While some dealers benefited from record-breaking sales and profit margins in 2020 and into 2021, maximizing the efficiency and efficacy of your dealership’s marketing is as important today as ever.
New vehicle registrations reached a 10-year high in March, but auto sales progressively cooled in Q2. In combination with ongoing inventory shortages, new buyer expectations and diminished customer loyalty, maximizing your dealership marketing ROI is a critical step in securing both immediate and sustainable success.
In this blog post, we’ll share three calculated ways for dealerships to maximize their automotive marketing ROI, including:
- Looking past equity mining for solutions
- Getting proactive with your outreach strategy
- Offering a consistent customer experience
Looking Past Equity Mining for Solutions
While dealers have historically looked to equity mining tools to identify trade and buy-back opportunities, to compete in today’s market, dealers need to embrace modern marketing technology. As drivers hold on to their vehicles longer than ever amid inventory shortages and the competition to acquire those vehicles grows, standalone equity mining tools have progressively lost much of their value.
With equity mining tools focused solely on existing customers in a position to trade and likely leaving similar opportunities on the table, maximizing your dealership marketing ROI requires dealers to take a more comprehensive approach. By leveraging modern marketing tools that integrate with a dealership’s DMS and CRM plus high-quality, third-party data, dealers are empowered to identify opportunities across their loyalty, service and conquest portfolios.
Combining a variety of factors motivating a buyer’s potential purchase including finances, lifestyle information and social media insights with sales indicators like expiring warranties or lease mileage, these tools paint a clearer picture of all the sales and acquisition opportunities in your market while streamlining the process of getting to know prospects.
Get Proactive with your Inventory Outreach Strategy
Amid chip shortages and supply chain challenges delaying production and new vehicle deliveries, proactive dealers are leveraging dealership marketing technology to stay ahead of their customers and competition.
By identifying and engaging prospective customers preparing to return to market – preferably in the next three months – dealers are empowered to meet prospects where they are in their buying journey. Some dealers have taken this approach one step further by mapping prospective buyers to their existing and incoming inventory to efficiently market and sell in-bound units.
This strategy simultaneously maximizes your ability to spend marketing dollars on acquiring vehicles and selling inventory by automatically identifying and engaging their best prospects for proactive vehicle acquisition opportunities.
While in the past, maintaining this sort of constant state of inventory turnover may have required used car managers and sales teams to manually review leads, modern tools like Market EyeQ have largely automated this process, empowering dealers to maximize the impact and efficiency of their efforts – and generate up to 15 incremental sales each month.
Offer a Consistent Customer Experience
At its core, maximizing the ROI of your dealership marketing means offering prospective customers the path of least resistance – regardless of which channel their journey takes.
In a 2020 study by IHS Markit, 64% of consumers who bought a car online cited convenience as the primary reason. As online-only retailers gain market share, dealers have the unique opportunity to offer customers the convenience they crave while building trust with buyers by offering a guided, consistent experience.
Building rapport from that first customer touchpoint means starting with transparent and concise messaging that speaks to each individual buyer. This means more than offering hassle-free pricing or avoiding bait-and-switch offers. Ensure every step of the buyer journey reflects your dealership’s internal culture and brand promise while being driven by the wants and needs of your customer.
While considering your messaging, think of the buying journey from your customer’s perspective to create and send impactful messaging. This process starts with selecting the most effective communication channel to build trust with buyers and keep them engaged. It’s critical to engage customers in their preferred communications methods – and that your engagement consistently respects those wishes and preferences.
Equally critical is the consistency of your messaging across every channel you choose to utilize, from newspapers to billboards to Facebook and beyond. Your dealership messaging should always be clear, concise and consistent, including up-to-date information on your available and inbound inventory.
While this year’s record-setting figures may spur some dealers to put their marketing into “maintenance mode,” slowing sales in the second half of the year and increased competition for buyers ultimately makes this a shortsighted approach.
By leveraging comprehensive data mining technology to take a proactive approach to identifying prospects and maintaining consistent customer contact, dealers are empowered to improve maximize their marketing ROI and secure sustainable success.