15 years ago, the majority of marketing was based in print, radio, and television marketing. While trends are moving faster than the speed of light toward digital EVERYTHING, the auto industry is one that has been slow to catch up. If you’re considering how you can implement digital marketing, and whether or not the traditional marketing streams are still relevant, this blog is for you.
According to an Autotrader survey, customers spend around 67% of the car buying process researching and shopping around online, with an estimated 15% of their time spent within the doors of the dealership. This means that that majority of their time is spent using a tool that, if you don’t catch their attention with, means they’ll miss you completely. If the reality is that most Americans prefer (or at least entertain the idea of) doing the bulk of their shopping online, it means having a web presence is an imperative in today’s world. Further, with the increase of social media use (15% of online consumers report having made online purchase via a social media lead!), it’s important to have a social media presence, and to keep it current with your latest deals, detailed inventory, and other information that helps your followers stay informed and connected to you. Incredible inventory photos (like this) with the details your clients want to see (of your actual inventory!) will go a long way in getting your customers off their device and into your doors to see that vehicle in-person.
This isn’t to say that print media doesn’t have it’s time and place. Consider your demographic (ideal client, or actual client). If they’re older, they may not do the social media (or internet!) thing at all, and you don’t want to shut out this particular group of potential customers. If your primary selling target is younger folks, consider that over 50% of auto inquiries are completed via your customer’s mobile phone, and that they’re shopping and checking you out long before you ever hear from them. However, the truth is that display ads can and do influence customers of all ages about 45% of the time, so using display ads digitally and in real-time is helpful if it contains relevant and specific information. The value of using these methods digitally is in the ability to ultimately drive traffic right back to your website, with all those incredible photos and details. When this happens, and your page contains all of the details of the particular model they’re looking for, you can know that visually compelling, well-merchandised VDPs sell their inventory 65% faster than those with inferior photos and details. All of what you offer to your potential customers can be personalized online in a way that is impossible to do with traditional marketing methods, and personalization matters in our current cultural climate more than ever. We’re a highly individualized society, and your customers are less likely to engage with your thoughtful marketing content if it doesn’t pertain to them!
We haven’t even touched on the value of incorporating video into your digital marketing strategy, which we’ll cover in future blog topics. But the takeaway is this: print marketing is not antiquated, but it shouldn’t be your only (or even primary) marketing tool. Digital marketing is everything in today’s climate, and you don’t want to miss out on it.