A mantra is a word or phrase used for mediation. It’s uttered in repetition to keep your mind focused on the moment. In marketing, where focus is often a key to success, we can take a page from this ancient technique of calming the mind to help us remember what the basic underlying goals we should have in our business, marketing, and advertising strategies.
In any business climate, whether there’s a large amount of vehicle inventory or a small amount, whether pricing is low with many low-cost financing options or prices are high, these five mantras for dealership digital marketing will help put your dealership on the path to success.
Your Brand is your Reputation
People review and comment on everything. Everything. And their opinions are broadcast and amplified by Google, Facebook, Yelp! and a dozen other review Websites. Because of this, it is important to have a reputation management strategy.
No matter how much work you put into having a look and feel to your brand, the customer controls what others think of that brand. For dealerships, where the manufacturer name often overshadows the dealer’s full name, it’s even more important to monitor and address what customers are saying about you.
Ask customers to review you; make it easy for them to review you; and reply to your reviews – good, bad, or indifferent.
Merchandise your Website like you Would Merchandise your Showroom
You would not want your customers to walk into a dirty, junk-filled showroom where they are forced to walk around a dozen things to see a vehicle. Same is true for your Website. Keep it clean.
Study after study of Website user behavior and opinions have shown that customers prefer an easy to navigate, clean looking, non-distracting Website experience. Avoid putting up too many images, banners, and buttons. Keep all images and buttons simple and intuitive. Don’t clutter the Vehicles Details Pages (VDPs) that distract the customer from what they are there to do – look at the vehicle they want to buy.
Make sure the buttons for customers to contact you or submit their information are clear, easy to understand and set the right expectation
Don’t Frustrate the Customer
Car buying and servicing are very stressful for consumers. Decades of negative stereotypes about car dealerships have put most consumers on the defensive before even setting foot in your dealership. Do everything you can to not frustrate them and create more anxiety.
If they ask for a price quote, give it to them. If they ask a question, answer it. Set a proper expectation about the sales process. If they are custom ordering a vehicle, be upfront about how long it could take, or any thing that may change between when the order is placed and when the car is delivered.
Same is true for service customers. Keep them updated on the status of their car. Give them a repair estimate. Give them a time window for the work to be done, and if you’re beyond that window, let them know before they call you.
It Takes a Village to Sell a Car
A common conversion path for shoppers is to organically search for a dealer or car in inventory. But they usually don’t convert once they click to the website. They come back, typing into their browsers either the name of your dealer or the car they want, which brings them directly back to your site. So, while organic search brought them to you first, direct in Google Analytics gets the credit for the conversion.
The same is true for advertising channels. They may find you from a Facebook ad or Google search ad, but they don’t typically convert during that initial website visit. They come back, often through another channel like organic search or direct. Which channel deserves credit for that eventual conversion? They all do.
Utilize Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels and Assist Conversion statistics. Make them a part of your regular review of marketing performance. Understand how your customer comes to your Website and how many visits it takes before they convert. This will tell you what channels you need to invest your marketing and advertising budgets in.
Think about the traffic you want. Ready to buy shoppers. Not shoppers still researching. Ready to service customers. Not customers trying to figure out what service they need. Customers who are going to contact you. Not customers who spend endless time on your website and do nothing.