If you have been in the auto business for a few years you surely remember and certainly used print classified ads to sell vehicles, especially used vehicles.
Those were the good 'ole days when everything was easy (presumably), simple, and straightforward, compared to today's complex technology, social media, engagement, digital front lines, text messages.
Lets see if we can connect a few dots from back in the day and their relevance to today.
Platforms: Which print platforms to use, what language, distribution.
Format: A cost effective list, a brand building display, a combination, and what frequency.
Position: Where was the ad going to appear in the platforms. Positioning provided an advantage.
Frequency: How often, which days.
Response: How fast a response for a specific ad.
Production: The time to produce the various ads, from fast for a list, more time for a display, to time and production costs for a glossy display.
Mix: What print platform mix for the month, local paper, used vehicle platforms, New York Times, DuPont.
Budget: How much money available for the year, month, week.
Strategy: Get an "edge" (competitive advantage) on your competition. Discretion was always an inherent part of any strategy..."The moment its out everyone else can copy you".
Time: Yes...it was time consuming, and same as today there was no time. Always seeking to accelerate the cycle.
Metrics: How to measure the effectiveness of the various ads, and platforms.
Scrapbook: Keep the various ads with dates in a scrapbook for reference.
An example from the "dark ages":
The dealer takes a vehicle in trade on a Friday, by the following mid week (usually the cut off was on Wednesday), the dealer places a classified (liner) ad for the vehicle to appear on the Saturday. By the following Tuesday the dealer knows the retail potential of the car in his market at that specific time. We could keep on going ...you surely understand.
An example from "2014":
The dealer takes a vehicle in trade on a Friday, by the following mid week, there is an ongoing discussion about detailing, a photo shoot, uploading photos, disseminating to various platforms. Hopefully by the following Friday the vehicle appears in a few platforms. Hopefully again by the next Friday (2 weeks have transpired) the dealer knows the retail potential. if you get the impression this vehicle is embroiled in a technological ball of grey...you also grasp a few competitive advantages.
It begs the question "How could a dealer in the dark ages that relied on print, a physical front line have a 7 day advantage on a 2014 dealer with the Internet, digital front line, social media, tools to quickly measure metrics".
A possible answer "The dealer in the dark ages was keenly focused on selling vehicles, creating customers, being competitive, and dramatically less distracted by routine technology"
Another possible answer "Few dealers in 2014 are seeking a Cyber Advantage on their competition"