Mark Twain once famously quoted that, “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising”. This is particularly true in the fiercely competitive auto industry where capturing your share of drive-by sales is an ongoing battle and getting noticed is not just key – it’s critical. One marketing survey found that 62% of dealership sales came from people who said they were, “just driving by”. 


Staggering statistics like that have dealerships scrambling to come up with ways to get noticed and stand out from the competition. So what prompts a customer to pull in to your dealership versus the one across the street? To truly maximize your dealership’s sales, it’s important to market to every demographic in your customer base. But to truly drill down to the actual “drive-by” traffic induced sales, we need to eliminate the customers who were not just driving by. With the explosion of digital advertising, SEO and social media campaigns, it’s a brave new world when it comes to how people search and find the car they want and the dealership they decide to buy from.


  • Let’s face it, we could fill a book of blogs about digital marketing/advertising strategies. For this discussion, let’s hone in on some of the top products (in no particular order) the most successful dealerships are using to get noticed and maximize their drive-by sales. Inflate sales with Inflatables – It may seem over the top to some but a giant Inflatable Gorilla, is nothing if not eye catching. And if a customer has kids on board, they’re more likely to stop at a dealership with some eye candy for the kiddies. An Inflatable Uncle Sam for July 4th, even inflatable cars to showcase your brand, are all great tools for pulling more traffic your way. For dealerships with pesky local ordinances prohibiting the display of large inflatables or other promotional items, the Inflatable In-A-Bed-Billboard is a great way to remain compliant and still get noticed. 
  • She’s a grand old flag – It’s a fact… people love flags. The natural visual appeal of a flag waving in the breeze draws the eye and inspires the onlooker to notice the message. Whether it’s a 14 ft. Swooper Flag, an entire front line decked out in 48” Swooper Stix, or a custom Light Pole Flag on every light pole on your lot, the beauty of using flags to grab drive-by attention is their versatility. No matter what event or sale, flags are pretty easily changed to suit the occasion, making them a great every day, every occasion marketing tool. 
  • Float above the competition with reusable balloons – “It’s hard to be brought down when you have a balloon”, is a line from a children’s book but there’s a reason balloons are the focal point of just about every human celebration. A multitude of dealerships literally drown in the cost of helium to display these colorful, eye catching orbs. But with the introduction of high quality reusable Balloon Products like DuraBalloon and Permashine, dealerships are able to customize balloon displays that will last through many seasons and sales, making reusable balloons a great option with real bang for your buck!
  • Sign me up – With a Custom Banner or sign. It really is all about being seen. So for dealerships that don’t have sign or display ordinances prohibiting them, great signage is one of the best advertising methods there is.  Factor in customizable, easily changed banners and once again, their versatility makes custom banners ideal for luring in the drive-by customer.
  • Dancing on air – With an Air Dancer. Or as they are often called, a wavy man. It’s the motion, and the breezy, whimsical fun of an air dancer that just makes people look. Another visual feast for the eye, air dancers will definitely get your dealership noticed. 

Best-selling author and marketing expert, Seth Godin said it very simply, “Marketing is a Contest for People’s Attention”. If you want your dealership to win the contest for your customer’s attention in the drive-by market, all you need are the right tools.


The Carlot Store has been helping dealerships sell more cars for over 20 years and offers all the custom products your dealership needs. Contact us today to learn how we can help you maximize your drive-by traffic and increase your sales.