Stay Ahead of the Curve

Here at PCG, we are always encouraging our clients to stay ahead of the curve. It only takes a couple of minutes on the news to learn that there is a shortage of new cars. Simply driving by local dealerships, the once full lots look empty.

Consumers are quick to change behavior. We are seeing a few trends in how people shop for cars, the first being that the most anticipated new cars are selling before they make it to the showroom floor. Smart shoppers know they must think ahead and pre-order their vehicle. But believe it or not, many don’t know that this is even an option, or they are hesitant because they don’t know how the process works. Using paid search, you can not only boost your marketing of pre-orders, but you can walk the customer through the process, using ad copy and targeted ads for each part of the funnel.

We are also seeing customer’s once loyal to a specific brand switch brands and look further away from the local dealership.

Creating campaigns specifically for customers looking to pre-order their vehicle or for customers looking for any type of vehicle is a way around the inventory shortage. These campaigns should have ad copy that guide customers through the process. Best-in-class dealerships should also incorporate video and testimonials from customers who have pre-ordered their vehicles, this way the fears and concerns are addressed through interactive creativity.

Below is a chart showing the search volume over the past 24 months for the term “pre order car” and as consumers realize this is an option, we expect these searches to rise.

We also looked at terms such as “new truck near me” and “new suv near me” which would be the type of search someone would type in if they just need a new truck or new SUV and aren’t brand loyal.

Giving customers the ability to order online and advertising this service doesn’t just benefit your dealership. Yes, your dealership can keep loyal customers while inventory is short, but marketing is about presenting the benefits to the customer. Outlining the advantages for the customer can help boost your paid campaigns. Pre-ordering a vehicle is a great way to choose the color, features and accessories.

With the help of PCG, you can execute your paid search campaign in an educational way. Inventories are diminishing nationwide, and consumers don’t have to wait to buy their next car.  Your paid search campaign can answer the common questions and openly address the fear and opposition to the new process.  Just because the dealership inventory is low doesn’t mean cars can’t be sold!  This is simply a change in the emphasis of your marketing campaigns.

The automotive industry is in flux and it is anticipated that these shortages are going to last.  When times change it is important to come up with unique solutions and guide customers through what seems to be a challenge. Essentially your messaging will shift as well as some of the keywords in your campaigns, but your campaigns can be educational and guide the purchasing decision as long as you are providing solutions and targeting multiple touch points in the customer’s journey.

If you have any additional questions about Paid Search, please contact the PCG team today!

Jacob Moody
Jacob Moody
Jacob is a Google Specialist with PCG Digital. He has worked in the automotive industry for 7 plus years. Jacob was a Marketing Director for a Chevrolet Buick Dealer Group before coming to PCG. He is the father of 4 beautiful girls and loves to take each one of them fishing and hunting every chance he gets.
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