Independent Dealers Aren’t Using Digital Media Like They Should

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There is more than enough research to prove that digital media works in local markets, much better than traditional media.  Yet, according to this study, small and medium sized businesses still don’t use digital as much as they should.

This chart comes from an article at that further reports about SMBs;

Asked which techniques they use to acquire new customers, at least half indicated they were using 14 of the 15 identified. Leading the pack are personal relationships and networking (95%), tradeshows and industry events (89%), and in-person events (86%). Content marketing is also popular (83%), as is print advertising (77%) and PR (74%).

The most popular digital tool is SEO, used by 73% of respondents. Beyond that, SMBs are using a variety of digital tactics, including email marketing (72%), social media marketing (69%), digital advertising (61%), webinars (58%), and PPC (50%).

The biggest reason we hear from retailers as to why they aren’t using more digital advertising and especially PPC comes down to that they just don’t know how to do it.  They understand print advertising and while they know it doesn’t work like it used to, they still use it.

The point to be made here is that if you’re in charge of local advertising for your brand and responsible for the most effective use of co-op dollars you should be seeing your dealers spending 50% of their dollars (and yours) on digital, too.

Unfortunately, most brands when it comes to local marketing are still encouraging retailers to use traditional media, based on the tools they provide to dealers and the way the co-op rules are written.

Providing customization for newspaper ads and radio spots in your marketing portal for dealers just isn’t enough anymore.   You need a local digital strategy and the tools to let retailers build landing pages, Facebook tabs, banner ads, e-promo pages and more to reach today’s consumer.

The good news is that the technology is here now that can address this issue.  The real challenge is to admit that you have to change and then spend the time to think through the process.  The sooner you start the better.


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