Remember 2012, when the automotive industry got an adrenaline shot to the heart a la Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction? Following several years of unpalatable news, depressed growth, and a sputtering economy, the automotive industry rejoiced when numbers finally sprang up, specifically in one category: leases. Those deals had us jumping for joy as hundreds of thousands of new automobiles drove off lots across the country.
Now, with 2016 just around the corner, it’s time to think about all of those leases once again in the form of lease turnovers.
According to Auto Finance News, “The volume of expiring automobile leases is on track to increase 100,000 units – 5% in 2015 and then skyrocket another 800,000 units – 35% – in 2016.”
That’s a big number, but don’t let it freak you out. As you can read in Auto Remarketing, moving your pre-owned vehicles makes you money pretty quickly and easily, so your attention should be even more focused on used vehicles as we move into 2016.
But how do you attend to that?
Start by asking yourself these questions: Do you have used and/or certified pre-owned campaigns running? Are you running any brand awareness building campaigns to get the guy who turns in his lease down the road to run over to you to get his next car? If not, let’s get on this stuff.
Paid search ads.
1. If you’re running a dealer general and new vehicle campaign (we hope), don’t touch those.
2. Talk to your paid search advertising provider about investing in a used campaign and make sure it helps you determine the most important models to move. Your advertising provider should:
– Work with you to get the pulse of your local market. You might have just gotten in a sweet convertible, for example, but if you’re up here in Burlington, Vermont, like we are, nobody’s buying that ride in January.
– Thoroughly review your inventory with you. What are you deepest in? Customers like to see options when they search for a vehicle. Are you more likely to move trucks than sedans? Let’s focus on trucks.
– Help to include the deals and promotions you may be running. If everyone’s turning in leases, you have to stand out from the guy down the road.
3. Make sure you’ve got real, on-lot photos of your used vehicles. Stock photos are a no-go here. Customers won’t trust you if you don’t show them what you’ve really got available and its condition. This is immensely important in used vehicles.
4. People are going to be turning in leases all over town. By incorporating a used vehicle display campaign, you can build local awareness of your inventory and promotions. This strategy allows you to attract new customers who turn in their lease down the street and then come into your dealership to get the next one.
5. I’ve said it once; I’ll say it a hundred more times: You’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into getting customers to your website. Please, please, please have your budget at a level that matches that unique visitor volume. Talk to your advertising partner to determine how to best approach automotive retargeting.
The Farmers’ Almanac predicted a dry winter for the north and a wet winter for the south, but you can take fate into your own hands with these strategies and make sure it’s a HOT sales season at your dealership.
Annie Ode is Advertising Product Marketing Manager at Dealer.com