Thursday, September 23, 2021

Why new vehicle inventory shortages don’t have to prevent you from gaining new customers

Leveraging backend marketing technology used in variable operations can have positive effects on the fixed operations side of the business as well. Joining us today to discuss how connected marketing solutions can present new growth opportunities in fixed ops, is John Fitzpatrick, CEO of the Force Family of Brands.

Fitzpatrick joins the show today from Houston, Texas, where the Force brand GSM is headquartered. Acquired by Force earlier this March, GSM specializes in fixed ops marketing and one of the reasons for Fitzpatrick’s visit is to discuss the exciting, upcoming product launches. Force is gearing up to launch the second version of its Drive product, which is a dynamic inventory video engagement tool. Additionally, this same technology is being adapted for a fixed ops scope as well with the launch of Service Drive.

This product comes at a time when many car dealers are focusing on fixed ops marketing and used vehicle acquisitions in order to make up for any shortfalls in new car sales. Fitzpatrick says that many Force clients have pulled back slightly on their ad spend for the variable ops side due to inventory constraints.

Fitzpatrick says that car dealers need to recognize that they are in the order business and consumers have shown that they will wait for the vehicle they want or order it ahead of time. However, the fixed ops side of the business is often under-supported. In fact, the data tells us that 72% of customers do not service their car at the dealership they bought it from. This presents a massive opportunity to lean into engaging with the customer throughout their journey, which is crucial to fixed ops. This affects used vehicle acquisition as well because fixed ops can be an avenue to source those premium cars.

However, this isn’t to say that car dealers should scale back their ad spend in a big way. In fact, there are some early signs that inventory levels are beginning to come back. Car dealers still need to get in front of and engage in-market shoppers. They also need to engage with the consumers who are in the considering phase. Instead of eliminating spend, change the conversation and start targeting consumers higher in the sales funnel, is Fitzpatrick’s recommendation. Leveraging ads on streaming media with products like Drive and Service Drive is a great way to target those upper funnel customers.

Futhermore, 59% of data-based customers are not communicating through OEM programs. While these programs have value, Fitzpatrick reminds viewers that they are not one-stop-shops for a fully dialed-in fixed ops marketing strategy. With this in mind, GSM has a solution to go after this 59% in order to increase retention rates and supplement OEM programs.

To find out more, watch the complete interview above and visit www.forcemktg.com/.


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