The fifth spoke in the upper right completes the Good to Great Flywheel — “Building your dealership brand with all segments” by employing a robust marketing process.  

Done right the process grows sales with all types/segments of buyers and generates momentum for the new to used cascade described in spoke 1.

We’ll define the 5 steps of marketing and then the 3 critical elements of a robust process in a “great” marketing dealership. We’ll focus on element 1 in this article and will tackle elements 2 and 3 next time. 

The 5-Step Marketing Process

The 5-step marketing process is a funnel that creates customers out of prospects. The first two steps of the marketing funnel are about promotion and building your brand:

  1. Creating awareness through advertising and other media so that prospects learn about your product and services, and
  2. Building interest in your promotions so that enough interest is created that a prospect will respond — a call, email or click-thru. With enough interest the direct selling process starts with personal interaction.
  3. Calling or visiting prospects as part of the discovery process to better define their needs and how your dealership can fulfill them,
  4. Quotes to define your offering, and 
  5. Sales when the customer decides to buy.

Critical Element #1 

The first critical element is defining and understanding your distinct customer segments. The essence of marketing is segmentation — treating different groups of customers differently in your marketing approach.

  • New buyers are different than used buyers
  • Production ag customers have different needs than those who farm as a lifestyle
  • Farmers’ needs differ from those of rural lifestylers who differ from those of contractors

When you treat different segments differently, you are more likely to know their needs and be more efficient as a dealership to meets those needs.

Some segments will be larger or smaller. The ultimate segment size for your most lucrative customer is one — that is treating each prospects or customer uniquely. Doing so means a greater chance to capture and keep that customer. 

A loyal customer should be the most profitable, so the extra work of a segment of one is rewarded.