As we head into 2016, many car dealer marketing managers, directors and teams will be starting to think about their strategy for the year to come. However, it’s not always easy to know what technology, trends and products will matter in the next 12 months.
As a digital agency with lots of experience in the automotive space, we’re here to help. We’ve put together a list of some of the key digital areas that digital dealers would be wise to start thinking about.
The dealer digital market place is typically a bit behind other retail industries – which is why we think there are some important learnings to be taken. At the least, you need to start thinking about these so you don’t get left behind.
Great data marketing and personalisation make your communications with customers more relevant.
Data and personalisation are set to get even bigger and more sophisticated in 2016, and we think it's about time that the automotive industry caught on.
If you don't have a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management) then now is the time to think about getting one so that you can start storing customer information. Then you will need a strategy to get your customer data in tip top order so that you can be clever with your marketing communications, making the experience as personal as possible.
The end goal? Improved marketing relevance should result in more customer engagement, and hopefully that will result in increased bookings or purchases.
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As the world gets busier, there are more options to choose from. Combining live, social information with a local focus helps you to hook customers.
In 2015, TopShop put the very latest fashion trends, tweets and news on billboards near their shops, and included directions to the store just around the corner. Whilst this may seem like a strategy only for big brands, we think forward thinking dealers could embrace it too.
Whether you go all out and beam handover photos to cutting edge billboards, along with directions and purchase options, or whether you take the concept and reproduce it in static, regularly changed billboards, this allows you to tie your social activity together with your physical showroom. You will also be reaching local customers with a unique and distinctive message.
Other ideas? Social media walls in dealership, perhaps. The possibilities if you think outside the box are endless.
Clichés often exist because they are based on truth - and the "Content is King" phrase is as vital as it is clichéd!
You're probably fed up of hearing about the importance of content, but it's only going to get more useful in 2016 - and a clever content strategy can supplement your marketing strategy.
Take, for example, the idea of content remarketing. Much as we’d like them not to, customers will leave your website, often without enquiring – but that doesn’t mean they’ve made the decision to buy a car elsewhere. This is where you can “remarket” to them with interesting, relevant content – such as car buying guides, or how-to content if they were close to booking a service.
It’s relevant, it’s not too salesy, and it can get them back to your website. What’s not to like?
Omni-experience is about offering a seamless experience from online to offline and vice versa. It's the future for retail locations.
Knowing who your customers are and what they looked at online - and tying that into your dealership strategy - won't be easy. However, at the least you should be thinking about it in 2016.
Take, for example, a visitor to your website. They look at three different Corsas. A few days later the same person walks into one of your showrooms. Their phone bleeps, and lo and behold it contains Corsa information and directions to the right area of the showroom. Connected experience = amazing experience.
This technology depends on pieces of software called iBeacons – and we think it’s definitely something dealers should be looking into.
Alternatively, we’ve already integrated Autochart tracking technology. Down the line, this will allow us to change the website content based on the visitor. What an idea!
Are there any 2016 digital marketing trends that you think we've missed?