CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
Consumers are becoming more and more immune to interruption marketing. We use TIVO to not watch commercials, Ipods and Satellite radio reduces the reach of local radio stations and most people get their daily news online as people cocoon more in more in the solace that the Internet provides them with.
These technological advancements have made it harder and harder to capture the attention of those that do not want what we offer. The largest possible customer base at any given time are people who are not in the market for what we sell. It does not matter what the product is cars, boats, homes and even toothbrushes. If people are not looking to buy these items it is almost pointless to try and convince them to seek us out using mediums that only irritate and are ignored.
To an extent print could be considered a form of permission based marketing. The full page ad is only going to attract the attention of a customer that may be in the market for what you sell, but with the declining subscriber bases how many people are really picking up the paper? News is delivered on demand through many other mediums as it happens and the paper is just an historical accounting of what happened yesterday, not in the last 5 minutes. Which is longer than the attention span of the average website visitor.
The problem is how do we move someone who is not in the market today to take action? It is not by shouting louder with greater frequency, that is days of old. The new paradigm is permission based marketing and as slow adopters of change and a declining car market we have two choices as marketers.
We can grab a larger slice by getting into the game and making it easy for people to find what we offer when they seek us out. That is what smart marketers have been doing for the last several years. Ebay and Amazon come to mind.
Encouraging those that are not in the market to seek us out is the tougher part of the equation to solve. Automobiles are not extraordinary unless they are in limited supply. A hard truth to swallow is anybody can get what you sell from a variety of locations unless you have something to offer that no one else does.
Our product to capture that larger share of the market is our people, our process and our story. If those things our delivered in truly satisfying experience for consumers they may "sneeze" loud enough to interrupt those in the bubble to seek us out before they are officially in the market.
Bursting the bubble in any other fashion will get us all wet and may drown us. We busted one at the turn of the century and the water is still rising. Few have grabbed the life line to be pulled to safety and the raft is almost full.
The number of cars being sold is not going to change those who sells them is!!