We've stood on a soapbox before about social media in relation to car dealers, and we also believe that online marketing is often missed out on in car dealer circles, but don't get the wrong idea. We're not telling car dealer owners that they shouldn't be using traditional marketing as well, just that they need to broaden their marketing scopes, or fall behind other dealers who are willing to take the risk and learn about this new online strategy that's exploding into marketing.
So, if online marketing is the way of the future, how do you do it effectively? Internet marketing requires ingenuity and innovation. This is especially true for car dealers. Online marketing sparks new ideas, and engages your customers more directly than TV and radio. We're saying that you should really commit to internet marketing alongside your other dealer marketing plans, because not only will it give you a larger audience as well as opportunities for customer involvement and therefore loyalty, but it will also allow you to explore new ideas. Your car dealer marketing team will change, and here's how.
1. They will have a more direct line to the customer, to take in suggestions or requests.
When the customer can get what they need from the experience, they are more likely to make a purchase. There is often a disconnect between customers and marketers. This is also true of many businesses within the car dealer industry. With your marketers interacting with your customer base via social media, and being able to effectively gauge their responses to different ads on social media, they will change and grow along with their strategies. This will encourage staff to think up new ways to connect to a customer base that was previously hard to reach. It allows them to collect new ideas. New ideas will in turn breathe new life into car dealers and take them in new marketing directions.
2. Custom loyalty programs, educational campaigns and other things make the customer feel valued, and give your marketers creative freedom.
Setting your marketers to create email campaigns designed to educate or greet customers, or to create a loyalty program better than anything that currently exists will challenge them. It will mean research, constant maintenance, and dedication to the success of their project, but the return is monumental. Customers feel that with these features, car dealers can prove that they value the customers' business as well as recognize their importance. Your marketers will have to find a way to communicate with those customers in a way that's conversational yet not unprofessional. They'll have to keep tabs on many subjects, and adjust their marketing accordingly, and they will have access to templates and other features that can make the emails interactive.
3. Take chances with your marketing.
Car dealers are brilliant salespeople. They just have a very specific formula, and many are unwilling to take risks. But the truth is that the marketing world is changing, and no risk means no great reward, either. Car dealers have to step up and let their marketing staff come to them with ideas that could be the next big thing. Connecting to customers, especially millenials, is getting harder. So take some marketing leaps of faith. Let people see that you're the car dealer for them because you're willing to try new things.
Millenials and their children are different, and so marketing approaches have to be different. That group will account for more than 40% of your market soon, so taking chances with your marketing now might just pay off. That's not to say that car dealers should rush into marketing gambles without weighing the good and the bad. There's nothing wrong with playing it safe. But marketing isn't something you can do well by standing still. In the words of Sir Ken Robinson, an English education expert, “If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original.” So get ready to try new things. And don't be afraid to try new marketing ideas. Just know that not every one will be a hit.