In the past, marketing a dealership was pretty straightforward. You tossed some print advertising in the local papers and hoped you had the loudest radio ad on for the morning drive or rush hour. Throw in some mailers and hope for the best. The game has changed. Let’s make this simple. Your digital presence means everything these days. It’s not just about a pretty website and an occasional email blast anymore. It’s the full package. Your potential customers have a very limited attention span and the digital space moves at light speed. Are you keeping up with the times?
Are you checking your online information? You see it all the time. Dealerships with the wrong phone number or even the wrong address. People are going to be out there Googling your business and if there’s wrong info, this will affect the results. Yes, they will end up at some other dealership. Just google your dealership once a week and make sure the contact info is correct. Hit directions and make sure they take you to the correct place. If not, this can be corrected very easily.
If you receive internet leads, you need to respond fast. It’s the whole point. Customers don’t want to use the latest technology to wait longer than it takes to drive over to the dealership and talk to you. Set up notifications, bells, and whistles so your potential customers don’t have to wait longer than five to ten minutes for a response. Auto responses are fine, but they want a real person fast, so be on top of it.
It’s fine to post ads, but this generation wants interaction. Plus, if you want to work on your search engine optimization, you need to be blogging and using those keywords at all times to pull those searches into your dealership. Offer tips and tricks for car shopping or taking care of their vehicle. Post a video tour of the dealership. Introduce them to the different departments and make them a part of the family. They’ll feel at home before they even get there.
Here’s one that can lose you a potential customer in a heartbeat. You have to have a mobile-friendly website. There’s nothing worse than clicking on the magic button that says see our site or full site and all of a sudden you’re looking at a giant ear and half a word. You try to zoom out once or twice and then you give up. When this happens to a customer and I’m sure you feel the same, it gives you the feeling that they don’t stay with the times. Do they protect their financial info? Will the paperwork and overall process be a hassle when I get there? It’s 2019, your website should work on a cellphone.
Are you really getting the most out of your CRM tools? You’d be surprised what these tools can do for your scheduling when it comes to text and email campaigns. You can target customer groups and analyze their behaviors. If you use the mobile app, you’ll respond faster and more efficiently, which is the name of the game these days. You can also start to document how potential customers heard about your dealership and adjust marketing as you go. CRM tools are more powerful than you think.
Probably the most important thing to remember is to give your online presence time. You have to write, video and post constantly but you have to give the online community the time it needs to accept your place in its space. There’s no denying that digital marketing works, it’s affordable and almost anyone can utilize it. Just be patient and stay positive.
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