illustrations of Christmas and Hanukah items

Whether or not you consider the winter holidays “saving the best for last”, there’s no question that no other month presents holiday-themed marketing opportunities quite like December.


OEMs clearly get that ? just think of all the end-of-year specials that dominate national ad campaigns after Black Friday. But what are some things dealers can do on the local level to capitalize on all that good cheer?


Add Some Holiday Spark to Your Outreach

There’s a reason advertising across the spectrum takes on a holiday-themed feel every December: this is peak shopping season, and draping your ads in festive images serves as a reminder of the urgency of gift shopping!


That means adding creative visuals to your display campaigns, promoting relevant holiday specials with direct mail and targeted email, or even just sparking engagement with an inexpensive postcard showing off your staff’s ugly holiday sweaters.


In fact, there are stats to back up spending a disproportionate amount of your budget on advertising in December when people are spending more time shopping. Ad impressions typically increase 50 percent during the holiday season; click-through rates rise 100 percent; direct traffic increases 150 percent; and conversion rates go up 60 percent.1


Get Festive with Your Presence

At this point, your dealership’s “presence” refers to both your website and your physical showroom. Both should be in sync visually with whatever holiday theme you have established across your various ad campaigns.


That means sprucing up your website with fresh banners and unique artwork and decking out your showroom accordingly (and tastefully – don’t let your enthusiasm make you lose your professionalism).


Making your dealership feel festive also creates more opportunities for customer engagement, such as complimentary holiday cookies in the waiting area or snapping family photos.


In short, the more family-friendly warmth you can generate in a place where people might expect a tedious and possibly stressful buying experience, the better.


Slide into their DMs

Direct Mail that is. Not only are people more receptive to marketing during the holidays, they are also more excited to receive mail. This is the time when most people eagerly check their mailboxes hoping to find letters from friends, gifts from loved ones, and offers from the brands they love. There is no better time to run a direct mail campaign. Since countless other businesses take advantage of sending mail during this time, it important to use expert targeting, printing, and content techniques to stand out.


Take the Opportunity to Give Back

One of the primary benefits of leaning into a holiday theme is you’re set up perfectly to give back to all of your loyal customers while building relationships with potential new ones.


For existing customers, this can take the form of fun and relatively inexpensive giveaways, social media contests, and various other activities designed to both spark engagement and possibly get them back in your showroom for some valuable face time.


To reach people who haven’t spent money with your dealership yet, get involved in your community – whether that means hosting a toy or canned food drive, sponsoring volunteering at a nursing home or emergency housing, or any number of other worthwhile charitable causes.


The advantage here is two-pronged. First, people in need benefit directly from your investment of time and resources (which, incidentally, will come back to you in the future as your business naturally stands to gain from a more prosperous community). Second, this is an excellent brand-building exercise for your local reputation, establishing your dealership as a valued community asset in addition to a place to buy and service vehicles.


This helps build real, organic relationships with potential customers while showing you’re running more than just another dealership – you’re running an operation that doesn’t forget the people it exists to serve.


Leave ‘Em Smiling

The end-of-year holidays are a time to celebrate the best of people and to look ahead with a renewed sense of optimism. Let your holiday-themed marketing reflect that more than anything else, and you’ll tap into that good cheer and capitalize on unique December opportunities!


1 NP Digital


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