When designing a marketing strategy for your dealership it’s important to consider current best practices. These practices are not always large changes in direction or practice, but they tend to have big consequences if not followed perfectly.
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Today’s latest shift in marketing best practices is the shift away from a multi-channel marketing approach to an omni-channel marketing approach. Sounds simple enough, right? Yes, it's a subtle change, but it can make a big difference in the consumer experience and, ultimately, your results.
What Is Omni-Channel Marketing?
Consistency and transparency have become essential components of any marketing strategy and omni-channel marketing marries the two concepts across all departments, marketing channels, and advertising campaigns. Multi-channel marketing is similar, but not enough.
Instead of creating distinct marketing channels, such as social media, paid search, content marketing, showroom promotions or private sale events, and direct mail – the perfect omni-channel marketing campaign develops one brand strategy that applies across all channels. The customer experience remains consistent, which increases transparency.
An EY report, "Future of Automotive Retail," names omni-channel marketing as one of the essential factors for any dealership or related business. According to EY, "offering [a] seamless customer experience" helps make all channels more stable.1
So how do you implement an omni-channel marketing strategy?
Get to Know Your Customers
If you haven't already, start collecting as much data as possible about your customers:
- Where do they live?
- How much do they want to spend on a car?
- Which extra services and products, such as extended warranties and care plans, are they willing to buy?
- How do they find your dealership?
- Do they click on your paid search or paid social ads?
Analyze the data carefully to plan your perfect omni-channel marketing strategy. Once you know your customers, you can reach them seamlessly through any channel without disrupting your message or brand identity.
Solve Pressing Problems
Pain points are a critical part of an omni-channel marketing strategy.2 Marketers must find real issues that their customers experience, then create marketing campaigns that address those pain points or needs.
Create a Cohesive Brand Message and Identity
No matter where you publish content or run ads, your brand message and identity must remain consistent. What are your dealership's core values and beliefs? How can you present them uniformly across all channels?
Consider creating a style guide. Your company logo, color schemes, fonts, and other visual identifiers should stay the same across all channels. You can even set guidelines for photographs, videos, and other media that you present to the public.
Unite Your Dealership and Your Marketing
Omni-channel marketing isn't just about paid search campaigns and private sales events. Everyone in your dealership should have the same playbook for creating a cohesive customer experience, from the service and sales teams to the IT department and the front desk clerks.
Bring your online strategies into the dealership. Offer physical literature that mimics your online content in tone and visual style. Use similar words and phrases to communicate with customers one-on-one.
Don’t Lose Sight of Your Goal
An omni-channel marketing strategy doesn't materialize overnight. However, if you start bringing together all channels and presenting a cohesive front, you can rise above the competition and win over more customers.
By creating a customer experience that lets your customers feel their importance, you’ll retain control and get results in a customer-centric marketing world.