Software for Dealerships: Add More Digital to Your Traditional Marketing Efforts

By: Brooke Kovanda

Your best bet for getting more cars off your lot in 2017 includes a mix of online marketing and offline marketing. At least that’s what marketing specialists indicated in a recent study by Gartner, Inc.

The study, which included representatives from all industries, revealed that digital marketing has become a top priority for marketing specialists. Digital marketing has gone mainstream, said Yvonne Genovese, a vice president at Gartner. “Marketers no longer make a clear distinction between offline and online marketing disciplines,” she said. “Digital marketing is now marketing in a digital world.”


So, what does that mean for you, as a marketer or a manager in the automotive industry? As many dealerships are discovering, it means investing in the right software for dealerships. To get there, you have to determine what you’re trying to accomplish.


Here are several things that dealer software, combined with offline strategies, should deliver to help you connect with prospects:


Provide a Comprehensive Solution.


There may be a temptation to piecemeal a marketing strategy. It may be quicker to add a new approach or software to your marketing strategy as you go along.


But that type of haphazard approach could be detrimental to your ability to hit your goals. Develop a comprehensive solution that begins with an idea of your overall goals, and an analysis of the tools and strategies that will get you there.


Take the time to understand how all aspects of your strategy will work together. Also, be sure to research the new digital approaches that are working to bring in more car buyers.


It will take more time, but the payoff will be significant. All of your social media and marketing channels should play well together and work toward the same goals.


Integrate Seamlessly.


Not all software performs the same functions. Besides understanding which aspects of your marketing strategy require software, determine how each will deliver the results you’re going after. But don’t stop there.


The software you select should integrate seamlessly with each other as well as with your dealership’s website. Ask vendors plenty of questions to make sure that your software integrates with your CRM or other aspects of your digital solution.


Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that one type of software doesn’t interfere with another. If any issues arise, it might halt the progress you’ve been making from your campaigns, and it might compromise your reporting.

Focus on Building Relationships.


As marketing experts have pointed out, online marketing and offline marketing becoming just marketing. Keep that in mind as you research car dealership software. It should be just as effective as your offline strategies in helping you nurture relationships with prospective buyers. Find ways to engage visitors to your site from the start.


Your auto dealer website should provide interactive experiences, which encourage the consumer to take quizzes, fill out engaging forms about their preferences, or sign up for a chance to win a prize or other incentive. Their experience should not be limited to simply filling out a form with their names and contact information.


By combining offline and online marketing — through software for dealerships, you can leverage your efforts to gain more sales in the coming year. The process requires taking a look at both comprehensively to map out a plan that will bring in more car sales.