But man do I wish I had. Heck, I wish I had any kind of plan or RoadMap for marketing at my dealerships.
It’s not my fault though. I was the Team Leader, Service Leader, Sales Leader, Marketing Leader, Accounting Leader and now and again lead forklift operator. When the salt truck needed unloaded it needed unloaded NOW and couldn’t wait for me to finish up my marketing plan.
As a result, my process for marketing kind of looked like this.
- My budget shows I still have some money to spend.
- My ad agency has some nice looking creative for Newspaper, Postcards or letters.
- I choose the one that looks best to me (though I have no empirical evidence to confirm it’ll generate leads).
I was using call-tracking numbers, reviewing every phone call, and even using custom offers. I was tracking every lead source as strictly as I could and for 2 years I can tell you down to the dollar our Marketing ROI on each of our projects.
However there was no cohesive overall plan that allowed me to look at any marketing piece and quickly let my Ad Agency know if it fit into our overall marketing and business goals.
When I started my own business and began working with other business owners, I had to admit, I didn’t really have a formula or system for marketing let alone a White-Lined Marketing RoadMap for a small business to blow by the marketing of their competitors.
So I became obsessed with filling in that gap of knowledge. I attended marketing seminars and webinars, read dozens of books and hundreds (maybe thousands) of blogs on marketing. It all seemed so darn complicated… So many moving parts and pieces and strategies.
- USP’s and UVP’s
- Culture Development
- Needs Assesment
- Target Customers
- Demographics, Psychographics, Geographics
- Open-Ended Questions
I can go on and on…
No wonder I didn’t have a Marketing Plan for my business. It would have taken me weeks to put it together!
Well that doesn’t help me grow my business and it certainly doesn’t help you grow yours. It was time to tackle that challenge head-on and here were my ground rules.
- It had to be as simple as possible. – Either able to fit on a single page or be able to produce meaningful, useful results in 1 solitary hour.
- It had to work. – In other words it had to be based on science, psychology, and my own testing in the marketing world. No fluff.
- I had to be able to present it in 20 minutes. – If you can’t get it across in 20 minutes then it’s too complicated.
Great leaders take the complex and make them simple. So this became a personal challenge for me to see if I could make this topic simple enough that you’ll actually squeeze it in between taking care of your customers.
Well that was my battle. It’s not exactly climbing Everest, but a daunting task nonetheless.
So now is the time to put it on the line and present the results at CDANA 2012.
In 20 Minutes I’ll present to you the 60 Minute Annual Marketing RoadMap. A tool that I wish I had at my dealerships and I hope you’ll find just as powerful.
The best part?
You get 5 minutes to publicly grill me at the end of the presentation. Then you’ll have access to my personal email, blog, website, and cell phone to really let me have it. If the RoadMap isn’t as useful a tool for you as I think it will be, then by all means LET ME KNOW.
Did you know the Chevy Volt had more unique patents filed for it than any other car EVER made?
They were pushing the limits. It was a completely new and unique concept. Love or hate the Volt, you have to respect what those engineers were able to accomplish.
Unfortunately, in the real world, some of them caught on fire. I pray no one was hurt in any of those instances and certainly don’t make light of that type of thing, however it’s a fact of life. No car manufacturer is immune from making mistakes. However they all learn from those mistakes and make better cars next year. Quality and safety for all manufactures is astronomically higher than just a few decades ago.
The Marketing RoadMap is the same way. It’s pushing some boundaries and some limits. It might even make some people a bit uncomfortable. Maybe it’ll even catch fire a few times in the real world of your small business.
Nothing is perfect.
However it’s just the starting point. Once it’s in action, you will be able to figure out why part of it didn’t work and improve it for next time.
To your successful Marketing RoadMap, Bryan
P.S. One of the most interesting things I learned was that marketing that worked in 2005 or even 2010 most likely will NOT work today. It’s a harsh reality but one you can tackle head-on.