There’s never been a better time to mobilize your dealership’s marketing strategy. That’s because more Americans than ever before now own smartphones – 77% – and they check those phones 52 times a day, according to a 2018 Deloitte survey. Plus, Google reports one in four car buyers turn to their mobiles every day to research vehicles. So, you’ve got quite a few opportunities to get your name in front of quite a few customers, and keep it in front of them along the entire car buying journey.    

Your dealership can be there when customers start researching vehicles and features to help narrow their searches – all the way through to when they begin looking for local dealers to see who offers the lowest prices. What mobile marketing strategy can deliver on all this? A proven 3-prong approach: 

Display advertising 


Social media ads 


On Mobile: Display Advertising 

Let’s start with where your customers start – their phones. When you consider 53% of internet car shoppers use mobile devices when searching for information about vehicles, it’s easy to see why dealers are moving marketing dollars to mobile display advertising.  

Related Content: Back to Basics: Automotive Display Ads Best Practices 

It’s a wise decision, one that aligns with eMarketer’s forecast that next year mobile marketing will make up 43% of the total media ad spending in the US – more than all traditional media combined. This is attributed to the double-digit growth of Facebook and Google driven, in part, by the digital video growth of platforms like YouTube. 

But let’s go back to customers and what’s in their searches. Interest in photos of vehicles is up 37% year-over-year and 80% of those photo searches are on mobile devices, according to a Google report. Car buyers want to see shots of interior and exterior options and features via their smartphones, and smart dealerships are making sure they can get them.  

Dealers can also reach back out to virtual visitors across the web with mobile marketing retargeting – rich media display advertising with video, audio and more. This keeps your dealership in front of car buyers throughout the day. That’s important because, according to Google’s report, one in three car shoppers who use mobile in the buying process, find or call a dealer on their device.  

Related Content: Use VIN specific Facebook and display advertising marketing to retarget shoppers with information about vehicles they’ve already looked at on your website. 


On Your Lot: Geofencing 

Google reports that half of all car shoppers use their smartphones while at dealerships. And the number one thing they’re doing on their mobile devices? Confirming they’re getting a good deal. In fact, more searches for Kelley Blue Book and competing dealerships take place on dealer lots. 

So how do you fight to get – and keep – buyers in your showroom until you close the deal? Geofencing.  

First, set up a geofence around your competitors. When car shoppers visit those dealers, ads with a special offer or promotion from your dealership will appear on their phones. You can conquest those buyers right off your competition’s showroom floor.  

Second, take advantage of geofencing to target shoppers that are already on your lot. Use mobile marketing display ads to motivate these buyers with incentives and financing options so attractive they’ll stop looking at their smartphone screens.  

Related Content: 3 Ways to Leverage Geofencing for Automotive 


On Social: Social Media Ads 

US adults average 45 minutes per day on social media, with most of that time being spent on smartphones, according to a 2018 Nielson report. (Another 10 hours and 15 minutes are spent listening to, watching, reading or generally interacting with media – TV, radio, internet, etc.) But it’s not just how long people are on social media that matters, it’s how much of a difference those minutes make: 

  • 90% of new car customers who used social media in the buying process say it influenced their decision. 

  • 38% of consumers say they’ll use social media next time they purchase a car.   

  • 69% of people who used YouTube while buying a car said they were more influenced by it than TV, newspapers or magazines (Google: The 5 Auto Shopping Moments Every Brand Must Own). 

Related Content: Back to Basics: Automotive Social Media Ads Best Practices 

Ready to create a social media campaign designed specifically for mobile? Think seriously about adding video – 65% of car shoppers said watching a video helped narrow down their choice. And four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.   

Related Content: The three most popular types of videos with car shoppers


Bringing It All Together 

Now that just about every step of the car buying journey can be conducted from a smartphone, dealers are mobilizing their marketing strategies more than ever before. Is your dealership keeping its name on screen and top of mind with shoppers? Even when they’re in the showrooms of competitors?  

Start with this 3-prong approach that’s proven to be successful:  

Display advertising 


Social media ads 

Then back it up with more mobile marketing strategies – and the help of our team.  


Contact us and we’ll work together to create a complete mobile marketing campaign for your dealership. 


Related Content:  

Back to Basics: Automotive Display Ads Best Practices  

3 Ways to Leverage Geofencing for Automotive 

Back to Basics: Automotive Social Media Ads Best Practices 

Video Ads Drive the Sale for Car Dealerships 




Pew Research Center: Mobile Fact Sheet 

Are Americans Addicted to Smartphones? US Consumers Check Their Phones 52 Times Daily, Study Finds 

Think with Google: Consumers in the Micro-Moment: What It Means for Auto Brands  

Mobile Ad Spending to Surpass All Traditional Media Combined by 2020 

Think with Google: The 5 Auto Shopping Moments Every Brand Must Own 

Top 2018 Automotive Digital Marketing Trends You Need to Know 

Time Flies: US Adults Now Spend Nearly Half a Day Interacting with Media