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Aimi Gundersen

Aimi Gundersen Project Manager

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Enough With the Windsocks. It's 2015.

I am tired of people talking about how digital media is becoming a presence and how it needs to incorporated it into automotive marketing. Truly--how many dealerships are NOT using some form of social media, digital advertising, or marketing to drive people online and on-lot? We are past the point of why and moving into the thick of how.

How to do it well.

How to do it right.

 It is 2015--how are you reaching out to your customers? If you are relying on a giant, flapping windsock, you may want to rethink your dealership marketing strategy.

You know what I am talking about--the one that flaps in the wind and steals your attention from the road as you are driving down the street. That windsock has taken on a new digital life--one that is just as distracting and may not drive as many customers to your site and lot as you would think.

Here Are The Digital Equivalents of the Giant Windsock:

The Loud/Messy/Distracting Website

Have you visited your dealership page lately? Not as an administrator or an editor, but as a customer? You need to. Right now. Some may be happily surprised with the look, the information, and the sound.

Rock on to you.

Those of you who are horrified, you need to fix this now.

Clean Up your Website

According to a McKinsey Report, the average buyer visits 1.6 dealerships before purchase, which is from 10 years ago when buyers visited an average of 5.  You need to make sure that your digital presence is as impressive, informative, and engaging as your face to face presence.

  • Get rid of the multiple videos that start all at once on the site.
  • Get rid of the sound effects as you scroll over an item.
  • Get rid of the banners that continue to float all over the page--even after the customer has closed them out.

These distractions will frustrate your potential customer more than guide them to your dealership. Take a moment and do a little product research. See what others are doing. And then go back to your page, get rid of the annoying elements, clean up your page.

There is something to be said for a little white space.

Add Relevant Content

Buyers are more educated than ever before because they have all the information in the world at their fingertips.  Your digital presence needs to give them something more--something extra that lets them know you are the industry leader and the professionals in the know. Whether that be on your site, your facebook, your instagram, your twitter--whatever medium has your name attached to it--you need to add value.

You can find good content and repost it, or you can curate your own content-- or have a mix of both (which is what I suggest).

Here are some amazing sites that helped me get started with content curation and original blogs:

  • ActiveEngage: Blog Hacks to Help With Your Dealership

  • Dealer Communications:10 Indispensable Steps to Writing a Great Blog Post

  • Market Punch: Ultimate Blogger Resource Pack

  • Kruse Control: Social Selling for Beginners: 10 Actions to look like an expert.

These sites have original, understandable, and actionable steps to help move you forward in your strides to become relevant in the digital dealership space.

Reminder of Why Digital is More Important Than You Think

  • 100 percent of smartphone owners surveyed say they used their device to perform some sort of car-shopping activity, typically for vehicle and pricing information.

  • Only 58 percent of respondents say they test-drove a vehicle before they made their most recent purchase. The majority of the decision making process is done via internet.

  • 85% of auto consumers turn to mobile for more information after seeing ads for vehicles on other media channels. 

  • 1.6 dealerships. That is how many consumers are visiting before they purchase. Will it be yours?


TakeAway:

Meet your customers where they are. The majority are online.  And most will make decisions well before they ever set foot on your dealership showroom.

The key is to keep your digital presence current, relevant to customer need, and real.

 References:

http://www.inmobi.com/blog/2014/05/23/us-auto-shoppers-an-infographic

http://www.edmunds.com/car-news/2014-car-shopping-trends-report-offers-insights-into-consumer-behavior.html

McKinsey Innovation Report http://www.mckinsey.com/client_service/automotive_and_assembly/latest_thinking 

 

Aimi Gundersen is an Automotive Lead Specialists, Blogger, Speaker, Educator, and a Project Manager for BetterCarPeople. Aimi has her masters in communications and her doctorate in Higher Education and Adult Learning. Her life is dedicated to making people smarter, stronger, and more efficient in any capacity of work. Contact her at aimi.gundersen@bettercarpeople.com or connect with her on LinkedIn.

Megan Barto
Great post - I like to enlist my friends who don't work in the auto industry to look at my website & let me know what they think. Their brutal, honest opinion - it's a great way to get out-side of industry thoughts!
Aimi Gundersen
Megan--that is a great approach! We see things with the "curse of knowledge" and forget to really see what our customers are dealing with.

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