Advertising the Service Department – Search Retargeting

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3 min read

Advertising for your service center can be one of the trickiest campaigns to pull off successfully. Service customers usually have fewer indicators that they’re in market than car buyers as the purchase window for a service is considerably shorter than it is for a new or used vehicle. In addition to that, dealerships must deal with big name service centers and auto parts chains aggressively marketing in their back yard. These stores focus exclusively on service and are typically backed by a national advertising presence, with high dollar budgets and expansive campaigns.

So how is a local dealership to compete? Search Retargeting is a successful, economical solution to bring service customers through your doors and retain them after they leave.

Due to the aggressive advertising of national service and parts chains, Automotive Search Engine Marketing is getting consistently more expensive in many regions across the country particularly for service department advertising. Since these chains do such a large volume of services, their larger margins allow them to absorb higher costs per click and still be profitable. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t have service as a component of your SEM advertising campaign (there’s still plenty of clicks to be had at reasonable prices), but it shouldn’t be the only part of your service advertising endeavors.

Why Search Retargeting?

Search Retargeting is a great supplement to your SEM efforts and can help you cover ground like the big guys at an economical price point. It works based off the same searches that major advertisers are paying up to $20 or more per click for and targets those searchers with display ads as they browse the web. Typically clicks are much cheaper than SEM based campaigns, and you reach the same core group of people clicking on the SEM advertisements at a fraction of the cost.

Search Retargeting also caters very well to the cyclical nature of service customer’s purchase cycle. Although the purchase window for a service purchase is much shorter than that of a car buyer, the cycle comes back around on a much quicker basis. That service customer who needs an oil change now and starts searching will need one again in a couple of months too, and your oil change special advertisement will be there for them to see. The customer who has been putting off winterizing their vehicle may be prompted to do it by your advertisement.

By establishing an audience of people who own the particular make of vehicle that you service and has searched for service-related queries, you can be sure your display ads promoting fresh and relevant specials are in front of them when the time comes for them to pull the trigger. It’s a textbook example of the benefits of promoting brand awareness. In addition to specific specials and offers getting in front of potential customers, a properly set up Service Search Retargeting campaign can serve hundreds of thousands of impressions to qualified customers in your area per month, exponentially increasing awareness of your brand and keeping you in the purchase decision conversation.

These users can then click through the ad to your service specials page or appointment page leading them directly to a conversion that can all be tracked in your Google Analytics. For more information and to learn the difference between website retargeting and Search Retargeting, click over to our Search Retargeting blog. For more service marketing tips, check out our Service Database Marketing blog.

If your dealership is struggling to keep your service bays full or you’re tired of paying exorbitant prices for service related SEM clicks, a comprehensive Search Retargeting campaign may be what it takes to jump start your service department again and cover more ground with your automotive digital advertising budget.

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