Cruising into Success in 2017

Katie Barth PureCars

2016 has been a record year for the automotive industry. But with a year of great sales comes the question, “what’s next?” Dealers will have to think more strategically in 2017 in order to accelerate sales after a big year. That’s where digital comes in. We’ve rounded up our three keys to success– think of them as the gas for your engine as you cruise into a successful new year.

Relevant merchandising

There’s a clear disconnect between the dealer and consumer view. When a dealer sees a vehicle, you see the details: trim level, heated seats, rear camera… all the bells and whistles. The consumer sees the basics– they don’t always understand the trim level and what it includes. Think of the Tahoe: the consumer sees LT as “lower priced / better deal,” then the LTZ level for $3k more. They don’t see feature differences, upgrades, and trim-level differences. They assume lower price = better value. Strong merchandising builds value in the vehicle, and in turn builds value in the eyes of the consumer. Highlight the key features in your comments and show them with photos! All vehicles come with a steering wheel; don’t waste your time– or theirs– by highlighting features that don’t build value.

Advertise the cars that need it

Sounds simple, but many dealers aren’t executing it. Think about what vehicles are on your lot right now that you’re 60+ days in on, that you want to move now. Which ones are you advertising? Why did you pick that vehicle over the one two rows over that you’ve only had for two weeks? What about the car that’s in the market “sweet spot” and is gaining the most page views? All inventory is not created equally! If the vehicle will sell itself, there’s no need to waste valuable ad dollars on it. Focus that spend on the vehicles that you need to move!

Strategy in media buying

The average car shopper spends 75% of their product search time on the internet. Google, Bing, Facebook, YouTube, Waze… the options are endless! Success is the ability to determine which of these options is the most relevant for your target audience and the vehicle you’re advertising. It wouldn’t make sense to serve an ad for a sports car to a mom watching YouTube videos on installing car seats, but often times the focus is more on just getting the ad out there and less on where and how. Connect the dots between your stocking and advertising, and make sure you’re hitting the right audience with the right message.

The biggest mistake we see in digital is a lack of strategy. Sales won’t come as easily after a record year– but with improved merchandising, advertising, and strategy, you can set your dealership up for success in the new year.
What’re your goals for 2017? We can help you reach them! Contact us today for a free digital health check!

About the Author

Katie Barth