Enhancing Auto Dealer Ad Spend with Vanity Phone Numbers

The National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) published an annual report on America’s franchised new-car dealerships which includes financial trends, dealership sales, and marketing and advertising developments within the industry. Looking at the most recent annual report from 2014, based on the numbers, auto-dealerships are doing incredibly well. In fact, the report found that for 2014:

Total dealership revenue, which included new- and used-car sales, as well as parts and service sales, reached an all-time high of $806 billion in 2014, an increase of 8.6 percent from 2013. – NADA, 2014

As business is on the up and up for franchised new-car dealerships, we decided to take a look at the advertising trends among auto-dealerships (for 2013). What we found were some interesting figures. We weren’t surprised to see the internet as the distribution channel with the highest percentage of expenditures at 33%. However, by taking a closer look at the data, we discovered “traditional broadcast” mediums together make up 61.8% of total advertising expenditures for new-car dealerships.

Yes, you read that correctly – over 60% of the total advertising expenditures by medium were attributed to traditional media channels.

The Findings

Here are the actual numbers from the NADA DATA 2014 report on Advertising and the Dealership:

  • Internet: 33%
  • Television: 20.8%
  • Newspaper: 15.5%
  • Radio: 14.5%
  • Direct Mail: 11%
  • Other: 5.3%

Even though internet marketing and advertising have the highest percentage share, all traditional media channels combined make up more than half of all advertising expenditures by auto dealerships.

Seeing that such a high percentage of advertising dollars are spent on traditional media channels, take your investment another step further by adding a vanity phone number to your campaigns.

The Benefits of Using a Vanity Phone Number in Auto Dealership Advertising

Improved Recall

Vanity phone numbers like 1-800-NEW-AUTO are easier to remember and recall compared to both standard toll-free 800 numbers and website URLs. Even if you are only using small amounts of ad space (i.e. a quarter-page ad or a 15 second commercial spot), you can easily distribute your vanity number for your dealership.

Increased Brand Awareness

With an easy to recall vanity phone number, you can improve your dealership’s brand awareness. Over time, the vanity number becomes associated with your brand or dealership, which can lead to referrals from existing customers or piquing the interest of potential customers.

Advanced Tracking Features

Vanity phone numbers come with advanced call tracking features that allow you to track and analyze powerful business data. You can view reports of callers by geographic area, zip-code, and demographics as well as sales specific analytics such as repeat callers, unique callers, first time callers, or call duration time.

The call detail reports also allow you to capture essential customer information and discover which advertising campaigns and messages are most effective at generating phone ups and sales. It’s information that can help you make crucial business decisions for your dealership, and build a powerful database for future marketing efforts.

It’s widely known that traditional advertising media is more difficult to track and analyze than digital channels, so a vanity phone number in your campaigns will actually help you to better calculate the ROI on your advertising efforts. You can even get separate vanity numbers for specific mediums, to track whether your television advertisements are performing better than your radio spots using 1-800-NEW-RIDE in television and using 1-866-NEW-RIDE in radio, for example, which will provide you with robust data to compare and adjust advertising campaigns and media buys to get the most out of your advertising budgets.

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