Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
×
TK Carsites

TK Carsites

Exclusive Blog Posts

Challenges of Car Dealerships

Challenges of Car Dealerships

The Car manufacturing industries, just like any other, has got business challenges of its own, which need to be taken care off on a regular basis. Maintain…

What People Are Looking For In An Auto Repair Shop

What People Are Looking For In An Auto Repair Shop

Those who have been involved in some sort of accident have the next step of finding an auto repair shop. These shops are not all created equal as some are …

One Price Selling – What Are You Waiting For?

One Price Selling – What Are You Waiting For?

Most Dealers are closer to a One Price Selling sales process than they may realize. If you’re an excellent pre-owned dealer you’re basically no…

What Is Your Chemistry With Women Buyers?

What Is Your Chemistry With Women Buyers?

Wow, its December. Last month of the year. Now is the perfect time to begin to reflect on the customer processes, engagement and strategies you have in pla…

Want to Advance in Business? Here are a Few Ways to Stay on Top of Your Game

Want to Advance in Business? Here are a Few Ways to Stay on Top of Your Game

If it’s time for you to take the next steps in your career, there are some tried-and-true methods that can ensure your success. All business professi…

Virtual DealershipOne of the toughest "sells" to make to Owners, General Managers, and even Internet Managers is that they should treat their Internet Marketing the same way they treat their conventional marketing.  Having a website domain and putting a website on it is nearly the same as having a few acres of land and building a dealership on it.  It's the 21st century.  People enjoy getting their shopping information from the comfort of their home or office.

Your website, vertical search marketing, purchased leads, automotive microsites and landing pages,  email campaigns - all of them have their direct "mirror" in the real world.  In nearly all cases, the total ROI is much better on the Internet version than in real life.  In some cases, the actual resulting sales can be higher than in the "real world".

The real crux of the matter is that the sooner that a dealer realizes the correlation and starts treating the Internet as a microcosm of their actual dealership, the easier it will be for their Internet department to start converting contacts into leads and leads into sales.

Dealership Website is Your Physical Dealership Online

All dealerships have an inventory.  They display this inventory online.

Most dealerships have a service and parts department.  They should have a section of their website dedicated to service and parts.

Most dealerships have a finance department.  There should be a high-quality tool on their website that allows visitors to apply for car credit.

You get the picture.

The primary dealership website should be treated in the same way that the physical dealership is treated.  Customers who come to a lot are considered ups and are normally greeted with a process set up by the dealership for handling them.  Using the same mentality, a lead or phone-pop that comes from the website should be treated in the same fashion.  They are ups.  The goal is normally to take these "virtual ups" that we call leads and get them to come to the dealership.

This way works.  I would never deny it.  BUT, the way that leads are converted into kept-appointments has changed recently.  People want as much information as possible during this initial contact.  The dealership that offers them the selection and prices online have the opportunity to secure the most possible kept-appointments as long as the internet representatives treat them properly and get them the information that they need.

The days of "just come in and we'll talk" are behind us.

Vertical Search Marketing is Your Classified Advertising Online

Dealers are often faced with higher prices on their online classified advertising.  Sites like Cars.com, Autotrader.com, and AutoMart.com are realizing their value and taking advantage of it.  This can be expected.  Still, dealers are often reluctant to spend more money with these sites.  More importantly, they need to use these sites to direct traffic to their own websites.

As long as a potential customer is on a classified site, they have access to a huge inventory.  Any time you can take a visitor to these sites and bring them to your own site, you are taking the competition out of the equation.  Throughout your listings, you should include references to your own site.

"This Accord and 13 more are all available at www.yourdealerwebsite.com."

Yes, the prices are going up, but don't give up.  Think of how much money you spend on traditional classified advertising before considering pulling away from these other sites.

Purchasing Leads, Microsites, and Landing Pages are Your TV and Radio Ads

Sometimes, television ads can be effective.  Early on in the buying cycle, people are starting to pay attention to the deals, ratings, and incentives, and because they are passive at this stage (3-6 months before purchase) they are simply taking in the information.

The third party lead providers offer one avenue to grab these customers.  Because they offer best pricing from a wide variety of dealers, people are often willing to submit leads to these sites just to get a feel for the market.

Microsites and landing pages work in the same way.  The difference is that the leads are exclusive to your dealership and their is no middle-man taking a cut.  When people are mildly interested in learning about a vehicle, they will prefer these types of sites over dealer sites.  They aren't ready (in their own mind) to buy, so they are just doing research.

Getting your foot in the door at this stage can lead to sales down the road.  More importantly, many of the leads can be converted to sales more quickly than the customer imagined.  If you capture the lead, your team will have a chance to make a sale.  The key is getting it as inexpensively as possible.  Microsites and landing pages are the key.

Start Now

The market is compeitive.  Having a plan in place will help you now and in the future.  Build a website that presents all of your dealership's profit centers in their own separate venues.  Market your website through every channel available, especially online classified sites.  Finally, start looking into putting up some microsites and landing pages to capture the leads before they become someone else's.

It just makes sense.

* * *

Read more about dealership marketing right here.

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now