Kudos to Ken Garff. Not the man himself (though I’m certain he also deserves it), but the auto dealer group he founded. That may seem like brown-nosing because we just happen to be Ken Garff’s advertising agency. But it’s sincere. You see, we’ve worked with them for a few years, but they were being smart long before we entered the picture. So yeah, can we get a round of applause for Ken Garff because:

  • They research the Hades out of their brand. That’s how you become one of the nation’s largest auto dealers. (Okay, it’s not the only reason, but as an ad guy, I’m gonna credit the advertising). Long ago, Ken Garff committed to doing binders full — subtle Mitt Romney reference there — of consumer research and to follow that research wherever it leads. That commitment continues.
  • They stick with things. A quick lesson in the world of auto dealers: if you broke every national sales record in existence last month, nobody cares this month. It’s the ultimate “what have you done for me lately” business. It’s easy to let that mentality affect advertising so it becomes reactionary and scattered with no dollars spent on building a brand. Ken Garff commits to long-term branding, knowing that over time a strong brand wins out.
  • They understand advertising is an investment, not an expense. Sure, advertising and marketing fall under the “expense” column on any company’s profit and loss statement.But we’ve worked with a few organizations who believe that dictates a need to constantly look for ways to cut dollars. Promotion is an investment in growth; there’s a reason Nike’s annual marketing budget is $3.58 billion (yes, “billion”). Spending more (in the right ways) equals growth.

So what’s the point of this blog besides to give a great client a public pat on the back? If you want to do effective marketing/advertising/promotion, give a listen (not-so-subtle brand reference) to how Ken Garff does it. 1) Do your research and let it lead you, 2) focus on the long-term, 3) see marketing as an investment rather than an expense. Oh, and if you need a new car, Ken Garff can help you there, too.