By Jeffrey Bellant, Used Car News
When it comes to marketing, dealers, like drivers, have blind spots.
Nowhere is this more apparent than the digital marketing arena, according to Jeremy Anspach, founder and CEO of PureCars.
Anspach recently published a book called “Blind Spots: A Guide to Eliminating Today’s Automotive Digital Media Waste.”
Anspach explained his purpose in writing the book.
“Today’s automotive industry is continuously focused on the premise that margin compression is increasing,” said Anspach. “I’m reminded of this in every conversation I have, and it’s a significant reason why I decided to write this book – to give dealers a game plan for how to eliminate the waste while also focusing on selling more cars, parts and service.”
Anspach said traditional dealerships will survive the app-based car sellers, but they must adapt.
He identified several blind spots in dealership marketing, one of which he calls “muscle memory.” That’s where a dealer sticks with the same strategy long after it stops becoming the best strategy. He also describes a “fixed-budget mentality” as another blind spot. Some dealers budget a certain amount for marketing in one area and once that money runs out, it stops.
But if that source is driving more business, dealers should keep the money flowing to that source. Digital allows a dealer to track ROI and that should be the focus.
Anspach said dealers should ask themselves three questions:
1. What are you marketing?
2. Who do you want to target with your marketing?
3. Where is the best place to reach those potential customers?
Part of this process is closely considering the stock that you have so you can make more intelligent decisions.
Determining how best to use digital advertising to drive customers directly to your dealer website is vital. Simply getting eyeballs on the ad or on a car isn’t helpful if it isn’t driving people to the dealership, according to Anspach.
Another formula Anspach highlights is: “Data-oriented=Profit-centered.”
Having an employee or vendor who can accurately analyze data is critical to digital marketing success. But even data is not enough. Sometimes, too much data doesn’t help if the dealer doesn’t know what to do with the information. Ironically, dealers have to go old school in their thinking to understand the most important data.
What are consumers looking at today? Where are they looking for vehicles?
Answer those questions and then try to be where those customers are, Anspach suggests.
For example, data might show that traffic was down a particular week. But why? Was the inventory different? Were the prices higher than normal? Are the photos online not helpful?
The good news is with digital advertising, a dealer can switch up very quickly.
Changing your target market, your advertising budget or your online ad placement may be key and it can be done much more quickly than billboards or TV commercials.
Digital advertising is cheaper, again, because data can tell you what is working.
Anspach praises Amazon throughout the book as a model of good marketing.
In other sections he discusses price versus payment, showcasing what will sell, embedding value in your dealership and how leads cost you money.
The book’s last chapter is a Q&A with the author, offering insight into how he got into the car business and what his philosophy looks like at the dealership level.
This article was featured in Used Car News.
Click here to purchase a copy of Blind Spots: A Guide to Eliminating Today’s Automotive Digital Media Waste.