If Car Dealers Marketed Like Casinos, Would They Sell More Cars? Jackpot!

Posted: August 29, 2011 in Uncategorized
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How many more vehicles would a dealership sell per month, if they executed Variable Data Printing (VDP) the way casinos do? (Note: many dealerships actually do and they are some of the most profitable dealers in the country). Casinos are on top when it comes to industries utilizing advanced Variable Data Printing for driving traffic and huge ROI.

Do casinos engage in social media and the Internet? Of course they do. But when it comes to connecting with customers, driving players down to the casino and being RELEVANT, nothing, repeat, NOTHING can generate an ROI as impressive as Direct Mail Marketing WITH Variable Data Printing…

Casinos make VDP relevant to EVERY CUSTOMER, meaning they do not send out the same exact message to every customer (such as a 10,000 piece saturation mailer). Why? Because after extensive research, they found that not one of the 10,000 customers are the same as another, therefore, not one message can be the same as well, and still be RELEVANT.

If you like a Bloody Mary, sports, blackjack, skiing, and always have a nice steak dinner (or sushi) when you visit the casino for the weekend, look closely next time at that direct mail piece you received, filled with offers. Do you bring the wife (or husband) and 3 kids that need to be entertained? Look closer at the OFFERS on that direct mail piece that are clearly customized for YOU, YOUR LIFESTYLE, and INTERESTS.

If you never touch your hash browns when you order that big “room service breakfast”, they know about it, and its documented. Casino marketing is truly incredible.

Direct Mail Marketing is more powerful than ever before because simply put, its more “relevant” than ever before…

How Does VDP Help Me?

The key for Variable Data Printing is in the quality of the responder, not the quantity. When you do a “Cash give-a-way” mailer, you know people are coming in to see if they won $5,000 cash.

When you do a VDP mailer, you know that person is coming in for a bigger car because the family is growing or they have a high demand trade-in, or any other information sent out pertaining to the purchase of a vehicle, not something for nothing.

The reason ROI is off the chart with VDP is because dealers can send out HALF the mailers they currently do and actually sell more cars because the mailer is RELEVANT, going in the right mailbox, and at the right time with little or no waste.

What Can I do as a car dealer?

Know everything there is to know about your clients: Family structure, income, age, dogs name, Occupation, Education…  Get a list of criteria and ask customers to fill out a quick survey, or have your sales rep blend these questions into every demo so you can talk to these people intelligently later.

Or better yet, find a company that has the ability to take your customer data and provide you back everything you ever wanted to know about your customers by doing a Customer Data Append.

Let’s say you have a lineup of cars that has an impressive 43 inches of “Leg Room.” Just imagine how your direct mail offer would be received by that big 6’ 5” guy, when your offer has a picture of a “Big Man” in a roomy driver’s seat!  That’s being relevant!

Now, I know your saying, “but how many big guys are out there?”  That’s the beauty of variable data printing on the fly. You can have one piece touting leg room, one touting Buy Back, and the next touting family safety, and on and on.

Create relationships with your clients in a very personal way. Learn to spend downtime calling past customers to ask their opinion, see if they found that special feature, ask them where they wash their cars, and see if they are going to some cool local event…  “Have you heard the 2017 is going to have a turbo, wow, can you imagine?” You get the idea.

We always hear about “life time value” of a customer.  The average customer keeps their car for about 38 months.  Average new car is $30,000!

So that puts everything in perspective…

 What is Variable Data Printing?
Variable-data printing (VDP) (also known as Variable-Information Printing (VIP) is a form of on-demand printing in which elements such as text, graphics and images may be changed from one printed piece to the next, without stopping or slowing down the printing process and using information from a database or external file.

For example, a set of personalized letters, each with the same basic layout, can be printed with a different vehicle and offer on each postcard.

Variable data printing enables the mass customization of documents via digital print technology on presses, as opposed to the “mass-production” of a single document using traditional printing methods.

Instead of producing 10,000 copies of a single document, delivering a single message to 10,000 customers, variable data printing could print 10,000 unique documents with customized messages for each customer.

Direct mail is not “cost per piece” anymore. The “as low as .29 cents” doesn’t fly.  New technology has given us personalized direct mail marketing that blows the door off old style “spray and pray” mail.

Dealerships that are doing direct mail today are not breaking records doing yesterday’s mail, they are doing it with Personalized, Variable Data printing.

When letters are personalized, they are more relevant. When they are more relevant, the closing ratio sky rockets!

Scenario 1 – Traditional Mail -2006:

* 10,000 Piece @ $0.50 each = $5,000
* 2% Response = 200 ups
* Closing ratio: 5% = 10 Cars Sold
* Average GP per car: $2,600
* 10 Vehicles x $2,600 = $26,000

Scenario 2 –Variable Data Mail – 2016:

* 10,000 Piece @ $0.79 each = $7,900
* 1% Response = 100 ups
* Closing ratio:30% = 30 Cars
* Average GP per car: $2,600
* 30 Vehicles x $2,600 = $78,000


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