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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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How Dealerships Should Sell Cars to Generation Y

 

To sell cars to Generation Y, dealerships must understand the mind of a Millennial.  As a member of Generation Y, I’ll share with you my intimate knowledge on how you can best connect with younger customers.

These individuals, commonly known asGeneration Y or the Millennials, are still burdened with leaving their homes once in a while – to pick up more microwavable dinners, visit the local RedBox, or make the occasional human connection – but when it comes to car shopping, the majority of those born between 1979 and 1997 are increasingly likely to hunt for their next vehicle from the comfort of their computer.   A Study by Deloitte predicts that Gen Y will account for 40% of all automotive shoppers in 2012!  As online shopping becomes more standard and less novel, how can your website stand out to a generation that will soon encompass more than a third of your potential customers?
  • Don’t bother with traditional tactics.

Forrester Research estimates that by the time children turn 16, they will have witnessed over 6 million advertisements – a deluge of persuasion that makes the typical Gen-Yer extremely skeptical of high-pressure push marketing. Instead of focusing on sleek graphics and imitable testimonials, try to offer genuine content to build credibility.  Generate interest that causes your visitors to seek you out! Show off your sense of humor by creating a funny ad on your landing page, or make your customers feel close to you by sharing details about your interests and hobbies.

  • Embrace the use of online classifieds.

It’s no secret that sites like Craigslist and AutoTrader are valuable resources when looking for used cars online, and information-savvy young adults know the best ways to find deals! Don’t limit your offers solely to your own website; branch out and find new ways to showcase your used vehicles. Post some of your pre-owned listings on some of these classified sites to increase your exposure and compete with independent sellers.

  • Familiarize yourself with new technology.

The advent of texting and instant messaging fostered a generation of consumers that are more than familiar with keyboard communication. You can use similar technology to communicate with these consumers as they browse through your catalogs – adapt to the viral marketplace by offering services like live chat. You can build relationships, answer questions, and aid searches using a dedicated chat staff to interact with your visitors.

  • Don’t be afraid to try new things!
Though change is often painful, outdated tactics will not continue to capture the imagination of your younger customers.  However, Generation Y is not as young as most auto dealers would believe – In 2012 they will be buyers between the ages of 25 & 35. They are post collegiate aged young professionals/non-professionals in the workforce.  Dive into new territory, and leave negativity at the door. You will only see results if you put your full support behind new initiatives. Proctor and Gamble took a huge risk in 2010 by giving their Old Spice deodorant brand a complete makeover. Their strong, funny persona combined with their heavy use of social networking has yielded the monolithic P&G 20% of a multi-billion dollar deodorant market.

Your dealership can stay viable by implementing some of these tips.
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Tell us some of your ideas for connecting with the elusive Millennial Generation!

 

 

Dee Rawls
Absolutely the most important aspect of conversations about automotive internet is accessing the 'little box' Gen Y communicates through. Justin, we do a study with EEI-Inc which helps identify consumer sentiment among college and university students. Let me know if you would like to see samples from the last study, and I will send them along. You are on the spot, though with your remarks about the importance of this consumer audience.
Stephen Jackson
Dee - Thanks for the comment! I am the original author of the article, even though it was posted by Justin Braun, our blog manager. My mistake. I would love to see any hard consumer data you've collected. Please send it my way: stephen.jackson@activengage.com. Given your research, what advice can you share about connecting with Gen Y?

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