Digital Advertising Blog

Digital Marketing in Today’s Dealerships

by Terry MacCauley - Posted 2 years ago

When it comes to auto dealer marketing, these days, the first rule is not to talk about the dealership. According to a new study from Google, a customer can make as many as 900 digital interactions in the lead-up to purchase. By comparison, the same customer will only physically visit two dealers in the process.

This doesn’t represent an entirely new way of doing business. Dealerships have long known that customers can take months to process a car-buying decision. But with the ease of information readily available on mobile, consumers are constantly researching while standing in line at the grocery store, waiting to pick up their kids or over lunch. Getting those customers in the door is a matter of how you interact with them in the micro-moments during the path to purchase.

Get Found

You need to be where people are looking, and that does not start in your showroom windows. With the majority of car research done online, it is critical that your dealership is visible in as many search results as possible. Make it easy for potential buyers to find you, not harder. Make sure all of your local listings on search are up to date.  Google teaches that despite the focus on mobile research in the automotive buying process, searches for “car dealerships near me” have still garnered the biggest share of searches. Additionally, with the constant increase in mobile search, make sure your website is 100% responsive and mobile-friendly. This means physically look at your website on your cell phone and ask yourself if it is easy to navigate and does it make sense the way it is laid out.

Stand Out

Videos have a huge impact, so be sure you have some out there. And that means more than commercials on your local access cable. Talk about wasted money, today.  According to another Google study, 69 percent of consumers who used YouTube during their car search say they were influenced by the digital videos they saw. Giving a ‘digital showroom’ video can help draw them in and grab their attention before they are ready to commit to a physical visit.

Know What You Need To Know

Consumers are looking for answers to their questions. Know what those questions are and offer them a place to easily find those answers, positioning yourself as the expert in the auto buying process. Do they care about seating or towing capacity? The questions a minivan shopper has will likely differ from those of a customer seeking to buy a compact sport utility vehicle. You can accomplish this with content marketing or even native advertising.  Content developed in a way that is helpful and meaningful to the consumer but built seamlessly with your dealer’s brand as the voice, the expert, so future buyers will be more inclined to buy from you over another dealership offering the same car.

Think Mobile 100% of The Time

Keep in mind that your customers are doing most of their research on mobile, and be sure your site is optimized for it. Consider the user experience in terms of your buttons. Mobile marketing research shows us that one in three consumers who used mobile to buy their car used their phone to locate or call their dealer. Make sure these actions are easy to complete on your mobile interface.

Most importantly, keep in mind that, while the number of dealerships has plummeted, according to Automotive News, car sales continue to increase. Adopting these automotive marketing strategies can help you take advantage of the opportunities as this paradigm shift represents.