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Why Use Mobile Marketing as an Auto Lead Generation Technique

Posted on: July 10th, 2012 by credit

As the Internet continues to be an effective marketing tool, another medium, mobile, is being praised for its potential. Several car dealers have been employing mobile marketing as an auto lead generation technique. However, many car dealers are still in doubt of its capability. One of the best ways to answer this is looking at the figures from various related studies done recently.

  • More than 80% of Americans own a cellphone.
  • 91% of adults in the U.S. have their cellphones within their reach 24/7.
  • 25% of Americans only use their cellphones to access the Internet.
  • Brands using text messaging to reach customers connect with 95% of mobile users.
  • People read most (about 90%) of their text messages within 3 minutes from the time they were sent.
  • About 90% of mobile searches lead to action (and in a separate study, 70% lead to action within an hour) and more than half lead to purchase.
  • Mobile ads perform better 4 to 5 times than online ads.
  • More than 16 million mobile subscribers use location-based check-in and in a separate study, 95% of smartphone users look for local information.
  • 81% have done product research via smartphone and 50% purchased.
  • 33% of mobile subscribers prefer offers communicated via text messaging.
  • In June 2011, the number of U.S. Mobile subscribers exceeded the U.S. Population.

In addition to the facts stated above, people bring their mobile phones with them anywhere they go and use it anytime of the day. It is one of the essentials they bring with them when they leave their houses. Moreover, the figures above show that mobile marketing is indeed an effective auto lead generation technique as a good number of mobile subscribers who received a mobile ad took action and some eventually became sales.

Mobile marketing comes in many forms. Text messaging or SMS is one and deemed to be cheaper than direct mails. It is also the simplest form as the message can be sent regardless of the type of phone the recipient owns. Another form is mobile websites which are mainly and more conveniently accessible through smartphones. Mobile applications are also exclusive for smartphones. Multimedia messaging or MMS is also another form that allows the advertiser to use other types of media to put his message across. Lastly, quick response or QR codes are two-dimensional bar codes that store information which can be read by a mobile device. QR codes can be found in billboards, business cards, print ads, direct mails, websites, emails, coupons, and the like.

Mobile marketing may be relatively new and is yet to be discovered further. However, competitors are moving and the prospects are where they are. Study how mobile marketing works and consider employing it as an auto lead generation technique for your dealership.

Meeting A Different Breed of Car Buyers—Gen Y

Posted on: July 9th, 2012 by credit

Gen Y has been a challenging group of consumers for car makers and dealers. Through the studies, Gen Y shows to have a different consumer behavior than the older generation of car buyers. Thus, dealers and car makers are challenged to get these younger people behind the wheel and turn them into sales. Here is an overview of Gen Y car-buying behavior and preferences from the 2011 Automotive Generation Y Survey by Deloitte.

  • Almost 70% of Gen Y respondents will buy a used car rather than a new one in the future.
  • Environment is an important factor Gen Y considers when buying a vehicle with 71% of the respondents. Moreover, the results also showed that more than half of the respondents will pay more for an environmentally friendly or energy and money-saving cars.
  • As for purchasing power and influence, more than 61% of the respondents said that they directly influence their parents in making the final purchase decision. Interestingly though, more than 88% of Gen Y respondents ask their peers for opinion about a car brand or model. Almost 80% of these respondents said that their car purchase decision is largely influenced by their friends.
  • In terms of how Gen Y use the Internet for car shopping, more than two-thirds of the respondents now turn to social networking sites to get information about a vehicle brand and model. This is a sharp increase from the 2009 survey where more than half of the respondents do not get information from social networking sites. Other places where Gen Y car shoppers search information from are search engines, auto manufacturer’s website, and vehicle reference sites.
  • Gen Y’s attitude toward dealership experience almost did not change since the 2009 survey. Still majority (82%) of the respondents would like to test-drive a vehicle for 24 hours. More than half of the respondents does not want to have a personal interaction with a dealer or car salesman and prefer settling everything online to purchase the vehicle instead. Moreover, it is better for dealers to keep Gen Y customers satisfied as more than half of the respondents said that a bad experience in a dealership would cause them not to consider buying the same brand of car again.

The shifts in the survey results from 2009 to 2011 imply that car dealers need to closely monitor Gen Y’s consumer behavior so they are always updated with their current needs and preferences. In this way, it will be easier for them to make adjustments in their marketing and auto leads generation strategies to make these people part of their sales. With the facts and figures showed, car dealers should have a different approach in attracting and generating Gen Y auto leads. Doing so could be a challenge but it is necessary to sustain the industry’s recovery.

Auto Internet Marketing 101: Building Your Dealership Website

Posted on: July 6th, 2012 by credit

A recent study by J.D. Power and Associates showed that 77% of new car buyers use the Internet to shop for cars. This example tells you that although there are still car shoppers visiting dealerships, a massive number have already been shopping online. Moreover, your competitors are also online. These are the reasons why you should establish your online presence by building your dealership website—the first step in pulling off effective auto internet marketing.

Basics

Your dealership website should adhere to the general standards of building a good website that attracts prospects. You can hire a good web designer to build an attractive yet simple website for you. Moreover, the navigation should also be simple and easy to use. Don’t give visitors too much links before they get to the page they want to see. Make it simple. Make sure also that the navigation or menu appears on every page.

Content

The content of your website is integral in making your website profitable. Car shoppers don’t just go to dealership websites to see cars. They are looking for something and your website should have what they need. Provide helpful information like tips, resources, car reviews, and news that will meet your prospects’ needs. In this way, you would build an image of credibility and trust for your dealership.

Aside from substantial information, you should also have your digital showroom or inventory page. Your digital showroom must be comprehensive and interactive. Make sure that you include the pricing, specifications, and features of all car models available in your lot. Multiple photos of each car model also play an important role in turning your visitors into leads.

Pages

The basic dealership website pages are the Index or Home page, About Us, Contact Us, Testimonials, FAQs, Services, and a page of your staff’s profiles. Do not forget to always have calls to action, which lead visitors to sign your form or send a query, in each page. Also, it is a good idea to have your special offers and promos flashed on your home page. Utilize all kinds of content such as photos, videos, and graphics whenever appropriate.

Marketing

When all is set for your dealership website, it’s time now to tell online car shoppers that your dealership exists in the world wide web. Use auto internet marketing strategies to do that. A popular and effective strategy used in almost all industries is search engine optimization or SEO. This is used to make your website appear as one of the top results in search engines so it will drive more traffic. Some techniques used are link building, web directory listing, and blogging with keyword-rich articles.

Remember that your dealership website is no less important than your on-site dealership. Take auto internet marketing seriously and it will generate more leads, and eventually, more sales for you.

Rejection and Purchase Reasons of Auto Internet Leads

Posted on: July 5th, 2012 by credit

When converting auto internet leads into sales, a lead may either purchase from your dealership or reject your offer and walk away. J.D. Power and Associates cited in a recent report reasons why consumers purchase and reject.

Thirty-seven percent of automotive internet users or AIUs said that they did not buy from a dealership they shopped because they realized that the car was not right for them or for their needs. The report explained that the result is somewhat ironic with the notion that online shopping should help car shoppers “eliminate models from the consideration set” so that they will be more focused when they visit the dealership. There are two possible reasons for the said result: One is that car shoppers were perhaps not confident to eliminate models with only the online information they have as the basis. Another one is car shoppers might still have collected inadequate information that they need “to make a completely informed decision on which vehicle to purchase.”

Other top reasons for rejection are too expensive car price set by the dealer, unavailability in stock of the exact model that the car buyer wants, too expensive make and model, and the buyer simply was not ready to buy yet.

On the other hand, the primary reason of auto internet leads for purchasing a vehicle from the dealer they shopped is they were treated well. In addition, more than half of AIUs who submitted online request said that they purchased from a dealership because of the low price offered them.

These findings in current consumer behavior trend could be helpful in making your sales tactics and lead generation techniques more effective. It is important for every dealer to understand trends such as this to improve their marketing and sales systems. For example, knowing that 66% of auto internet leads consider the total price paid more than the monthly payment will help you in negotiating with your prospects more effectively.

Therefore, J.D. Power and Associates offer the following tips to dealers:

1. Respond immediately with personal email messages and keep in mind that you are not the only dealership being shopped.

2. Don’t think that once an online car shopper contacted you, you have already won him. Although you should be eager to convert him into a sale, keep in mind that he can change his mind and look at other options anytime.

3. Set an appointment with the shopper. The same salesperson communicating with the shopper online must also be the one to meet the shopper in person.

4. If the shopper has already agreed with the price, make sure that the vehicle is ready when they come over.

5. Be proactive. Ask the shopper to send you via email the necessary documents for sales and F&I processes before he visits your dealership.

Did You Just Get Social? Better Do It Right

Posted on: July 4th, 2012 by credit

Social media is trending now in auto dealer marketing. More and more dealers are turning to social networks to build their online presence and to promote their brand. However, social media experts have slightly different views on social networking sites as marketing tools.

Some say that dealers should use the social media not as a medium to sell but only to instigate word of mouth among their followers and their networks. Some also say that the focal point of being “social” in the context of auto dealer marketing is engagement. However, many car dealers do not realize these and in the eyes of some experts, they are seeing social media the wrong way. Here are some points expressed by some social media experts.

Social media is all about relationships, interaction, and engagement. Working to meet that standard is not easy. According to a social media expert, you cannot hire services to build relationships, interact with and engage prospects for you. You have to figure it out and do it yourself. You also have to know what factors impact your relationship with your prospects online.

One: People would not care about your dealership or even the brand that you carry if they don’t know who they’re interacting with. As a social media expert puts it, you are in social media and it was called “social” for a purpose: interaction. Connection may be weak, or may not even be established, if you don’t show a face on your page. Some car makers and dealers are showing the face of their social media persons on their pages. Doing the same stirs interest and initiates engagement.

Second: Some could go on thinking that content is not really that important, but whether they like it or not, content impacts engagement. Say, you have been publishing dull, irrelevant, and boring content. Do you think people will still be interested in what’s going on in your page? However, if you provide helpful information like important announcements and interesting photos and videos, you could even attract more prospects. Try and see it for yourself.

Social media is not originally for selling, although you can also do that. However, as a social media expert explained, you cannot mix up selling with being social. The two complement each other but you’ve got to have separate strategies for each. Social media is different from other forms of auto dealer marketing. You have to learn the right approach, which is different from the traditional marketing methods, to maximize its potential.

As a final note, don’t focus on the quantity of likes, fans, followers, comments, viewers, and the like. Although these numbers are important for monitoring and measures, your social media marketing efforts do not revolve around these. For the last time, it’s about interaction, relationship, and engagement.

 
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