Imagine walking into your dealership showroom and you hear a whisper, “If you build it, He will come”. Wouldn’t our selling day be so much easier if life imitated the movies?

eMarketer reports the automotive industry spent over $8 billion in digital advertising in 2016, trying to leverage the digital age to capture consumers attention. Digital marketing is not going anywhere, as it is predicated spending will increase to $14.14 billion by 2020.

There is an approach that many subscribe to that if you blanket-market to the masses or data mine from you’re your DMS or CRM, without knowing who is in the market, they will just come. But at an individual dealership level, are they coming in the droves that you anticipated based on the monies spent?
The truth is, probably not. However, without discounting the value digital marketing plays in reaching new buyers, there are ways to improve your ROI that will impact how you grow your customer-base while being more efficient and effective.

Consider putting your marketing on autopilot, with automation. Using data science to automate your prospecting and setting up a program to automatically reach your top prospects, will give you more bang for your buck. This will streamline and make your customer outreach efforts more efficient, while helping you reach your target goals quicker. Developing a consistent program to regularly identify and reach new prospects will give your dealership a new tool to capture new business and protect your current clients who may be cross-shopping without your knowledge.

If done properly, using marketing automation will help you nurture your leads through the buying lifecycle, and provide personalized communications that are relevant for the specific purchase. Even with this tool, try to avoid email blasting one after another in the hopes that one of the messages will stick and create actively. Not only will you be wasting valuable time and money trying to communicate to the wrong people, but you’ll also be burning through your list and be flagged as a spammer or email nuisance by your customers. It’s best to use multiple marketing methods to reach your buyers.
Multi-channel marketing is a sound and results proven approach. Combine the strategy of email, digital, and direct mail with a twist of predictive analytics and you will elevate your marketing to capture leads you may have been missing out on before.

Data science, to power marketing, is a fairly new concept for dealers, as it’s taking the efforts of lead conquest to a whole new level. True predictive marketing involves:

• defining a radius around your dealership,
• using data science to listen for and identify those consumers who are actively engaging in market research and are exhibiting online/offline buying behavior for a new vehicle;
• targeting the top 10-20 percent that have the highest propensity to buy

When you target these individuals, you are increasing your sales opportunity. This isn’t a 30 day campaign either. To do it right, you need to follow these people as long as they are in market. That is typically 90-120 days for the average car shopper. Create a multi-channel campaign that talks to their buying needs and keep them engaged while they are actively in the sales funnel. Dealers who use this approach consistently, on average, are adding an additional 8 to 15 new sales each month. And for many that number is much higher.

Marketing automation and predictive analytics, together, will enable you to identify the right target audience and successful stay connected to them when it matters the most.

Be smarter and strategic with your marketing spend. Just as Terrance Mann says to Ray Kinsella, “People will come Ray.” How you get them to your dealership is equally as important to as why they are considering you, as it impacts your bottom line.