Winning Hearts, Minds, and Dollars with Intent Dealer Marketing

By: Brooke Kovanda

Over the years, dealer marketing experts have relied heavily on demographic data to help target potential customers. However, today’s ever-changing digital landscape calls for a mix of data in order to understand the consumer. According to a 2015 study by Millward Brown, “Marketers that try to reach their audience solely on demographics risk missing more than 70 percent of potential mobile shoppers.”


As you can see from the Millward Brown study, mobile shoppers account for a large portion of today’s customers. And yet, without the right digital dealer marketing strategy in place, you could be losing more than half of your potential sales.


Understanding Consumer Intent

Customers want to be reached directly through the channels they prefer 24/7. And that is the key — reaching them in that exact moment, 24/7. This need is further reiterated by Lisa Gevelber, vice president of Americas Marketing at Google.


“Understanding consumer intent and meeting their needs in the moment are the keys to winning more hearts, minds, and dollars,” Gevelber said.


That’s why with your dealer marketing strategy, it’s critical to focus on intent marketing.


Intent Marketing and Car Dealerships

Consumers are researching and buying cars online more than they are visiting dealerships and interacting with your salespeople. For many of today’s consumers, self-service if often preferred.


“The average car buyer makes just two visits to the dealership, but one in four purchasers use mobile every day to research vehicles,” according to a 2015 report by Google.


In order for car dealerships to stay on the cutting-edge, they need to focus on mobile shoppers’ intent. “Knowing your consumer’s intent means you can meet them in the moments that matter and deliver helpful content,” Gevelber said.


For example, Nissan and Dodge are shaping the mobile shopping experience by tailoring ads on Google to fit their customer’s needs in that exact moment.


Mobile users are taken directly from Google to various swipeable car images where if they click on the image, information like miles per gallon (MPG) is displayed as well as a link to their local dealership.


Being able to understand a consumer’s intent is a key part of the car buying process. Even more important is reaching mobile consumers who are ready to make a purchase right then. This can all be accomplished with a digital strategy that puts consumer intent in the driver’s seat.