Every industry finds digital marketing benefits that reduce costs and/or increase sales. Yet each industry faces different challenges. In our ongoing efforts to discuss specific digital marketing benefits and challenges faced by different industries, today we’ll focus our attention on the automotive industry.
There’s no doubt that automotive businesses must up their game regarding digital marketing, as this industry is still entrenched in old-school marketing tactics. This is especially true in the new car industry, where online sales are prohibited by state law in the US, something Tesla wants desperately to change. Online sales of used cars face few legal challenges but new car sales can’t happen online unless mediated by a dealer and most dealers still focus most of their attention on traditional media to sell through their showrooms.
The fact that consumers spend more and more time online researching vehicles, searching inventory, making purchase decisions, and arranging for a test drive argues strongly for automotive businesses to recognize the digital marketing benefits they can reap if they implement a digital marketing strategy. They’re missing out on a massive opportunity if they’re not using digital marketing tactics to reach these consumers. This blog post discusses eight ways digital marketing benefits accrue in the automotive industry.
Digital Marketing Benefits
1. Reach a wider audience
With digital marketing, you can reach a larger audience more efficiently and effectively than through traditional marketing methods and at a much lower cost. You can target potential customers based on their location, age, gender, interests, etc; something not easily done with traditional marketing outlets. By focusing your budget on those consumers most likely to make a purchase, you eliminate wasteful spending on folks you have no chance of converting regardless of what inducements you offer.
2. Generate more leads
Asking for help from automotive advertising agencies, one of the major digital marketing benefits is generating more leads for your automotive business. We already talked about the efficiencies and lower costs you get by targeting your advertising to focus on your target market. In addition, using search ads reaches users when they’re in a buying mode when you use the right keywords. The same goes for using your content to drive targeted users to your website or physical location using those same keywords and optimizing your content for search, something called SEO.
3. Improve customer engagement
Digital marketing allows you to improve customer engagement with the automotive community and your target market. By posting valuable content (content that’s entertaining, informative, and resonates with your target market), you engage your community, which spreads your message, as you can see below, creates positive word of mouth from users who comment about your brand, and even supports your SEO efforts as engagement on social platforms is a major ranking factor.
4. Customers can find more information on specific vehicles
Prospective buyers want different information about the vehicles they’re considering buying. Some want the technical specs while others care more about average resale value. When my kids were little, I cared most about the number of cupholders and all the technical specs went way over my head.
Digital marketing benefits consumers (and brands, too) by allowing prospective buyers to access just the information they want. Salespeople don’t have to guess which information to share with a customer before their eyes glaze over from information overload. Instead, the consumer can view whatever facts they find more impactful on their decision. Customers can find more information that meets their needs about specific vehicles with the help of digital marketing. For example, vehicle history reports, dealer reviews, and other important details are easily found online, along with resale values and videos showing the vehicle’s operation. This allows customers to decide which vehicle they would like to purchase.
5. Financing and insurance estimates make it easier for customers to know what they can afford
Having a good digital marketing strategy in place makes it easier for consumers to determine which cars fit their financial limitations. By offering these products online, automotive businesses stand a better chance of making the sale and of making a profit from selling insurance or financing the car. This is because potential customers can easily find your dealership online and see all of the different financing options you have available without losing them to another website offering financing options. With so many options available, they are more likely to find one that suits their needs and budget.
It’s easier to build trust with potential customers when they can see your different financing options upfront. This transparency builds trust and makes it more likely that they will do business with you in the future.
6. Lower Cost
As automotive advertising agencies adapt to the changing automotive landscape, they are turning to digital marketing to help them reach their target markets.
Traditional marketing methods are costly and wasteful, as mentioned above. A Super Bowl ad costing $6 million reaches both folks who might buy a car in the next 6-12 months, but it also reaches a bunch who have no intention of buying a car. Digital marketing is more affordable because it’s targeted to reach just those who express an interest in purchasing and allows you to track your return on investment (ROI). Armed with metrics from your digital marketing campaigns, you can better build your budget and optimize that budget based on real data about what’s working and what isn’t. With digital marketing, you can track your ROI and change your campaigns on the fly, something not realistic using the anemic metrics provided through traditional advertising. This allows you to see what is working and what isn’t so that you can adjust your budget accordingly.
7. Access to easier services and parts for your existing vehicle
The automotive industry has been one of the most rapidly changing industries. With new technology and digital marketing, your business can stay ahead of the curve and access more accessible services and parts for vehicles.
7. Availability of vehicles
The automotive industry is one of the most competitive industries out there. With so many brands and models to choose from, customers have more options than before. This is where digital marketing can come in handy for your business. Using various digital marketing techniques, you can ensure that your vehicles are always available and top-of-mind to potential customers.
Digital marketing is a powerful tool for automotive businesses of all sizes. By creating an effective digital marketing strategy, companies can reach new customers, build brand awareness, and drive sales. Additionally, digital marketing can help businesses improve their operations and reduce costs. When used effectively, digital marketing benefits support your automotive company.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.