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ADS | Automotive Marketing | Chad Brooks | Accelerated Dealer Services

We can all think of industries where innovative change has caused real disruption. Remember rushing to the airport to get that boarding pass? Not anymore. If you’re flying on Southwest Airlines like I have recently, you have access to self-service kiosks that can print your boarding pass, add a Rapid Rewards number to your reservation, upgrade you to a Business Select Fare, change your flight, add your name to a standby list, check luggage, and even print an itinerary receipt.

There are countless other innovative disruptions where change has transformed entire industries. Think Lyft versus the traditional taxicab market, AirBNB versus the hotel industry, Warby Parker versus traditional eyewear, Amazon versus brick and mortar bookstores and retail industries, and I can go on and on. All of these businesses have single-handedly transformed and disrupted their industry.

Disruption can hit an industry like a tsunami, forcing an industry to change or risk getting run over.

The automotive industry is not immune. It also has experienced major disruptions that have resulted in dealers changing many things about their businesses, including their marketing efforts. Consider the insights Google gained in a recent study that determined how people shop for and buy cars:

  • Mobile usage has increased 35% year over year, with a focus on research and comparison activities.¹
  • 62 percent of vehicle owners said customer service could influence future purchases
  • Car buyers are open-minded with 72 percent of search sessions involving cross-shopping.¹
  • 82 percent of car buyers are in-market for 3 months or less!¹
  • There are an average of 7.3 online sources used for research of vehicles for those purchasing a vehicle in 30 days or less
  • There are an average of 8.1 online sources used for research of vehicles for those purchasing a vehicle in 1 to 3 months
  • There are an average of 8.1 online sources used for research of vehicles for those purchasing a vehicle in 3+ months
  • Auto shoppers are doing more research than ever! There are 24 research touch points on average.¹
  • Digital plays a big role leading up to a vehicle purchase.¹

The Real Kicker

There are several ad types that prompt consumers to start researching. Google found the research process for car buyers often kicks off online but is prompted by the following ad formats:

  1. Direct mail (35%)¹
  2. Video ad (34%)¹
  3. Mobile ad (34%)¹
  4. Tablet ad (34%)¹
  5. TV ad (29%)¹
  6. Search ad (28%)¹
  7. Email ad (28%)¹
  8. Online site ad (27%)¹
  9. Newspaper ad (26%)¹

Shaping Future Purchases

More and more dealers are realizing they must be part of the conversation. Today’s car buyers want a relationship. According to Google’s study, Google found 52 percent of auto owners want communication with the dealer throughout ownership, while 62 percent consider customer service of the dealer to be important.

What does this mean for automotive dealers?

Disruption for sure. Dealers must change, transform or risk being irrelevant in the marketplace. At ADS we are leading the change with innovative ideas and strategies to help you be part of the customer conversation that results in selling more cars. On September 4th at 10:00 AM we want to invite you to a special online webinar where we will introduce you to the innovative strategies we are launching that will help you sell more cars. Learn more and register here.

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¹Source: Millward Brown Digital/Google Vehicle Shopper Path to Purchase Study, September 2013