Each year dealers across the country flock to Napa Valley, California, for The Digital Marketing Strategies Conference or DMSC, and this year was no different. Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome back Brian Pasch, Founder of PCG Companies, BPE | Brian Pasch Enterprises, and host of the CBT series, Auto Marketing Now, to give us a recap on this year’s conference.
Ahead of the conference, which happened at the end of May, Pasch presented 15 live poll questions to the DMSC audience. These questions set the tone for the conference and covered topics like how price affects brand loyalty, the customer experience, and other modern retailing strategies. Find the results of each poll in Pasch’s newsletter here. Of course, the DMSC also covered the latest automotive marketing trends like Google’s VLAs or Vehicle Listing Ads and getting rid of lead forms on dealer websites during business hours.
Industry leaders like Brian Benstock from Paragon Honda and Acura are pioneers in experimenting with modern retailing. So, Pasch enlisted Paragon to open the conference with a presentation discussing why the group chose a single-point-of-contact sales model and how technology bridges online and in-person experiences.
As Pasch consults with dealers trying to change their retail experiences, he tries to find the tools that match the dealership’s culture. For example, at DMSC, the rise of AI scheduling tools was a hot topic. Consumers do not want to jump through hoops calling the store when they have a simple service like an oil change or maintenance light. Some dealers use this technology as the first point of contact, and others use it to help overflow.
On the new car side, car dealers are selling vehicles as soon as they hit the lot or even beforehand. Pasch says that while dealers might not need to spend the money they once did on Google Ads, there are three areas of opportunity for digital marketing.
- Used car advertising: Used car prices are starting to come down in several markets, so Pasch recommends that car dealers use Google VLAs and Facebook Ads to market their inventory.
- Market your retail process: As the competitive landscape normalizes and new inventory levels rise, this is time to clean up your sales process and market it appropriately. GM and Ford have indicated that in the near future when EV supply increases, these vehicles will be ordered on a national website and delivered to local dealers. Consumers will then pick through a list of dealerships in their region where they’d like the car delivered. Pasch is concerned that dealers who give up their marketing will lose out on this business. Your dealership should position itself as the ‘EV expert’ and stay top-of-mind for consumers in your area.
- Invest in your group site: Drive more traffic to your group site with a clear brand promise and sales process.
If Ford and GM get their dealer bodies to allow EV models to be ordered on a national website, then Brian thinks the sales model will move closer to direct-to-consumer.
These topics and more were covered at the 2022 May DMSC and will surely be covered at future events. Typically, the spring event is held in Napa Valley, California, but due to rising costs and travel limitations, Pasch is moving the conference to either Nashville or Austin. Coming up before the 2023 DMSC, Pasch will hold the annual Modern Retailing Conference this November in Palm Beach, Florida. Claim your spot here!
Did you enjoy this interview with Brian Pasch? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic by submitting a letter to the editor here, or connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.