If you have ever taken a ballroom dancing class, you are most likely familiar with the “lead and follow” relationship that exists between two partners. According to the Wikipedia definition of “Lead and Follow”,  The lead is responsible for guiding the couple and initiating transitions to different dance steps and, in improvised dances, for choosing the dance steps to perform. The lead communicates choices to the follow and directs the follow by means of subtle physical and visual signals, thereby allowing the couple to be smoothly coordinated.

When it comes to automotive marketing, we believe that the “lead and follow” relationship is a great analogy for the role that targeted data plays in a direct mail campaign. Allowing the data gathered from your market area to take the lead and determine your course of action is the most effective way to tackle your campaign. The “data first” mentality is always the smartest approach when you are dealing with targeted direct mail marketing and I will tell you why.

CASTING OUT A WIDER NET…

Your marketing partner should start each campaign by providing a report of the opportunities in your area to make sure that you are hitting the right people at the right time. For example, if you had 4,000 individuals coming off of a lease, 10,000 prospects within your target credit range and 6,000 bankruptcy prospects all within your market area, wouldn’t it make the most sense to send a tailored direct mail message to those specific individuals rather than blasting out 20,000 generic advertisements to a particular zip code?

MORE MAIL DOES NOT ALWAYS EQUAL BETTER RESULTS…

As seen in the example above, you do not have to blow your entire marketing budget on a “wing-and-a-prayer” direct mail event. With proper planning, you can have confidence that you are making your mail count by hitting the right people at a specific time in their buying cycle, all with a fraction of the mail you would be sending otherwise.

BEWARE! PAST DEALER RESULTS DO NOT EQUAL YOUR SUCCESS…

We have all been pitched the same story from direct marketing salespeople -” This dealership sold 40 vehicles off of said program and you should be running it too”. We always tell our dealers to be wary of this sales technique and encourage them to revert back to our “data first” philosophy. The numbers will tell the story and you will see greater R.O.I. if you just let data take the lead!

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If you would like to see what a complete snapshot of your market looks like or just want to learn more about Accelerated Marketing, please visit www.acceleratedmktg.com.