Dealership spray-and-pray marketing may have lost its effectiveness, but not because the logic was faulty. It goes something like this: If I get my dealership’s name out as far as possible, as loudly as possible, vehicle shoppers will think of us when they’re ready to buy.
Inflatable wavy guys, plastic keys in the mail, and TV spots sometimes did the trick.
Now that the average American spends more time viewing screens than sleeping, it’s critical to reach them online – which is often on their phones. Individual smartphone average usage per day passed the 3-hour mark for the first time last year.
The question is, how do you stand out?
Here are three ways (and a bonus tip!) to connect with your customers in today’s short-attention-span world and nurture positive experiences with your dealership.
OK, maybe “warm fuzzies” is going a bit far, but your customers do want to feel known by you.
Personalization starts with timing. Here’s where data plays a key role, keeping you informed of the best time to reach out to each customer.
Do so using your customer’s name, whether in an email, a text, a call, or a digital ad. Then mention something about their current vehicle, like their payment, how many payments they have left, or their interest rate. They’ll recognize that this conversation pertains directly to them, which helps get their attention.
Then, show them that you were getting their attention for a reason! Offer them something better than what they have now. Something you’re pretty sure they’d like, based on what your data shows.
But don’t just sell to them. Which brings us to the next thing you can do …
Rather than only going to your customers with upgrade offers, give them recall reminders, service offers, even the old “happy birthday/anniversary” message (just don’t make that your only message!).
With a marketing tool that merges with your real-time data mining, like Audience Builder by AutoAlert, you’ll stay on top of unique and varied opportunities for your customers.
Audience Builder allows your team to use simple filters to sift through your customers and their data to match their needs with your dealership’s needs.
For example, if you’re in need of a particular preowned vehicle, see which customers have one now, and who among them is likely ready to trade. Or, maybe it’s a good time to reach out to customers with recalls who live within a certain radius of your dealership, or to those who haven’t been in service in the last year.
Messages from Audience Builder campaigns are always personalized, making engagement more likely. You’re alerted whenever a customer does engage, which can trigger the next task assigned to your team – providing a seamless, easy customer experience. Which brings us to the next tip.
Make taking an action easy for them, with real offers, real incentives, real everything.
Online buying has recently reached all-time highs, so you might consider offering a digital retailing solution.
There are other things you can do to simplify their experience. How about test drives delivered? Or pick-up and drop-off services?
One of the best things you can do is to have processes in place so that no customer falls through the cracks – online or at your store – especially once they’ve engaged. Check out how AutoAlert’s Activate makes it easy.
What are people doing while spending more time online and on mobile? Watching videos! Over 80 percent of all internet consumption today is video, and just over half a billion people watch videos on Facebook every day (source).
For a proven shortcut, AutoAlert’s video marketing is OEM-approved and totally personalized. It’s also shown to increase your click-through rate by 4.5 times when included in your email campaigns, which Audience Builder can do for you.
Today’s car buyers are willing to drive dozens, even hundreds, of miles for their second-biggest purchase behind home-buying. Plus, more dealerships are willing to deliver vehicles to homes and offices.
Offer your customers memorable experiences through personalization, expanded sales and service opportunities, and an overall easy interaction with your dealership and you’ll stand apart!
Audience Builder by AutoAlert makes it easy to match your customers’ needs with your dealership goals every day, through messages that are personalized, timely, and transparent.
Learn more with a quick demo – schedule yours here.
“Data, when used effectively and appropriately, makes every decision more informed. Most organizations maintain a wealth of customer data that could be used to support a personalization solution. This includes CRM, promotional, email, and third-party data that can help to paint a 360-degree view of an individual customer. But unfortunately, most of this data is silo’d and disjoined. To offer transformational personalized experiences, organizations need to see all data points related to different customer journeys in a single pane, store data in open formats, break down data silos, and run analytics or machine learning to use the data to get actionable insights. To deliver the right experience to the right customer at the right time, organizations must go beyond basic customer information—capturing and incorporating behavioral data in real time and at scale.”
– June 2021 Forbes article