FSP now offers dealer event marketing


Sometimes it takes more than an inflatable gorilla on the roof to get customers through your dealership doors.

With that in mind, a new initiative from seasoned event marketing company Formula Special Projects (FSP) could provide the spark your store needs to benefit from experiential marking.

“The marketing game for dealers has changed,” explained Jock McCleary, head of FSP. “Whether it is a new store opening, customer appreciation day or a conquest sales program, FSP can come up with a perfect solution to your needs.”

FSP is a division of Metroland Media Group, Ontario's largest community newspaper publisher and publisher of Canadian AutoWorld. The group has more than 100 newspaper titles with a combined distribution of more than 5 million copies per week.

Readers on the corporate side know FSP as an event marketing company that has run national automotive events include vehicle launches and cross-country tours for more than a decade.

“We pioneered the consumer ride-and-drive event concept with our Carguide Challenge series more than 20 years ago. Since then, we have conducted similar events on behalf of Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Chrysler, General Motors, Ford, Kia and more.”

McCleary explains that this new spin from FSP is a reimagined look at the Challenge Series concept for a modern audience that draws on partnerships with community newspapers.

Using a three-pronged approach, he said, FSP starts the process by working with a dealer’s local newspaper on pre-event marketing.

FSP said it then offers a turnkey event that could encompass anything from professional drivers on a closed track to a road-routed ride-and-drive to customer information nights at the dealership.

For the Challenge concept, FSP would conduct ride-and-drive events that encourage unbiased opinions from among Metroland Media Group’s reader base. “The formula is simple: turn readers into automotive journalists for a day and record the results.”

The day would include driving a pre-planned road route followed by a “detailed questionnaire” given at the end of the day to gather info about the vehicle and its performance.

The local newspapers will handle post-event coverage again, making for a complete product.

The key to a successful dealer event, McCleary noted, rests with providing a positive experience for participants. “And what could be better than turning a prospective customer into a brand ambassador for your dealership and your brand thanks to a positive event experience.”

For more information, check out www.formulaspecialprojects.com