ownership.

This proven concept has finally made it’s way to the RV industry. The time is right.

Fractional ownership has made a huge impact in the aviation and marine industry. It’s opens the door to an incredible market expansion.  

  • It also gives you a marketing dream!
  • A competitive edge!  
  • Something unique to your dealership!

If all these positive things have perked your attention the profit and cash flow will knock your socks off.

The company making this a reality for the dealers and motor home lovers is FlexRV.

The benefits for the consumers is really outstanding and create the type of traffic numbers displayed above.

The only disclaimer to those number is they happen in just the first 10 days of marketing this for a local dealer..  

 If you’re a manufacturer this seems like an opportunity you want to be able to offer your dealer body.  Check it out… FlexRV!

Take a look and let me know  what you think. 


RV Advertising: Eliminate Your Short Term Thinking

March 1, 2010

OK!  I get it.  You’re thinking  you need traffic to your dealership today.

Well what’s new.  That’s one thing that every RV business wants during  good times or bad.  Everyone wants more traffic.

The retail business leads dealers and most RV Advertising agencies to short-term thinking.

 This can be good and bad.  However, I strongly encourage you to stop and think about what I am about to say regarding social media.

In the early days relationship selling was how a dealer marketed his dealership.  Then through our help 20 years ago dealers began to use mass media and suddenly you could get your message in front of thousands of people.  

This is when retail selling took the place of relationship selling.

As time has passed a few stores were able to re-kindle the relationship based store  and turn those relationships into big sales volume.  Now that sales volumes are less mass media is taking a back seat in many stores. 

So here we are!  Back to relationship selling.   Social Media is relationship selling on Steriods.

There is no greater opportunity in front of you.

  • Facebook added 100 million users in 9 months.  
  • It took television 10 years to just reach 50 million.  

If you want to build a dealership based on relationship  selling, where you have equity in the transaction and the relationship, you really need to get on the social media program.  

If you’re one of the  first to really embrace this revolution you’ll obtain a competitive edge and your competition will not be able to recover..  

Why do you ask?          Because they’re still thinking about short term marketing ideas!

 Social Media will build and secure a consistent traffic flow to your dealership. My  guess is in the not too long future the majority of your traffic will be traced back to social media.  You may not see it all today but 100,000,000 Facebook users in 9 months can’t be ignored.  The shift is taking place and short term thinking might leave you in last place.


RV Advertising Requires You To Be A Changed Person

February 23, 2010


“If all you’ve got is a spreadsheet filled with red ink and dire forecasts, it’s easy to be paralyzed by fear and resistant to change. But if you can summon some leadership nerve, then hard times can be a great time to separate yourself from the pack and build advantages for years to come.” Bill Taylor, best selling author Mavericks at Work.

Harvard Business Publishing, is part of my daily reading.  An article I read this morning by author, Bill Taylor, “The 10 Questions Every Change Agent Must Answer” was adapted for this post.  I thought these questions were very applicable for dealerships in this rapidly changing and challenging business environment.

Bill writes, “When it comes to creating the future, the only thing more worrisome than the prospect of too much change may betoo little change — especially in an economy where there are too many competitors chasing too few customers with products and services that look too much alike.  Now is the time to rethink long-held strategic assumptions inside your company (dealership), to challenge decades of conventional wisdom in your industry, and to push yourself to learn, grow, and innovate.“

Here are four questions to help your RV dealership face the challenge of change:

1. Do you see opportunities other dealers don’t see?

Change breeds opportunity.  Be the first to find new opportunities.  The rules have changed and may never go back to what they once were.   Don’t wait for other dealers to lead the way, innovative.  French novelist Marcel Proust said, “The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes.”

2. Can your customers live without you?

 Your Customers’ options are rapidly evolving.  Dealerships can no longer pretend to be all things to everyone.  The use of terms like we care, lowest prices, great service, customer comes first doesn’t mean anything.   If you try to appeal to everyone, you will appeal to no one.  Dealers and manufacturers had been comfortable in the middle of the road.  Today, the middle of the road is the first step to becoming road kill.

3. Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?

You need to be a  leader.  Currently dealers are behind the curve.  To survive change you must get ahead and stay head of the curve.  In a world that never stops changing, great leaders can never stop learning.  How do you push yourself as an individual to keep growing and evolving ? 

4. Are you consistent in your commitment to change?

The problem with many dealerships is that all they do is change.  They go from one consultant to another, from the most recent fad to the next.  If you want to make deep-seated change, then your priorities and practices have to stay consistent in good times and bad.

It has never been more important for everyone to make a commitment to learn.  Be sure you have.

Read Bill Taylors entire article: The 10 Questions Every Change Agent Must Answer


RV Advertising’s Six Steps To More Traffic

February 16, 2010

Nothing is more important today than did it work?


Did it generate immediate, accountable, and profitable sales? The success of your ongoing advertising will only be as good as the fundamental base of your marketing plan.  I have always thought a river without boundaries is just a swamp.  There’s just no way to find your way without boundaries.

The following six-step marketing plan I have found provides an RV advertising strategies for the year.

Each of your RV advertising campaign should build upon the success of the preceding campaigns.  By following each of the six steps in order and without compromise, you should expect more sales and profits for an improved bottom line in the year ahead.


Who are your best potential customers and what are their motivations to buy? What is the best way to reach them? Your best advertising money should be spent on getting new customers into your dealership.  Social media will soon take care of your repeat customers by building a lasting relationship with them.


Lay the foundation to control your sales, products and campaign strategy.  All three of these elements must be present to have the most effective marketing.


Develop your campaigns to sell specific products to specific customers and relate the compelling reason why they should buy from your dealership.  In your advertising, don’t try to be all things to all people.


Combine these four ingredients for maximum advertising dollar effectiveness:

1.  Campaign strategy  3.  High-impact production

2.  Dynamic message   4.  Strategic media placement


Use your media placement as a marketing tool.  Be sure to make adjustments to your strategy based on seasonality and product focus.  Use lifestyle buying whenever possible.  Your marketing dollars will be more effective.


Track your results and use them as a base to structure your future campaigns upon. 

Keep the winners and learn from the losers.  Use all tracking tools you have.  Don’t cut corners here.  Data is the key to continued success.

These six steps are explained in greater detail in separate blogs.  The pro-active effort invested in these six steps will substantially improve the effectiveness of your RV Advertising.