While new vehicle registrations reached a 10-year high in March and some dealers benefited from record-breaking sales and profit margins in 2020 and into 2021, maximizing dealership marketing ROI is a critical step in securing immediate and sustainable success. 

Embrace modern marketing technology

As drivers keep their vehicles longer than ever and acquisition competition grows, traditional equity mining tools that identify trade and buy-back opportunities have lost much of their value. 

These tools focus solely on existing customers in a position to trade. By leveraging modern marketing tools that integrate with a dealership’s DMS and CRM – plus third-party data – dealers are empowered to identify opportunities across their loyalty, service and conquest portfolios, offering a more comprehensive approach.

Combining a variety of factors motivating a buyer’s potential purchase – including finances, lifestyle information and social media insights, as well as sales indicators like expiring warranties or lease mileage – modern marketing tools paint a clearer picture of all the sales and acquisition opportunities in your market while streamlining the process of getting to know prospects. 

Adopt a proactive inventory outreach strategy

Amid delayed production and vehicle deliveries caused by chip shortages and supply chain challenges, today’s dealers must be proactive with their inventory outreach strategy. By identifying and engaging prospective customers preparing to return to market in the next three months, dealers can meet prospects where they are in their unique buying journey. Strategic dealers are also mapping prospective buyers to their incoming inventory to market and sell in-bound units. Using this strategy, dealers simultaneous spend marketing dollars on acquiring vehicles while selling inventory. 

Maintaining this constant state of inventory turnover would have once required manual review, but modern tools largely automated this process, empowering dealers to maximize the impact and efficiency of their efforts.

Offer a consistent customer experience

At its core, maximizing the ROI of dealership marketing means offering prospective customers the path of least resistance. 

In a 2020 study by IHS Markit, 64% of consumers who bought a car online cited convenience as the primary reason. Dealers have the opportunity to offer customers an easy online experience while building trust and offering consistency, despite the fact that online-only retailers are gaining market share.

Building rapport from the first touchpoint means starting with transparent, concise and personalized messaging. Ensure every step of the buyer journey reflects your dealership’s internal culture and brand promise while being driven by customer wants and needs. 

Think of the buying journey from your customer’s perspective to create and send impactful messaging. This process starts with selecting the most effective communication channel for each customer, building trust with buyers and keeping them engaged. It’s critical to interact with customers via their preferred communication methods and to engage consistently while respecting their wishes and preferences.

Equally critical is the consistency of your messaging across every channel you choose to use, from newspapers to billboards to Facebook and beyond. Your messaging should always be clear, concise and consistent, and it should include up-to-date information on your available and inbound inventory.

While this year’s record-setting figures may spur some dealers to focus only on marketing that maintains success in the short term, slowing sales in the second half of the year and increased competition for buyers ultimately makes this a shortsighted approach.  

By leveraging comprehensive data mining technology to identify prospects and maintain consistent customer contact, dealers can maximize their marketing ROI and secure sustainable success.

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