While location is still the cornerstone of most automotive dealerships, marketing comes a pretty close second. Yes, the ideas on what constitutes marketing does change from decade to decade, including what the latest and greatest format should be. When radio was king, it was also the go-to for most dealerships and used by sponsoring popular radio plays.
With the advent of television, auto dealerships became famous for stunts such as showing off exotic pets on late night television spots. Today the internet is the most important marketing tool any dealership can use. When used in conjunction with a well-run automotive call center to handle inquires generated by smart online marketing, these online tools are golden.
Mobile Friendly Websites
Today close to a third of all first visits to a website happens on a smartphone. This means that your website has to be formatted to be seen and optimized for viewing on a mobile phone if you want to capture that demographic.
Your website needs to work across a wide range of devices including desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. Even if you use social media marketing and newsletters, you still need that ultimate website to be optimized for visitors from those links to your site, no matter how they are viewing it.
Email Marketing is Still King
While social media may be the darling of the internet, email and newsletters in particular are still the most effective marketing tool for your dealership. But don’t leave that newsletter static, make it interactive with important information that potential customers need and links to different parts of your website where that information lives.
Also, make sure that your email marketing program includes an autoresponder to capture those casual readers who might be looking for something specific. It will also give your salespeople leads for possible onsite visits.
Lead Generations with Social Media
Used with intelligence, social media can be a powerful lead generation tool. Training your sales staff to monitor Twitter and Facebook is a key part of this sales tool. If locals are discussing cars on Twitter, you should be able to track those conversations and respond to them by using hashtag searches.
Someone who is new to the area and discussing their current search for a van could be turned into a buyer with the right encouragement online. Social media isn’t just a stagnant place to post your latest models. It should be an interactive space to have important conversations with potential customers.
Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse
On all of these platforms, don’t forget that you need to have something to offer. This can mean something as simple as letting them know that you offer used cars for those with tight budgets or if you have a sale of last year’s models.
Make sure that all offers are customized so that sales channel tracking will help you to know what offers generate interest. Coupons are still popular, though they are often a digital version and should include a code that helps you to identify the sales channel they were seeing when prospective buyers are turned into customers with various offerings.