CommentaryAug 16th, 2021

Building Customer Relationships with Tactile Action-Based Marketing


If you’re like most dealers, you invest thousands of dollars each month into various marketing channels. Some of which you may be deploying right now: TV, radio, digital, email, direct mail, social. If you’re not active in your community while building positive connections to your dealership name, and your team, you’re missing out. 

I call it tactile action-based marketing, it’s people building relationships in your local community. Your store doesn’t have to be in a small town to make it work or to make a significant impact. I advocate for this type of outreach because it’s hands-on, cause and effect marketing, which builds relationships with both community members and local businesses.

It begins with an action on your part, social media is a great launching point, and turns into word of mouth in your community. Done properly, it turns observers into engaged fans. It is also simple, cost-effective, and you can start right now.

How does it work?

Instead of focusing on the dealership, put the emphasis on your customers and the community, two subjects that hold people’s interest. Consider how many people pass by your dealership on any given day, does seeing your sign or building spark a positive response in them? Imagine building great relationships with people who aren’t even your customers...yet.

How do you know if you need to implement tactile action-based marketing?

A quick scroll through your Facebook or Instagram will give you the answer. It’s time if your pictures primarily show your staff, vehicles, or vehicle deliveries. If in your advertising, all you talk about is money, it’s time. If your posts are dominated with phrases like:

“Here at ABC Dealer”

“We want to buy your car”

“The 2021 Make Model…”

“Our goal is to…”

It’s time, right?

Your followers will stop paying attention if it’s "the all about you" show.

win new customers

Start by sharing customers’ wins

Share about their businesses. How about posting what their children accomplish? Don’t forget to recognize community member’s accomplishments, sports team’s wins, and academic accomplishments. You can be a positive light in your community.

Show gratitude

Engage your social media followers with #thankfulthursday, each week on social media give away a gift card to a locally owned restaurant or small business. You just made a potential customer happy while supporting and promoting a local small business. Win/Win!

Support your schools and teachers whenever possible

Not only are you showing the teachers what they do is important, but also, you’re showing the parents you value their children. Parents are especially responsive when someone tries for the benefit of their children.

When you say, “We care about providing you an excellent experience at ABC dealership” the community knows this to be true because they have seen your actions in the community. When you say, “We go to bat for you to get you the best interest rate,” this carries weight because you have been going to bat for them in their businesses and their schools. One hand washes the other, see how it works?

Let’s start creating an amazing experience all the time though changing your social media approach and building relationships using tactile action-based marketing, you won’t regret it.

Aja Goldey is the Director of Marketing and Partner Success at Dealer Apps. Combining her love for the car business, a passion for marketing, and over 20 years of experience in retail automotive, Aja has earned a reputation of success by helping dealerships build solid marketing foundations. 

Aja develops marketing strategies and creative solutions with customized service offerings to achieve customer loyalty. 

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