Whether you love them or hate them, the Republican and Democratic conventions showcase the marketing strategies behind the election. We’ll know soon which party won the vote. For now, let’s take a look at the strategies — and see about borrowing them to market your dealership.

First up: First impressions matter. You may not be concerned with whether your sales team wears red or blue, but what kind of first impression does your dealership convey? There are many different ways to convey a professional attitude, but don’t discount that first look, that first “hello.” One rural lifestyler shared this experience when visiting dealer displays at an outdoor event: “They just sat there talking to their buddies and didn’t get out of their chairs.”

You wouldn’t allow a salesperson to ignore a customer at the dealership and the same should go for trade shows and events. You can set the stage for your customer relationship from that very first meeting.  And, you never know when the customer is ready to buy. In that rural lifestyler’s case, they bought the next day from the salesperson who was ready to work with them.

Next up: Campaign marketing is based on slogans and “sound bites” brought to life by real-life stories. For instance, campaign promises for jobs and healthcare resonate when voters hear stories about someone who can’t find a job or who can’t afford healthcare.

You have your own slogan: your dealership tagline. Bring that tagline to life through customer stories. Your sales team can share those stories on the lot or you can include them in advertising materials. Whatever the method, think of ways to make a simple message relevant to your customers.

Finally and most importantly: Know which votes you need to keep — and which you can win. The political parties spend millions and millions and millions more to identify which segments they can count on and which segments they can win over. It’s all about data.

A Rural Lifestyle Dealer eBrief article from earlier in the year looked at ways dealers can build a customer database to: “…track purchase history and demographic information, such as acreage; rate customer business potential; note what marketing information they received; and include comments from the customer service or the sales team.” Read more about building a comprehensive customer database.