2020 has definitely been a year no one is going to forget anytime soon. The one good thing we all have going for us in 2020 is we’re finally approaching the end of it! Q4 is usually a period of time where dealers are gearing up for their last big push to end the year on a high note, but this year goals and expectations have greatly shifted from the norm.
While all dealers still want to make a big push to come out on top (or more appropriately, with their heads above water), managing expectations is key. There are a few key points to consider as a dealer going into Q4 of 2020: Due to inventory shortages across the country, your focus might be on getting a hold of used inventory or bringing a more focus to your service advertising; with less commuting in the workforce, maybe it’s time to really push the benefits of low mileage leases in your advertising; and most importantly, as a greater shift has been made to online shopping and researching prior to making a big purchase decision, it’s imperative that your website has all your specials, offers, and online shopping tools laid out in an organized and easy-to-use format to make the customer want to shop your dealership.
Set Realistic Sales Goals Based on Inventory
While the end of year push is always heavy on new car sales, this year the circumstances are a bit different. Most of the dealers we work with are having an extremely hard time getting new inventory on their lots. Units being bought up as quickly as they hit the lot. This sounds like a good problem to have, but when cars are trickling in and your inventory is scarce, customers have a higher tendency to shop elsewhere. We’ve been urging our dealers to buy up used cars from the auctions and to include incentive programs for customers who have a current vehicles they could possibly trade in. Since manufacturers are still not back up to their standard vehicle production, dealers should be focusing on the used vehicles that are out there and try flipping new car buyers into a used instead. We’ve seen dealers have great success with offering cash cards, additional cash over value, Apple TVs, etc. to potential customers. Offering that additional incentive might win their attention over a competitor and as automotive marketers, that’s our main goal. Get customers through the door. Once they’re there, they are way more likely to make a purchase over moving on to a competitor. Had over to our previous blog post for tips on getting inventory in a COVID world.
Another huge chunk of business that gets overlooked when it comes to advertising, is your service department. Right now, customers might be seeing less of a need to make a new purchase and more likely to keep with their current vehicle a few more months or even a year. But that vehicle is going to need to be serviced. Your service departments should be putting together specials each month to attract new business. These specials can be utilized in a multitude of different advertising channels throughout the month – database emails, conquest emails, retargeting, social media, SEM, and the list goes on and on. This of your service department similarly to how you advertise for sales. You want your offers to resonate with customers and to choose your dealership over your competitor. Your service department is ultimately what fuels your sales department. What is a more opportune time than now to shift advertising dollars to this department and build that customer base? This way when you do have more inventory, you have more contacts already in your direct database to market to!
Low Mileage Leases
With more people working from home than ever before, we’ve been tasked with the challenge of marketing to people who are barely driving… not an ideal market for car dealers. However, there are plenty of vehicle owners, who need to get out of their current lease and into something new. Although they aren’t driving as much, they still need a car to get around when they do need to go somewhere. That’s where we’ve discovered some opportunities for low mileage leases. If your customers are now driving 50% less than they used to, this might be the perfect option for them and you’re now able to provide this as an option with an additional savings, which everything is looking for these days.
Putting It Together
So, you’ve made these overall changes in your dealership, and now you need to know exactly to you market for year-end in 2020. Making these behind the scenes changes are most important and they will ultimately impact your marketing message. You want to make sure you’re getting the word out on low mileage lease terms and pricing, pre-owned inventory specials and of course your safety precautions when it comes to your dealership and staff. Remember, year end is flu season, and everyone is bound to be nervous this year.
Aside from keeping your messaging up to date and timely with the market environment, you’ll also want to think about the way in which people are consuming media in 2020. OTT is great way to advertise because people are home and they are streaming more than ever! Another great source of advertising in a pandemic world is social media. Users are spending a lot more time on social media than they have in the past, and that makes it a great platform to advertise your dealership. We have found great success with a variety of different social media campaigns this year. From social inventory retargeting to Facebook lead ads, this is definitely something to consider adding to your automotive digital marketing for sales and service.
If you’re really looking to focus on fixed ops, sit with your automotive digital marketing partner to determine if service is something they cover. A lot of agencies don’t have as much experience on the fixed ops side. Digital to Dealer Direct offers targeted service campaigns that we’ve implemented for dealerships across the country with a variety of different brands.
While it might seem like uncharted territory, year-end is nothing new for your dealership. We just have to be creative in how we are reaching people and with what message. If you need help developing your year-end marketing pan, give us a call today at 977-958-4524 or contact us online.
Diana began her marketing career more than 12 years ago, starting in public relations, and moving to automotive marketing in 2013. Her extensive background of account management, mixed with her knowledge and experience of digital and traditional marketing, allows her to manage clients and staff effectively and efficiently.
For more information on how D2D can help, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org