From the people I talk to, I know there’s a lot of interest in Saab’s marketing and advertising. As a prelude to our Q&A part 2, where one of the questions related to this, I can foreshadow the answer by saying that the marketing plan we will follow won’t be a shock and awe saturation TV campaign. Put simply – it costs a kings ransom and just won’t have that sort of money. We’ll have to be smarter.
I’m not posting this article to have a crack at people who think we should do this. It’s a natural thought, especially if you live in parts of the world where massive campaigns are the normal thing. All I want to do here is get people used to the fact that we will have to do things different.
Again, not having a personal crack, but the following was written in comments by Bryan S:
BUMP UP THE MARKETING. Im sorry to say, but i havent seen SAAB “try” to sell any of their cars since being pulled from the hole, that they fell back in. SAAB needs to shove its product to the consumers face, and over do it. Start making commericals and ads…. alot of them, something sassy, informative, something targeting the 25-60yr old crowd. You know why other brands are doing so well? AD’s AD’s AD’s.
As I said, it’s a normal thought in a culture where companies do this sort of thing as a matter of routine.
The problem is, we’re not in the same situation as most companies and we just won’t have the budget for massive TV-based campaigns.
Another commenter, named Tom, responded as follows and I couldn’t help but nod my head.
OK, Bryan. Since I work for a small, humble family owned dealer in New England and we aren’t advertising, I thought I’d start a direct marketing campaign, starting here with you!. I hope this will get you up and bring you into our Saab dealership.
-I can’t offer flashy, in your face advertising.
-I can’t overdo things, like the cars I sell and drive, I tend to be understated.
-I can’t be gaudy and trendy but rather timeless with an understated cutting edginess (again, like the cars I sell and drive).
Here’s what I can do….
-I can offer a product, a Saab vehicle, that arguably represents the most car for your money compared to everything else on the market even though we don’t like to be compared to anything else on the market. (our cars, our style and our views are rather unique)
-I can make the case for my statement above
-I can offer extraordinary service, before, during and after the purchase
-I can promise you’ll be treated with decency and respect.
-I can offer an individualized sales process tailored to you.
-I can work on your terms and at your pace without pressuring you.
-I can offer as much product information as you can handle.
-I can promise easy, stress free pricing.
-I can’t offer BS
We WILL be advertising and marketing the Saab brand and Saab vehicles. It’s not as if we’re not going to do marketing at all. But I think you’ll find that what we will concentrate on is more personal than a big, broad scattergun approach.
Tom’s writing, above, is typical of how we’re going to rely on our dealerships to do a lot of person-to-person promotion for us. We will need to package our vehicles appropriately, arm our dealers with the appropriate knowledge and passion, and reach the right people to drive them into dealerships and make the connection.
I don’t know Tom, or the name of his dealership, but if you can find him, he sounds like the sort of guy you might want to deal with.
And again, Bryan, I can understand where you’re coming from and you’re not alone in your thoughts. I’ve heard similar pleas from people all around the world for several years now. I’ve only used your comment here because it prompted the response from Tom in the same thread.
What you’ve suggested is actually quite accurate and if we can do what you suggest, I’m sure we will. BUT……..Nothing I know about our potential budgets indicates that that will be possible at a re-launch. The dollar amount involved is mind-boggling and you’re paying for a lot of eyes connected to brains that just won’t register what they’re seeing.
We need to be a lot more targeted and personal than that. And we need to make sure the experience is as good as possible, so that you as a customer will tell others about it.
A tall order, but that’s what we’re facing.