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CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Mark Lensink, Kia of Hamilton

A Sit Down with Mark Lensink, Dealer Principal of Kia of Hamilton

How long have you been in the car business?

I started in the industry as a sales and leasing representative with Honda in March 2004.

How long have you been running your own store?

In 2012 I had the opportunity to become Operating Partner of Guelph Kia, then in 2015, Kia of Hamilton was acquired and I am based there now.

How many people work in your dealership?

We have 43 employees.

If there is one “must-do” as a Dealer Principal, what is it?

M.B.W.A. “Management By Walking Around.” Make sure you connect with your departments daily, even multiple times per day. The ongoing communication lets you seize great ideas and tackle issues before they turn into true problems.

What do you see as the most challenging outlook in the car biz?

The changing landscape in consumer demand. The stores and brands that figure it out first will be very successful going forward. 

In today’s marketplace, what does marketing mean to you?

Marketing is a broad term in today’s world: consumer engagement on a host of digital platforms, traditional media, and old-fashioned referral and customer appreciation events. Today you need to be involved in so many aspects to make the impression you want. Some, like online reviews, are often heavily dependent on your staff and the consumer.

What does your marketing mix look like?

In 2018, we were present on most of the “big” digital platforms, traditional marketing as well (like mailers and local radio), sales events or model launches for our clients, and community-focused offsite and onsite events. In 2019, we will continue to grow our digital spend, often becoming more focused on the demographics we are targeting - thanks to advancements in the tools that have come available recently.

What various Event themes have you run with Shift Marketing? Which Event did you like most and why?

We have had in-store Sale Events multiple times over the years for different clients in our database, online marketing campaigns that were unique versus other vendors or inhouse digital marketing we had attempted; Social Media campaign with retargeting and demographic-based ads as well. 

We choose Shift Marketing often because the experience from them is consistent, and they deliver new ideas for us to try without over-inundating our database. The variety of offerings is one of their strengths without a doubt.

How do you keep your team motivated?

Focus on the areas where we are achieving our goals and congratulating that success. People appreciate recognition and will work to replicate that time and time again. Best or most impactful lesson you’ve learned in your 15+ years in the biz? 

All the successful people I know achieved that success with a host of supporters and colleagues over time. The lesson there is, you can’t do it alone.

What do you love most about the car biz?

That every year we have new products, technology, and exciting changes to share with our clients and staff. It’s never dull or boring!

This article was previously published in Shift Marketing Insider Magazine, Issue 4 2019.
July 28, 2022
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