Most car dealerships really have it tough when it comes to putting on a special event to spark the interest of their potential customers. This is especially true when it comes to the top end events you would expect from the prestigious brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche and Jaguar.
For the more prestigious, it is clear that the standard sausage sizzle, face painting, wacky waving inflatable tube man and an ex rugby star working himself into a frenzy over the frankly CRAZY deals is just not going to cut it.
Most prestigious dealerships have great flair for organising an event that caters to their potential clientele’s taste via the skills of their Marketing Managers in conjunction with good manufacturer / brand corporate guidelines.
On the most part, this ensures that the attendees are interested in possible attendance to the event and provides the dealership staff with a vital opportunity to get to know them better in an ambience conducive to building that all important relationship and trust vital in helping a customer make such an important buying decision.
So, why would we say that prestigious brands have it tough in particular? Well, whilst the skills in orchestrating such elaborate events are there in abundance, sadly, the marketing of the event itself is often executed as an afterthought.
To give an example, I was invited to a new sports vehicle launch at a highly prestigious dealership here in Queensland, specialising in very high end European brands. It was easy to see that the Marketing Manager and his team had flawlessly organised a sophisticated soiree including speeches from the brand’s ambassadors (a lovely newsreader), fine champagne, delicious canapés and a dramatic vehicle reveal towards the end.
The event was expertly presented, however the lack of people in attendance was very noticeable and verging on awkward as the sales staff seemed to outnumber the guests. This was punctuated by a grumpy Dealer Principal briefly scanning the small audience before making a very hasty exit.
Towards the end of the event, the Marketing Manager and I got chatting and I gently enquired as to the turnout, to which he advised ‘I’m not sure, I had the marketing team send out the email, you got the invite, didn’t you?’ I nodded, swallowed my champagne and said no more about it.
You see, the problem is simple and three fold:
- Normally (unless you partner with Imperatif, of course!) only around 22% of people open car dealership marketing emails. So, 78% of your target audience did not open the email or it ended in the spam filter. This is normally because these types of emails are often too high in the graphical content to text ratio, refer to ‘sales’, ‘discounts’ and similar words that email filters will detect as spam.
- From experience, dealership contact email data is often either pretty old, incomplete or missing altogether. This means that the intended recipient would most probably never have received the email invite.
- From experience and data, the clientele most likely to attend such an event, would not respond well to being invited via email.
So, the question still remains, how could the Marketing Manager capitalise on all his good work via ensuring optimal attendance figures for the event (and in turn avoid an unhappy Dealer Principal)? Well, the answer is best explained by an example of similar clients using Imperatif’s event telemarketing campaign packages.
We were, coincidentally enough, at the same time, approached by three of our existing clients representing two major German prestige brands who all had planned upcoming events ranging from the launch of a much anticipated model through to a special ‘not open to the public’ demo sales event.
The scope was simple:
- Raise awareness of the event, offers and the new model
- Invite and confirm attendance
- Explore any potential sales opportunities during the course of the calls.
Using a hybrid of contact methods personalised and suited to the clientele for all three events, Imperatif:
- Designed beautiful branded electronic marketing pieces that not only would be personal to the customer, but also be completely spam compliant and maximise the open and click-through rates of the intended recipient.
- Designated and executed an outbound telephone script that made the customer really feel as though the Dealership staff had specifically listed them as a VIP and as such they warranted a special telephone call from the customer care team, alongside the email, to personally invite.
- Upon confirming the potential customer’s attendance, they received a personalised Outlook calendar reminder as well as an SMS the evening before.
From a statistical point of view Imperatif had:
- Achieved an email open rate of 67% via ensuring that proper eDM design and sending was applied. This was also bolstered by ongoing data cleansing protocols included with every service offered by Imperatif.
- Ensured that the events were booked to maximum capacity and all attendees had RSVP’d.
- Generated 412 potential sales leads, 75 service bookings, 65 extended warranty leads as well as capturing all of the expected dates the customer may upgrade their current vehicle.
From taking a logical, well planned and experienced approach to events it is entirely possible to ensure that the event’s attendance figures match the effort that has been put into organising the event in the first place. This can only result in a fantastic return on investment to our clients.