Recently I read an article about “Working” and “Non-working” media. The article was about a reputable consultant suggesting a client move 80% of their marketing budget to “working” media. Is the reputable consultant suggesting content marketing, organic search, social media, and email marketing is not “working” media? I’ve seen too much success through the use of these channels to buy into that line of thinking.

The article really made me think about the automotive industry and my position in marketing and product development.  The lines of marketing are continuing to blur in general; even more so between “working” and “non-working” media. I’m all for accountability. However, allocating 80% of your marketing budget to “working” media is putting a whole lot of eggs in one basket.

I recognize “working” media is tried and true, but it is becoming less and less effective. The rate of return is decreasing and the cost of sale is increasing. My days are consumed with these thoughts because I am charged with building products and marketing campaigns that are successful and based on cost per sale. We’re always looking for efficient ways to move prospects to the sale.

Client Command® is a pay-for-performance automotive marketing company. We are where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. But in my opinion, without substantial support in genuine marketing, dealers are going to see a continuing decline in “working” media leads and sales.

The bottom line for all dealers is to bring in sales and build revenue — whether through new car sales, used car sales, or automotive services. With digital marketing, however, our industry is undergoing a major shift. Dealers must integrate the most effective and measurable “working” media techniques with digital channels that resonate with the new customer journey and behavior we have seen as of late.

Content marketing has become key to long term success for dealers. We encourage this through driving in-market buyers to landing pages that capture them. Our programs focus on in-market buyers and we know we have a window to “close them”. The last thing we want an in-market buyer to do is go searching elsewhere after we have gotten them interested in shopping for a new/used vehicle. We focus on keeping them on the site and moving them into the dealership so the experienced sales team can take it from there.

“Digital marketing is a long-term plan whereby dealers are positioning themselves for the sale instead of hyping some short-term goal and short-term buzz to drive people to their dealership”.

Yes, it all works. But at the end of the day, in this digital world should we be putting 80% of our dollars into “working” media? I think we may need to change our jargon. Digital works. The numbers prove it. Therefore, the only “non-working” media is that which doesn’t sell cars, period.