Car dealerships benefit significantly from digital marketing, but the sheer range of strategies, channels and technology through which to harness it all usually results in external agencies being called upon.
Unfortunately, this approach can significantly dent a dealership’s profitability, and while there’s definitely a place for marketing agencies in the automotive sector, being self-sufficient is a sure-fire way to lower your overheads.
To do this, you need software that will support your own efforts in the following areas:
Demystifying Google AdWords
Google’s advertising platform remains one of the most effective when it comes to targeting potential car buyers at every stage of the buying process.
Mastering it has always been tricky, but if you have access to a marketing platform that gives you complete control over budget setting, campaign duration and the price you’ll pay for each click, you no longer need to be an AdWords expert to make the most of it.
Such platforms strip away the complexities from AdWords and provide dealerships with only the tools they need to reach the right audience, cost-effectively.
Email: Putting your customer data to good use
You’re probably already collecting email addresses and other data of both prospective buyers and those who have purchased a car, so why not put them to good use? Email marketing doesn’t necessarily require external assistance if you have that all-important data to hand.
You don’t need a dedicated email marketing tool either – providing you’ve chosen a dealership marketing platform that enables your marketing team to import customer data and create personalised, attention-grabbing emails to engage with customers during every step of their buying journey.
Ideally, you should be able to group your email contacts based on demographic data such as age and zip code, combined with vehicle data including model, age and key automotive dates such as last service date, current mileage or lease expiry.
What’s more, with access to reports on click-through rates and open statistics, you’ll have all the insight required to tweak and improve your campaigns. Finally, to maximize your conversion potential, all new leads generated via email should be automatically assigned to your Cloud CRM for further processing.
Testing the water with Facebook Ads
Facebook offers a wealth of data for savvy marketers, and you don’t have to be an expert to use it effectively as a car dealership.
Just like AdWords, if you have access to a single platform that removes the complexities and features from Facebook Ads that you simply don’t need, you’ll be able to tightly define an audience of car or service buyers to which you can publish engaging social ads. What’s more, location and demographical data will ensure you don’t waste a penny targeting people who are unlikely to become customers.
Developing a personalised offering with SMS
SMS may well be one of the oldest forms of communication in the digital age, but it remains one of the most personal.
If you can use your dealership platform to send personalised SMS messages that include customer names and precise details about the cars they’re interested in or the servicing they’re due, you’ll be nurturing a long-lasting relationship entirely by yourself and with no other investment than your time.
And finally: taking advantage of regular mail
Traditional mail still plays a big role in marketing. In a world of constant digital communication, it’s satisfyingly traditional and, as a result, highly engaging when done properly.
Providing your marketing software enables you to create personalised paper documents and import postal office reports, you’ll be able to take advantage of regular mail by sending out offers, quotes and service reminders that create a customer experience which will live long in the memory.