Craft Effective Digital Marketing Communications in a Changing Environment

By Kate Quinn 

With government and public health updates being released every day, you may feel the need to follow this lead and share all the steps your dealership is taking to protect and support your customers. You know what you want to say, so the next issue to address is how you say it. How do you communicate this information so that visitors to your digital storefront see it, read it, understand it, and remember it?     

One option is to consolidate these updates in a single display ad or a homepage slide, pop-up, or the like, but is this effective? And will your customers read all of it? Most likely, the answer is “no;” they will read the headline, a few more words, then navigate to their next page. This defeats the purpose of using this prime real estate on your website. What is a better alternative? 

Now more than ever, it is important to deploy clear and concise messaging to your consumer base. This approach applies to the multiple communication vehicles you may choose from, including Onsite, Online Advertising, Social Media, Email blasts, and more. 

Below are two examples of creative: Slide A is what we discussed NOT doing, while Slide B is the clear and concise alternative. Slide A overcommunicates by including lots of copy in a single homepage slide, increasing the risk of reader fatigue or that online shoppers will bypass the messaging altogether.   

Slide B breaks down the content of the homepage slide. This approach creates message hierarchy while utilizing best practices and drives the online shopper to a landing page with relevant information that’s organized and digestible. This page can also link to respective pages for the online shopper to act on (Schedule Online, Service Specials, New Car Specials, New Inventory, Digital Retailing Step by Step, etc.). An A/B case study showed 70% of online shoppers clicked on the more refined designs over the content heavy designs.  

Slide A:

Slide B:

Now when you layer in your other digital marketing channels, including Off-Site Display Ads, Social Media, Email Blasts, you should retain a consistent creative strategy with clear and concise messaging, as well as a dedicated landing page. The landing page will keep your customers up to date with any operational changes that may impact their customer experience. Equally important, it facilitates engagement between you and your customer.  

Knowing that in our current economic climate, 2/3 shoppers are willing to do 100% of their business online, it’s important to utilize technology to effectively and efficiently communicate. With Dealer Home Services, you can bring your dealership to the consumer by helping your customers shop, buy and service their vehicle safely and conveniently from their home. 

  • Digital Retailing & Shop-At-Home Services: Bring the dealership experience to the comfort of home. With Digital Retailing and Shop-At-Home Services, your customers can shop, schedule a test drive, value their trade, pick their payment and have a vehicle delivered safely to their home. 
  • Remote Vehicle Service & Repair: Fixed Operations are an essential part of your business. While they may be a small percentage of total sales, they make up 50% or more of your gross profit. 

How do you market Dealer Home Services to your customers? Share clear and concise information on your website and off-site marketing channels that drive traffic to a dedicated landing page for these offerings. Include links to respective pages to inventory, parts, and service so your customers can continue to learn about them. 

Take time now to make your website a true digital storefront, and you will see both immediate and long-term returns.  Before the start of social distancing, 83% of car buyers wanted to take their shopping experience online. Current events will have an impact on consumer expectations well into the future. With 28% of shoppers delaying their vehicle purchase, the 78% majority are still actively shopping and want to engage with a dealership.  Refine your digital strategy and accelerate plans that will drive engagement with your customers.  If you need assistance developing your dealership’s creative strategy, please contact your Performance Manager to learn about our Managed Services Content and Creative services.



Cox Automotive COVID-19 Impact Study – March 18, 2020 

Cox Automotive COVID-19: Tracking U.S. Consumer and Automotive Dealer Sentiment Survey – March 24, 2020 

Cox Automotive A Fresh Focus on Fixed Ops Is Paying Off – January 16, 2019 

Cox Automotive 4 Truths of “Connected” Retail – January 15, 2018