Are your banner ads providing your ideal customers with relevant information? Is your direct marketing leading recipients to your dealership? Is each marketing channel being used to create a consistent marketing approach across channels?

Omni-channel marketing today isn’t an option – it’s a necessity. The problem is, everyone is doing it. If you’re not, you’ve already lost the game. The only way a dealership can prove its superiority is to reach in-market shoppers with more information and a better experience than their competitors.

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We’re missing the purpose of omni-channel marketing if we think a few generic advertisements will evoke the responses we’re hoping for. A well-placed digital ad serves a specific purpose, but it can’t carry the weight of an omni-channel marketing campaign on its shoulder – it’s just the starting point.

Start With Contextual Relevance

So, as a dealer, what does your marketing need to accomplish?

First, you must be contextually relevant. Your marketing should provide information and incentives that are relevant to where they are in their buying journey via every marketing channel. Marketing like this will resonate with your target audience and evoke a response.

We live in a technological age. If you want to reach a specific audience at a specific time and within a specific geographic location – you can. You can get even more specific than that! It’s important that dealers like you utilize the technology available today in order to offer vehicle shoppers the ideal shopping experience whether they’re at home, at work, in their car, or at your dealership.

In order to do this, you have to consider where your ideal customers might be and what they will want. Then you must use that knowledge to market to them where they’re at, with what they want, in a way that will move them down your marketing funnel and into your dealership.

Understand the Buyer’s Journey

To be contextually relevant through each step of your omni-channel campaign, you must consider your buyer’s journey. The best way to catch the attention of your ideal customers and encourage them into your dealership is by following them throughout each step of their vehicle shopping process and providing relevant information according to their personal shopping needs.

Every current, former, or prospective customer begins their journey undecided from one degree to another.1 If you market the right information at the right time, you can influence their decisions!2

The key is to develop consistent and informative marketing from the beginning of their journey to the end. If you can accomplish this, you’ll have the reigns to an omni-channel marketing strategy that meets the needs of each customer – and you will sell more cars because of it. One Google study stated:

“Being there and useful in consumer’s initial auto searches leads directly to dealership visits. The brands that want to win sales on the lot need to first win these early micro-moments.”3

These interactions influence shoppers’ decisions as much as (and possibly more than) a salesperson on a lot. Gaining this type of influence over your ideal customers is why your marketing must engage vehicle shoppers throughout their journey – micro-moment by micro-moment.

All this to say, you’ll only be able to reach your customers every step of the way if your information is there every step of the way. And, though much of the buyer’s journey appears to occur online, contextually relevant communication throughout each step of your buyer’s journey can only happen through omni-channel marketing – that’s digital advertisments, social media, email, direct mail, the in-store experience, and more. So how can you create a contextually relevant omni-channel marketing campaign so you can sell more cars?

Use the Right Tools

If “being there and being useful” leads to more dealership visits and more dealership visits lead to increased sales, then you must figure out what tools you need to create that type of customer experience.

  1. Take advantage of today’s advanced technology to create a database that you can use to target in-market customers. If you don’t have a skilled data analyst who can provide you with high-quality lists of in-market shoppers, you won’t be able to reach your ideal customers with the information they want and need. Plus, you’ll be able to use the data to create a more personalized and relevant omni-channel campaign that will follow shoppers throughout their vehicle shopping journey.
  2. Capitalize on the digital options available in today’s market to provide an informative presence during their early micro-moments. You need to be where the people are and they’re online for much of their vehicle shopping journeys.
  3. Consider utilizing advanced monthly marketing methods along with your regular marketing strategies. Whether you’re seeking to reach current, previous, or conquest shoppers, this type of plan will actively work on a regular basis to reach in-market shoppers during critical decision-making moments.
  4. Don’t overlook the importance of your direct marketing! There’s a reason the buyer’s journey is not restricted to online searches and digital touchpoints. If you’re not using direct mail to reach your target audience, you will miss key moments in your customers’ buying journeys.

Give them What They Want

Consumers today demand more. They’re ready and waiting for your marketing to provide them with relevant information throughout their vehicle shopping experience. They want you to utilize data to provide them with the most up-to-date and helpful information across every marketing channel.4 If your targeted customers are able to find valuable information about your dealership’s inventory and incentives, no matter how they choose to engage with you, they’ll learn why your dealership is superior to others before they even walk into your showroom.

  1. http://agameautotrader.com/agame/pdf/2016-car-buyer-journey.pdf
  2. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/tools/customer-journey-to-online-purchase.html#!/the-us/autos-and-vehicles/small/generic-paid-search
  3. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/consumer-car-buying-process-reveals-auto-marketing-opportunities.html
  4. https://www.emarketer.com/public_media/docs/eMarketer_Personalization_Retailers_Roundup.pdf