If you’re interested in maximizing ROI for your dealership, here are a few tips we’ve picked up after working with multiple heavy equipment dealers who make the most out of co-op advertising opportunities.
Maybe there’s something about the marketing industry that attracts people who are open to new ideas and want more, but it’s certainly a common thread with my heavy equipment clients. Pretty much everyone has bigger ambitions than budget approval, and organizations don’t always move as fast as marketing wants to. Fortunately, in the long run CFOs tend to figure out that digital advertising is good for the bottom line, but for those who are looking for a streamlined, low-barrier to entry, co-op advertising can be the answer.
Because of the dealer/manufacturer relationship common in the worlds of material handling, trucking, construction, and farm and ag, it’s not uncommon that both the manufacturer and dealer are spending advertising dollars. Moreover, many manufacturers either have dedicated cooperative advertising budgets or are open to testing co-advertising with motivated dealers. It makes sense, as it’s a win-win for manufacturers to have dealers who want to do the work, increase brand awareness, and drive sales.
If you’re interested in co-op funds and maximizing ROI for your dealership, here are a few tips that I’ve picked up along the way, working with multiple equipment dealers who make the most out of their co-op advertising opportunities.
Leverage Each Co-Op Program
If you represent multiple manufacturers, you have multiple co-op opportunities. Connect with your contacts at each manufacturer to see what you may be eligible for. Reach out to the manufacturer of each brand you sell to see what co-op funds are available. Don’t limit your outreach to your lead brand. We’ve seen smaller lines be open to exploring co-op contributions, and because of the structure of well-designed websites and digital advertising campaigns, you or your marketing agency should be able to report on work that contributes to that specific brand.
If a heavy equipment manufacturer does not yet provide co-op advertising for its dealers, help them understand why they should. Tell them what the other manufacturers you work with are doing. Show the results from your existing campaigns to demonstrate what they’re missing. Talk to other dealers in your network to see if as a group, you can persuade the manufacturer to start providing co-op advertising funds. If the manufacturer has concerns about competing with their dealer body, partner with a digital marketing agency to coordinate a clear digital advertising strategy that ensures there's no overlap with the manufacturer and demonstrates a high return for both parties. We’ve seen tests of four to six months create strong enough results to kick off an entire co-op program within a year.
Play By The Rules
Co-op policies will differ by manufacturer and it’s important that dealers understand the varying program requirements and follow all steps for reimbursement. Some programs require minimal reporting, while others require extensive tracking, reports, and the use of specific images, logos, and ad text. Many programs require pre-approval and have a ‘use it or lose it’ policy. If necessary, coordinate your marketing efforts a quarter or even a year in advance to ensure you receive pre-approval and can take advantage of all the funds available for your dealership.
Consider Multiple Solutions
Co-op dollars aren’t just for advertising. Depending on the program, you may receive co-op support for your website, social media management, search engine optimization, reputation management, or traditional marketing. See what’s available by manufacturer and dedicate spend where you’ll see the highest return. If co-op funds are not available for everything, don’t be surprised. It’s always worth asking, planting the seed, and knowing how to attribute your dealership budget to non co-op eligible line items, so you execute the most work possible leveraging all sources of funding.
Work With A Trusted Partner
Don’t go at it alone. Too often heavy equipment dealers miss out on the benefits of co-op advertising because they’re trying to figure it out on their own. Work with a digital provider who can partner with you to keep budgets separate and advertising compliant. Your digital marketing agency should support the tracking and reporting requirements to make sure you’re not leaving any money on the table. With Adpearance, our team will ensure all your keywords, display ads, and text ads are co-op compliant, as well as your website branding. Anytime a promotional offer is changed, we will re-submit all eligible campaigns for co-op pre-approval, and submit co-op reimbursement on behalf of the dealers we work with. We have experience with a number of manufacturers including Hyster, Yale, and more.
If you’re looking to make the most of your co-op advertising dollars, Adpearance can help! Offering digital solutions for heavy equipment dealerships, our team of digital advertising specialists have years of co-op eligibility experience and can work with you on compliance and reimbursement. Contact us today for a free digital analysis and to discuss digital advertising campaigns for your heavy equipment dealership.