Selling advertising to an independent used car dealer has both it’s advantages and challenges. Although many may have little marketing knowledge, they also tend to be “shoot from the hip” buyers. You can help them by establishing a marketing niche and then aggressively delivering the appropriate audience to them.

Here are some ideas for you to consider:

  • Determine three key demographic characteristics of the dealer’s existing buyer. The buyer should be defined as the primary user of the car. Examples include: male or female, average age, average household income.
  • Establish a broadcast/digital campaign which will target that portion of your station’s audience that best matches the key demographics of the dealer’s prime targets. Frequency of advertising will matter more than reach in this case. While few independent dealers can afford to effectively reach everyone, they can profitably focus on the mindshare of their best customer look-a-likes. You will earn their trust if you don’t try to oversell them with a schedule that advertises outside of their prime target audience.
  • If the dealer places photos of their vehicle inventory online, ensure that the advertising drives the audience to their website. Potential used car buyers love to see photos of inventory.
  • Utilize the owner of the dealership in the spot. It’s powerful to have the dealership’s philosophy on warranties and unsatisfied customers stated up front, and it provides great comfort to potential car buyers.
  • Highlight their inventory average cost, particularly if it is below the industry trend. The National Automobile Dealers Association predicts that the average used car (less than 8 years old) will cost nearly $15,000 this year. If they have a good selection of cars for less than $10,000, emphasize that in the ad campaign.

In addition, you will find this LBS video series “How a Dealer Makes Money” very helpful in understanding the particular pressures and challenges of the used car dealer. John Tkac covers all the information you need to know in this three part series.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three