2015 is looking to set records! What are you doing to maximize your sales?
No, you’re not imaging it, that dealership down the street IS advertising more and… they seem to be moving more cars than ever! So much so that you’re thinking “Are they eating into my automotive sales?”
Statistics don’t lie. In fact, according to Automotive News, automakers in the US are on pace to sell 17 million new cars and trucks in 2015 – the highest since 2000 when the record was set. This forecast has many dealerships clamoring to attract new business, as it seems that consumers are ready to buy.
Thus begging the question “What steps are you taking to bring auto intenders onto your lot versus the competition?”
Many dealerships start with advertising, as it is arguably one of the fastest ways to connect with prospective consumers. But with so many options today to do so, where should you focus? And – more importantly – where can you do better than your competition?
Paid search (like Google, Bing or Yahoo text ads) is a viable way to target consumers in search of dealerships and even specific makes and models of vehicles. Having a presence on Google, and other search engines, can help to drive traffic to your site as well as physical traffic to your dealership. However, it’s no secret that the paid search landscape, particularly in automotive sales, is saturated in most markets. Rising CPC’s are forcing many dealerships to explore other marketing channels.
Pros: It’s cost effective and you can turn up or down your budget however you want. Additionally, almost everyone uses a search engine.
Cons: This may not work well for used cars that are not of your dealership’s primary brand. While this may drive traffic to your website, it may not produce the effective lead generation results you’re looking for or make you more competitive.
Paid social advertising is yet another area to consider. With millions of Facebook and Twitter users worldwide, and counting, social media offers a unique advertising opportunity. Facebook, Twitter, and other leading social channels have developed a wide assortment of ad units that enable dealerships to target hyper-specific demographics in any given geographic area.
Pros: You can target your audience extremely well as people tend to fill out their demographics on places like Facebook. Looking for families with 2.5 kids and a dog? Social media will allow you to get to those people and offer a crossover, SUV or minivan.
Cons: Extreme targeting can be a double-edged sword. On one hand you can finely target, on the other, you’ll have to finely target EVERYONE. This means someone at your dealership will eventually have to segment all aspects of your inventory to different audience segments on Facebook. The more likely scenario is that your Internet Marketing Manager will make only a few segments and promote generically – which completely negates the targeting advantages that Social Media provides you.
Dynamic Inventory Display Ads
I’m not talking about the banner ads you see for the latest eBook (which reminds me, you should download ours if you want to run these correctly), I’m talking about the ads you see that show actual dealership’s inventory. Dynamic inventory display advertising promotes vehicles that you have in your inventory in places that prospective buyers are consuming content (like car blogs, review sites, etc.). What type of vehicle gets promoted is determined by the person’s browsing behavior.
Pros: The biggest competitive advantage is that the inventory that is promoted to the auto intender is based on their behavior. Additionally, as these are inventory ads and not list ads, they can drive the auto intender directly to the dealership’s VDP. When done correctly, traffic from this ad type produces significantly higher quality site visits.
Cons: Unlike other types of advertising, Dynamic display advertising is a relatively new channel and not very many people know how to run it correctly. Novices that run these types of advertisement may not produce the results you are looking for – or worse misrepresent this channel as ineffective. You should do your research on trusted vendors regarding dynamic inventory display advertising.
If you’re looking to be one of the many dealerships that set records in 2015, now is the time to act. Hopefully this article will help you beat out your competition.
Make sure you beat your competition! Try the tips from some of these recent posts:
By Ian Cruickshank