We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What Are the Best Tips for Car Dealer Marketing?

By Jeremy Laukkonen
Updated: May 17, 2024

In order to run a successful car dealership, it can be important to address several different issues through marketing campaigns. Some types of car dealer marketing are good for drawing in new business, such as raffles, contests, and free gifts for anyone who requests a test drive, but it is also important to focus on customer retention. Specialized car dealer marketing campaigns that reach out to former customers can help bring in future business. Some marketing tips to help with customer retention are to send out mailers for free or discounted service, or to simply send cards out on holidays or the anniversary of the day a car was purchased.

The automotive dealership business can be highly competitive, so marketing efforts typically play a very important role in developing new customer relationships and retaining old ones. Both of these types of customers are necessary for the long term success of a business, so a good tip for car dealer marketing is to not overlook either category. While it can be perfectly acceptable for a marketing campaign to one over the other, it is generally a good idea to maintain a variety of different marketing efforts for the maximum effect.

There are a number of different ways that car dealers can draw in new business through marketing. Local television and radio advertisements are popular, though it is important to keep the target demographics in mind when purchasing ad time. Radio stations often have very specific demographics, which can make it easier to target the listeners who would be most likely to buy from a particular dealership. Sponsoring local charity events, such as golf tournaments and auctions, can also help draw in business.

Giveaways, raffles, and competitions are also good car dealer marketing ideas. Not every person who shows up for these types of events will be a qualified buyer, but many will. As a condition for entering a raffle, or receiving a free gift, it is typically a good idea to request contact information. This should include an email address in addition to traditional forms of contact information, since that can provide the dealership with even more marketing opportunities. Offering to provide free gas, service, or other bonuses with all new cars can also help generate new business.

In addition to all of the various car dealer marketing campaigns that can draw in new business, there are also a number of ways to retain old customers. About half of all new car buyers replace their vehicles within five years, so it can be very important for a dealership to capture those repeat sales over the long term. One way to do that is to maintain contact with previous customers through targeted marketing campaigns. It may also help to institute special incentives on trade-in or buy-back programs for prior customers.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Animandel — On Jul 18, 2014

I think a good marketing ploy that many dealerships use successfully is setting up signings where they have athletes and other celebrities at the stores to meet potential customers. I don't know how many extra cars they sell when they have these events, but I do know that the events attract a lot of people.

By Feryll — On Jul 18, 2014

For me, the number of cars on a dealer's lot makes a big difference. Even though I am going to buy only one vehicle, I prefer going to a lot that has a large number of cars, trucks and SUV's to look at. I am not likely to stop at a lot that has only a few choices. That's probably one of the reasons the big volume dealerships sell more cars.

By Sporkasia — On Jul 17, 2014

When I watch TV, a large number of the commercials I see are for car dealerships. There are even several local dealers who have 30 minute spots where they talk about and show the cars they have on their lots for sale. I guess this brings in a good bit of business.

However, my father had one dealership where he bought all of his cars when I was growing up, and he still buys them there. I don't think that dealership has ever had a TV ad. The reason my father went back again and again to buy his cars and trucks is because he knew the owner, the salesmen, the mechanics and some of their family members.

He felt at home at the dealership. He liked the people and even though he could have gotten better prices at some of the larger dealerships he was satisfied to keep buying where he felt comfortable. I think one of the best ways to market your business is to make your customers feel appreciated.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.