Marketing and sales go hand in hand.
Staying ahead of the latest marketing trends are critical to the success of any dealership.
If you’re behind on the latest marketing trends, then your sales will never reach their full potential.
On the other hand, the dealer who’s in the know, who stays on top of trends and ahead of the curve, will be the dealer who outsells his competition – even during the slow months.
Today’s automotive market is saturated with commoditized inventory and pricing. The only way to gain a competitive advantage is to offer a unique message or experience.
Because of this, marketing trends are even more critical than ever before.
If you’re a dealer and you’re seeking to gain a competitive edge, then you’ll want to focus on what’s new and different – you’ll want to differentiate yourself from the crowd by focusing on the consumer journey.
Right now, the consumer journey takes place primarily online. So, if you want to develop a better consumer journey and stay on top of the latest trends, you’ll want to start with today’s top digital marketing trends.
What’s the best way to discover and follow trends?
Read these 10 automotive digital marketing statistics we’ve put together from Google…
10. The Average Car Buyer Only Visits Two (or Less) Dealerships Before Making a Purchase
This one has been trending for a while, but it carries a lot of weight.
If you want to increase sales, you have to make sure that your dealership is one of the two stores that the average car buyer visits. Ideally, you’ll want to be their first stop.
In order to accomplish this, you have to differentiate yourself from the competition and offer something that captures their curiosity enough to get them to your dealership and you have to do it online.
Why? Well, because…
9. Ninety-Two Percent of Vehicle Buyers Use Digital as a Source of Information
That’s right. This is a HUGE number.
To reach shoppers and get them to your store, you absolutely must be online and you absolutely must be informative!
Shoppers aren’t going online to buy a car; they’re going online to discover the information they need before buying a car.
Being there (online) and being helpful (providing valuable information) is critical towards gaining their business.
8. While In-Market, Shoppers Consider an Average of 3.7 Brands
Online, you’re not just competing with the dealership down the street. You’re dealing with multiple brands and dealerships across the nation!
According to Google, shoppers move through multiple different stages of their buying journey and “which car is best for me” is where they start.
You don’t just want to think about getting shoppers to your dealership – you also want to provide information about the different vehicles on your lot and what makes them right for your potential customers.
7. Search Remains the Most Commonly Used Research Tool When Buying a Car
That’s why, you need to be the answer to their searches! Paid search is critical towards catching today’s car buyers.
If you’re trying to convince shoppers that you have exactly what they need, then you need to be the answer to their search queries whether their still determining which car is best for them or which dealerships are near them!
6. Nearly 25% of All Automotive Searches Are Related to Parts, Service, and Maintenance
Don’t overlook your service department.
I truly believe that one of the best kept secrets for increasing sales at your dealership is putting a stronger emphasis on service.
This is because, service interactions directly relate to a customer’s future buying behavior!
In fact, customers who are shown the service department when they make a purchase are 1.5 times more likely to return to the dealership for service within the year – and the more they’re in your dealership, the more likely they are to purchase from you in the future.
If they’re seeking to service their vehicle somewhere, you want to be the answer to their problem!
5. Today, 60% of Automotive Searches Come from a Mobile Device
It’s important to note that the majority of the searches car shoppers are making, take place on a mobile device.
That means you’ll want to make sure everything you do online is optimized for mobile!
4. Local Searches On Mobile Devices Are Growing 50% Faster Than Mobile Searches Overall
You’ll want to consider that people are seeking answers near them. Location extensions have been around for a while now, but as local search continues to climb at an explosive rate, their importance has grown in parallel.
These extensions are shown below a paid search ad, and include information pulled from a linked Google My Business page. Information includes store hours along with an address, and the ability to click on the ad to get directions to the business from your current location.
3. One-Third of Users Search for Videos on YouTube
There is no doubt that video advertising (and video marketing in general) is on the rise – and for good reason. These searches mean that you’re not just serving an ad to a car shoppers, they’re actively searching for it themselves.
Not to mention, a recent study measured the impact and effectiveness of television advertising compared to digital video and the results were almost hard to believe.
They showed that when viewers were shown ads across both mediums, only 45% of viewers paid attention to television commercials, versus 83% of viewers that paid attention to digital video ads.
2. More than 40% of Shoppers Who Watched a Video About Cars or Trucks Visited a Dealer as a Result
You have a huge advantage in this space, as you are (more than likely) already producing television ads and promoting them.
Why not re-purpose your television ads, upload them via YouTube and Facebook, and reach your audience across the web?
1. A Third of In-Market Shoppers Collect All Information Needed, In Two Weeks Or Less
All of these statistics are key differentiators in the world of automotive digital marketing, but it’s important that you remember the end goal.
Getting a head start on your competition and leading online shoppers through their buying journey and into your dealership must be done well and quickly.
Car buyers are starting and finishing their journeys faster than ever.
How will you capture their attention?
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Lauren Maples is the Copy Writer at J&L Marketing. She continually plans, writes, creates, and optimizes our marketing campaigns so our clients grow predictable sales through a proven marketing process.