Why Is Automotive Marketing Changing and How to Stay Tuned?


Automotive sales have dropped due to the pandemic. However, as we are reeling back to the normal world, the demand for cars is growing again. A survey shows that people who have been using public transportation and sharing rides are planning to make a purchase this year. Additionally, people are also purchasing new cars as their economic conditions improve. Hence, it is safe to say that the automotive industry needs to start catering to these new customers.

Due to the pandemic, many offline companies have bought their businesses online. This is because people stopped visiting traditional dealerships during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, they started visiting websites online to purchase cars.

Today, smart automotive companies are looking for unique ways to reach their target audiences, like running ads, etc. However, the industry is still lagging compared to others. The automotive industry is used to primetime broadcast spots and TV ads. However, people have shifted towards streaming devices, particularly after the pandemic.

Apart from the changing media, buyers have also become very smart. Instead of shopping for cars, they now look into the available options. Additionally, they have also started researching more when it comes to options, walkthrough, etc.

In this article, we will look into some facts on how the automotive industry is changing with time and how you can stay tuned.

What Are Some Latest Trends In Automotive Marketing?

Here are some of the latest trends that we can see shaping in automotive marketing:

1. Mobile Marketing

There is no doubt that mobile devices influence and change the way people make purchases today. Based on studies, it has been found that nearly 60% of people make use of their smartphones or tablets to help find the right products that match their requirements and/or preferences.

When a customer arrives at a car dealership, it is natural to keep using their mobile devices for additional research. Research has shown that people with smartphone and tablet devices are more likely to visit another car dealership while looking for cars. Additionally, others opted for another dealership when they saw an ad while looking for a car.

Even Google has provided solutions to help car dealerships display their offerings on mobile devices. Nearly half of all automotive searches take place on Google. Hence, Google has released a mobile ad format for these car dealerships. These ads contain:

  • Images (interior and exterior) of the car
  • Features and performance of the vehicle
  • List of local dealers
  • Links to get a call or message from the local dealers

With the advancement of mobile technology and availability of data and insights, dealerships now have a new way to target new audiences. When it comes to mobile targeting, dealerships there are many audience targeting forms, like assumptive lookalikes, targeting based on the site, apps, or devices the target is using, etc.

Additionally, many real-time locating apps will target every mobile device within the store’s proximity, like geofencing and beaconing. Traditional mobile marketing will only target the device; however, new technologies are being developed to target the audiences when they are making their buying decision.

2. More Exceptional and Personalized Shopping Experience

In an age where customer experience has become a competitive commodity, auto dealerships can no longer afford to compete with pricing alone. Consumers today are looking for a better and more personalized shopping experience.

Research has shown that roughly 71% of customers would prefer purchasing from a dealership that offers a personalized shopping experience that includes test drives, even if the cars did not have the lowest prices. Additionally, 70% of customers would prefer to visit dealerships if the purchasing process improves.

According to more research, it has been found that 90% of customers are interested in online car sales.

There has also been a study published to indicate the relationship between customer satisfaction and loyalty. If the customers are not satisfied with the shopping experience, they will not buy the same car from the same dealership. If satisfied, the customers will likely buy the same car from the same dealer.

By providing a personalized and seamless customer experience, car dealerships have the opportunity to increase their revenues by finding the target audience easier and interacting with it through automated contact data search.

3. Video Marketing Is The Next Big Thing

It has been found that nearly many dealers that use YouTube and other video-sharing platforms saw substantial growth in sales. This is because it is a known fact customers often get influenced by what they watch on the platform – these videos consisted of talking about the car options and features, test drives, walk-throughs, etc.

It is quite common for consumers to view videos of cars that they want to buy. They mostly look into videos like test drives, features and makes, and walkthrough videos.

What Are The Different Marketing Moments?

According to Google, there are five distinct moments that car dealerships need to take advantage of when it comes to customer information:

1. Best Car

When you are considering buying a car, likely, you may not know where you need to start. While using a mobile device, you will usually enter a comprehensive search query, like the best vehicle or best car. Therefore, you need to ensure that your model or brand pops up on the first page of the Google SERPs. It will also have a lasting influence on your customers, showing their customer behavior.

2. Right Moment

Today, no person has the time to visit a car dealership or talk to a salesman directly. This is the reason why most customers prefer researching beforehand to find whether a particular car is right for them or not. In such cases, it is important for car dealerships to optimize their mobile applications or website so that the customers can easily find the information they require to make the right decision.

3. Affordability

When deciding, customers also consider the affordability factor. Your customers will look for deals and reviews for the car model they want. If your brand does not appear in the search results, your customers may think that your car is out of your budget, even if it is not true. Similar to the above, you will have to work on your mobile app or website to ensure that your site lands on the first few pages of the Google SERPs.

4. Place To Buy

Most customers do not have the time to jump from one dealership to another to acquire the information they need to buy a car. Customers do not visit more than two dealerships to purchase a car. This is the reason why your mobile app or website needs to land on the first few pages of the Google SERPs so that they can quickly find the car they are looking for and make a purchase.

Final Thoughts

Today, it is safe to say that the automotive industry is transforming digitally. Dealerships have started becoming more connected to their customers daily. There is no longer a requirement for consumers to have lengthy conversations to land the best deals via the telephone.

Of course, certain aspects of marketing remain the same. For instance, marketers need to stay in touch with the customers throughout their journey, including moments when they are about to make their final decisions. Suppose the automotive marketers and dealerships want to thrive in this new environment. In that case, they need to embrace all the changes along the way and keep adjusting the strategies to ensure that they are reaching their audiences during the critical buying moments.

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