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VJ VJ eCommerce Director

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Chances for Dealerships on Consumer Trends for 2011


Consumer Trends for 2011According to research of the year 2011 will have changes in consumer behavior which screams for a change in business behavior and attitude as well. No more Business as Usual please, when you want to keep the edge.

Here are the first three points is pointing out of the eleven findings

1. Consumers will look for more realness and human touches

Chances for dealerships to engage with social media sharing more than ever. Consumer’s are craving for more authenticity, realness, human touch and less canned approaches to win their business. When dealerships taking the time to analyze, or even better watch the behavior and comments of their followers – you’ll gain insights to moods, wants and even their location, which then enable the dealership to send out targeted messages. Geo location based applications like Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook detected these trends early, early on and made targeted advertising for businesses to their clientele an easy and achievable task.

2. Consumers will be more prone to try new products and services

Danger for dealerships – falling in old and not any longer workable habits. The old formula "one time a Benz or Chevy driver always a Chevy driver" is a tale of the past. Due to globalization of new products and services the customers becoming more liberal, more tolerant and also more experienced to digest information. This means, the customers knows more than you - the sales professional - when arriving in your showroom.

TMV or True Market Value, Show me the CarFax or Yelp reviews are not any longer just terms an insider buyer knows how to obtain the best deals or to questioning the heck out of the sales persons' brain. Since manufacturers producing more models than anybody possibly can handle or needs to buy a car, customers making decisions based on following facts

  1. Car Makers who are understanding the value of human globalization (Ford and their new so called World Cars) and engaging in a s subliminal but consistent way via social media interaction, and
  2. Companies who will offer the biggest value (maintenance free plans, Hyundai Assurance programs, Chrysler's "you don't like it - you bring it back", etc.) to potential buyers. Further transparency is the next big word, you'll hear more and more, especially on dealership levels.
  3. Transparency on dealer levels are easy to achieve, when...., when the processes are in place and everybody in the dealership buys into the idea what needs and has to happen. However, transparency and reputation can be the evil twins for a dealer or Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny at once, presenting surprises like positive reviews, testimonials, rankings and ratings displaying your performance for everybody to see. It is essential for each sales professional to ask not any longer only for referrals but also to follow up and guide the customers post sales to review site that count in the automotive industry. Ask for a good grade and let the customer tell everybody how great you are.

3. Targeted pricing and offers for your potential customers

The times of the good old shotgun advertising – blast out your pellets or in this case your ad message and possibly you’ll hit one or two potential clients and trigger a purchase are over. I actually don’t care what your advertising agency or offline advertising rep is telling you. The fact that “radio and print is so hot right now and will never die” – is just not true, especially in the huge Metro markets. Rather going for the rabbit hunting approach, blasting into a bulk of running rabbits and two will possibly not make it. Instead develop the skills of a sniper. Sit in your hideaway, observe the target(s), make no noise and wait – wait until you see the desired 13-pointer, mark it - and "boom" - touche. You got this large deer because you were hiding out where the pack is eating - you targeted exactly the location where you'll find the best of the best. So, I am asking now, why don't you "hide out" where your customers are today? Online!

For example: Look at your fan base on Twitter, Facebook – what is your average follower age group, are these more female or male customers, are they actively engaging with comments on your postings? Target your message!

A Nielsen Study revealed that Baby Boomers just discovered the power of Facebook around a year ago, and this particular customer group loves to shop online (THOUGHT: are you offering a shopping card / check-out for your automotive parts and accessories)?

The second group of valuable customers - The Generation X is looking for offers or amenities who are considered “convenience factors” – like real-time online service scheduling, pick-up service and drop-off loaner cars for families with little kids of two and more – and the most upcoming digitally involved and engaged generation –

The Millennials – are having more than 2 social media profiles, using text messaging on mobile devices more than they use the device to phone around. Using texting to submit your instant mobile coupons and discounts, flash sales and even dynamic ad hoc pricing will make you “hip” in their eyes and gain you the edge.

This concludes part 1 of Trends for 2011 - What is your customer up to

Part 2 will be posted in the next couple of days.

Arnold Tijerina
Great post, VJ! Thanks for posting!

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