Finding The Best Advertising Agencies For Car Dealerships

Digital Marketing

Finding the best advertising agency can make all the difference for a car dealership looking to increase sales. With so many options to choose from, it can be quite the challenge when determining which agency is best suited to meet your dealership’s unique needs and goals. Dealers United is an advertising agency specializing in helping car dealerships boost their sales through customized marketing strategies. Dealers United brings you this article that explores what car dealerships should look for when vetting potential ad agencies to partner with.

Defining Your Dealership’s Goals

Before beginning the agency search, car dealerships need to clearly define their goals and what they hope to achieve through advertising. Common objectives may include:

  • Increasing monthly or yearly unit sales
  • Driving more foot traffic to the retail location
  • Boosting leads across digital channels
  • Improving brand awareness in your local market
  • Highlighting current inventory or promotions

Once you’ve outlined realistic, measurable goals, these become the benchmark to evaluate agencies against.

Seek Automotive Industry Experience

The car business is incredibly unique; for this reason, dealerships should seek out agencies with specific experience in the automotive space. No one understands the intricacies of your business quite like those who have dedicated themselves solely to this niche.

Vet agencies on their experience across areas like:

  • Digital marketing strategies for car dealerships
  • Inventory management systems knowledge
  • Creative campaign production expertise
  • Long-term agency-dealer relationships

Going with an established automotive specialist likely yields better results than generalist agencies without the same level of focus.

Assess The Agency’s Creative Portfolio

An advertising agency’s portfolio reveals their creative capabilities and potential fit for a car dealership. When reviewing portfolios, look for:

  • Fresh, contemporary automotive creative concepts
  • Flexibility across multiple formats and channels
  • Campaigns that balance branding with hard sales messaging
  • Strong calls-to-action that drive conversions
  • Familiarity with digital and print advertising best practices

Agencies that are hesitant to share examples of past work may raise some red flags…So be sure to take note and use what you see in their books as a determining factor throughout the selection process.

Vet Their Media Buying Capabilities

Car dealerships invest heavily in paid media, so choosing an agency with proven media buying experience is vital. More specifically, look for:

  • Expertise in buying display, video, native advertising and paid search
  • Leveraging attribution modeling to optimize budgets
  • Targeting key demographic and geographic segments
  • Launching retargeting campaigns to past site visitors
  • Providing monthly campaign performance reports

Evaluating their strategic capabilities in this area gives you confidence they can plan and execute paid media that delivers.

Compare Agency Pricing and Contracts

Like most significant business investments, it pays off in the end to gather proposals from multiple advertising agencies before committing long-term. Different agencies will offer different services and charge different fees. 

Dealers United prides itself on having 100% transparency with all features included plus management fees. 

Key items to compare include:

  • Monthly or annual agency retainer fees
  • Mark-up percentages on media buys and outside vendor costs
  • Contract terms like length, opt-out clauses, fees
  • Incentive structures regarding performance metrics
  • Insights from checking agency references

This due diligence allows dealerships to secure fair, competitive pricing in a transparent way. Be wary of rates that seem too good to be true.

Choose a True Marketing Partner

While weighing all these factors, the most essential criteria comes down to choosing an advertising agency who operates as an extension of your dealership. The agency should:

  • Maintain clear, responsive communication
  • Geek out over your business, inventory and customers
  • Proactively inform you industry changes or competitive intel
  • Suggest new ideas to accomplish goals while respecting budgets
  • Support internal team members collaboratively

You want an agency, like Dealers United, who cares as much about performance as you do. Identifying that partnership mindset during the vetting process helps set the relationship up for long-term success. We cannot stress this enough.

Searching for The Right Advertising Agency

While the process initially requires effort, finding an automotive specialist with proven strategies and passion for driving dealer performance leads to major dividends over years of working together. 

The expertise of an automotive advertising agency gives dealerships an advantage through savvy messaging, expanded inbound leads, and sales driven by data-informed strategies. Consult an agency specializing in car dealership marketing, like Dealers United, whose expertise is in automotive SEO, SEM and Social Advertising to maximize your opportunities for sales growth and marketplace dominance.

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Written By Lauren Blackwell
Lauren Blackwell is a skilled content marketer who has spent the past 3 years working in automotive advertising technology and now brings her unique experiences to Dealers United. From running ad campaigns, to curating auto-specific resources, Lauren is empowered to create valuable content to help automotive dealers thrive on social media.

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