Don’t Fall Into the 2017 Slump – Pump Up Your Search Strategy to Win the Sale

By: Jonah Cole, Product Manager

There’s no denying the fact that 2017 isn’t quite what the automotive industry expected. The projected growth of new car sales that was predicted plateaued.

This has left many auto dealers wondering if this is a natural leveling of the automotive landscape, that brief moment before a roller coaster lurches downward or, perhaps, the moment before a storm containing disruptions such as heavier adoption of electric vehicles, self-driving cars, and purely-online car sales, or maybe the ability to travel through time (Okay, that last one was just a test to see who is still reading.)

While there’s no doubt that the auto industry as a whole is sitting up and taking note of this change, what does it mean for the local automotive dealer? As is the case with any macro-assessment of a very diverse industry, it ultimately comes down to the details for most automotive dealerships.

Savvy local dealerships should certainly keep their eyes on the market, but there are a few different ways they can win, specifically in their Search and Digital Advertising Strategy.

1. Control Your Strategy
2. Focus on Your Market Share
3. Invest in Yourself

Control Your Strategy:

…maintenance of a digital advertising strategy is far more important now than in years past.

If dealers don’t know the basic information (keywords, extensions, content, geo-targeting, etc) of automotive search advertising, it’s a good time to ask. Considering the aforementioned major market shifts and the deep changes to the digital advertising landscape over the past year, maintenance of a digital advertising strategy is far more important now than in years past. It might be time to realign content, targets, and strategies based on the local market. If you don’t have insight into this today, your automotive vendor partner, agency, and/or OEM program should be more than happy to share these items with you. Now is the time to get informed on what your dealership was doing and strategize about how to respond to a changing market.

Focus on Market Share:

…survey the local market and see what opportunities your dealership can win…

With fewer new car purchases comes a unique opportunity to survey the local market and see what opportunities your dealership can win, without focusing on a never- ending increase in new car sales.

Simply put, if your dealership’s strategy continues to focus on increasing new car sales in segments like sedans, it’s not going to work. Instead, use market data to drive more informed decisions and success. Work to own market share and lure in customers away from local competitors. Ensure your dealership is using accurate market intelligence and reporting to make better stocking and marketing decisions.

Invest In Yourself:

…reestablish your local voice while the national market plays out.

This one is simple and doesn’t need much explaining. If the market continues to stall or even drops for new car sales, what brings money into the dealership? Make used vehicle sales and Fixed Ops a part of your Digital Advertising strategy today.

Simply advertising the same message and focusing on new cars will not bring a competitive advantage. When a customer finally decides to purchase a vehicle, who are they purchasing it from, and why? Advertise your dealership’s local identity, focus on your service experience, and build your used car customer base. In short, weatherproof your dealership and reestablish your local voice while the national market plays out.

Achieving control over your digital strategy while implementing a personal and targeted approach isn’t easy, but Dominion Dealer Solutions can help! We provide dealerships with the solutions and services they need to stay ahead of the competition. Our specialists put dealerships’ ad dollars to work in the most effective areas. Call 877.421.1040 to get started with a Digital Marketing Specialist today.