Autotalk Article January 2016
The Digital Dealer Marketing Landscape in 2016
It’s not hard to find information on what Digital Marketing will look like in 2016. Just jump on Google and search “Digital Marketing Trends 2016”. It seems like every man and their dog sits down at the end of each year and writes a think piece about next year’s marketing trends.
There is some interesting stuff to be found - even if most of it is more suited to bigger brands or markets. I’ll save you some time and summarise the general consensus – Social media through automated channel managers, SEO, SEM, Banner Ads Retargeting, Mobile sites, Content Marketing, Customer Apps, Big data and even more out there trends like “the internet of things”, Virtual Reality and Wearables are all identified as trends for 2016.
Yes, all of these things are cool, and many will trickle down to the automotive market in NZ in due course. However I’m going to go against the grain of many of these articles and really focus on going back to the basics of what will work in a retail automotive setting in this country in 2016.
If you have not already – GET YOURSELF A MOBILE FRIENDLY WEBSITE!!!!
2015 was the year that Google announced that more people began accessing web content on a mobile device than a standard desktop PC. For dealers hanging on to an old website you NEED to make changing over to a mobile adaptive/responsive site the first priority in 2016. It’s no longer a matter of personal preference – Google have introduced the “Mobilegeddon” algorithm which will ultimately phase out sites not optimised for mobile from search results. This will mean less customers coming to your website and less enquiry – a direct impact on your bottom line.
Content & Social Media – keep it tight and focused
The temptation is always more when it comes to social strategy, however for most car dealers in NZ it’s better to do the simple things right. List your new & used vehicles on Facebook, post Testimonials from new customers and promote sales and special offers. For the more advanced the visual mediums of YouTube and Instagram lend themselves perfectly to “car porn” – photos and videos of the most attractive or exciting vehicles you have in stock. If you don’t think you can maintain it – stick to Facebook.
Put away the shotgun - Old faithful Email Marketing still works!
A lot of marketers don’t think of email marketing as particularly “cutting-edge” or “sexy”. However, although many people don’t like email marketing it continues to be a really effective way of generating and converting leads. In dealer-land it’s an effective low cost means of reaching out to your prospects and customers and generally returns great ROI.
Automation to make your life easier
Sales Managers have a lot to manage in order to keep the dealership running smoothly and profitably. Automation can help by automatically emailing customers in sequence from enquiry to sale without relying on human intervention to ensure they receive the desired communication levels. A lot of reports can also be automated to email managers – allowing them to more easily keep track of dealership performance without having to actively hunt down the information.
Integration means double handling can be minimised
The days of a standalone DMS doing everything you need are gone (if they were ever there). There are numerous vendors who have products that can plug in and add value to your current systems. The less manual labour salespeople have to do the more likely they will use a tool, and the more time they can spend selling. The benefits of integration are huge and well worth any investment on the part of the dealership.
Manage what leads you do receive more effectively
Load all leads instead of only ones that “might” result in a sale. Reply to email leads quickly and with personality. Update the progress of your leads so you always understand how the big picture looks. Schedule future actions/follow-up whenever you work on a lead. Target those customers that have already contacted you as they incur no additional marketing costs. All of these things are easy to do and will help you get the most out of the leads you do get.
Matt Darby works for AutoPlay who spent a lot of time in 2015 bringing smart digital sales and marketing tools to kiwi dealerships. If you have any questions about AutoPlay’s philosophy on digital marketing and lead management give us a call on (09) 361 1505 or firstname.lastname@example.org
AutoPlay Sales Pipeline is a pre-sales lead management tool designed for dealerships, dealer groups and automakers