Today, it takes a little more than balloons, banners and wacky air-waving inflatables to stand out in the field. And while people talk about going big (or going home), there’s something to be said about VW’s iconic 1960s “think small” approach.  

Dealerships begin by narrowing their target market; creating messages for multiple audiences; and developing strategic digital campaigns – and end with optimizing ad spend and maximizing sales.  

Follow these three steps to help your dealership’s digital marketing get you there: 

  • Target your best customers 

  • Create separate messages for each audience 

  • Focus on digital marketing that works  


Best Customers and Lookalikes 

To stand out from the competition, start with your standout customers. They’re a lot cheaper than going after prospects. It costs 5 to 25 times more to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. So, look to your CRM for data to figure out who your best customers are and target them. You’ll also want to check media insights and psychographic data for trends that may be affecting these customers and the way they shop your dealership. Because “better” customers equal better marketing ROI. 

After you’ve figured out who your best current customers are, go after new “lookalike” ones with social media ads. You can use Facebook to identify consumers who share demographic qualities and interests to create Lookalike Audiences. These people are ideal target markets for your dealership.  

Different Target Audience, Different Message 

For years, I wrote advertising copy for auto manufacturers. Each brand had its own audience and each audience received messages in the brand’s specific voice, tone and even words. (At least one luxury brand banned the word “sale” – even for sales events.) The focus of digital marketing communications varied too, depending on the target audience’s motivations, concerns, budgets and more. The point is, dealerships can also benefit from sticking to their brand and target audience.  

But data from your CRM will undoubtedly prove your dealership has more than one target audience. To effectively communicate with each one, split target audiences into separate groups and create messages that speak directly to them. For example, customers with leases expiring and vehicles sold but not serviced. And keep in mind, women are less price-driven, ranking the importance of car features as:  

  • 84% reliability  

  • 80% safety in an accident 

  • 74% fuel economy/good mileage

Don’t forget to include what makes your dealership unique – just about everyone is interested in hearing you have non-commissioned sales staff, feature the largest in inventory in the area, support the local community, etc.  


Digital Marketing: Facebook Focus 

Messaging your target audiences includes a digital mix of email marketing, display advertising, social media, video and branded content – and we can help you with that. But for the sake of everyone’s attention span, we’ll just focus on Facebook for now.  

Earlier this year, Facebook rebranded and launched its dynamic “auto inventory ads,” offering a new level of retargeting capabilities. Not only can dealerships target users who’ve visited their website – they can target users who’ve visited auto-related pages, apps and sites across the internet. Which means you can reach a much wider audience of people shopping for similar vehicles.  

How does it work? Upload your inventory with details such as make, model, year and location. Then Facebook automatically creates and delivers ads with the most relevant vehicles to the most motivated buyers.  

But Facebook isn’t just for vehicles. It’s great for promoting events to the people most likely to attend them. You can highlight event details and collect RSVPs and contact info. Plus retarget people who’ve engaged with your ad but haven’t responded to it.  


Bye-Bye Balloons, Banners and Giant Gorillas  

Standing out starts with looking in – your dealership’s CRM, that is. You’ve already done the hard work of building a solid reputation and earning loyal customers. Let the data lead the way and remember, going big begins with thinking small:  

  • Target your best customers 

  • Create multiple messages  

  • Focus on digital marketing  


Contact us to learn more about standing out in the field with comprehensive digital marketing campaigns.   


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