synergy media is the premier auto dealership advertising agency.

We are a data-driven, digital-centric advertising and marketing agency specializing in the auto industry.  Since our inception nearly twenty years ago we have been, and continue to be, the agency of record for some of the best and brightest automobile dealers in the country. Logo


Auto dealership advertising: understanding the unique challenges.

The auto industry, especially on a dealership level is different than any other industry. The auto shopping process for consumers (currently at 96 days) is one of the longest in any industry, second only to real estate.  But we live in a world of instant gratification and monthly sales objectives, so although our customers are in a shopping cycle that lasts more than three months, dealers want and need more immediate sales.  That’s why most advertising is geared for sales today or this weekend.  And while auto dealers need sales now, they also need a pipeline of customers who will buy tomorrow, next week, next month and the months that follow.  Without a long term plan to addresses this dichotomy, dealers need to spend more money, more often, and will still be less effective.

Your advertising and marketing agency needs to understand the auto industry, the tier 3 challenges, and also your potential customers shopping preferences. This is critical to getting every sale you can today, while also building your long-term brand for future sales and success.


Three simple questions, but constantly changing answers

Who are we trying to reach?

This can be broken down into categories as shown below, as there are multiple groups that we should be trying to reach.  Everyone from the general public to a previous prospect who purchased a competitive brand at another dealership.  Our research team has spent years studying the shopping process of automotive prospects and identifying them, using first party data, major studies from the largest search engines and automotive research companies.  Each group has a different value to your dealership, and should be marketed to in different ways with different messages as no two groups are alike.  Groups are identified by behavior, history  and geography

How should we best reach them?

Finding the right Methods of Delivery (MOD’s).  In an ever changing world of digital and linear options, is an ongoing process.  There are literally thousands of MOD options, and each has its strengths and weaknesses.  While most of our recommendations are in the digital realm, there are still traditional options that have value when used properly. Print, radio/TV outdoor and direct mail are all the best traditional choices, while digital is typically broken up into categories of SEO, SEM, or Social.  Digital video is another strong area that is growing exponentially when utilized with the right MOD. Especially on social channels like Facebook and Instagram along with YouTube’s trueview video program.

What are we going to say?

The messaging is critically important.  Different things are important to different groups.  Someone who’s in the market for a model from a different brand doesn’t want to hear about your specials, but would be more likely to click on a competitive comparison of your vehicle vs the one they’re considering.  Someone who just purchased from you isn’t interested in your current inventory, but would be very interested in accessory or extended warranty options.  Sending the right message at the right time to the right prospects is the most efficient and effective advertising strategy. and this needs another couple of lines so I’ll need to find some things to say

finding the 1 person in 324 who’s ready to buy now 

Prospects who are actively in the market and ready to buy/lease behave differently than mid and high funnel prospects. While everyone understands that the targeting methods are specific to this group, the messaging also needs to be tailored specifically to them.  

One in 324 image

understanding auto prospects based on behavior and geographics

Prospects are broken down into eight primary categories based on behavior and geographic distance from subject dealership. Each group is marketed to differently with different MOD’s and messaging.


identifying Categories of Dealership Advertising Messages

Tier 3/dealership level advertising messages generally fall into one or more of the twenty categories shown below.  There are other messages that can be used but most will fall into these categories or a variation of these message groups shown.

understanding the cognitive biases that effect purchase decisions

There are hundreds of cognitive biases that affect the decisions we all make, and it’s important to be aware of them and expecially the primary biases that have an effect on purchase decisions.   We need to ensure that we’re not creating advertising messages that are blocked out or ignored because of one or more of these biases.

finding the right agency makes all the difference

Choosing the right auto dealership advertising agency can make your life simple. Your time is better used working with your OEM, your team and your customers than trying to analyze all the advertising choices for your dealership, or worse, trying to explain the industry challenges to an agency that doesn’t specialize in auto dealers. At Synergy, we are dealership advertising experts.  We understand the challenges dealers face every day.  We also understand the advertising industry and stay on top of the constant changes and new options that are always evolving for dealers.  

our team is second to none. here’s what we do


Every plan starts with research.  We look at your brand, your history, your market and competitors.  We look at sales for your brand vs other same brand dealers, and  competitive brands in 50, 25 and 10 mile radii around your dealership in every auto segment where you have a model.


The proper analysis of that research is very important. Raw data without an understanding what the research means, is worthless.  We analyze the data to find the opportunities and that becomes part of the long term advertising and marketing strategy for your individual store.


The long-term strategic plan for your dealership is the framework for everything we do. It’s where we take the history of your store, the potential of your brand, your opportunities in specific segments and turn all of that into a battle plan that can be executed each month.


A long-term strategy has to be distilled down into a cohesive monthly plan which includes creative messaging for the month, individual specials and any budgeting allocation and placement changes. Ads should start as early as possible to maximize the number of days with ads running.

Copy Procurement

We work with your managers to get monthly specials in a timely manner.  We know which day of the month your OEM closed on from the previous month, and when we can get special pricing and programs for the next month to get your current specials and ads running early.


Every OEM has different compliance guidelines and processes.  We work with most major brands to make sure this process is as smooth and efficient as it can be.  Changes are made and submitted quickly, and we keep copies of all approvals for reference.


Maximizing any available coop reimbursement is critical for your bottom line.  We monitor your available funds, and submit appropriate advertising and invoices monthly.  We then monitor reimbursement so you get credits on time.


Budgeting is determined on an annual basis, broken down by month.  Budgets are usually set using some combination of NADA/PNVR guidelines, available co-op, competition in the market, current inventory, new vehicle sales goals among other factors.

Television Advertising

Television advertising has been one of the most used advertising outlets for auto manufacturers and dealers since the 1930s.  The visual impact and broad audience has appeal to this day.  And as viewers shift to streaming, OTT becomes more important to reach them.

Radio Advertising

Radio is another traditional media that’s been a favorite for the auto industry.  The strengths of a captive audience, often while driving, with the right message have helped drive auto sales for years.  Although digital options have cut terrestrial ratings, there’s still a place for it.


Billboards and other Out of Home options have  some undeniable advantages. They’re reaching a captive audiences, and are hard to ignore.  And with the advent of digital billboards, they now have the quick turnaround that auto dealers need to update copy quickly.

Direct Mail

Direct mail is a surprisingly resilient advertising option.  Pre-Covid, it was going strong, promoting weekend sales and giveaways that kept showrooms packed during events. Things have changed a bit, but it’s still working for dealers, and should be back strong in the spring.

Print Advertising

In regions that still have a strong local newspaper, or magazine, print can be a great outlet for your current specials or branding message.  Big, bold, auto ads can still attract attention.  In areas that still have the readership to support their rates, print can be a worthwhile option.


Copyrighting in the auto industry is a challenge.  With everything that has to fit into an ad, including legal disclaimers, it seems like there may be no room for creativity.  But our copyrighters are professionals and write scripts that sell cars, while satisfying compliance and legal.

Mystery Shopping

We mystery shop your competitors and grade them on timelines of response, accuracy of response, price/payment response and more.  By understanding how those competitors are scoring on these metrics, we can better advise your store on how to improve.

Rep Meetings

Media reps are some of the nicest, most hard working people in the industry.  But matching up your target demo/geo and analyzing ratings and CPP data should be done by professionals to determine if it’s a good fit and a good deal.  That’s where we come in.

Digital and other optional services we specialize in:

GMB Management

Google My Business is an often overlooked but extremely necessary component for proper search engine optimization.  We utilize every possible information field, and asset option to maximize the value of this critical component to increase the visibility of your business.


AutoInteractive Digital Magazines allow you to show your current new car specials, pre-owned specials, service, parts, and accessory specials all in a unique, page turning and interactive digital magazine,  Using patented technology, they’re utilized in targeted emails, social media, and other digital options.

Social Media

Social Media is an evolving digital platform with a myriad of opportunities for dealers.  Our team can put your dealership’s message in front of target audiences, for maximum visibility and efficiency and  we monitor the space for additional opportunities.


Over The Top television is the digital side of big screen or tablet watching.  Services like Hulu, YouTubeTV, Sling etc still serve commercials.  We utilize the tremendous targeting capabilities of these digital services to be sure your commercials are shown to cord cutters in your area. 

Video Production

Synergy Media has its own in-house production studio that allows production to be done faster, better and less expensively than most outsourcing options.  We have the latest in equipment, software and hardware to be able to get your video project done on time and on budget.

Website Management

Auto dealer website management is a full-time job.  We mange multiple dealer sites, adding ever changing specials, hours changes (especially with covid), design and layout.  We’re DDC certified, and work with Dealer Inspire and DealerON along with CDK to make sure your website has up to date information.


Search Engine Optimization is a critical function for an auto dealer’s website.  When done effectively, it allows you to show up higher than competitors in local search, and also increases your quality score which leads to lower costs in SEM for the same placement.


Search engine marketing is a great way to get your message out to potential prospects.  Based on a combination of quality score and bid score, we work with your budget to make sure your ads show up.  We’re a Google Premier Partner and Bing Certified.

Press Releases

Press releases are a great way to get your dealership some local attention for anything noteworthy that’s happening at your store.  A new model release, a shattered sales record, new, notable employees or donation to a local charity are just a few of the potential uses.


When your potential customer is considering a model from your brand, they’re likely considering other vehicles also.  At Synergy, we’re well versed in competitive comparisons that will highlight the advantages of your vehicle and show how they might be beneficial.

Targeted Model Videos

Targeted, Model-Specific Videos are a great asset to target people who are shopping in a particular category.  While most video advertising shows your specials and highlights numerous vehicles, our TMSVs target shoppers in the specific segment their looking (like small CUV)

Invoice Reconciliation

Advertising invoices come in from dozens of sources, showing specifics of spot times and placement.  These can be tedious to go through and difficult to understand.  We analyze invoices to match up with our actual orders and anything outside of  what was ordered is either made good or credited.

Behavioral Targeting

One of the most basic targeting methods is via behavior.  Someone who’s reading new vehicle reviews, searching for automobiles specials, checking trade in values, checking on current interest rates etc are all behaviors that place them into the likely group of in-market shoppers.

Contextual Targeting

Contextual targeting is placing ads specifically on websites where your potential customer self identify.  So for instance, if your ad is shown on an auto shopping site, that’s considered contextual, as people who go on an auto shopping site are most likely to be in-market shoppers.

Psychographic Targeting

Psychographic targeting is simply targeting based on attitudes or beliefs or interests.  In automobile advertising we use this for example to show someone who’s shown an interest in vehicle safety, a more targeted message that shows safety features or safety awards.

Competitive Set Targeting

Also known as Competitive Segment Targeting, we use this to target individual messages to people who are considering a model from another brand in a segment where we have a product with advantages over the specific model they’re considering.  


Remarketing and retargeting give us the ability to show ads and promotional messages to people who have already visited your site. It can be site wide, or page specific-showing them a special offer on exactly the product or service they were looking at when on your site.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is another digital Method of Delivery that, when used with a compelling message, can yield impressive open and click through rates. We can mail to your internal database, a highly customized, targeted external database or a combination of the two.

Digital Video Targeting

We use the power of video combined with digital targeting methods to reach in-market shoppers of your dealership plus conquest your competition across platforms like YouTube, FaceBook, OTT/CTV, and a network of digital Video Partner Sites

Dealer Profiles

Customers want to know who’s behind the business they’re about to start a relationship with.  A Dealer Profile feature is a great way to tell your story, and let people know your store’s history, your philosophy on customers satisfaction and more. See an example here.


Although geofencing was one of the early methods of targeting, it’s still useful today.  It is essentially location based marketing within a specific geographic boundaries and  can trigger the delivery of a specific ad once the user is next online or in an applicable app.

Content Marketing

We create specific content around your product and services that provide information for your potential consumers and markets your business as part of the content.  This is part  of a long-term marketing campaign and can be integrated into your overall plan.

Original Reviews

We create specific content around your product and services that provide information for your potential consumers and markets your business as part of the content.  This is part  of a long-term marketing campaign and can be integrated into your overall plan.

Segment Analysis

We do quarterly analysis on your new vehicle sales and facing dealers new vehicle sales, by market segment in both your micro and macro PMA to look for trends and opportunities in each segment against each competitive brand represented in your market.

The best dealers have synergy

Synergy Media was started in 2001 as an advertising agency for forward thinking automobile dealers, and in twenty years we have grown into one of the nation’s premier auto dealer advertising agencies.


Our team has the perfect resume necessary to understand auto dealer advertising.  Our industry experience includes dozens of years of management positions In auto related and advertising companies.  Experience with companies like,, major TV networks, major newspapers and digital services companies. Plus, we have actual “in-dealership” experience in positions such as Sales, Sales Manager, Used Car Manager, New Car Manager, General Manager and Dealer.

We eat, sleep and breathe the auto industry.  And when you’re looking for an agency, shouldn’t that be what you’re looking for? Agencies that aren’t immersed in automotive often find it difficult to understand the challenges that dealers face.  Monthly objectives, inventory issues, same brand competitors, different brand competitors all have to be taken into account when formulating a plan.  like the long purchase cycle, second, the purchase prices are higher than nearly any other consumer purchase and third, the competition between dealers who carry the same brand is unlike that of any other retail segment.  Understanding the industry is a must for your agency.

Research First

Every plan starts with research.  There’s no “gut-feeling” or intuition in our decision making.  It’s the “Moneyball” theory applied to the advertising industry.  It’s all driven by data.  We start by looking at your brand, your history, your market and your competitors.  We look at sales for your brand vs competitive brands in 50, 25 and 10-mile radii around your dealership.  We look at ways to build your sales against same brand competitors, and more importantly, against other brands in your micro PMA.  While we want to go after customers who are in fringe PMA, the most valuable customers are in your micro PMA.  They’re more loyal, have a higher propensity to service with you, the gross profits are higher, they’re more likely to be repeat customers and the people they refer are more likely to come to your dealership than a competitor.  These are high-value customers and our strategy gets you more of them.

Digital is in our DNA

At Synergy, we’ve been doing digital advertising for nearly twenty years. We’ve seen the advantages of digital and have been constantly exploring and taking advantage of the efficiencies digital has to offer.  We’re a Google Certified Partner, Bing Certified, and Facebook Certified.  We work on dealer websites every day, and are highly experienced with, Dealer Inspire, DealerFire and CDK websites.  We are experts at SEO and have tools and metrics to make sure your website is performing at peak levels. We perform SEO services for dealerships customized to your needs and goals.  We produce digital catalogs that are disseminated through direct email, social media, dealer websites and SMS.  As a Google partner we are connected with Google’s SEM, GMB, and Video experts regularly and we have all the tools needed to maximize your search marketing dollars.  

Predictive Data

You need an agency that understands what’s going on in the industry today, and what’s coming tomorrow.  Automotive News is number one on our screens each morning and we’re able to look at industry news and trends as they happen.  Plus our analytic tools allow us to look at local  competitors sales down to the model and RDR at a zip code level so we’re able to see what’s happening on the ground in real time instead of waiting for month end reports to come out. 

Low Fees and No Contract

While there’s a cost to any expert service, the value of that service has to outweigh the cost.  Our fees are below the industry average, and when you take into account the volume and agency discounts we pass along, the cost to choose Synergy Media is even lower. In addition, we have no long-term contracts. Everything we do is month to month. And although our average client tenure is an industry leading 12 years, it’s never been because we’ve tied them up in a long-term contract.

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A man with a new Aston Martin was asked by a friend what it was that made him buy such an exquisite automobile. "It was a magazine ad" he said. Surprised, the friend asked what the ad said. To which the man replied, "It was over fifty years ago, and I don't remember exactly what it said, but I remember to this day how it made me feel"