Competition amongst car dealerships is fierce, and with the way trends are running, this cuts across auto groups, franchise dealerships and independent dealerships. Amidst all of this, your dealership has evolved into a lean, mean fighting machine. Which is great. 


You have probably spent countless hours fine-tuning your processes in both fixed operations and sales departments. You likely cut back on expenses when the great recession ran rampant and may not have upped your marketing budget since then. You have done what you can to stay lean and nimble. Again, important for running a successful auto dealership. 


But, do you know if you are spending your remaining marketing budget on the right things? Do you know if your dealership marketing campaigns are working? Let’s get real – are you marketing to the wrong audience? 


Your Gut Needs a Data Check 

We all think of ourselves as being pretty smart about marketing and understanding what’s going on in the industry. And we’re not saying you don’t know the auto business inside and out. But for all of us, sometimes our gut needs a data check. 


If you let your instinct drive your automotive marketing and advertising strategy, you might end up marketing to the wrong audience. The end result? Wasted advertising spend when your marketing budget is already cut back from prior years. 


While years of industry knowledge and perspective can be huge for running a successful dealership with stellar customer service, in this economy you need to focus on auto customer insights backed by reliable marketing data. 


Auto insights and marketing intelligence can provide you with a gut check, plus uncover info outside of your day-to-day view of your individual dealership. Deep dives into data can reveal surprising market trends not obvious on the surface. 


It’s important to look at both direct consumer insights, and understand the full 360-degree view of market sales trends. 

  • Who is your biggest competitor? 

  • Who are you losing market share to? 

  • Who are you winning market share from? 

  • Where are the opportunities where you should be winning, but aren’t? 


An automotive marketing strategy grounded in insights and intelligence will help you focus on the right opportunities and the right target audience for your dealership marketing and advertising campaigns. 


You Need to Take a Fresh Look 

While you may be able to rattle off your top zip codes based on number of customers, you may also be missing out on big opportunity to grow your dealership by attracting new customers. Compare in-market auto customers alongside other customer insights. This reveals new opportunities to grow or diversify your customer base with smarter audience targeting for your advertising campaigns.  


Layer onto that a deeper understanding of market share not just for your own dealership or your brand, but also based on what’s happening with competitors, and you have a more complete picture. 


Plus, even if you’re spot on regarding who your best target audience is, you could be missing key ways to reach your target audience more effectively when they are most engaged. Media insights, psychographic and behavioral data are immensely helpful in this regard.  


Traditional broadcast might have been great in the past for broad reach, but digital advertising can provide much more accurate audience targeting and catch in-market auto shoppers when they are researching and thinking about their next car purchase. 


Diving into the auto consumer journey and auto shopper intelligence can even help you better understand how to effectively position your advertising to your target audience. Young families may be more focused on safety and convenience features. Boomers may be looking to indulge in a higher trim level now that they are empty nesters. 


And if you previously targeted solely by zip, you might be missing out on an untapped group of ideal prospects who live just outside of your ASA. Or shifting trends in what segments are selling might mean brand new opportunity in your dealership backyard. 


Friends Don’t Let Friends Market to the Wrong Audience 

We fielded a survey with 500 online auto shoppers who purchased a car in the past two years, and uncovered insights specific to certain age groups, as well as commonalities that cut across all demos around what in-market auto shoppers are looking for and where they are searching. Incorporating this kind of information can help you target the best platforms and advertising tactics, plus inform a dealership content strategy. Check out a few of those stats here


When you understand more about both where you might be missing the mark on target audience, and what your ideal audience is interested in, you can more efficiently target your automotive marketing strategy and realize a more efficient dealership ad spend. 


Contact us to request a Dealer Scorecard to uncover the right opportunities to win. 


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