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Study Shows How Dealerships Handle Car Dealer Digital Marketing

dealer marketing

Study Shows How Dealerships Handle Car Dealer Digital Marketing

Dealerships understand the value of digital marketing more than ever and continue to invest a good portion of their budget to various strategies. CarGurus recently ran research of what car dealer digital marketing looks like in 2020 and the results might surprise you.

With this information, you will be able to make better automotive marketing decisions for your dealership and learn where to invest your money. If you want to reach your customer on every part of the car-buying journey, it helps to pay attention to what this study found.

CarGurus evaluated 300 dealerships across the United States to get these statistics. When you look at how the car dealers approach their digital marketing strategy, you will see what works and what doesn’t.

Let’s look deeper at the marketing channels being used by car dealerships, the quality vs. quantity factor and the level of confidence that today’s dealers have.

Car Dealer Digital Marketing Channels

Seven categories were analyzed across the dealerships. These included:

  • Third-party providers, such as sites like CarGurus
  • Facebook video and display ads
  • Paid search through Bing, Google and Yahoo!
  • Social channels such as LinkedIn and Instagram
  • Retargeting ads
  • Web video ads
  • Paid email marketing

The most popular method used by car dealerships was third-party providers, with more than ninety percent of dealers using these sites. Just more than seventy percent of dealerships use Facebook ads, but only a little more than twenty percent are utilizing web video ads.

Furthermore, the franchise locations are 4.5 times more likely to participate in retargeting than the independent dealership is. Plus, they are twice as likely to use paid search.

When looking at the urban vs. rural dealerships, there weren’t many differences in automotive marketing strategies. The most significant difference was that metro locations are thirty percent more likely to use social media sites and nearly twenty percent more likely to use paid email outreach.

Evaluating Marketing Quality vs. Quantity

During the study, dealers were also asked to rank how effective each automotive marketing channel was for driving lead quality and volume. Overall, dealers didn’t offer a lot of difference between the platforms, but some did rate slightly higher for volume.

With both Facebook advertising and web video, dealers haven’t been as satisfied with the lead quality in comparison to the volume. Overall, many car dealers wish that the quality of the leads was higher. In general, paid search also brings plenty of volume, but possibly not the same level of quality that dealerships hope for.

As car dealerships understand the role that paid search offers into funneling traffic, most dealers don’t expect the majority of paid search leads to come with the highest level of quality. However, there are ways to ensure that all car dealer digital marketing leads have better quality, especially when working with a professional automotive marketing team.

Automotive Marketing: Confidence on the Rise

Confidence is running high among car dealerships. 55-percent of franchise dealerships are incredibly confident in the marketing techniques, but only 38-percent of independent dealers feel the same way.

Aside from marketing confidence, CarGurus also looked at channel usage in correlation with assurance. Dealers that utilize all seven of the marketing channels outlined above have more confidence. The study shows a 24-percent increase in confidence compared with those only using one or two avenues.

It’s unclear whether the correlation shows that using more channels brings confidence, or having more confidence allows dealers to branch out more. Either way, it’s clear that the two go hand-in-hand with one another.

Car Dealer Digital Marketing: Using Retargeting Ads

We have discussed the importance of using retargeting ads to grow dealerships in the past, but the data remains the same. This is one avenue that many dealerships are missing the boat on and it can’t be overlooked.

As the car-buying journey becomes even longer (up to 5.5 weeks in the CarGurus 2019 study), retargeting provides the optimal way to stay connected with your audience. Plus, the average shopper visits more than 13 sites to do car research before deciding what to purchase. This leaves plenty of opportunities for your dealership to make a lasting impression.

Shoppers are looking for price validation and seek out many sources that help them to determine what to do next. As you retarget the audience, you increase your chance of bringing these shoppers back to your website.

Choosing the Right Automotive Marketing Mix

While the research was helpful, the study doesn’t showcase the ultimate solution. When choosing marketing channels to make the biggest impact, you need to do your own research. Instead, dealerships can use the information to follow a few basic guidelines.

We recommend the following steps:

  • Dealerships must always be looking for new ways to market
  • Select media and content that match your demographics and meet the customer during every stage
  • Execute your plan with clear goals in mind
  • Measure the success of all campaigns and adjust the strategy accordingly

When you implement the appropriate steps and keep an eye on the results, you determine what mix is ideal for your dealership. Of course, the best way to achieve success is to hire a professional automotive marketing agency.

AimLogic Helps Car Dealers Advertise Wisely

When the time comes to hire a marketing agency, you need a group that understands the automotive climate. At AimLogic, we focus solely on digital advertising for car dealerships, so we know what works. Our team of professionals is dedicated to not only bringing you more leads but ensuring that the quality of those leads is top-notch.

We implement innovative solutions that bring results. Whether you are hoping to include OEM Style Video Ads onto your Facebook page and website, or you are considering starting some Conquest Retargeting Ads to gain more attention, we have the tools and skills needed to bring results.

Contact our team of specialists today to find out how AimLogic can help meet your dealership’s goals. We can listen to your concerns. Then, we craft a strategic marketing plan that brings more website traffic, foot traffic and car sales. Your business deserves the best, which is precisely what AimLogic plans to deliver.