Over the past 25 years, digital technology has transformed dealership marketing from mass media into the age of personalized experiences. What was once “nice to have” is now the must-have way to engage customers.
The digital evolution has become a revolution. Marketers are using digital tools to reach prospects with pinpoint accuracy, replacing old-fashion shotgun mass market advertising with digital tools offering laser sharp accuracy.
Data-Driven Marketing: The rules of engagement are written in code
A glance in the rear view mirror shows this amazing transition. Back in the day, newspaper print ads and inserts, radio, TV, billboards, and direct mail ruled.
In the 1990’s, the internet and emergence of digital advertising flipped the industry upside down with the first targeted communications. Email, instant messaging, websites and microsites offered consumers easier access to information and sales promotions.
During the 2000’s, PPC ads, blogs, RSS feeds, podcasts, SMS marketing and banner ads provided even more opportunity to attract car shoppers with information and promotions. Dealers also began embracing database marketing and equity mining.
An even bigger data picture
Since 2010, rich media ads, dynamic paid search advertising, webinars, Twitter, Facebook and other social media technology have become essential marketing channels. Also, advancements in cookie mapping, geolocation, and mobile apps have allowed dealers to target with pinpoint accuracy and tailor messaging to engage anonymous shoppers more directly.
Take it one step further and now personally identifiable information (PII) and available 3rd party data can be layered for the ultimate targeted experience. Through strategic, data-driven marketing, dealers can get the right prospects exactly the right vehicles, promotions and pricing at the right time. Often leading to bigger returns on their advertising investment.
The steady shift to data-driven marketing has revolutionized every aspect of dealer communications with car shoppers. Dealers can now address prospects with customized communications, on their terms. Mass marketing is being replaced with customized targeted marketing messages that are highly relevant based on the stage of a shoppers journey.
Car buyers simply aren’t responding to the same-old spray and pray mass media messaging. They now expect to be recognized, sold, and retained with communications tailored just for them and their unique needs. The forward thinking dealerships doing well today but looking ahead to the future are recognizing these prolific changes. The dealerships who aren’t are quickly getting left behind.