Have you ever given much thought to the image the public has of car dealerships? We all know what the old image was, of that middle-aged guy in a too loud jacket, extolling the virtues of his dealership on late night television. The guy in the huge cowboy hat with his pet tiger Spot. But while those kinds of ad spots are not completely gone, they are not the best way for a modern twenty-first century auto dealership to reach out to an audience. Not if you want them to buy a car from you.
Today the technology that helps many to sell everything from the latest shoes to web building software for your computer is changing rapidly. For many dealerships, their car dealer software comes from head office and is dictated by immense amount of research into what today’s car buyers need and want. So how does anyone identify what other tricks of the trade they can use to make them stand out in a crowd? Luckily the field is full of great software, and most of it is easy to find and use.
The old days of potential buyers walking into a dealership to” kick the tires” and discuss new car models is long gone. In fact, today most buyers walk into a showroom with a clear idea of what they want to buy, often with a printout in hand. They have been online looking at models and statistics, and simply need to find the dealer who can offer it at the best price. Since this new kind of buyer generally looks at around two dealerships before purchase, how do you make sure that one of those dealerships is you?
The best way is by using social media to identify those potential buyers. Places like Facebook have perfected the art of the targeted ad, letting you spotlight young first time buyers or seniors looking for that last sports car fling. With its wealth of reader profiling, social media sites can make targeted marketing cheaper and easier. It allows local dealerships to introduce themselves to serious buyers. It can also help them to build mailing lists for newsletters that keep them in touch.
The Local Touch
The software that is sent to dealerships for marketing often tells them much about the neighborhood. It can help dealerships pinpoint local needs and what the local demographics look like. But when you match up this software with a true local identity, you have an unbeatable combination.
Getting involved with local high school car washes, keeping your name in front of locals by participating in local parades and other events, these are the kinds of things that help a dealership becomes the local favorite. When you combine this kind of familiarity with the reach of the web, you have potential buyers who walk in with printouts from your site, ready to buy and familiar with your name.
Combining Old and New Media
As you can see from this, while the new media is indeed the way that many of today’s car buyers may find the model they want, it isn’t the only avenue to reach them. Car dealerships across the nation are finding that the mix of old fashion face to face contact when combined with the new technology can be the best approach.
It takes both. Customers want a real relationship, and while the net can make that first introduction it is up to each and every dealership to then find a way to create a lasting bond after that first dance.