Is it harder to advertise for a car dealer than other companies? Is the marketing strategy that much different from a retail store?
Some may think that car dealers are behind when it comes to digital marketing, but that simply isn’t true at all. Similar to other service industries, dealerships do have a limit to what they can offer and how far they can reach.
What Makes a Car Dealership Different?
A dealership is a place where you can buy a car. This isn’t exactly an item you can pick up in your hands and carry out of the store, it’s not something that only costs a small amount at the cash register, it’s typically the second-largest purchase in anyone’s life and is large enough for you to get inside and drive home when you’ve picked out the right one.
While offering products for purchase, the cars, a dealership also has services that you can use as well. These services are offered to put a car back together after an accident, fix a car that isn’t working, or offer the regular service needed to keep a car on the road. Dealerships also offer financing programs to help you understand how you’re going to pay for the vehicle over a period of time when you’re driving it.
How Do the Products and Services of a Car Dealer Translate to a Difference in Marketing?
Actually, the products and services offered at a car dealership don’t lend you to a different advertising approach than other industries, but the fact that a dealer is typically limited to the local area does. During the COVID-19 pandemic, car dealerships proved they could transition to online sales and financing to continue to operate and sell cars at a rate that was much higher than expected.
The Tired Ideal Needs to be Gone
Far too many professionals believe that car dealer advertising is behind the rest of the world. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You can go to many dealerships in the country and find the team using online technology to connect with potential customers without the need for customers to be physically present at the dealership location.
Many other industries can operate through a cloud and advertise with easy shipping methods for products or virtual services that can be performed. Today, we see more car dealers than ever before capable of delivering a vehicle to customers without making physical contact with them, closing sales through a virtual test drive, or completing the financing paperwork online rather than requiring the customer to show up at the dealership to complete the sale of any vehicle on the lot.
What’s Unique About Marketing for a Car Dealer
Due to the local reach of a dealership, this team can become part of a community, become familiar faces that everyone knows, and become some of the most trusted people in the auto industry. Local advertising is much more important to a car dealership than it is to a company that has locations all around the country or world. This local reach gives car dealers the chance to be more intimate and personal with their customers.
Showcasing Cars Many Different Ways
Think about how many different cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans are offered in the market today. All of these vehicles offer different ways to answer driving concerns. When a customer wants an affordable small vehicle for their commute, a compact car can be shown. If a customer is looking for fun in the wilderness, an SUV with off-road capabilities makes a difference.
Because there are many different vehicles at different prices that fill various needs, the ways to market for a car dealer are many. Not only can the products be advertised, but so can the services, the local events many dealerships will host, and the team of the dealer location. You don’t see this type of advertising from a large company that has a much larger reach. Cars and how they are used can be showcased in many ways.
Dealership Marketing Can Mean Big Returns
The cost per item at a car dealer is much larger than in most other industries. This means the ROI of advertising for a dealership can be much more than it is for other items. One car being sold is thousands of dollars compared to the number of pairs of shoes, pants, or tools that are sold at other stores and online. There are many differences between car dealer marketing and other industries, but there are many similarities as well.