New car sales are on pace to achieve 17,300,000 units by the end of 2015. This is due, in part, to pent-up demand from shoppers who were inclined to stay indoors during this past winter’s relentless weather – a potential recipe for summer 2015 to be the busiest in automotive retail history.
One thing is for sure: the competition for that demand will be intense. There are steps, however, that your dealership can take to give it an edge over the other guys as you vie for shoppers’ attention.
It starts with your advertising strategy.
Let’s examine three ways to adjust your digital advertising now to capitalize on this summer’s sales heat:
1. Align the demand you generate with your lead capacity.
Search engines and research websites are now flooded with queries. This interest can translate to increased floor traffic and sales, depending on which dealerships stand out and best engage the attention of qualified buyers.
With so much competition out there, it’s a shoppers’ market. To engage the most qualified shoppers, your ads will need to be compelling, timely, and relevant.
To begin, test your relevance to local shoppers by following these steps:
– Visit the Google Ad Preview Tool.
– Enter the search query “[Make][Model] Near Me”.
– Make sure to check the ‘location’ section so your local market is targeted.
Your ads may not appear, even after several test searches, and even if you’ve been investing heavily in paid search. The likely culprit for this is a surge in demand that is lowering your overall coverage.
But don’t fret. A surge in demand means there are more high quality sales leads available. Use this opportunity to drive these motivated shoppers to your dealership by turning up the dial on your ad spend (to even the ad budget scale, consider repurposing dollars from underperforming media spend). Consult your advertising specialist to determine and match the amount of leads your dealership can handle with the current share of demand you are capturing, and adjust accordingly. Your sales staff needs to appropriately work the flood incoming new leads.
2. Configure a holistic digital ad strategy.
Paid search ads are a tremendously valuable advertising mechanism, but they’re capturing a lot of shoppers who have already completed at least some of their initial research. What about the other 95 percent of time that in-market shoppers are spending on their smartphones, tablets, and laptops everyday?
Using metrics like searches containing “near me,” for example (a phrase that’s growth has jumped 34 times in the past four years), shoppers are identifiable through means completely separate from paid search engagement. Ad campaigns can be configured to cater to qualified shoppers from a proprietary list based not on their name but on digital/offline transactions and expressed interest. Talk to your advertising team to get this strategy going.
3. Ensure your landing pages are ready to engage your new traffic.
How far down the process can buyers proceed without speaking to your sales professionals? Shoppers can “dive” deeper into your store, and much closer to a sale, if you:
– Display accurate, dealer-controlled payments and pricing for new and used vehicles—including taxes and fees where available.
– Provide loan and lease calculations using APRs from your selected lenders, manufacturer residuals, and incentives.
– Include your dealership reserve and rate mark-up.
– Generate instant trade-in offers that are vehicle and dealer-specific.
– Drive profit-ready finance leads through short form inquiries or full credit applications.
– Integrate financing and trade-in into vehicle inventory workflows.
– Present insurance and aftermarket options.
These options can greatly increase your dealership’s ability to take action with those leads and close more deals. It could be the difference between a 20 versus 35 percent lead-to-close ratio.
We wish you continued success this summer! Don’t be afraid to drop us a line with questions or comments.
Joe Mescher is a Media Sales Director at Dealer.com