Car dealerships today are struggling to adapt to technological innovation and the disruption it generates. New technologies are always being invented, and the rate they revolutionize the marketing landscape is only going to accelerate during 2017.
We’re seeing a huge shift in the dynamic between car shoppers and dealerships because of innovations like mobile technology and social media. Consumers can access the information they need for buying a car virtually anywhere at any time.
Technology puts more control in consumers’ hands, reshaping their behavior as new innovations arise. This means you need to use technology to learn about your buyers and craft marketing messages tailored to their pain points long before they enter your showroom.
Sifting through trends in technology disruptions with high and low payoffs will help you leverage innovations that align with your marketing strategy, elicit a response from your consumers, and help maintain your competitive advantage in digital marketing’s ever-changing landscape.
Your dealership needs to be aware of how technology is altering the way people shop for cars, and plan for disruptions in your marketing strategy. Keep reading to find out how your dealership can prepare for technology changes and trends for 2017.
1. Use data to learn about customers
In today’s consumer-centric landscape, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing. Different people respond to different messages, and you can use data to plan a strategy that aligns with how specific customers like being marketed to.
If you’re not already using analytics to quantify customers’ wants, needs, and buying behavior, you should be. Data provides insights about the customers visiting your showroom, allowing you to craft marketing materials that speak specifically to their needs.
After collecting enough data, you can segment customers based on your findings in analytics. This ensures you’re providing them with helpful, relevant information, which builds trust and increases the chances they visit your showroom.
2. Adopt technology strategically
Artificial intelligence, advanced machine learning, and virtual and augmented reality are slated to be the hottest technology trends during 2017, according to Forbes.
These inventions could have an immeasurable impact on how your dealership interacts with prospective car shoppers. When adopting new marketing technologies, however, it is crucial that you choose innovations that align with your business goals and the needs of your customers.
It takes time for a marketing team to learn and master a new technology. You’ll reap more benefits from learning a few technologies and leveraging them effectively than from using many technologies poorly.
We recommend that you experiment with new technologies and ideas on a small scale, and integrate the ones that work best for your dealership into your strategy over time.
It’s also important to ditch old-school ideas and marketing strategies that no longer serve you. Dealerships often have limited marketing resources, so it’s best to replace outdated technologies with newer, innovative ones before they start hurting your bottom line. Look at your dealership’s priorities to determine which technologies to keep and which ones to toss.
3. Plan to change for new technologies
Change is the only constant in the marketing world, especially at the rate of technological innovation and disruption predicted for 2017. It’s difficult to foresee which innovations your dealership should embrace in the next few years, but anticipating disruptions during the planning of your marketing strategy will help you remain agile as new technologies arise.
We also recommend planning at least one generation of marketing technology ahead. Waves of innovation increasingly overlap, so sitting out one round of disruption and planning, experimenting, and mastering strategies for the next one could be to your benefit.
That way, you’ll be on the leading edge of market disruption, improving how you reach and interact with your customers.
Rapid innovation poses a challenge for dealerships because technology is changing faster than most organizations can adapt. But by keeping up with the latest technology trends, you can better predict industry disruptions and changes in consumer behavior, allowing you to build strong relationships with customers—and sell more cars.
Meghan Garrity is an inbound copywriter at Stream Companies, an integrated automotive advertising agency. Interested in learning what new technology your dealership should embrace in 2017? Join Stream Companies at NADA to learn more.
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