Paragon Honda & Acura, from #17 to #1
Paragon had an in-house ad agency that worked with 12 different companies to execute every part of their strategy and the vendors didn’t work together so the campaigns were not integrated. It was confusing for their customers because the TV and radio commercials had one message, direct mail had another, the Internet manager was sending emails with different offers and none of it was on their website or point of purchase materials in the dealership. Paragon looked to Tier10 Marketing to develop and implement one integrated marketing strategy that is completely connected and consistent.
Tier10 uses extensive market research to identify consumers that have the highest statistical probability of doing business with their clients. We use the manufacturer’s research, Polk Market data and the dealer’s historic sales and service trends to plan which customers to target in the future.
Traditional advertising on TV, radio and print is expensive in New York, like other major metro markets. As a result, Paragon shifted a lot of their traditional ad budget to more targeted marketing that generates better returns. However, since Latinos make up half of Paragon’s market, they have leveraged some good buys on Spanish radio, as well as, print ads in the New York Times where they include QR technology, a barcode that links consumers’ mobile phones to Paragon’s website where they can learn more about the offer and contact the dealership.
Over 90% of Honda consumers use the web to shop so we implemented an in-depth strategy for search engine optimization and marketing, email marketing, banner ads on popular websites like Facebook, social media marketing, online reputation management and mobile marketing.
Since the majority of consumers use search engines to find their next new vehicle, Paragon uses organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Video Search Engine Optimization (VSEO) and targeted pay-per-click search marketing campaigns to attract in-market consumers who are shopping for Acuras and Hondas to their website and dealership.
All of Paragon’s digital marketing efforts drive consumers to a campaign micro site where the message, offers, look and feel are consistent with every other part of the campaign. The campaign micro site is designed to convert the maximum number of visitors into email, phone and showroom leads. Here are some examples of micro sites we currently use: ParagonHondaInfo.com and ParagonExpressService.com.
Tier10 believes that a free five-minute story on a major TV network that appears online forever has a bigger impact than an expensive 30 or 60 second TV ad that runs out when the budget expires. We created and distributed relevant press that generates interviews with local press and we have received exposure in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, NY Post and hundreds of stories on national outlets, including CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and MSN.
Today’s consumers rely more on other consumers’ reviews than advertising, so Online Reputation Management is a top priority at Paragon. When consumers Google Paragon they will find out about all the things they are doing in the community and they will be able to read positive reviews from satisfied customers.
Paragon communicates with all in-market Honda and Acura consumers by sending custom offers based on their vehicle, miles and position in their ownership cycle. Paragon sends custom campaigns via mail and email to promote all their profit centers, New, Used, Finance, Service and Parts. We dial into Paragon’s DMS to target in-equity customers and we use variable printers to send a custom message to each consumer that shows them how they can get a newer vehicle for a lower payment.
We created a corporate purchase program to employees of large organizations in their market that gives them special pricing and service when they do business at Paragon. We sent an information package to the HR departments of the largest organizations in our area to ask them if they want to give this free benefit to their employees. If a company wants to join the program they receive a communication kit from Paragon that explains the program to their employees. Companies have the option of having brochures customized with their logo and sent to their employees directly so they don’t even need to stuff their payroll envelopes.
When you walk into Paragon Honda and Acura, it is obvious something is going on. Even if consumers don’t know about their sale the merchandising quickly reminds them that they are lucky they stopped by at the right time. The dealership has extensive POS Merchandising that promotes the Paragon Guarantee and Paragon’s Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles.
Paragon Honda and Acura grew from #17 to the #1 New & Certified Pre-Owned Honda & Acura Dealer in the U.S. in a short 6 month period. Because of executing the Tier10 marketing strategy.
“Overall, it was our best year in business despite being the worst year in the industry,” said Brian Benstock, GM and partner of Paragon Honda and Acura. “We had a record year for volume and profitability during a record low year for the car business.” The biggest thing that impacted Paragon’s growth was changing their marketing, sales and service strategy last June. “We had an in-house ad agency but decided to bring on an outside company to help us build and implement a new plan to grow our business,” said Benstock. Below is a summary of the strategies that had the biggest impact on Paragon’s business over the last year according to Brian Benstock himself.