Every great automotive sales rep knows that word of mouth is ten times more powerful than brand messages. You treat every person who walks on the dealership lot well, and they will turn around and sing your praises to their friends, families, and coworkers in subsequent years — many of whom will undoubtedly be in the market for their own next vehicle soon.
Yet, as great as you or your sales reps are in fostering outstanding customer relationships in person, there will come a time when sales slow and your old tactics fail to generate the same traffic you had last year. To preempt this, it’s important to look now at your advertising game and map out where you want to be today and tomorrow. This is especially true if you haven’t already incorporated online advertising and marketing.
The Importance of Digital Advertising and Marketing for Automotive Dealers
Last year, Forbes Insights released a new report in association with Synchrony Financial entitled “A Split Screen: Online Information and a Human Touch.” This survey discovered an incredible 82% of customers conduct their initial research online. Naturally, this does not eliminate the need for friendly and helpful on-site sales associates, but it is important to recognize that when it comes to major purchasing decisions, consumers start with a search engine.
Purchasing a vehicle is a major financial decision. For many of your buyers, it may even be their first and/or biggest financial investment. Thus, you should anticipate then that they will conduct online research before they ever step foot in a dealership. They will be looking for vehicle specifications, customer reviews and recommendations on specific models, vehicle comparisons and pricing, and reviews on the nature of a dealership’s sales and service team. You can either hope a search engine request nudges them your way or you can use an experienced and skilled digital marketing and advertising team like MAN Marketing to ensure it does.
With the right multi-channel marketing approach that mixes both traditional and digital advertising efforts, automotive dealerships can expect to see four great outcomes:
- Increased awareness. Your dealership is not the only one your neighborhood has access to, but with effective, ongoing online marketing, your brand and dealership will be among the first that comes to mind when residents start thinking about their next vehicle.
- Authority. Consumers go to barbershops because they trust the barber to do the professional job they can’t. They go to dealerships because they want to talk with experts who know about vehicles. Part of our advertising strategy is to create quality content that positions your brand as a source of authority that consumers will seek out.
- Enhanced engagement. Consumers trust brands that answer their questions and appear eager to help them through the research and buying process. Most will actively avoid those businesses or sales reps they see as just interested in signing the deal. One of the most important and integral aspects of online marketing is the availability to engage with consumers easily and effectively via the use of tools like blogs and social media outlets.
Still not convinced online marketing is the way to go? Consider this: The average Facebook user spends 50 minutes each day on the site. That is nearly an hour spent on one social media site where you can easily and effectively spend your advertising dollars to increase your dealership’s name recognition and start engaging with the customers who are already on the path to a new car.
Don’t delay any longer. Get started on creating a robust online marketing strategy today by calling us directly at (630) 929-5200.