After more than a year away, NADA Show was once again live and back in action in the city that never sleeps, Las Vegas! From Thursday, March 10th to Saturday, March 12th professionals from every aspect of the automotive world gathered at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This year, there were over 600 exhibitors, 100+ workshops and an “A” list of keynote speakers. Didn’t get to make the trip? Continue reading to see some highlights you may have missed (and we found interesting)!
Technology in Auto Retailing
I’m sure it’s no surprise here, but technology was a HOT topic this NADA, especially electric vehicles (EVs) technology. The auto industry is going to see more change in the next 10 years that it has in the past 100. The biggest question, what are the next steps when it comes to EVs? During the convention, NADA announced a partnership with the Center for Sustainable Energy and Plug In America to ensure dealerships nationwide are prepared and educated at all levels for what’s to come. At this point, it seems as if every OEM has some sort of plan in place when they’re releasing their first EV model or additional EVs models. There’s excitement for Ram’s 1500 pickup due in 2024 while Nissan is planning 15 battery-electric models by 2023 and expects EVs to account for 40% of it’s US sales by then. Dealerships can take advantage of these new and exciting vehicles by hyping them up for potential customers, especially the younger generations, who will become the long-term customers.
Preparing for Electrification
So, OEMs are planning for the EV launches, whether it’s one at time or several, but how do dealerships sell these vehicles if surrounding businesses and properties are not prepared for them? According to Sean Gouda, Executive Vice President of Future Energy, dealers should start the conversation now with utility companies. “It’s really important to get out ahead of this,” Gouda expresses. “Dealers need to coordinate with the utility to ensure the supply is there for your business.” He cautioned that the line is already very long, and this is a long-term capital project that could take several years to complete. He also urged that dealers that plan to invest in these changes look at a long-term plan and build the foundation to set themselves up for the EV world of the future.
Google Vehicle Ads Search
Google will be launching a platform that enables auto dealerships to place inventory ads within search results. Displaying at the top of the search results page in a carousel-style display, the ad will show consumers searching for a particular model the price, milage and location along with photos of the vehicle. Google said, when paired with paid search, vehicle ads experienced a more than 25% increase in conversions.
Gen Z Marketing
As Gen Z starts approaching their middle 20’s, they’re getting that better paying job, moving into their own homes, starting their lives, they are now the largest population purchasing new vehicles. Unlike previous generations, Gen Z has lived their entire lives with a phone in their hand and a laptop at their fingertips. So, when marketing to this generation, the old tactics will no longer work. Dealers need to start finding new approaches to attract a generation that treats buying a car like it’s an appliance. They want frictionless and EASY!
Fixing Your Website
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but your website is your digital storefront, and the best asset after your own sales team. In a world that has seen a huge increase in online sales, you want your website to be the BEST that it can be. As an automotive digital marketing agency, we work on our fair share of websites, but a refresher is always a plus! Some quick tips that we picked up at the conference:
- Paid and organic work together. Paid advertising supplements for the traffic that you’re organic does not get enough of
- Find a way to make your website unique from others, even if you’re selling the same things.
- Ensure your pages have enough content – approximately 500 words or so.
- Manage your dealerships information on Apple Maps, Google Business and Bing!
- Google knows where you’re located, so don’t try tricking search engines by including a bunch of zip codes in your SEO
- Make sure everything has tracking
- Give your CTAs time to measure. They don’t typically convert the first 4, 8 or 12 times – give it 45-60 days and measure from there.
According to the 2022 Dealer Outlook Survey by Automotive News, Dealers are cautiously optimistic for 2022. Despite the War in Urkraine adding concerns to the supply chain, NADA Chief Economist Patrick Manzi said “Despite some larger macro-economic concerns, auto dealers are set for another great year of solid growth, solid employment gains and ‘really good auto sales.’” Manzi also stated that “real GDP growth will still be high compared to the long-term average. I’m forecasting 3.5%-4%. In 2023, we’ll return to long-term trend growth rate of 2%-2.5%.”
For more information on anything you might have missed at NADA 2022, or for a little help tackling some newly addressed marketing challenges above, contact us today!
Kristen has 11 years of experience within the creative side of advertising as an Art Director and Photographer. She is multi-faceted in her experiences and skills in both traditional and digital spaces, primarily for automotive marketing.