5 Auto Marketing Tips to Survive a Shrinking Industry

5 Auto Marketing Tips to Survive a Shrinking Industry

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521226682387{padding-top: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]It’s bound to happen. What goes up eventually must come down. That’s the case with car sales. In the wake of tremendous automobile sales in 2015 and 2016, with between 17.5 million and 17.6 million vehicles being sold in the United States those years, industry insiders are projecting that those numbers could be going south. Those trends may signal the need for more strategic auto marketing and sales practices among dealerships.

 

According to a recent report in Automotive News, Deutsche Bank projected that the auto industry could be facing financial uncertainty. Some analysts even went as far to say that things could get pretty bad — down to levels that followed the wake of the economic downturn.

 

Automotive News said vehicles sales could be slowing down for numerous reasons. For one, cars are built to run longer, with about 2 million fewer vehicles headed to the scrap heap than was the case years ago.

 

Also, the auto loan industry has been plagued with delinquencies, resulting in not so great lending conditions. And, in a blow to new car sales, more potential buyers may be in the market for used cars — mainly because the prices of used cars have been falling since February of 2017.

 

As in previous years, these types of selling conditions could mean one of two things for your auto dealership — you could eventually shut your doors or you could be among those who thrive as the pool of competitors shrinks.

 

To be among the dealerships that are able to not only survive those conditions, you need solid auto marketing tactics, tools and strategies to grab your share of sales.

 

Here are 5 solid auto tips we gathered to set you apart from your competitors. If you’ve already implemented some of them, check to see how effective they are. It could be that you need to reset your strategy, upgrade your tools or expand your efforts to make sure you’re getting better results.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237423302{padding-top: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1531667793045{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

1. Assess your Lead Generation Solutions

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]If you’re not happy with the number of quality leads you’re generating from your website, it’s time for a reset. That’s was the case for Krieger Ford, a family-owned dealership in Ohio that has been in the industry for more than 50 years.

 

While most of their clients were repeat customers and referrals, they knew they could be getting more traffic from online efforts. They tried classified sites like Autotrader and Cars.com, but soon realized those efforts weren’t translating into buyers.

 

After learning about PERQ web engagement, the team used it to start driving more traffic to its website. The result? Krieger Ford reported a 92% form completion rate, gained 110 unique leads, had a 23% lead to showroom rate and closed 9 car sales from the campaign — all within one month.

 

Krieger Ford reported a 92% form completion rate, gained 110 unique leads, had a 23% lead to showroom rate and closed 9 car sales from the campaign — all within one month.

 

So, what does this have to do with auto marketing? Plenty. Stick with us.

 

With a lead generation tool that’s interactive, gathering useful information about when consumers want to buy, what they want to buy, how much they want to spend, and what type of car they want to trade in, you have the tools to follow up with communications that are ideally tailored for each person.

 

And, with that type of personalized messaging, you let them know you’re paying attention. You get them. And that goes a long way in getting potential consumers to think favorably of your auto dealership.

 

The lesson here is that you shouldn’t settle for poor lead generation solutions that aren’t performing.

 

Interactive forms, which help you engage with website visitors by providing them with invaluable information or an entertaining experience, could be key to boosting your form completion rate. Also, depending upon the type of information you gather from those forms, you can personalize the conversations that follow.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237423302{padding-top: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1531667806661{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

2. Be Ready to Customize Messaging

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]More than likely, you’ve already graduated to a customer relationship management platform. The question is how well are you customizing messages?

 

A strong CRM/digital engagement solution needs to be coupled with strategic messaging that is personalized for various segments. It should never be a one-size-fits all experience.

 

For example, a person who indicated she is in the market for a late model SUV sometime in the next four to five months should receive an entirely different engagement campaign than a person who wants to purchase a 2014 two-door hybrid sedan within a week’s time.

 

These types of campaigns should be strategic and engaging. And, if you haven’t done so already, dedicate a person with experience in this area to lead your digital marketing efforts.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237414253{padding-top: 15px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1531667822088{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

3. Include Effective Calls to Action (CTAs) on your Website

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Your website could offer current and potential customers their first impression of your auto dealership. But you already know this. Here’s something else to consider. How effective are you getting them to engage with your website?

 

We often underestimate the difference effective CTAs can make. By placing them more strategically in the right sections of your website — with the right message — you can see a significant difference in engagement rates.

 

But don’t take our word for it. Test out different CTAs with clear guidance on next steps you want visitors to take in the process. See which CTAs perform better and go with those.

 

Test out different CTAs with clear guidance on next steps you want visitors to take in the process.

 

If a person is on the financing page, encourage them to get an estimate of monthly costs based on their credit rating. And, by all means, encourage them to connect. Financing inquiries could mean they’re ready to buy.

 

To sum it up, the goal of a CTA is to compel readers to take action. A CTA could include encouragement to contact the dealership, schedule an appointment or take a test drive. Make it warm, friendly and, of course, inviting.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237406917{padding-top: 15px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1531667836610{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

4. Engage Right Away

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Provide your website visitors with a variety of options to engage in live conversations. If someone reaches out via a form for more information, make sure your system is set up to respond right away with an automated (but not dull) response and a promise that you will get to them right away.

 

Live chat tools also are an excellent way to engage with your customers. By using a live chat platform, you’re giving visitors more options to connect. Use live chat to answer questions about the car-buying process, financing options, and available inventory.

 

By using a live chat platform, you’re giving visitors more options to connect.

 

While not all car shoppers will be ready to talk, chances are more urgent buyers will want answers immediately. Give them what they want. The key is being available for a conversation as soon as possible. Studies show that it matters. Ideally, consumers should get a response within minutes.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237431822{padding-top: 15px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1531667850482{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

5. Social Media is Sales

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1531828021082{padding-top: 25px !important;}”]If you do nothing else to improve your auto marketing, you must remember that social media is a sales platform. You are constantly selling your brand, your dealership, and your stock when you post on social media. Stagnant social media tells potential customers that your dealership is apathetic and uninterested in connecting with them.

 

Use social media to promote sales, for sure, but also to form a relationship with your customers. Facebook Live videos and polls are a simple way for users to engage with your dealership brand and increase visibility.

 

These tips are a good start to optimize your auto marketing. They are also an affordable and effective way to ensure that your brand immediately comes to mind when potential clients are considering buying a car. Be consistent and get on target with the right tools to increase your share of the automotive sales industry.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Press Release: PERQ Adds Kelley Blue Book to Data Providers; Increases Trade-in Leads by 3x

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521224734716{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]Addition of Kelley Blue Book’s trusted valuation data to PERQ’s platform further increases engagement on trade-in tool.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521226682387{padding-top: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]Indianapolis, IN – May 23, 2017 – PERQ, specialists in personalized, interactive web engagement technology, today announced that it has added Kelley Blue Book, one of the most trusted names in the auto industry, to its list of data providers. The addition has increased the number of trade-in leads generated by PERQ’s platform for its dealer customers by as much as 300%.

 

The integration of Kelley Blue Book’s trusted data with PERQ offers online visitors increased confidence in the valuations of their used vehicles and a better online experience, which translates into higher conversion. Today, more than 300 dealership websites currently utilizing PERQ’s solution.

 

“We’re excited to work with PERQ and further extend our market-reflective Blue Book Values,” said Damon Bennett, senior director of syndication for Kelley Blue Book. “ Given that determining whether pricing is fair is among the biggest pain points when transacting, Kelley Blue Book is providing consumers with the confidence of how much to expect for their car.”

 

While traditional trade-in tools can turn consumers off with static questions, PERQ offers a trade-in experience that is more personalized and consumer-friendly, asking a few simple questions, including how they preferred to be contacted, the type of replacement vehicle they’re interested in and how soon they’re ready to buy, before giving shoppers an estimated trade-in value based on Kelley Blue Book data. Consumers then receive a low and high range estimate before being presented with a special offer that is designed to convert the online visitor into a showroom buyer.

 

Initial results have shown that combining Kelley Blue Book data with PERQ’s trade appraisal is engaging more online visitors and dealerships are, on average, experiencing a 3x increase in trade-in leads, 5x the volume of trade-in sales and a 9.2% higher average gross profit per unit sold.

 

“The consumer experience is of paramount importance to engaging online visitors and converting leads into dealership sales, which is why we are so pleased to be able to offer data that consumers truly trust,” said Stephanie Ragozzino, EVP of Product at PERQ. “By combining Kelley Blue Book’s valuation data with PERQ’s uniquely intuitive interactive online experience, dealerships have an even more powerful opportunity to engage more visitors via our trade-in tool and turn more of those leads into car sales.”

 

About PERQ

PERQ (www.perq.com), a marketing technology provider, boosts website conversions by creating and delivering interactive experiences to the right consumers at the right time. Founded in 2001, PERQ solutions today are used by more than 1,000 businesses across the United States. PERQ’s brands have been named to the Inc. “500 Fastest Growing Companies in America” list on three separate occasions, and PERQ is a 2017 Gold Stevie® Award winner for lead generation software.

 

PERQ Media Contacts

Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, melanie@mwebbcom.com or 949-307-1723

Cassandra Cavanah, mWEBB Communications, Cassandra@mwebbcom.com or 818-397-4630[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Audrey Moistner – PERQ’s New Marketing Coordinator

Hello! My name is Audrey Moistner and I was recently hired as the Marketing Coordinator at PERQ, a role that will allow me to delve into many different aspects of Marketing and work closely with several different segments of the PERQ team. I began my journey with PERQ on May 15 2017, and have already learned so much in the short amount of time I’ve been working here!

(more…)

How to Engage your Furniture Customers through Website Interactivity

How to Engage your Furniture Customers through Website Interactivity

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521224734716{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]Did you know that by forcing people to engage with your furniture website by filling out a static form, you’re literally driving people away?

 

The average website visitor leaves within 45 seconds after filling out a “request more info” form. Today’s furniture consumers expect an online interactive experience that’s personalized, answers their questions, educates them about their buying decision and saves them time. Learning how to engage your furniture customers online is key to building trust and increasing sales.

 

In this day and age, furniture websites have basically become showrooms. And the purpose of any website should be getting visitors to actively engage with your brand. Far too often, we’re actually doing the opposite. The more time consumers spend on your website, the more likely they are to buy from your furniture store.

 

Personalizing websites turns more visitors into showroom sales. By making your website interactive, you’re incentivizing consumers to hand over their information for something of value in return. You’re not having them fill out a static form, only to make them wait for 12 hours for a sales representative to call.

 

People today expect immediate satisfaction. While your sales people can’t be online 24/7, there are some ways to increase customer engagement. Here’s how to engage your furniture customers through customer interactivity:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237414253{padding-top: 15px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1531339712276{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Create Calls To Action That Drives Furniture Customer Engagement

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Do you have Calls to Action (CTAs) on your website that pique a visitor’s curiosity?  Do they create a fun experience or reward the visitor? CTAs should entice and encourage someone to click. That’s their entire purpose!

 

An example CTA that engages the visitor might be an assessment style quiz that asks the visitor: Which sofa is right for you? A series of questions in the interactive experience then provide the visitor with a sofa match and possibly an offer or discount.

 

If a CTA isn’t helping an online visitor to save time in-store or giving them the ability to learn more, it reduces the likelihood that they’ll engage with your website.

 

You would never tell a visitor in your showroom to come find you if they need something, would you? Not at all! Instead you’re with them every step of the way, in the hopes they purchase furniture from your store.

 

Here are the three most common CTAs include banners, buttons and sidebars:

 

  1. Banners
    An interactive “Scratch and Save to Find Your Savings” banner near the top of your website will drive more furniture customer engagement than a boring promotion banner that says “Save 20% Now through Sunday (use promo code SAVE20).”
  2. Sidebars
    A sidebar that sits on the edge of your website will grab the attention of your visitors — especially if the wording or photos on your banner are interactive. Sidebars are always visible as a person scrolls up and down the page, encouraging customer engagement on both the web and mobile.
  3. Buttons
    The purpose of your website is to get consumers to engage and learn more —  and people are naturally curious about pricing and special discounts. Buttons encourage this engagement and can include language, such as “Check for Offer” or “Instant Deal Check.”

 

Once shoppers click on the CTAs above, the experience shouldn’t end on a static lead form. Instead, the CTA should take them to an interactive experience that entices visitors to engage with a furniture retailer’s website.

 

Not only does this help fulfill the shopper’s need to get “something desired” instantly, but it keeps them on your site longer. Consumers today expect full website personalization.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237423302{padding-top: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1522794729622{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Use Interactive Experiences That Entice Furniture Consumer Engagement

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]After clicking on a CTA, your website’s interactive experiences should encourage visitors to take the next steps in their shopping journey. When comparing it to the showroom, your approach should reflect the same tone, appearance and friendliness of your furniture sales staff. The goal in both situations is to increase consumer engagement.

 

The look of your furniture interactive experience is compelling enough to capture a visitor’s attention. Just be sure to not make it too different than your brand. It needs to be cohesive.

 

Furniture retailers can capture their shoppers’ attention by leveraging curiosity. By asking questions and engaging visitors, knowing they’ll get a result, you’re keeping their attention span.

 

Results of an experience can include a chance to win, an offer, assessment results — such as the best mattress fit, or encourage a VIP in-store meeting with a consultant.

 

Before the shopper receives the result or offer, your interactive experience should ask the visitor for a little information about themselves. They shouldn’t, however, feel like they’re filling out a static form. When you make the process enjoyable, the consumer shares information as they proceed throughout the experience.

 

By putting the shopper in control (asking them one-click answers versus typing in blank fields), you’re increasing the chances of a consumer engaging with your website.

 

PERQ results show 92 percent of consumers that make it past the first page of an interactive experience also go on to complete the rest of the experience. In return, this creates valuable data that your sales team can use to help close a sale.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1531836148098{padding-top: 25px !important;}”]

“Just like your sales team would do in the showroom, your furniture site should offer recommendations on next best steps.”

 

Just remember: The experiences on your website shouldn’t end when a consumer receives the results of their assessment or receives their off. Just like your sales team would do in the showroom, your furniture site should offer recommendations on next best steps.

 

Instead, you can end an interactive experience by asking the consumer if they’d like to schedule a VIP appointment, fill out a credit application to save time in store, or show them specific furniture examples that fit their assessment.

 

Furniture retailers who aren’t sure where to start, can try web engagement software, talk to their website provider or hire freelance consultants. Some apps can also provide some basic interactive content.

 

Consumers have come to expect a personalized experience online. By keeping consumers engaged online, you can turn those visitors into showroom buyers.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Press Release: PERQ Honored as Gold Stevie® Award Winner for ‘New Product of the Year: Lead Generation Software’

Press Release: PERQ Honored As Gold Stevie® Award Winner For ‘New Product Of The Year: Lead Generation Software’ In 2017 American Business Awards(SM)

 

PERQ, experts in online consumer engagement and behavior, today announced its platform was named the winner of a Gold Stevie® Award in the New Product of the Year: Lead Generation Software category in The 15th Annual American Business Awards. (more…)