3 Steps to an Effective 2017 Dealership Marketing Plan

Explore new ways to optimize for mobile, and spend time analyzing your website data

Content marketing has been the biggest digital marketing trend for the past few years, but times are changing. With experts from the National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA) predicting a 17% decrease in automotive sales as early as next year, good web copy and blogs won’t be enough to ensure revenue and online success.

For 2017, dealers need to rethink their dealership marketing campaigns and focus on new opportunities to drive more sales, and stop wasting unnecessary ad dollars. Here are three areas you should look at to help you plan your dealership’s digital marketing strategy in the coming year.

1. Optimize for mobile

As technologies continue to advance, more and more buyers rely on mobile devices in their new vehicle search. In fact, according to the 2016 Autoshopper Study by J.D. Power, 53% of car buyers use a mobile device to research automotive information, and about 37% of those consumers use smartphones.

You need to make sure your website is optimized for mobile. Your site needs to be responsive and user-friendly on all mobile platforms, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Also, it should be designed to make the web experience more convenient for visitors. This means adding a click-to-call link and incorporating an easy-to-read layout so consumers can get the information they need quickly and easily.

Having a great mobile website isn’t enough. You also need to explore new opportunities to use mobile platforms to drive more sales for 2017, and mobile communication is a good place to start.

Formatting your emails for mobile devices is an excellent way to enhance customer communications, but not everyone reads emails and newsletters, even when they’re optimized for mobile. To better communicate with your customers, give them the option to receive text messages.

Text messages are the most common form of communication for consumers of all ages. Giving them the option to receive text messages from your dealership ensures they get the information they need, whether it’s a service reminder or a useful tip to help them choose their next new car.

The goal with mobile optimization is to make it easy for your customers to get the information they need about their dealerships at the exact time they’re looking for it. If your website doesn’t load properly or your emails require customers to zoom in just to read the text, you’re making it easy for them to choose the competition over you.

2. Analyze the data

You should already have marketing tools in place to see how every part of your marketing program is performing. But if you’re not analyzing the data gathered from these tools, you need to start for 2017.

Tools like Google Analytics give you a better understanding of where your dealership ranks digitally, and most importantly, you’ll learn more about your buyers’ behavior. Taking the time to analyze the data is critical to getting your dealership ahead of the competition in 2017.

Doing this will allow you to understand how web activity and website performance translate into sales for your dealership. If your marketing team is just showing you these reports without diving deeper, or without letting those results drive your optimization strategy, you’re wasting your time—and money.

Great marketers keep their finger on the pulse of your dealership, and can make strategic decisions about what changes to make because they analyze your overall program’s performance. They don’t just email you a graph with no action plan.

In 2017, stop using the same old marketing tactics and start making strategy decisions based on your buyers’ tracked behavior.

3. Get integrated

It’s time to drop all those vendors you’ve been juggling and partner with an integrated advertising agency to make 2017 as successful for your dealership as possible. Let’s face it: Running a dealership is hard enough as it is without having to worry about advertising. That’s why partnering with an integrated advertising agency is a must for 2017.

When all the digital marketing experts you need are under one roof, you don’t have to worry about wasting ad dollars or be concerned about conflicting strategies that don’t align. Everyone in the agency works together to provide cohesive services that get results for your dealership.

Imagine one meeting where you discuss everything in your program from your direct mail, your media outreach, email campaigns, website development, and content creation. You have one team of experts working together with your business goals in mind.

A great content marketing strategy won’t be enough to get your dealership ahead of the curve in the future. To ensure success for 2017, you need to explore new ways to optimize for mobile and take the time to analyze the website data.

In the coming year, save yourself a marketing hassle by partnering with an integrated advertising agency to make your life at the dealership easier and more successful.

Jennica Torio is inbound marketing copywriter at Stream Companies, a fully integrated advertising agency in Malvern, Pennsylvania, who specializes in generating leads through content marketing. When she’s not writing, you can find her binge-watching shows and movies on Netflix, researching the latest in vehicle technologies, and patiently waiting for the next Star Wars movie.

Jennica Torio

1 Comment

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    Ronald Baskin December 08, 2016

    This was a great article Jennica. I do internet marketing for clients and being mobile friendly is the number one key right now. I have recently met with an Auto Dealer locally and will be passing some of this info on to him. Thank you for publishing this post.


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