Planning Spring Marketing Campaigns for Auto Dealers 

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The winter months are notoriously tricky for auto sales, with January often leaving dealerships in a hole to begin the year. Daylight is limited, and the weather is sometimes frigid, prompting many potential buyers to postpone their vehicle search. 

Showroom traffic does improve as the days get longer and outside temperatures recover. Dealers must take advantage of this seasonal change by implementing spring marketing campaigns that attract an influx of eager buyers. 

However, knowing where to begin and identifying the (likely) most profitable strategies is sometimes complex. This article outlines seven strategies dealerships should consider for the spring season. 

Spring Marketing Campaigns: 7 Strategies 

1. Offer Free Tire Inspections and Rotations 

Most vehicles use all-season tires, which are safe and dependable in most environments. However, they are less adaptable than conventional snow tires and become rigid in the winter, most notably when the temperature falls below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperature drops often result in cracks. 

Free tire inspections are a great way to attract customers to the service lane and the showroom. Dealers who offer specials on rotations and air pressure checks are more likely to retain those customers for other services (and possibly future car purchases) than those who charge for those services as spring nears. 

2. Sponsor Local Events 

Dealers should capitalize on sponsorship opportunities at springtime community events. The marketing team might review surrounding community websites for upcoming events to decide whether an event aligns with the dealership’s goals and business model. More specifically, the dealership might choose events the target audience will likely attend. 

3. Host On-site Events 

Spring and summer are also ideal times to host events at the dealership. These activities might include family activities, weekend-long barbeques, animal adoption events, and car shows. It’s a fantastic approach to meeting new people and fostering goodwill, which can eventually lead to future business. 

4. Revisit the Marketing Budget 

Dealers should review current marketing channels and the budget allocated to each, which might need to change from season to season.  

For instance, dealers might distribute more cash to television advertisements in the fall and winter when people spend more time indoors. However, as the weather warms and people spend more time outside, dealers might consider reallocating those funds to social media advertisements that potential customers can view on their mobile devices. 

5. Review Prior Spring Sales Results 

Dealers can implement more effective seasonal marketing plans by reviewing the marketing methods and results from the prior year. Management might look back over records for periods of slower sales and increased ones during last spring and summer.  

They can use this data to determine what factors (such as seasonal weather events, community habits, and promotions) may have positively and negatively impacted business. 

6. Create Targeted Email Campaigns with Personalized Offers 

Dealers should also maintain a CRM with comprehensive and accurate customer data to create tailored offers for each customer based on their seasonal habits and preferences. Marketing teams can email those customers to apprise them of promotions and extended offers as a thank-you for their business, building stronger relationships through personalization

7. Offer a Tax Return Incentive 

Some consumers may find it challenging to make a down payment, but tax season is when those customers have access to more cash. When customers receive their tax refunds, auto dealerships see an increase in interested buyers touring the lot. 

As such, dealers might consider offering specials that encourage potential buyers to use a portion of that refund on a new vehicle. These deals might involve matching some percentage of the refund toward the down payment, though the specifics depend on you and the financial flexibility of your dealership. 

Maximizing Your Campaign’s Results Requires the Best Digital Solutions 

Preparations for the upcoming season are already underway at many dealerships, and it is time for those needing to catch up to begin designing their spring marketing campaigns. Make the most of the opportunities the warmer weather will present by integrating the abovementioned steps into your traditional strategy. 

However, fully maximizing the benefits of these strategies requires the industry’s premier data-driven solutions suite that helps you find and convert potential springtime buyers. 

Contact us today and learn how Affinitiv’s proprietary marketing solutions can help your dealership plan a spring marketing campaign that attracts more warm-weather leads to the car lot. 

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