Car dealers are constantly looking for new and innovative ways of attracting new customers to their forecourts, and seeing as there is usually quite a large cost involved in doing this you can probably see why they’d want to make it as cost effective as possible.
Even though many car dealers commit a large chunk of their annual marketing budget to advertising on the net and updating their websites and classified ads, there are still ways of highlighting the services and products offered by a dealership which are more traditional and targeted.
For example I was chatting to a former colleague recently who is not obstructed by the branding of a manufacturer and as the site he is on is owned by him, he can virtually do what he likes. Like the best Americans who often have egos bigger than any of their huge cars, he does just that. He puts the bunting up every couple of months has hundreds of balloons flying high in the air causing distress to air traffic control and is quite happy to promote the famous ‘managers special’ which is usually the oldest most tired car on the list which “has to go” that weekend.
Although he likes to push the boundaries and promotes all the old school practices that may work very well in the states but are often viewed with suspicion or scorn over here, he is still at his most comfortable when promoting the thing he loves best, himself.
He went on to explain his latest “wacky idea” to get buyers into the showroom, he decided that he really wanted to get noticed and wanted something that was guaranteed to prick the curiosity of potential car buyers.
As his site is on quite a busy stretch of road anything out of the ordinary was bound to have an effect.
So first of all he hires one of those road side digital traffic signs in bright yellow which flashes the message “slow down >>> you are approaching the best deals in town >>> turn left immediately”.
To make absolutely sure people couldn’t miss him he also dressed up like a racing driver waving an enormous chequered flag, all guaranteed to have an impact. And what an impact! Within 30 minutes two customers, who had turned into the dealership had a collision which then turned into a punch up, he was nearly run over by a white van and the local traffic was gridlocked by rubber neckers and people trying to turn around because they thought they were approaching road works.
Finally, with chaotic scenes and our friend completely oblivious, the police had clearly had enough and took him off, still dressed like Jensen Button, to the local station to explain just how he had managed to create such chaos and how he intended to put it right.
He came back some hours later when things had quietened down a little to find that the signs had gone and the balloons had flown away, but his head sales guy informed him that the day hadn’t been all bad and that they had sold more than 15 cars. To our man this was fantastic news and quite a relief at the end of a stressful day.
Unfortunately he thinks he is now onto something and you don’t want to know what he has planned for the next one!