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Creative dealership marketing strategies that appeal to young customers — Kevin Frye

It’s crucial to engage with young consumers today as they are tomorrow’s buyers. On today’s Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome back the Marketing Director at Jeff Wyler Automotive Family, Kevin Frye, to share his perspective on reaching young customers.

Frye emphasizes how imperative it is to, “meet the young consumer where they’re at.” He says that since younger people are today’s and tomorrow’s consumers, there needs to be a way for dealers to reach them. Frye asserts that “I love looking at some of the modern channels that are generating great success. Shows like Formula 1: Drive to Survive have completely upended the demographic to have younger people as a bigger fan base.” He also notes the same producers created another series called Full Swing, which really focuses on the Producers Guild of America, PGA, which brings in the same demographic. Additionally, since Frye is a huge NFL fan, he took notice when the NFL began simulcasting games on the Nickelodeon platform. During these games, they implement augmented reality, interview players, and ultimately draw in younger demographics. 

Within all three examples Frye highlights above, he believes, “all three are ways to connect with younger people that are going to be the future fan base and consumer.” Additionally, in efforts to appeal more to younger generations and encourage greater longevity and brand loyalty, automakers like Toyota, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, and many more have produced several entry-level vehicles. 

Additionally, Frye reiterates that dealers should aim to “attract and engage with young customers who they know are going to be the future of automotive.” He describes using Step Up Social, a Miami University organization, to engage with young customers on TikTok as one way to bring the Jeff Wyler Automotive Family where the younger consumer is at. “TikTok is huge globally,” says Frye. As a result, when looking at the fan base or core demography on TikTok, the average age spans from 18 to 24, which is the age range dealers want to approach. 

Two-pronged approach

Frye declares there are two ways to drive the most success for dealers to reach young customers. For starters, the most successful approach to this demographic: “I’ve discovered that social media works best if a grassroots effort is used. Or, to put it another way, encouraging your salespeople, service technicians, and team members to do it directly rather than doing it yourself has been found to be the most successful.”

However, from the dealership side: Wyler did indeed go after TikTok, but they did it differently than most. Frye explains, “we went out to a social media event to witness full-time college students with their own TikTok agency, and teach others how to make successful videos.” So, Wyler partnered with them to go after two messaging areas:

  1. Targeting EV knowledge and adoption 
  2. Buying completely online

Both messaging channels highlight not only education but outlined why they should do it with the industry experts, Jeff Wyler Automotive Family. But when it came to measuring each video’s success rates, it came down to utilizing trending hashtags and music the partnered marketing agency used. Frye says, “That’s why it is so important to partner with young customers and to network outside of the automotive industry, to connect us to that demographic.”

"You can have the greatest content, but it it's not seen, it's worthless." — Kevin Frye

Don’t forget to catch Frye at Digital Dealer this year to better understand TikTok in the industry, leveraging AI into the consumer experience, how to compete with Carvana, and what Frye believes is the next big transformation within the industry. 

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Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. She is a recent honors cum laude graduate with a BFA in Mass Media from Valdosta State University. Jaelyn is an enthusiastic creator with more than four years of experience in corporate communications, editing, broadcasting, and writing. Her articles in The Spectator, her hometown newspaper, changed how people perceive virtual reality. She connects her readers to the facts while providing them a voice to understand the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the digital world.

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