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Finding your target market is a key part of a successful marketing strategy. Whether you want to highlight new inventory, promote an event, grow your service department’s customer base, or simply boost business, defining your ideal audience is key.
It’s easy to be generic when marketing because the hope is always to connect with as many different demographics as possible, but the truth is that the more personal approach you have, the more success you’ll have. You’ll connect with YOUR people—the ones who are really interested in what you’re offering. When your customers feel like all of the attention is on them, they are more than willing to share their experience with their network and help your dealership achieve even higher community engagement.
Dealerships already have a plethora of tools in front of them to discover their market, including customer insights and social media. Here are some ways your dealership can discover its market by fully utilizing these tools.
Knowing consumer demographics is imperative to your marketing success because they give insight on who is already buying your products and using your services. Surveys are a great way to define your current audience and will certainly help you define your target audience as well, putting into perspective who you are best marketing to now, compared to consumer groups you should be targeting. The first portion of a target market survey should include the basics such as age, gender, location, language, and ethnicity. When you include more personal survey questions like questions about income, education, personality, hobbies, and preferences, you’ll gain even greater insights and more detailed information about your audience.
All the components of a survey work together to help your dealership discover which demographics are creating the most revenue for your business. They also show what your current market appreciates and looks for in your brand while simultaneously showing your dealership what to improve upon when trying to effectively market to them. Knowing the qualities your target market values most will help your dealership market even more effectively, as well as show what demographics are being left out of your marketing strategy.
Employees are a huge part of gaining consumer insights when it comes to your target market. Your employees have the most interaction with customers because of their close contact throughout the customer journey, at the point of sale, and at the service center. They know what makes customers most excited about the cars your dealership sells and the services you offer, and they have the opportunity to address customer concerns while simultaneously taking mental notes on the things specific shopper demographics are looking for when they visit your dealership. Listening to your employees and leveraging their experience with consumers on the job can give you a better idea of the things different demographics value in a car and thus, what to highlight in your marketing strategy.
In our highly innovative and ever-changing world, social media has proven itself to be a powerful force. It’s not just for sharing pictures of dogs or vacation stories—now more than ever, people are sharing opinions about almost everything online including their favorite businesses and their best (or worst) experiences with companies. Along with social sharing, social media gives users various opportunities to connect with others in their demographics through the use of groups on Facebook, following on Twitter, or connecting on LinkedIn. These demographics are based on various things such as location, ethnicity, and hobbies. The chances are high that your customers and social media followers, fans, and friends are connected with other consumers who are car shopping, so missing an opportunity to connect with them on social media could mean missing out on an immeasurable number of sales.
Dealerships can effectively target their markets by finding social groups and communities that involve the automotive industry. Joining these groups will create interactions with members on a personal level. Making regular posts, being quick to reply to messages or comments, and encouraging others to share their ideas or suggestions will expose your dealership to more people who qualify as your target audience. In return, these connections can lead to sales, increased brand awareness, and free advertising if members feel inclined to share your dealership with others.
In addition to connecting with your own market, social media is a platform in which your dealership can monitor industry leaders and competitors. It is more than likely your competitors and other industry leaders have connections and contacts with people who aren’t familiar with your brand but who are interested in the automotive industry to some extent. Including these leads in your target market strategy by inviting them to like your Facebook page, following them on Twitter, or connecting with them on LinkedIn will lead them to your brand, inform them your dealership has alternative solutions to offer, and increase the number of genuine car buyers in your market.
Dealerships have many tools available to target their markets, but they sometimes
overlook the day-to-day things they can do to help them reach consumers. Listening to current customers and connecting to others on social media will show you what consumers love about your dealership and bridge the gap between your dealership and potential buyers. Finding your target market in these simple ways can grow the size of your market while still allowing you to focus on current clients, reducing marketing costs and heightening sales.