CFBA hears about marketing shift

Dave Kelleher addresses members of the Chadds Ford Business Association during their April 5 meeting at David Dodge.

Members of the Chadds Ford Business Association learned  about digital marketing from Dave Kelleher, owner of David Dodge on Route 202. Kelleher hosted the group’s April 5 meeting and gave a talk on how his car sales skyrocketed after he toned down both rhetoric and the amount of money he spent on advertising.

The first thing he did, Kelleher said, was to drop the typical car salesman hype, being loud about selection and price. The ads became focused on what the potential buyer wants and became more effective. Then, he toned them down again and sales continued to increase. Instead of pushing cars, he pushed his brand.

However, the big increase in sales came when he decided to cut down on his marketing budget. He said he dropped his marketing budget. Kelleher cut radio advertising, cable TV, print and billboard ads, but began focusing on broadcast TV and having his spots run on YouTube. He said videos push businesses to the top of the Google search results. Below is one of his YouTube videos.

"I jumped ahead of other dealers by selling more and spending less without charging my customers more. I just got more customers," he said.

He said he’s sold more cars in the last 12 months than any other dealer in the area while lowering his prices.

The key to the change was having his message on YouTube. He said he no longer looks for customers. He looks for views — how many people view his spots on YouTube. His spot views there are approaching 200,000.

What he likes is that he is only charged if a viewer watches all 30 seconds of his spot, but he’s not charged if that viewer watches for 29 seconds, he said.

The Internet has helped change how people shop, especially for cars. Kelleher said people make fewer in-person visits to dealers. They used to make five visits before settling on a car and price, but now that’s one to two visits. That’s because 95 percent of car buyers first search on the web and know what they want before walking into a dealer.

He used to close 30 percent of visitors. Now that’s 43 percent.

Kelleher acknowledged that his current model is geared for his business but said it can be modified to fit others. He’s also willing to help other business people work on their marketing strategies and put them in contact with others who can help.

CFBA Vice President Joe Lafferty summarized Kelleher’s remarks by saying people should know their brand and love what they do.


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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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