Buying a car is the second largest purchase most households will make. In fact, only buying a home is a bigger and more expensive buying decision. Is it any wonder that most prospective buyers take their time and really do their homework before they buy? For any dealership to excel in this very competitive business, they have to do their homework as well.
This means using everything at their disposal to reach out to those possible buyers. It can include everything from investing in software that defines what customers want to using an automotive call center to give that reach out a personal touch. But as we move more firmly into the age of Big Data, there are some tools that every dealership needs to have in his toolbox of marketing skills. Here are two we think can help an automotive dealership grow, reach new buyers and capture the loyalty of past customers as well.
Websites and Blogs
A recent article in Forbes highlighted how automotive customers are different in how they search for their ultimate purchase. As opposed to most retail, where customers touch and look at items in person but then often buy them online where they can look for better prices, auto buyers look online first. They will spend hours looking through websites of local dealerships, comparing prices and the features of various brands and models. Most of these buyers have an idea of where to start and what they may want to buy. They know if they want a luxury car, a hybrid or an inexpensive car as a second car. Each of these types of buyers have difference needs and are motivated by them.
A website needs to appeal to your target market. But to do this you first need to know who that might be. Once you have defined your demographic, your website needs to reflect their needs and give them as much information as possible on all the models you have to offer. Blogs that update visitors to current news in the industry as well as events and sales at the dealership can grow your visitor count and move up the sites popularity with Google. This in turn makes your site more visible to local cruisers of the web doing homework on their favorite model. So, make sure that you not only have a website, it is easy to navigate, intuitive to use and has plenty of information.
Social Media and Newsletters
While social media may be the darling of the web right now, they work hand in hand with email marketing such as newsletters. Social media sites such as Facebook are essential to maintaining a presence in the neighborhood. Targeted marketing campaigns on Facebook are some of the best bargains for online marketing and particularly effective with local specific demographics.
Hosting a sale for local high school students on your used car lot from trade-ins can be paired with promoting their fundraising car wash on your lot. These types of marketing campaigns will make your dealership a natural when it is time to buy that first car. These two types of marketing will connect you in new ways to your potential buyers and keep you top of mind when it is time to buy that next car.