Paragon Honda Wins Dealer of the Year
“The single partner that was the most responsible for our record year was Tier 10 Marketing.” -Brian Benstock of Paragon Honda
The most successful dealers implement well planned marketing strategies that promote all of their profit centers with integrated campaigns delivered through multiple tiers of marketing. The challenge is that most dealers have to work with an ad agency and many partners to execute a multi-tier strategy, but none of their vendors work together so the campaigns are not integrated.
“Our in-house agency handles our traditional advertising, but we had 8 different companies implementing the other parts of our marketing plan,” said Brian Benstock from Paragon Honda/Acura, this year’s Dealer of the Year. “It was confusing for my customers and my team because my TV and radio commercial had one message, direct mail had another, my Internet manager was sending sporadic emails with completely different offers and none of the above was mentioned on my website or social media sites even though over 80% of my sales originate online,” added Benstock. “We hired Tier 10 to handle it all so we could have one relationship, one strategy that was completely connected.”
Tier 10 is a holistic marketing company that delivers a comprehensive marketing plan that integrates all 10 tiers of marketing including, market research, traditional advertising, digital marketing, targeted direct mail, publicity, reputation management, niche marketing, in-store merchandising, and sales and service retention. “Their campaigns have the same messaging and look through all tiers,” said Benstock.
The owners of Tier 10, David Boice and Sean Wolfington, founded some of the most successful digital marketing and consulting companies in the industry, Automark and Cyber Car (sold to Reynolds and Reynolds in 2001) and BZ Results (sold to ADP in 2006). Their new venture, Tier 10, delivers all 10 tiers of marketing under one roof. One of the most complicated and important tiers, digital marketing, is a particular strong suit for these founders, who are amongst the digital pioneers who helped dealers migrate online over the last 15 years. “We have some clients who only work with our digital team, others work with our targeted marketing team, but most are 360 degree clients that we do everything for,” said Boice.
Tier 10 received a lot of national attention due to the success of their Cash for Clunkers Strategy. Since every ad agency in the country had the same opportunity to market the same program to the same consumers, many dealers have used Cash for Clunkers to evaluate how their agency stacked up against the competition.
Tier 10 implemented a multi-dimensional marketing strategy that included a national website (www.CashForClunkersInformation.org), online marketing, and a publicity campaign that educated consumers about the program before the legislation was signed into law. Customers qualified themselves on the website with their “Clunker Calculator” and were connected with a dealer. Celebrity spokespeople promoted the site on all the top networks, generating so much traffic that the site crashed on 4 different occasions and generated over 50,000 leads nationally. Large organizations like Rick Case (6000 leads), Paragon (5000 leads) and Penske (3500 leads) had to use Tier 10’s call center to respond to the overwhelming lead volume. Tier 10 also implemented a local campaign for their dealers that included a regional website, online marketing, traditional ads, publicity, direct mail campaign to the “Clunker List,” and in-store merchandising (view campaign plan and creative at www.ClunkerCampaign.com).
“They promoted www.CashForClunkersNY.com, a regional website they built for our dealership that generated 1000 leads in the first week,” said Benstock. As a result of the strategy, Paragon sold more clunker vehicles than any other single point Honda dealer in the country. “Dealers in my Honda Association asked to use our campaign, and I agreed.”
Level 5 Helps Regional Ad Association Double Market Share Over Competition
The New York Honda Association worked with Level 5 on their Cash for Clunkers marketing strategy, a marketing company owned by Boice and Wolfington that specializes in helping regional advertising associations. “We created Level 5 to work exclusively with associations,” said Boice. The regional campaign included a website, online marketing, publicity, direct mail to the Clunker List and in-store merchandising. The regional website that Level 5 built, www.NYCarsProgram.com, included a 3D tour of the 11 Honda vehicles that qualified and connected consumers to one of the 17 retailers that were closest to their zip code (view campaign creative at www.TheHondaCampaign.com).
The NY Honda Association doubled their market share, over that of Toyota’s, during the clunker campaign. After Clunkers abruptly ended, Tier 10 helped their dealers maintain the momentum by creating a privately funded national program called the Auto Stimulus Plan (www.AutoStimulusPlan.com), where consumers could get up to $4,500 of additional trade-in value toward the purchase of a newer, more fuel-efficient vehicle. The national program’s success was covered by the New York Times, Associated Press, Yahoo and many major networks. Tier 10 and Level 5 were subsequently recognized in Automotive News, Wards and Auto Success for their winning strategy and they emerged as the clear winner amongst marketing firms in what turned out to be the Super Bowl of marketing for the automotive industry.
Level 5 also works with many non-automotive clients as well, largely in the entertainment industry. They marketed feature films Bella, Blind Side, The Mighty Macs, and they architected the digital marketing strategy for Grammy Award winning music artist Shakira, who is also using them for her upcoming global tour in 2010.
Tier 10 built a proprietary online campaign management system that dealers use to research, plan, build, implement and measure their campaigns. The system generates a market research report that tells dealers exactly where to spend their money to get the best return on investment. The report identifies the ideal prospects that have the highest probability of buying or servicing based on the dealer’s 5 year sales and service history and local cross-sell reports. “Their research report defines exactly where my customers live, what they look like and who is in the market this month, they have it down to a science,” said Benstock.
The company’s leadership team comes from ad agencies like Zimmerman and in-house ad agencies of large dealer groups like Koons Automotive. The team has worked with 12 manufacturers, 75 of the top 100 dealer groups and over 4,000 dealerships in 18 countries. The company’s offices are in Washington, DC, and Miami, Florida.