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4 Benefits of Multi-Channel Digital Marketing For Car Dealerships

2nd February 2018

Automotive buying behaviour is changing, and the main culprit behind this is the digital age.

To make the most out of engaging with new potential customers and retaining relationships with existing customers, it’s important to be present on all channels across the spectrum.

You may or may not be surprised to know that almost 97% of car buyers start their customer journey online.

How many people start their journey online
Statistic to how many people start their journey online

That’s why, in this article, we have highlighted the importance of presence on all channels.

What is Multi-Channel Marketing?

Multi-channel marketing is when a company interacts with customers via multiple channels, directly and indirectly, to sell them their products and services. The customers have multiple choices in terms of getting information on your products or services.

The available channels include the physical store, company website, email, social media, mobile, and many more.

By being present on multiple channels, it will have a positive impact on your business as you will be more exposed. Not only do your customers have multiple ways to contact you, but you also have multiple ways to execute marketing campaigns to target them.

1. Brand Visibility

To attract new customers, they need to know you exist. And with almost all car buyers (97% of them, as established before) researching their potential new car online before visiting a dealership, it proves that being online is essential for brand visibility.

Creating a website is typically the first step to making your brand presence online. Another popular channel that will contribute to your brand visibility are social media sites, as many potential and existing customers post on these sites; for example, 34% of new-vehicle buyers using social media for automotive information post a picture of their new vehicle on a social site according to J.D. Power.

34% of new-vehicle buyers using social media for automotive information
34% of new-vehicle buyers using social media for automotive information post a picture of their new vehicle on a social site according to J.D. Power.

For more information on the Automotive Trends that you should consider in 2018, check out our blog article here

2. Individual Communication Preferences

For the customer, when it comes to communicating with your brand, they will have a preferred method of contacting you. Whether that may be calling you, visiting the dealership in person, or reaching out to you on social media.

By being present on a variety of channels, you are offering a range of communication options for the customers which in turn can be the contributing factor as to whether they contact you or not. Certain methods of communication may be inconvenient or off-putting for some customers, so having a varied option is a safe bet.

A study showed that people are gathering more information than ever utilising various channels and platforms, with car buyers having 24 research touchpoints on average.

Auto shoppers' sales cycle: number and types of touchpoints
An image showing auto shoppers’ sales cycle: number and types of touchpoints Source: Think with Google

3. Response Time & Contactability

The automotive industry has proven to be falling short on customer expectations when it comes to contactability and response time. In a recent poll of 2,000 UK consumers from AM-online, customers were asked whether they felt that companies were easy to get in touch with and efficient at getting queries resolved rapidly and effectively.

The statistics show that 19% of automotive consumers felt that contactability is poor, putting the automotive sector towards the bottom of the list. On top of that, it was found that 81% of consumers will take their business elsewhere if queries aren’t answered quickly enough

81% take their business elsewhere if their query is not answered quickly
81% take their business elsewhere if their query is not answered quickly

Being present on multiple channels can benefit here as you can discover any indirect (and direct) queries quickly, respond to your prospects and customers efficiently, making sure that you won’t miss any opportunities and that customers won’t be taking their business elsewhere.

4. Monitoring Your Reputation

When it comes to choosing the right dealership, many consumers are turning to online review and rating sites such as Cars.com, which is why dealership reputation is crucial.

In the car buying process, customers expect a 24/7 real-time response according to DealerELITE.

By being present across multiple channels, it makes it easy to discover negative online reviews and try to resolve any issues by responding in a timely manner, ultimately turning the customers’ view back to a positive one.

Do You Want To Be Present On Multiple Channels?

Being present on multiple channels will make your customers feel more connected to you as they will feel like your brand is reliable in responses and accessible in communications.

We hope this article helps you understand the importance of being present on multiple channels with the constant changing of car buying behaviour.

If you are interested in enhancing your marketing strategy by becoming present on multiple channels, contact us via phone or email and we will be more than happy to help.

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Zach
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Zach

Do you have any advice if it was the first time to run a multi-channel marketing?

Rebixit Consulting
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Hello Zach,
There isn’t a short answer for this, as it all depends on what you already have in place e.g. is your website live? Do you have a database of email customers? of SMS customers? Are you already present on social media channels?
Depending on what you have already, you will then be able to think about the next steps: website continuously optimised for enquiries, search and display ads running, social ads running, email and rich SMS campaigns etc.
Don’t hesitate to contact us on contact@rebixit-consulting.com if need be

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