Co-Op Digital $$$: “Competitive Advantage” or “Expensive Participation Trophy”?
OEM “co-op” digital advertising programs can far too often be a useless “Participation Trophy” that isn’t “free” because the OEM reimburses you–No: YOU Still Pay The Bill For Them by losing competitive sales. Especially in geos with lots of stores from the same OEMs, digital co-op programs can too easily render NO or little useful competitive advantage. Or even drag you backwards in sales. What?? Yes.
Lemme ‘splain: If you are one of, say, five same-OEM stores in a single metro who buy the same monthly $1500 “co-op-able” SEM/PPC package from the same “co-op approved” digital vendor, then all five of you are going to be bidding under that program for the same keywords. And, so, all that this five-store bidding war does is run UP the bid price of Google Adwords per keyword—and then each store suddenly spends their $1500 co-op money pretty quickly. Surprise! Not.
It gets worse, because not only do the five dealerships spend their $1500 faster (for LESS clicks, by the way), if you next ask about this problem you may then be told “Well, okay, yes, you’re right—the solution is to spend MORE than the $1500 co-op to get an advantage.”
Yep, you read that statement correctly from that provider: “We knew that our co-op SEM/PPC program wouldn’t help you, since every dealer from the same OEM was spending the same money for bidding just about the same keywords==but, hey, we made money on it. And now we’d like to make more money by selling you the chance that if you spend beyond your co-op $$$ then that may actually help you. Or not. Nothing is guaranteed. And sign here.”
Okay, then how do you prevent paying for any useless co-op digital traffic that is no competitive help to your sales? MAKE your co-op digital provider DO more than the likely “set it and forget it”, “same as the other dealers” advertising work for you–they CAN differentiate some if they are tasked to do so. And/or hire reputable non-co-op digital providers rather than just “co-op” providers alone, question the sense of all your digital co-op programs versus your competition, learn more about what you’re really buying in every bit of your digital advertising, co-op or not—and audit EVERY digital program for clean, human shopping traffic and valid sales results. Period.
And THAT is your competitive advantage instead of the expensive Participation Trophy that co-op too often can be.
Participation Trophy? Not in the car business. Because when everybody “wins”, it’s really a Loser’s Sales Trophy.
You’re a competitor, right? So go get the winning trophy you want every month: More Sales.
Have a great rest of the month!