There was a day when word of mouth was enough to keep a business alive and all it took was a handshake to close a deal, but those days are long gone. Consumers are more connected than ever before and information is right at their fingertips. They can comparison shop interest rates and car prices from their phone while they are sitting in your dealership. This translates into a more competitive market where you either stand out or get left behind. Even the most loyal customers are going to abandon ship if they find out there is a better deal across that street. That is why today’s automotive dealers must invest in the right kinds of digital marketing and advertising tools as part of a larger strategy that works to build brand recognition.
If you aren’t advertising online, then you are losing sales.
Before a customer makes the effort to visit your dealership, they are going to spend time online, researching different dealers and browsing through available inventory. It all starts with typing a few keywords into a search engine, but if you haven’t put the effort into building an online presence through inbound marketing, then your business won’t show up on the first page of results. You won’t even be in the running when it comes to earning new customers. However, with the right SEO strategies, you can achieve first page results that will drive customers to your website and eventually your location, where you can close the deal.
An online presence helps you build a trustworthy reputation.
Today’s shoppers are so accustomed to researching a business online that the more of an online presence you have, the more trustworthy and credible you will appear. Take advantage of social media to post pictures of your salespeople and showroom and make your dealership seem more personable and accessible. Provide video tours of new models so that customers can have a multi-sensory experience right from their home. Perhaps most importantly, take full advantage of positive online reviews. Happy customers who are willing to share their experience and act as a brand ambassador can be an invaluable tool for building your reputation.
Not only do drivers shop online, they shop on their mobile device.
For most people, their mobile phone is used for social media, web browsing and killing time, not for making phone calls. In fact, as of 2016, more people use their phones to access the internet than PC users. Not only do you need to have an attractive website that is well advertised and easy to navigate, you also need to make sure that it is mobile friendly so that you aren’t alienating the majority of your web visitors. Marketing and advertising experts can help ensure SEO and mobile-friendly designs.
Targeted ads will provide a higher ROI.
If you have been relying on traditional advertising methods, such as billboards and radio commercials, it is time to get more out of your marketing budget. With digital marketing tools, you can serve ads to target customers whose search behavior indicates that they are interested in buying a car and that they are located within a certain radius of your business. Instead of casting a wide net, you are effectively cultivating leads. With geo-fencing tools, you can even serve deals to potential customers when they are at your competitor’s lot.
Just as car technology continues to rapidly advance, so does the way dealerships market and advertise their business. If you are relying on old techniques, then expect revenue to drop. Modern marketing will give you the competitive edge you need.