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Ben Garside: ‘Great things have never come from comfort zones’

Time 9:38 am, April 19, 2016

LAST month I talked about a piece of work that I had been initiating, and the negative responses I had received from a group of motor dealers.

My main point was that the responses were based upon a range of assumptions and a feeling of fear.

These included: the thought of trying something new and objections to leaving an advertising medium (even when we hadn’t tabled that idea in the first place). Some dealers had said they didn’t have the time to invest, and finally, a running theme was that there could be some negative responses on online mediums.

So I want to carry on challenging these areas, in particular, trying something new and/or leaving an advertising provider.

As someone who is largely focused on initiating change and innovation, these areas come easy to me, but not everyone is as easily swayed. Most humans hate change and will do anything in their power to stick with what or whom they know. Take bank accounts, home telephone, or gas and electricity providers. Once you have chosen one, the likelihood of changing to a new provider is so small that the government has put in place projects to switch people over to new providers.

I recently read that between 40 and 50 per cent of all electricity customers are still with their original supplier and that 60 per cent of households haven’t switched gas and electricity providers in the past five years.

Now this makes me wonder what the likelihood of a motor dealer switching from their motor advertising website is, or even just trying a new advertising channel?

So, I challenge you to find out what your current Return on Investment is for your main advertising medium. Although we all know it is a simple thing to measure, many businesses still don’t do this regularly. Previously when I have asked dealers what their return on investment is, none of them knew and most had never even reviewed it!

This measurement is obviously a simple one, but although it is simple, many businesses or marketers are not doing it and instead I get told numerous things, for instance: ‘Everything comes through it,’ ‘It’s the only way to get customers,’ or ‘I’ve always used them and I’m still here.’ This mindset is one that I want to change, as one day it is going to cost dealers either a lot of money or a lot of customers.

The other area of exploration in this article is that as an industry we don’t want to try anything new. I am putting this down to fear of failure, as having read a number of books and articles regarding the fear of failure, it fits well. Deep down we all have a fear of failure, but most of us won’t admit to it. We all go through fear, either thinking we aren’t good enough or worrying about what would happen if something went wrong. It is a natural emotion.

However, we need to challenge ourselves and understand that failure is a part of our lives, and that great things have never come from comfort zones.

Who is Ben Garside? Ben is marketing manager for First Response Finance. Call him on 07817 518739 or email [email protected]

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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