Across every industry, the failure to commit to digital transformation is costing companies their ability to thrive. It’s no different in the automotive industry. If you’re still relying solely on traditional marketing methods, like television and radio advertising and direct mail, you are likely missing out on sales opportunities that come with digital marketing. There are several areas where traditional marketing alone can’t match what you can do with digital:
Personalization: It used to be that stopping by your lot was the first step in the buy cycle. A customer would determine that it was time for a new car and they’d swing by a couple of dealerships for browsing and test driving. Now, they’ve likely done hours of research online before coming by to see a car in person. They have a good idea of what they like, what they want and what they are willing to pay for it.
With digital marketing, you can make personalization a priority. Once a potential customer has been to your site and browsed through your inventory, you can continue to engage that potential customer with pop-ads, emails about a promotion on the minivan line they were considering and suggestions for other models or packages they might be interested in.
You should know, too, that your competitors are already using this technology. They know what your customers are shopping for, and they’re out competing with you in a highly personalized way.
Automation: In many cases, your commitment to customer service will demand a personal conversation. However, in many steps of the buy cycle, you can automate responses and keep your customer engaged. For instance, if they visit your site and browse through your SUVs, you can generate a follow-up email that offers a perk for coming in to test drive or a link to an article about the most fuel-efficient SUVs on the market.
Mobile access: Not only are your customers shopping online, but they are likely to be doing it from their smartphone. If your website isn’t designed to be user-friendly for mobile, this is an investment you need to make. Mobile access is one of the technologies that will separate the dealerships that are capturing the market and those that are not Consider this: in 2016, StatCounter reported that for the first time, online activity via mobile devices surpassed online activity via desktop computers in a single month.
Embracing digital marketing isn’t just a good idea; it’s a necessary step to keep pace with your competitors and capture the attention of your target customer.