The Rise of the Digital Dealer
Exhibiting at CDX, Car Dealer’s annual trade event, gave us a great insight into the challenges faced by today’s motor retailer. Around 3,000 delegates registered and many of them came to our stand, curious about who we were - having only launched in the UK a month ago – and how our digital marketing solutions might help their businesses.
The common questions among all levels of dealers, from start-ups to those that are well-established, were centered on how they can more effectively engage with a new generation of consumer. Many recognise that sales are no longer made on the forecourt, as buyers now make their car-purchasing decisions through their own internet research; however, as many are experiencing, simply having a website is not enough to drive sales in this new digital world.
A merely responsive website with calls to action, clever videos, and links to Facebook are no longer adequate. Dealers have got to get in front of the right customer at the right time, and this has to be supported by intelligent content, cyclical SEO, paid search, and an underlying platform that understands the digital consumer’s behaviour.
The buzz words are ‘mobile first’, and, based on a survey we carried out at our stand, most delegates claimed they were, in fact, mobile ready. But it is clear that many are only beginning to grasp this concept. Yes, websites are now being developed for accessibility across multiple platforms, from the iPad to the smart phone, but consumers now research and purchase on the move, requiring that they are fed information in ways that are quick, simple, and relevant. We’ve got to put the content in front of their faces.
Evidence points out that dealers are starting to understand the trajectory of digital mobile marketing, with a growing concern around how to apply these techniques without running costs going through the roof. From our research, many dealers have dedicated marketing teams who specialise in getting a return on investment on their marketing spend. The industry is no longer relying on the sales patter from the well-dressed sales person standing in the showroom. We’ve reached a turning point in the industry; we are witnessing the rise of the digital dealer.