By Kristen Judd
This is the second installment in our series about common holes we see in even the most progressive automotive groups’ and dealerships’ marketing strategies. It’s important to note that we don’t think these “holes” are blind spots or that dealers, marketing directors, e-commerce directors, marketing teams and so forth are necessarily unaware of some of the gaps that we’re writing about in this series. To the contrary. We meet with smart marketers working in dealerships and groups every day who express frustration that they are unable to function at the level they want to and know they can and should but they feel that they don’t have the tools or the time to get there. In fact, we just met with a top group recently and the very seasoned marketing director and digital marketing manager were lamenting the fact that they felt like they were spending so much time doing necessary but time-consuming tasks like updating specials on all of their dealerships’ websites, that there was never enough time to be as analytical and strategic as they’d like (if they had a way of easily bringing all of their data together for deeper analysis in the first place) before it was time to update the specials again the next month!
The following are a couple of examples of the advantages of a diversified approach:
Paid search is not a substitute for good organic SEO. Quality content on the website not only drives organic search results which produce website traffic and supplies what today’s consumers are craving, it creates an ecosystem to drive paid search traffic to more relevant pages creating a better online experience for consumers unfamiliar with the dealership, lowers the bounce rate, and increases conversions. Investing in an organic infrastructure will produce more organic website traffic and first-party leads and also improve the return on the investment in SEM.
Database marketing and conquesting can and should also be complementary. Even though there is a ton of untapped opportunity and unrealized revenue that lives in every dealership’s database, even the best database mining and customer marketing program can benefit from smart, strategic conquesting. Better understanding current customers, especially the highest value customers, allows for more targeted conquesting geared toward attracting and gaining consideration from prospects like your best customers instead of your lowest value customers.
There is no silver bullet. It’s not black or white. As in life, we spend the vast majority of our time in the gray area. The trick is to take a diversified approach to dealership marketing and advertising. By continually analyzing, testing, iterating, and striving to strike the right balance, dealerships will allocate their spend more effectively to produce better returns, reduce waste and leave less money on the table every month.