Are you missing the marketing message or are you implementing the strategies needed to improve your online presence?
Your car dealership might be successful, but have you maximized your reach online? The auto industry has changed and continues to change every year. More car shoppers are starting the buying process online and only make their way to the dealership when they are ready to commit to the sale. This means you need to be where your customers are and that’s online.
What Has Changed in Automotive Marketing?
The old way of car shopping was to drive from dealership to dealership to try and find the best deal and haggle a price that you thought was fair. This isn’t the way you would shop for any car today. Your customers are online comparing several models to each other while reading reviews of your dealership. Is your dealership going to be the one they choose?
Your customer base now knows more about what you have to offer than ever before. They know what you have in stock, what other dealers have in stock, and the type of services you offer. They know what incentives can be used and how much their trade is worth. If they come to your dealership, they are prepared. This is the marketing message you need to be aware of and understand when working with the car shoppers of today.
Is Brand Loyalty Still Part of the Marketing Message
To a certain extent, brand loyalty is still paramount in the car shopping decision. While Baby-Boomers were extremely loyal to one brand or another, most of the younger generations are loyal to a business that treats them right. Brand loyalty can be built through interactions over several years and through online reviews, not simply because of the badge on the cars.
How Can You Retain Newer Car Shoppers
Repeat customers in the automotive world typically mean a customer arrives every three to five years to purchase a different model from you. This means you have to find a way to engage and entice them to start with and then bring them back. This is where your marketing message needs to speak loudly for your dealership. Here are a few ways to retain your customers:
Be Where They Are
Your customers are online, this is where you should be. Invest in social media, digital marketing, and video content to ensure your dealership is somewhere in front of your customers. Reduce the amount you spend on traditional media such as TV and radio and focus on the engagement you’ll experience online. This will help you be where your customers are and be their first choice for the next car they want to drive.
Create an Age-Appropriate Marketing Message
The audience you’ve created online will relate best with people from their own age groups. This means you should show people from younger generations when you’re trying to keep the attention of this age group. Present them in your YouTube videos and let them share the message of your dealership and help you with the marketing that you need to ensure your dealership is the first option.
You need to be creative in your marketing message in order to keep the attention of the online audience you’re trying to serve. Do more than simply walk around videos and loud offers, give your audience a bit more. Toss some ideas around with your team and figure out what will resonate with your customers. Being creative, silly, funny, and sometimes stupid can be a great way to engage with potential shoppers.
Include Utility in the Marketing Message
Are you selling SUVs? As a car dealership, this is almost a certainty. Market the utility of these vehicles and let your audience know how they can use them. Do you have models that have won safety awards? Talk about this factor and offer the information in your videos. Figure out how each model can offer value to your shoppers and allow that to be part of your message.
Differentiate from the Competition
Without going completely negative, find the things that make your dealership and models better than others in your area. This needs to be part of your marketing message to ensure you tell your audience why they should shop with you. Do you have the lowest prices on used cars? Are you running an anniversary special? Say it and let your potential customers know how they can save when they work with your dealership.
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