Consumer behavior in the automotive industry is changing, so we hosted a Google Partner livestream event at Zeekee to help our clients gain a better understanding of how people are shopping for that new (to them) car and better understand their path to purchase. Here are a few things we learned today to help automotive companies gain market share and new customers.
The dealership who understands what the consumer needs and wants wins the most market share. As much as the automotive industry has evolved over the last 20 years, the automotive marketing world has grown and is changing to meet the customer in their time of need. Today, a person only visits 1...maybe 2...dealerships before purchasing their new car, and usually they are visiting the second dealership because they didn't get the experience they wanted on the first trip.
The old mantra in the auto industry was to get the customer in the dealership. Today, the mantra should be bring the dealership to the customer. We want to help you be there in those "which is the best car" moments and the "can I afford it" moments. If you show up earlier in the purchasing decision, you can become that first dealership they visit and more than likely, where they will purchase their car.
75% of time is spent searching for cars online, but dealerships spend an average of 90% of their budget on traditional media sources. Why is that? It's important to align your marketing efforts with the platforms where consumers are looking.
How can you save them time by completing the process faster?
Are you answering their questions? You might think about price and margin transparency first. That's important, but the question the searcher is more than likely researching has to do with understanding the process in the dealership (how long the process will take from interest to picking up the new vehicle) or how many car seats they can fit in the car.
How are you leveraging technology to help your customer? Are you providing useful videos on platforms like YouTube? Are you helping your customer have less trips to your brick and mortar location by answering their questions on your website?
Being found on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Assistant is a must. What's Google Assistant, you ask? The is the lady who talks back to you when you say "Hey Google" to your Google Home device. If you don't control the basic information about your business that Google displays you could be providing incorrect information or worse, be digitally invisible. Plus, you can manage reviews, drive traffic to your dealership, and gain a better perspective on where people are searching for you. Maybe there is a new dealership opportunity 30 minutes away. It's easy and free to set this up. Click here to learn more about claiming your Google listing.
Using targeted keywords and phrases can help you find the right clients for your business. If someone has a flat tire and needs a wrecker service, use search terms to help them find you in that moment of need. If someone purchased a car 6 months ago, help them find your service department. If they purchased from you 10 years ago, tell them how great the new cars are. Being there in the customers moment of need will allow you to find the people who are in the buying phase and who are invested in seeing your online ads. Frequent searches include " which car is best? ", " is this car right for me", and " where should I buy it?". By using the search terms that consumers are using will help you show up and meet those right prospects.
Do you know when customer visit dealership? Certain times of the year are more active in the car buying industry. Knowing the trends for your area and industry will help you understand when you need to be spending more money on your Google Adwords to win those bids. You can also use bid adjustments to focus on certain day of the week and times of the day to target high traffic and search periods. Also, when you are running off-line advertising, it's important to align your online campaigns. If you run this great commercial at night and people pull out their phones to search for this awesome new car you are advertising, make sure they are seeing your ads and not your competitors. Again, they only visit 1 ... maybe 2 dealerships. Make it yours.
Understanding where you consumers are looking will help you create a great experience for them, in turn, making you the brand they trust. Did you know that over 70% of auto searches are from mobile devices? Wow! That is staggering. Having a mobile-friendly website will help you be there and answer their questions.
Buying a new car is an emotional experience. Using photos and video to showcase features of the cars and dealership will help you connect. Search interest for pictures has gone up 37% year over year. Read more about why great photography is so important.
You can also use ad extensions to stand out. Google offers 11 of them including visual site links, message extensions, and video ads.
Well, to be honest, a lot. One of the most staggering statistics we say in this event was that consumers only visit 1 to 2 dealerships. Not only do you have to make your in-person game on point, you have to be on top of your digital game to help people find you in the first place. By meeting consumers early in the purchasing process, you can gain market share and stand out from your competition.
We are Google experts and can help you develop a custom plan to meet your goals and objectives, so you can focus on growing your business. We can't wait to help you grow your real estate business and take it to the next level!