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It's the Best Time of Year to Buy a Car: How Can Auto Dealers Stand Out?

Posted by Maddie Thomas on December 6, 2018 at 2:50 PM

As customers prepare to spend holiday bonuses, now's the time to launch your most successful automotive marketing tactics. Why? December is the best time of year to buy a car — and meet year-end sales goals. 

Automotive Consumer Buying Trends

Deloitte's 2018 Global Automotive Consumer Study explored vehicle purchasing behaviors. A top finding was interest in technology, both related to features and the auto buying process. At the forefront are customers asking dealers about alternative powertrains, including electric, hybrid and autonomous, self-driving vehicles.

When shopping for a new ride, the report said customers want to go online to view inventory, compare prices and read reviews, not visit a showroom. And, surprisingly, low prices aren't a driving factor. The customer experience on the dealer website has a significant impact on decision-making, second only to the opinions of friends and family. So, let's make those moments of online engagement incredible.

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Topics: Automotive, Seasonal Marketing

How to Calculate Your Automotive Advertising Budget

Posted by Codee Fuquay on May 31, 2018 at 3:20 PM

If statistics are any indication, your automotive advertising budget probably isn't getting any lower. According to Statista, ad spend by auto dealers rose from $566 million in 2010 to $2.4 billion in 2017.

That's a sizable increase, with the steepest hike occurring between 2015 and 2016. One likely reason car dealers are spending more on ads is that they've seen firsthand that paid tactics can increase sales, and they've also probably observed changing customer behaviors.

Getting Started

Over the last decade, more people have begun to research and shop for big purchases online — even cars. Keeping up with the trend means upping the ante on your ads, but how do you set an automotive advertising budget that doesn't cut into your profit margin?

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Topics: Automotive

Automotive Advertising Fails: Lessons Dealerships Can Learn from Big Brand Flubs

Posted by Carlye Creel on April 5, 2018 at 1:18 PM

If it seems like every other commercial you see is advertising a car, it's not just your imagination. The automotive industry is the No. 1 category in advertising spend, with automakers comprising nearly one-fifth of AdAge's list of the world's largest advertisers.

But while they may be prolific, it doesn't mean they always get it right.

As a car dealership, there's plenty you can learn from automotive advertising fails. While automakers can spend several million dollars on PR efforts to bail themselves out after a massive marketing blunder, the same mistake could permanently destroy the reputation of a smaller business.

Here are two important lessons local dealerships can learn from major automotive fails:

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Topics: Automotive

Seasonal Automotive Marketing Best Practices: Part 2

Posted by Ashley Williams on February 7, 2018 at 2:37 PM

Seasonal automotive marketing that isn't aimed directly at car sales usually isn't a priority. However, by leveraging seasonal trends and educating car owners, you can increase business for your service department. Stay top-of-mind with customers and drive traffic to your service department by reminding them of changing service needs that match the seasons.

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Topics: Automotive

Seasonal Automotive Marketing Best Practices: Part 1

Posted by Ashley Williams on February 5, 2018 at 11:57 AM

For most car dealers, seasonal automotive marketing that isn’t aimed directly at car sales usually isn't a priority. However, tapping in to seasonal trends and needs is a great way to increase business for your service department. You can stay top-of-mind with your customers and encourage them to visit your service department by reminding them of changing service needs that match the seasons. In this 2-part series, we’ll outline the right solutions to share your message and then provide ideas to reach your customers with seasonal automotive maintenance promotions that's helpful to them — and profitable for you.

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Topics: Automotive

How are Disruptive Web Users Influencing the Automotive Industry?

Posted by Pete Stafford on January 5, 2018 at 10:48 AM

Millennials' preferences and online habits have affected multiple industries in recent years, but even these disruptive web users will need to buy a car at some point. And you'd better believe that when they do, they're going to do their homework first.

J.D. Power's U.S. New Autoshopper Study showed that customers who use services like Uber, Airbnb and Netflix — considered "disruptive web users" for their preference of web-based platforms over traditional services — tend to spend significantly more time researching cars when shopping. This audience is bigger than you may think, accounting for about 33 percent of Generation Y and 18 percent of Generation X, as well as 6 percent of Boomers and those older than them. Before making a purchase, these individuals visit as many as 12 websites, whereas traditional shoppers typically visit nine.

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Topics: Automotive, Digital Marketing Strategy

How a Vehicle Detail Page Can Influence Car Shoppers

Posted by Theodore Pearsall on December 20, 2017 at 10:56 AM

The automotive industry flaunts some of the best marketing tactics: glowing testimonials, virtual ride-alongs, creative sales campaigns and breathtaking photography.

And it all works — 88 million vehicles were sold in 2016, which was an increase of 4.8 percent over the previous year, according to the 2017 Automotive Trends report from Strategy&. But when it comes down to signing a purchase agreement, it's clear that customers want to know the details of the car they plan to buy.

That's where a vehicle detail page (VDP) comes into play. An overview of a popular make and model isn't good enough. It's time to get specific about individual vehicles for sale.

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Topics: Automotive, Digital Marketing Strategy

How Online Video Advertising Boosts Car Sales

Posted by Chris Finan on May 8, 2017 at 10:05 AM

Car lots have grown quieter in the past decade. As any dealership owner can testify, salespeople used to spend their Saturdays selling vehicle after vehicle. And yet, car sales are up: Americans purchased more than 17.5 million cars and trucks in 2016, according to a report from Autodata and reported on by the Los Angeles Times. This was a new record for an industry that's experienced seven years of steady growth.

How are successful dealers tapping into this thriving market? The answer is online video advertising. But why do consumers love videos? And which types of videos are most likely to drive shoppers to buy?

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Topics: Video Advertising, Automotive

4 Tips to Boost Your Automotive Marketing

Posted by Jenny Sutton on November 21, 2016 at 1:03 PM

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.

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Topics: Automotive

Auto Dealer Marketing in the Digital Age — a Micro-Revolution

Posted by Brooke Moody on August 3, 2016 at 11:31 AM

When it comes to auto dealer marketing, these days, the first rule is not to talk about the dealership. According to a new study from Google, a customer can make as many as 900 digital interactions in the lead-up to purchase. By comparison, the same customer will only visit two dealers in the process.

This doesn't represent an entirely new way of doing business. Dealerships have long known that customers can take months to process a car-buying decision. But with the ease of information readily available on mobile, consumers are now researching while standing in line at the grocery store, waiting to pick up their kids or over lunch. Getting those customers in the door is a matter of how you interact with them in the micro-moments during the path to purchase.

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Topics: Integrated Marketing, Local Listings Management, Mobile Optimization and Advertising, Video Advertising, Content Marketing, Automotive

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