Fact: conquest auto sales help dealers hit sales targets at the end of the month. That’s never been truer than right now, as the unprecedented disruptions to new and used vehicle supply and to consumer demand have dealers scrambling to identify and connect with every possible quality prospect they can find.
However, conquest auto sales are a double-edged sword. Just as you’re trying to conquest your competitors’ customers, they’re doing the same to you. There are a lot of nuances to consider, but with the right conquest marketing strategy, there is tremendous opportunity for conquest sales – beyond hitting end-of-month numbers.
In this blog post, we discuss:
– Identifying and attracting “nomadic” car shoppers
– What the changing used car marketplace means for conquest opportunities
– Connecting the dealership service drive to the showroom floor
– Turning conquest customers into loyal customers
Creating a Home for the Nomadic Shopper
“Nomadic” consumers are car shoppers who have no meaningful brand or dealer loyalty and jump from brand to brand when buying a car. Even with brand loyalty at an all-time high, these nomadic consumers are still a powerful force in the marketplace. According to data from IHS Markit, 9 million nomadic households will be in-market for a new car in 2020 – more than brand loyalist and “super-loyalist” households combined.
This is why knowing the unique car buying factors that drive nomadic buyers’ car buying decisions is critical. In general, nomadic shoppers are heavily price-sensitive, which means they are a critical audience for leveraging your OEM incentives. This is where analytics-driven predictive conquest marketing is an incredibly powerful tool, thanks to its ability to factor in the specific offers your dealership has available and identify the consumers most likely to respond to what you have to offer at any given time.
Using the Used Car Marketplace for Conquest
The massive changes in the used car marketplace have an impact on both new and used conquest auto sales. Even before Hertz filed for bankruptcy and increased the likelihood it would sell off more of its fleet, auto rental companies and other major fleets were going through an unprecedented defleeting that flooded the used car marketplace. As a result, J.D. Power predicts that used vehicle prices could drop by 7% before recovering this summer, depending on what happens with the broader economy.
But with an increase in supply comes a potential increase in demand. Tens of millions of American households have experienced unemployment during the COVID-19 crisis, with almost 41 million unemployment claims filed across the country. While almost all these job losses are expected to be temporary, the combination of economic uncertainty and the supply disruptions to OEM new vehicle manufacturing will push many would-be new vehicle shoppers to consider pre-owned options in their next purchase cycle.
This is where having your predictive conquest marketing tools connected not only to your new vehicle sales operations but also to your pre-owned inventory and DMS will pay dividends.
Used conquest auto sales are even more heavily product-driven than new, as they’re powered by the specific inventory you have on the lot and your ability to quickly identify high-quality prospects and touch them with an actionable offer for a specific vehicle. Leverage your DMS, CRM and dealership sales platform to identify prospects likely to be in the market for a used vehicle, and structure an offer that takes advantage of OEM CPO programs, financing terms and your dealership’s available inventory.
Driving Conquest Leads Through the Dealership Service Drive
Service-not-sold conquest auto sales leads have always been valuable to dealerships, but there are a few broad trends that suggest dealership service conquest will only continue to grow in importance. One is that the average age of vehicles on the road continues to increase, meaning consumers are even more likely to have the service drive, not the showroom door, be their entry point to a dealership.
We find the most effective service conquest operations typically dedicate a salesperson to prospecting their upcoming service appointments for sales leads, engaging them with personalized offers to trade-in their vehicle or similar offers.
Turning Conquest Customers into Loyalty Customers
Conquest marketing will be integral to maintaining market share and accelerating recovery throughout the remainder of the pandemic and beyond. However, as you focus on capturing consumers returning to the market, you must also protect your current customer base against competitors trying to do the same.
The evidence is clear that a dealership customer experience (CX) strategy is your most powerful tool for building customer loyalty and protecting against conquest losses. Simply put, when you know your customers’ needs and deliver great CX, they are much more likely to stay loyal even in the face of aggressive competitive conquest efforts.