Automotive marketing has grown more challenging with economic factors affecting consumer confidence, and OEM pressures for more efficient marketing and expense reduction. With auto shoppers doing more research than ever before they step foot in a car dealership, many dealers and auto group owners are looking for new and innovative ways to maximize their automotive marketing ROI.
Here are some great tips every automotive marketer can use to achieve their dealership objectives – even if you have marketing staff and a brand agency, take a fresh look at these areas. These only scratch the surface, though, so contact us for a Dealer Scorecard evaluation so we can help you identify new and innovative ways dealerships and auto groups can meet challenges and achieve growth.
1. Get to Smarter Audience Targeting with Auto Insights & Intelligence.
If you really want to get a stronger return on your dealership marketing investment, what you really need to figure out is how to get to more efficient marketing. Audience targeting backed by data insights is a core way to up both efficiency and effectiveness of your advertising spend. When you can pinpoint the goal that makes the most sense for your dealership, combined with the best opportunity where you can make an impact, plus the related target audience and tactics to get you there? That’s gold.
So, be smart about your marketing investment, and start by digging into available auto insights on the lay of the land in your market. Add to that with local auto consumer intelligence, including an idea of how that layers into the competitive landscape and your best position to grow sales. Who has time for that, right?
When you see that your marketing and advertising spend can be more effective without increasing your budget, you will make time for the data side of things. An automotive marketing partner can help take some of this insight analysis workload off your plate, too.
2. Retargeting Display Ads Can Strengthen Your First Impression.
Your dealership website is both your frontal assault and last line of defense. Through your marketing efforts, you will drive potential customers to your website. This is the first opportunity for a customer to interact with your brand on a personal level. Consumers will likely leave your website without taking any further action after the first visit either because it’s still early in their research phase, or they’re just gathering initial information about your dealership.
This is where retargeting display ads come into play. Retargeting allows you to show a display ad to a user who has left your site, so they remember you when they are considering what and where to buy. There are a lot of ways to be creative with your retargeting display ad creative, so you catch the customer’s attention and motivate them towards action.
Don’t forget that retargeting display ad campaigns can be set up on traditional ad platforms and networks, with search marketing, and on Facebook.
3. Deepen Awareness by Engaging.
Local automotive dealers are already engaged with a huge network of loyal customers and potential customers familiar with their dealership or auto group brand name. How do you deepen that awareness to build engagement with your target audience, so you are top of mind when they are ready to buy a car?
Social Media Marketing: Let’s face it, social media management is time consuming and rarely feels rewarding in an instant. However, you can really stand out from the competition by connecting with current customers (and prospects) if you offer valuable content to help auto shoppers and people looking for a reliable service center.
Branded Content: If you want to take your content strategy to the next level, incorporating branded content can help amp up your reach by placing your engaging content on topics of use to auto shoppers on trusted platforms. That could include articles, videos, infographics, and quizzes, but regardless of format, the idea behind branded content is informing and engaging your target audience, for positive brand awareness and consideration when it counts.
4. Email Marketing Can Fuel Your Communication Strategy
Email marketing offers a whole range of benefits for car dealerships: increase positive brand awareness, drive traffic to your showroom with monthly incentives or sales events, generate interest in your service center with special offers. You can also leverage email communications to build deeper relationships with your existing customers by sharing special invites for events or offers you’re not promoting publicly.
Your service department may already incorporate a manufacturer recommended outreach communication around regular service of their vehicle. Have you considered targeting current customers with older model year cars with a trade-in offer via email?
Email marketing is still a powerful digital marketing tool and worth taking a fresh look at as you identify ways to continuously improve your dealership marketing strategy.
5. Understand the Importance of Good Customer Service
You already know how important stellar customer service is – in your showroom, during the F&I process, in vehicle delivery and especially in your service department. Have you looked recently at how well you serve customers and potential customers with your online presence? Can people who are looking to buy or service a car near you find your dealership?
Local listings and review management help your dealership get found while auto shoppers are searching. Staying on top of listings updates and reviews builds a positive online presence for your dealership.
Once you have local listings and reviews updated, with a management plan in place, take a closer look at web lead management. You probably have a system in place, with specific people who manage website communications and inbound web leads. Is the system they are using efficient in helping them communicate with website visitors and leads? Can they deploy communications to current customers around service offers or trade-in events?
And, seriously, is it simple to use so they can move on to other day to day tasks? Take a look at your current leads and customer management systems to make sure complicated processes aren’t getting in the way of quick responses to customer inquiries.
A Fresh Look Informed by Data Makes for Better Automotive Marketing
By taking a fresh look at your core dealership marketing strategy, thinking about how you are engaging with customers, and keeping the customer first in all you do, you can rejuvenate your marketing and advertising tactics.
Above all, remember that knowing how your dealership stacks up to competitors can help you focus your efforts on improving your dealership marketing strategy by identifying the right opportunities where you can win and the best audience targeting and tactics to get you there. All of that will help your dealership work towards more effective and efficient automotive marketing.