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Julia Manoukian


February 3, 2018

7 Stats That Will Make You Rethink Your Auto Marketing Strategy This Year

Julia Manoukian

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Automotive marketing technology provides many ways to solve the roadblocks that stand between you and the sale, whether you want to improve the experience for buyers or ensure that you're not dropping the ball on prospects. These seven stats make a strong case for developing your current campaigns with the help of technology that has a transformative impact on these activities.

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1. Phone Calls and Manual Emails Remain Top Communication Channels

Despite the expansion of communication channels, phone calls and manual emails still hold on to the top two spots for the car sales team. Due to the complexity of the car buying process and the amount of money it costs consumers, it makes sense that they feel most comfortable with these two touchpoints.

However, these one-to-one conversations can be time-consuming for a dealership that wants to sort through leads efficiently. Machine learning and other AI technology can guide the sales team into qualifying potential customers and discovering their needs early on in the process.

2. 40 Percent of Dealers Struggle with Prospecting the Most

Finding new leads is a difficult prospect for many dealerships. A healthy lead pipeline is essential to growing the dealership and improving year-over-year revenue.

Your automotive marketing strategy needs to incorporate technology that can streamline this process by analyzing the best customer demographics based on your current customer base, segmenting leads to better deliver a customized experience and optimizing the follow-up process to speed up response times.

3. 28 Percent of Dealers Underutilize Their Customer Relationship Management Solutions

The customer relationship management tool sits at the core of the automotive marketing strategy. You build up a profile of the lead over time based on their interactions with the dealership, the content they consume, the emails they look at and even their social media activities.

Too many dealerships fail to leverage their CRM appropriately, whether that's due to a lack of training in the tool's capacities or relying on an outdated solution.

4. 61 Percent of New Car Buyers Walk-in as the First Touchpoint

You don't get a chance to interact with a buyer until after they do their own research and walk through the door. If your automotive marketing tools don't account for this type of journey, then you're going to be poorly suited for serving their needs.

Look for ways to improve their initial live experience by incorporating technology, such as a tablet that gives them the opportunity to easily learn about your car models or a process that reduces the chance that they feel pressured or uncomfortable.

5. 56 Percent of Millennials Would Rather Clean Than Go to a Dealership

Speaking of pressure, the millennial car buying demographic especially dislikes live automotive experiences. They might prefer to do all their shopping online, but that's not feasible for most car sales. Your live experience needs to give them a reason to overcome their reluctance. They're technology-forward, so improving time-consuming parts of the process such as going over car features or comparing vehicles to one another will be helpful.

You also want to ensure that the rest of the process goes as well as the marketing campaigns that bring them in the door. For example, you're not going to have a great reputation among this demographic if they have to sit through a frustrating financing or contract signing experience.

6. 54 Percent of Car Buyers Would Pay More for a Better Buying Experience

Car buyers might want to get the best price possible when they decide to make a purchase decision, but they're willing to go above this number if it means that they'll have an enjoyable experience along the way.

Some ways to improve this process includes being helpful and responsive with useful content, following up promptly to communication, giving them a personalized live experience when they come to look at vehicles and providing them with the tools they need to make the best decision.

7. An Omnichannel Customer Experience Leads to $263 Billion in Revenue and Savings

Car buyers spend a lot of time moving through various channels and using different devices to access them. If they find that they have to repeat information every time they contact the dealership or the experience is vastly different between channels, they're going to get frustrated.

You don't want inconsistency and frustration to cost you customers. Your automotive marketing campaigns should consider the online and live experience, the way the leads get handed off between touch points and ways to improve the process. Data analytics gives you insights into the performance of your campaigns and the way each channel can complement the others. Over the next 10 years, the automotive industry will get $263 billion from this improved experience from direct revenue and efficiency savings.

Your customers have a much different buyer's journey today than they did 10 or 20 years ago. Your automotive marketing campaigns should leverage the right technology to give them the experience that they've come to expect as well as offer better support for your sales and marketing activities. The right mix depends on your target demographic, the size of your dealership and your technology budget, but even a small investment can lead to a big return.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Digital Auto Show Best Practices [Checklist]

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