For marketers that manage dealer groups with multiple franchises, or even those who only have a single brand represented, it can be hard to balance our own campaigns and initiatives with those proposed by our OEMs. Whether it's new prospect process adjustments, website guidelines, or marketing adjustments, it can feel like we're hampered or downright weakened by directives from the manufacturer.

By following a few guidelines we can manage that stress and do our best to make the best of our relationships.

  1.  Open Mind - It can be easy for every new program or set of guidelines to elicit an eye roll. While this may be a result of past experiences, try to evaluate each time individually and logically.
  2. Data-Focused -  When rolling out a new OEM directive, make sure to identify what measurements need to be used to evaluate the success of the change and establish baseline values of those before making the change. Then after measuring those items after, you can develop a more logical opinion of the impact those changes made. 
  3. Clear Communication -  Whether positive or negative, make sure you're sharing your findings with your factory representatives so that they can pass it along up the chain.  
  4. Choosing Your Battles -  In the scheme of things, it's important to maintain perspective. Going along with minor changes and monitoring results without protest can allow you to save up for a situation where an OEM program does need to be addressed.

Staying open, measuring outcomes, and communication can all help reduce your stress levels when implementing new OEM programs and allow you to have a more meaningful communication process with your brands.