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As the end of the year closes and the New Year begins, it’s time to start re-evaluating what goals will be top of mind for 2017. Below, we’ve highlighted the key digital marketing insights and top questions dealers should be asking themselves to dominate in 2017.
1. Is my digital strategy built for a mobile-first world?
The most prominent trend of 2016 was transitioning to a mobile-first world.
For years, the desktop computer was the vehicle connecting us all online, but the convenience of being able to communicate on-the-go, 24/7, and with all of the world’s information in our pocket gave the smartphone certain technological advantages over the fixed web.
Not surprisingly, as of 2016 the number of mobile-only internet users now exceeds desktop-only users. With that being said, desktop still does play an important role in the digital process, but it is clear that users will pick the convenience of mobile over the traditional desktop.
Advice: Mobile offers hundreds of new opportunities to deliver value to consumers in moments of need, ensure your digital strategy is built with mobile-first top of mind. What portion of your digital spend is earmarked to mobile-only?
2. Is my dealership's website built for the mobile screen?
Consumers today are constantly connected, moving between devices — from tablet to laptop to desktop to smartphone — throughout their day.
This constant connectivity gives dealers so many new rich opportunities to reach consumers, if the challenge of reaching every type of screen is accepted. With mobile-first top of mind, catering towards mobile is the biggest missing piece in the multi-screen equation.
“A great mobile user experience has three parts: layout, content & speed. The best way to engage and keep your users is to make sure all three legs of this tripod are sturdy.”
There is one true constant: All of today’s mobile users expect a great, trouble-free experience. If your dealership's websites has complex tools or elements that don’t translate easily to mobile — for instance, chat pop-ups that are officially coined as "intrusive interstitials” by Google— now is the time to offer a simpler mobile substitute that better suits the user experience on mobile.
Rethink your website and make the most of the power of mobile by ensuring your site works seamlessly on mobile for your customers.
Advice: Pretend you are a customer; grab your smartphone, look at your site, and go through the process. Is your website easy to use or do you need to do some adjusting?
3. Am I focused on the right metrics for a mobile-first world?
Mobile searches are a critical part of the process of the online purchase journey for consumers.
Advice: Separate your desktop and mobile measurement plans to account for the fundamental differences between mobile and desktop behavior. Acknowledge that the KPIs for desktop are not the same KPIs for mobile we are looking at now. Be sure to review in Google Analalytics the quality of traffic you are receiving from mobile. Some key points to look at: month over month, sessions, pageviews, time on site and bounce rate.
4. Is my digital strategy appealing to both the immediate and longer-term needs of my customers?
All dealership’s strive to deliver an exceptional customer experience to make the car buying process enjoyable and as least painful as possible. This starts digitally, by being there for customers during the crucial decision making moments online.
As outlined in this previous post, 5 Auto Shopping Moments EVERY Brand Must Own Online, there are specific micro-moments dealerships need to be present in the “purchase funnel” in order to win over customers.
Advice: Not every customer is ready to purchase a car right off the bat. By viewing customers across the funnel and understanding how to target those micro-moments, influence purchases by being helpful throughout the process.
5. Are you creating online experiences that increase online to in-store conversions?
With so many touch points in a customer’s purchase journey online, the need to leverage digital and drive online to in-store conversions has never been greater.
Consider using Automotive Incentive Marketing to:
Advice: Focus on improving engagement and conversions by creating a seamless experience on your automotive website to get a customer further down their purchase journey using Automotive Incentive Marketing.
6. Am I planning for the blurring lines of TV and online video?
Television has always been known to be the king of the most influential advertising platform for dealers.
Let's face it—people no longer distinguish between online video, mobile video, or linear TV. They watch what they want, when they want, on the screen they want.
In the age of digital video, traditional advertising models won't cut it. This requires more thought into producing video content for offline and online users —from budgets, to creative approaches, and even organizational structures.
With TV viewers more distracted than ever, this ability to utilize ads across digital platforms will allow brands to get more out of all their creative assets and get messages in front of engaged digital audiences. In fact, small changes to TV ads can turn them into great video ads.
Advice: In 2017, plan TV and online alongside one another to drive optimal impact. Third-party research shows advertisers on prime-time broadcast TV in the U.S. could have reached 56% more 18- to 49-year-olds by also adding YouTube to the mix. Consider a dedicated monthly budget to video pre-roll/ trueview.
As you bring your scrappiness and innovative thinking to the new year, don’t forget to consider these drastic changes in consumer behavior. I hope as you set your digital goals for 2017, this post was able to assist you building your digital road map.