According to a recent report by Trading Economics, total vehicle sales in the U.S. are estimated to reach approximately 17.3 million in 2020.
If you want your dealership to get in on those sales, consider the following creative ideas to deliver value beyond the sale.
Get Creative in 2020 by Thinking Outside the Box
To boost sales for 2020, optimize your digital marketing strategy with paid search ad campaigns, SEO for your website and blog, and an augmented social media action plan.
There are also things you can do to think outside the box:
- Implement community classes for vehicle care tips
- Promote your dealership on direction apps like Waze
- Advertise on dealership review websites
- Host special dealership anniversary events
- Become an influencer in the local community
- Start a customer loyalty rewards program
- Get creative with videos for your YouTube channel
Implement Community Classes for Vehicle Care and Driving Tips
You can deliver value beyond the sale by hosting classes on car-related topics. Offer something beneficial — without pushing a sale — like guidance on vehicle care to cultivate a relationship with the community.
Consider some of the following vehicle care topics to share:
- How to maintain tires, check air pressure, and do rotations and alignments
- Replacing windshield wipers and testing lights
- The importance of regular oil changes and checking fluids
- How to drive safely in inclement weather
- Private Service Events offering a free multi-point inspection
When community members participate in these car care classes, they get to see your team members in action. This can build relationships beyond the sales or service process.
When people see that your dealership wants to invest in the well-being of the community, they’ll realize that you are customer-centric and not focused only on profits.
Promote Your Dealership on Direction Apps Like Waze
Waze is a navigation app with over 90 million users. You can launch a geo-based advertising campaign on this app to promote your dealership and service center.
You can use this cost-effective advertising platform with the following formats:
- Promotion Searching: When users search for relevant keywords, your dealership or brand may be displayed in the search results.
- Branded Pins: You can advertise with branded pins — billboard-like ads that appear when users search for local dealerships.
- Takeovers at Zero Speed: Reach users when they are most focused on the app, like when they’re at a stoplight.
Waze makes advertising more effective by showing in-app ads for your dealership at nearby stoplights.
Instead of simply promoting your vehicles or service center with these ads, you can move beyond the sale and advertise your vehicle care classes or community outreach programs.
Promote Dealership on Google and Monitor Review Websites
With 92 percent of consumers researching online before buying, you can advertise on dealership review websites to get them thinking about your showroom as the place to purchase their next vehicle.
Again, don’t forget to focus on promoting your creative ideas on these websites to reinforce the customer-centric character of your brand.
Some of the major consumer review sites are Google My Business, Facebook, Angie’s List, and Yelp. While you can create a free business listing on these sites, you should focus more on creating and managing your Google My Business account.
- Photos: Post photos to enhance your profile page and improve engagement.
- Offers: Share offers and specials to increase conversions from your page.
- Contact: Make contact easy by phone, message, or website.
- Direction: Customers can click the directions tab to find the best way to your dealership.
- Metrics: You can review follows, calls, clicks, and bookings for your profile.
There are three popular review websites for customers who want to post reviews about dealerships — as well as research information on vehicles:
- Edmunds: Consumers can look for vehicle reviews, get tips on purchasing a car, access vehicle listings, and find reviews of dealerships.
- Cars: This site gets over 30 million visitors each month. Consumers can review vehicle listings, get vehicle comparisons, and read dealership reviews.
- DealerRater: This site is focused on reviews of dealerships. With over 15 million visitors monthly, this is an important site to watch for reviews.
To better gauge your reputation among consumers, monitor any online reviews your dealership gets.
Consider working with a digital marketing strategist if you need help monitoring these reviews with online review management software.
Host Special Dealership Anniversary Events
Longevity signals to the consumer that your dealership is reliable, provides good service, and will likely be around for years to come.
When you’re coming up on special days like your 10 or 25-year anniversary, host a special event to bring the community to your dealership.
Promote this event with digital marketing channels and traditional media like television, radio, and print ads. Consider offering special discounts to customers in attendance that day.
Make the event family-friendly so people with children stay longer and have the chance to get to know your sales and service team better.
Consider inviting local vendors like travel agencies or insurance agents to attend the event so customers see that your dealership can provide additional resources for them. This may also get them to stay longer and speak to your team members.
Become an Influencer in the Local Community
Unless you’re an online dealership, you likely get most of your sales from the local community. That’s why it is important to build relationships with people in your community.
Consider the following ways to become an influencer in the local community:
- Volunteer: Give back to the community by organizing an outreach event or asking your employees to volunteer at a local food pantry or school.
- Environment: Show the community that you care about the environment by hosting a cleanup event at a local park or recreation center.
- Holidays: Participate during the holidays in the Toys for Tots program or host your own event to raise money or get donations for needy families.
Check out what the Gates Auto Group does to give back to their community!
The more you get involved in the community, the easier it is to develop trust with people and enhance brand awareness.
Start a Customer Loyalty Rewards Program
Approximately 83 percent of companies that implemented strategies and programs to improve customer satisfaction saw an increase in revenue. Satisfied customers are more likely to remain loyal to your dealership and continue purchasing vehicles from you.
There are six basic stages of the customer lifecycle:
- Awareness of your brand
- Engagement with the dealership
- Evaluation of whether to buy
- Purchasing a vehicle from you
- Experiencing customer service and vehicle quality
- Becoming a customer advocate for your dealership
One way to enhance the customer lifecycle is to start a customer loyalty rewards program. Acquiring new customers can become less cost-effective than simply cultivating the relationships you have with existing customers.
Consider the following tips for setting up your customer loyalty program:
- CRM Review: Evaluate information in your customer relationship management (CRM) software to identify the best ways to incentivize customers to continue patronizing your dealership.
- Identify KPIs: Define your key performance indicators (KPIs) to see how well your customer loyalty program is achieving results. Some KPIs may be to improve engagement, boost revenue, and cultivate relationships.
- Development: Create this loyalty program with the customer in mind. Identify what benefits your current customers would like. You could, for example, offer a free oil change when they refer a new customer who purchases a vehicle.
- Evaluation: Developing customer lifecycles through great service and benefits like a loyalty program takes time. Evaluate all metrics to identify which promotional strategies are working best and focus efforts there.
Get Creative with Videos for Your YouTube Channel
If you don’t have a YouTube channel for your dealership, you should create one as soon as possible. Having one is a great way to connect with today’s tech-savvy consumers, who are more likely to watch videos online before purchasing a vehicle.
Deliver value beyond the sale with the following creative video ideas:
- Employee Interviews: Let consumers get to know your sales and service team by creating videos that feature the professionals working for you. Highlight a different team member each week so viewers get to know your employees prior to visiting your showroom.
- Vehicle Videos: Create videos of the interior and exterior of vehicles to give viewers a virtual tour of new vehicle rollouts. Make comparison videos showcasing different features in competing popular models.
- Service Tips: Have your service team host a weekly video sharing service tips that consumers can use. This might include tips on how to stay safe when driving in inclement weather or ways to properly winterize your vehicle.
Creating educational videos that are relevant to today’s consumer will demonstrate that your dealership cares about them.
It’s a great way to build a good relationship with consumers both before and after they purchase vehicles from your dealership.
Start Delivering Value Beyond the Sale Today
By thinking outside the box, you can start delivering value beyond the sale. The ideas discussed here can set you apart from your competition and help consumers see your dealership in a new light.
The professional J&L Marketing team can help you implement these creative ideas to help your dealership excel in 2020.
Meet the J&L Marketing team at our booth at the 2020 National Automobile Dealers Association in Las Vegas on February 14-17.