4 Benefits of MultiChannel Marketing For Auto Dealerships

March 15, 2018 Carol Forden

Automotive buying behavior has evolved and will be forever changed as a result of the digital age.

To maximize the benefit from engaging with potential customers and retaining a relationship with existing customers; it’s critical to be present on all channels across the spectrum where your customers are.

Today, 97% of car buyers start their car buying customer journey online.

 

97% of car buyers start onlineAs a result, it is critical to have a presence on all channels where your customers are.

Multi-Channel Marketing Defined

Multi-channel marketing is when a brand or in this case a car dealership interacts with their customers on multiple channels, directly and indirectly, to sell their products and services. Today, customers have multiple choices for getting information on both your products and services and your competitors.

These channels include the physical dealership, website, email, social media, mobile, TV and more.

By being available on multiple channels, it has a positive impact on how your business is viewed by the consumer.  Customers have several avenues to contact you, and your dealership has multiple ways to execute marketing campaigns to target potential customers.

1. Increased Brand Visibility

Customers need to know you exist.

With 97% of car buyers researching cars online long before visiting a dealership, having an online presence is critical for brand visibility.

Building a website is usually the first step to developing an online brand presence. Followed by setting up social media sites.  Today, 34% of new-vehicle buyers using social media for automotive research and to post a picture of their new car on a social media site according to J.D. Power.

For more information on the Automotive Trends that you should consider in 2018, check out our blog article here

2. Communication Preferences

When it comes to communicating with your brand, consumers will have a preferred method of interacting. It may be calling you, stopping by the dealership in person, or connecting on social media.

Multichannel marketing affords you the ability to offer a range of communication options for the customers.  This may be a  significant factor as to whether they contact you or not. Having a rigid and specific method for customer communication may be off-putting for some customers, and inconvenient for others, so having a myriad of options is a safe practice.

Studies continue to show that consumers are gathering more information than ever utilizing numerous channels and platforms, with car buyers having an average of 24 research touchpoints.

An image showing auto shoppers' sales cycle: number and types of touchpoints
Source: Think with Google

3. Improve the Response Time & Contactability

The automotive industry is falling short of customer expectations when it comes to contact ability and response time.

In a recent poll by AM-online of 2,000 consumers who were asked if they felt that dealerships were easy to get in touch with and efficient at getting questions resolved rapidly.

The data shows that 19% of automotive consumers believe that dealership contact ability is poor.   This puts the automotive sector near the bottom of the list. Also,  81% of consumers will take their business elsewhere if questions aren’t answered quickly enough.

81% go elsewhere if questions are answered quicklyBeing present on multiple channels can benefit here as you can discover any indirect (and direct) inquires immediately, respond to your prospects and customers efficiently, making sure that you won’t miss any opportunities and that customers won’t be taking their business elsewhere.

4. Reputation Management

When it comes to picking a dealership, many consumers turn to online review and rating sites such as Cars.com, Yelp, and even Facebook, monitoring the dealership reputation is essential today.

Today, customers expect a 24/7 real-time response when researching cars, according to DealerELITE.

By being present across multiple channels, it makes it easy to discover negative online reviews and try to resolve any issues by responding promptly, ultimately turning the customers’ view back to a positive one.

Why Do Dealerships Need To Adopt Multichannel Marketing

Multichannel marketing allows the customers to connect with your business regardless of the platform or medium.  This will enable consumers the benefit of feeling more connected to you as they will feel like your brand is reliable in responses and accessible in communications.

We cannot stress the importance of being present on multiple channels with the constant changing habits of car buying behavior.

If you are interested in updating your marketing strategy by implementing a multiple channel strategy, contact us, to talk about how Outsell Digital can help.

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