Smartphones have forever changed the way consumers make their purchase decisions. Moreover, the information needed is literally right at their fingertips 24/7. And consumers are not just making small purchases with their smartphones.
“It used to be people shopped for cars in dealerships,” said E.J. Schultz, Chicago Bureau Chief at Advertising Age. “But now they are making their car-buying decisions at the gym, the gas station or the deli.”
MOBILE AUTOMOTIVE MARKETING: THE TREND DEALERSHIPS CANNOT IGNORE
So, what does that mean for you, as a marketer or manager in the automotive industry? It should be a signal for you to invest your automotive marketing budget in digital strategies that include engaging interactive experiences, pay-per-click (PPC), social media, and video because those are where the big wins are happening.
It also means that you should place a high priority on optimizing your website experiences to engage consumers — no matter what device they’re using or where they may be.
Increased PPC budget.
According to eMarketer, “In 2015, the auto sector spent $3.43 billion on mobile ads in the U.S., representing 47% of the industry’s total digital ad spending.” Mobile ads are where it is at with the auto industry.
By investing in a PPC (or pay-per-click) as part of your digital marketing strategy, you are able to reach potential buyers who are actively engaged in research and looking to buy exactly the type of car that you are selling.
With consumers engaging more online before ever coming to your sales lot, it’s important to invest resources in interactive experiences — providing that warm, personalized approach that they would normally receive at your dealership.
Not only do interactive forms, including quizzes and trade-in appraisal tools, allow your consumers to customize their experience with your website, they give you the data you need to further engage them with content that fits their interests.
That type of interactive experience leads to results. With PERQ, a web engagement tool, dealerships have experienced as much as a 200% increase in leads — a clear indication that it takes more than an online brochure approach to win consumers over.
Personalized Facebook ads.
When Facebook was first introduced 12 years ago, there were no advertisements present. Fast forward to 2017 and there is Facebook Business Manager, which allows you to create separate ad accounts based on the clients you serve. In addition, Facebook allows you to delve deep into targeting consumers based on their demographics and online habits.
Due to this, many auto brands and dealers have found great success using personalized social ads on Facebook. For example, Toyota took advantage of Facebook ads when promoting their RAV4 Hybrid. More than 100,000 unique video ads were presented to Facebook users based on “likes” and searches.
According to TNS, “Despite the fact that mobile devices smaller screens can make them a less preferred viewing choice, people are 42% more likely to comment on a video when they watch it on a mobile or tablet.”
We already know that digital marketing is the way to go based on the above so it only makes sense that the auto industry embrace mobile-friendly videos. Video is all about eliciting an emotion from the viewer. Similarly, so is buying a car.
By investing in a mobile strategy for your automotive marketing, you will be embracing the trend that is only slated to go upwards in use. With the right mix that includes PPC, social media, and video you are bound to make your mark inside of digital marketing.