Why 9 Car Dealers out of 10 are Missing Out on Digital

As you know, the Internet has a huge impact on a dealership’s current and future sales. The decisions you make today can influence tomorrow’s results, profits, and growth

Through expanding knowledge and expertise, I hope this evolving business guide will help you make this life easier. 

BUT, don’t expect us to reinvent the wheel here. The tools and vehicles we’re selling have changed and will continue to change, but the buyer’s psychology is still wired the same way. As we master this together, change is going to be easier to embrace and sales will come in droves. 

You, as an actor in this automotive ecosystem, are called to make a positive difference for you and your consumers.

Automotive Digital Marketing 

Before we dive into concepts related to the automotive industry, one must be able to understand the power and influence digital marketing has on our business and lives. 

These concepts flirt with human psychology and that may just be why I love this game so much. 

Digital Marketing is related to any effort to influence a car buyer made online. We have an opportunity to reinforce or break beliefs in order to create a win-win situation. 

There are two main kinds of marketing: Regular Marketing & Direct-Response Marketing.

I chose to do Direct-Response Marketing because I like to track, analyse & optimize based on data.

The other type of marketing is irrelevant to me.

Direct-Response Marketing will make your business sustainable and most importantly, fun for you and your team.  

Digital Marketing includes your message, image, process and is not only related to advertising. As Marketing is NOT sales, digital marketing is NOT digital sales.

I believe we tend to mix up the two, maybe because they go so well together. 

From Google to Facebook and Amazon, digital marketing is the base of most purchases we make today. Big or small.

The way all businesses position themselves. You must learn how to intentionally position your business where you want it. 

There’s something wrong with the marketing but mostly marketing players today. Technology has exploded over the last 10 years and it seems like the number of solutions multiplies every year. It doesn’t mean your problems have multiplied. 

Result: Instead of making everyone’s life simpler, the digital world has become confusing and complicated for auto dealers who need results today, not tomorrow. And guess what, it has somehow become more complicated for buyers too, more choice, more problems. 

So many systems are taking over the world every day and all seem too good to be true, while not communicating with one another. 

This results in confusion on the dealership’s side as most feel overwhelmed rather than relieved from issues. 

But the reality is that you can’t throw everything together by simply paying the bills and cross your fingers. Every change will require a change in habits from your team. 

Marketing is the art of changing people’s minds. It’s not advertising, it’s not social media or paid ads. Theses are simply a VEHICLE for the message. 

At one point, Radio was the main marketing tool because it was the strongest vehicle to reach the mass. TV came with a new visual dimension but also higher costs. 

It’s now continuously shifting to digital sources. Marketing is more like a science than a concept. You can apply it to various situations, from business to interpersonal relationships. 

There are many moving parts, variables, intangibles, recipes and mostly, results. All that with extensive, but limited resources to make sure you finish this year in the black (hence the “Black Book” concept). 

Marketing happens online and offline when your customer is browsing your website or in the showroom. Everything in your process from the first touchpoint to the latest has to be thought and delivered in its most perfect way. 

This is so hard because there are so many moving parts come into play. 

It also applies to existing and new customers, two key components of the automotive world. The way you shape your message will have to line up to your customer’s frame of mind if you want to maximize your efforts. Otherwise, it’s going to be a waste of energy on your end and a huge waste of time for your consumer. 

You need to influence the buyer’s intent and control the outcome. It’s a very selfish game to play. You have to embrace it & make sure you’re on point at every step of the customer journey.

Otherwise, someone else next to you is going to beat you to the finish line before you even know what happened.