Innovations in technology have transformed not just automotive marketing, but the entire industry. It's critical to know and understand how digital marketing solutions can and should be implemented for the auto industry, as well as how traditional media remains useful.
1. Get Personal
Your customer will most likely begin his or her car-buying research online. This is an ideal opportunity to take advantage of search retargeting, which places a piece of code into the browsers of customers who search for specific terms. Savvy media placement can deliver the matching make and model in ads that will appear in those customers' web searches or Facebook newsfeeds. The trick is to manage the data effectively.
2. Recognize the Big Picture
Consumers shopping for cars can be anywhere from age 16 to 76, and even beyond. That's a large group to market to, and it shows why it's so important to know your demographics.
The difference between marketing to baby boomers and marketing to millennials is not just a matter of digital versus traditional media. Despite stereotypes that suggest older generations have no interest in the digital space, baby boomers are quite active online. In fact, Digital Trends recently reported that Baby Boomers are 19 percent more likely to share Facebook content online.
Going digital offers numerous benefits, including the ability to track ROI, real-time ad updates, a low cost per impression, and the ability to target by location (geo-targeting) and specific demographics. But that certainly doesn't mean there's no room for traditional media.
3. Be Visible and Memorable
One of the drawbacks to online marketing is the difficulty individual dealers can have establishing a unique brand identity. At a certain point, most of your customers will have to come to your showroom to complete their purchases. The best way to build an image of your brick-and-mortar investment is through traditional media.
You want to take advantage of Internet platforms such as Autotrader, of course, but it's best to think of them as lead-generation tools. When you're selling there, you're providing a delivery service that does more for the website's brand than for your dealership. In order to track ROI, you'll want to create unique URLs using tools like Google's Campaign URL Builder.
4. Know When You Need a Partner
Smart automotive marketing efforts can nurture consumers from the start of their purchasing journey, delivering personalized experiences and, when handled correctly, personalized vehicles. But the best strategy is only as good as the data that feeds it, so be sure you have good data-management support on your team.