What’s the best way to market your dealership? Do you go for the traditional avenues of print, radio, and TV or do you invest in the contemporary digital platforms?

More often than not, it’s no longer an either/or situation, but rather a hybrid approach of traditional and digital.

Even if you have a cohesive strategy across both the digital and traditional fronts, you need to ensure what you’re promoting will bring people in. For many auto dealers, this can come in the form of added incentives with their sales events.

The right incentive, can boost advertising results and create a strategy that gets noticed and drives people to your dealership. One such incentive is the travel incentive, which can be used at the point of sale and beyond.

Research suggests travel incentives can help boost sales an average 21.8%. But achieving numbers like that depends on how well the incentives are implemented. Here are ways travel incentives can be used effectively:

  • Promotions. These can be used repeatedly over the longterm, but each campaign should be designed as a value-added bonus for specific purchases.
  • Special events. A special limited-time event, such as an annual sale can create a sense of urgency among consumers to buy now.
  • Closing tools. In this case, the travel offer wouldn’t be overtly advertised, but when used in negotiating with customers could help lock down the sale without resorting to heavy discounting on the price of the vehicle.
  • Referral program. Offer a free trip for referring new customers friends who buy from your dealership.
  • Prize giveaways that are used to draw the shoppers to your showroom, regardless of whether they make a purchase.
  • Private sales. Exclusive purchase-based incentives offered via email or direct mail only to established customers.
  • Loyalty program. Reward customers with a vacation if they’ve done business with your dealership for years and brought in steady sales for you.
  • Digital marketing. A drawing or contest for Facebook followers could be used as part of an overall social-media strategy.

Start with one approach, especially if you’re looking into travel incentives for the first time. It’s better not to spread yourself too thin, and it also means any associated marketing and advertising can maintain a clearer focus.

However you decide to begin utilizing travel incentives, remember to start things off slowly. Gauge how a certain incentive performs and, if things are positive, you can build up your strategy further from there.

Pav Sangha is vice president-marketing at Odenza Marketing Group. You can reach him at psangha@odenza.com.”