Automotive Advertising Agencies And Technology Vendors Consolidate Along With The Auto Industry

The consolidation of the auto industry has forced automotive advertising agencies to take on new areas of responsibility that include integrating sales processes on the virtual showrooms being built on the Internet Super Highway with real world brick and mortar facilities. The internet has sparked new vendor applications and technologies that have forever changed the role of automotive advertising agencies who are challenged to match the message on the street with the message on both the real and virtual showroom floor. Technology has always determined the media used to deliver a targeted marketing message with human nature shaping the messages and methods to deliver it. The Internet and the impact that online social media is having on the shopping and buying habits of consumers is being reflected in the emerging technologies and applications focused on providing efficiencies and short term R.O.I. analytics for advertisers.

It is no longer enough for automotive advertising agencies to simply drive customers to their auto dealer client’s websites and/or showrooms. Until and unless their efforts can be sourced to specific vehicle sales and/or repair orders they have not earned their agency fees. Fortunately, new vendor applications have been developed to handle the warp speeds that customers are travelling on the Internet Super Highway. These integrated solutions are being consolidated into comprehensive platforms built on best in class applications that follow customers all the way to the showroom floor and/or the service drive — and beyond with after sales follow up to improve customer satisfaction and retention.

Technology vendors that provide specialized applications for the auto industry have been consolidating their products and services to improve selling processes by linking new and pre-owned vehicle sales with fixed operations. Efficiencies in processing customer contacts through integrated ILM and CRM systems tied to in store desking applications and DMS platforms allow automotive advertising agencies to manage and monitor customer contacts with a verifiable R.O.I.. This kind of R.O.I. analysis was not possible when sales and service functions were handled by individual vendor solutions that did not communicate efficiently with each other.

The consolidation in the automotive advertising technology sector has been evidenced by the increased market penetration by extensive product suites such as those offered by the ever expanding group of individual vendors that comprise Dominion. The recent acquisitions of Kelley Blue Book and vAuto by Auto Trader represent a recent consolidation of best in class vendor solutions to expand their iconic marketing platform. These complimentary products and services further differentiate Auto Trader from the competition and provide a more comprehensive product suite for the auto dealers that they serve. Similarly, individual vendors have extended their product suites to include applications that compliment their initial offerings such as the expanded marketing services being offered by Higher Gear to extend their CRM application and state of the art mobile applications recently added to eCarlist to compliment their inventory management/marketing platform.

These examples of best in class products and services offered by auto industry focused vendors integrated into platform solutions link vehicles sales and fixed operations to improve efficiencies and provide more comprehensive R.O.I. analytics. Auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies that have survived the consolidation in the retail auto industry have turned to these technology providers to leverage their limited resources.

The future for auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies clinging to old school business practices without embracing the internet, social media and technologies to maximize the efficiencies that they represent is bleak. Similarly, vendors serving the auto industry must expand their products and services beyond their initial core products to provide complimentary and integrated solutions or they will swept aside by platform solutions that address their auto dealer clients needs in a more comprehensive manner.

Sources to Get Quality Online Leads for Automotive Dealers

Are you still placing ads in newspapers or billboards and waiting for people to show up at your dealership? Do you have a nice website but are unable to get quality leads? Is your competitor grabbing all the prospective buyers in your market? Then it is the time to rethink on your marketing strategy.

We all know that there are a limited number of potential car buyers in the market. Now the question is, how do you direct these potential car buyers to your dealership? Though consumers like to physically inspect a car before purchasing, it is the Internet they approach first in their car buying process. Needless to say is how dramatically the Internet has changed the car buying process – almost 90 percent of consumers use the Internet to research vehicles (source: ‘Capgemini Cars Online Study 2009/2010′). The survey also states that many consumers today are starting their research on vehicles with search engines, then moving to manufacturer and dealer sites.

So, it is very important for the auto dealers to have a solid internet marketing strategy; which includes automotive SEO, PPC, Email campaigns and automotive social media marketing media to get quality online leads and stay ahead of their competitors. A well planned internet marketing strategy enables you to access a wide number of potential customers, which then translates in to huge sales.

Simply put, investing in the website design is not enough. Proper care and nurturing its performance should be the top priority of an automotive dealer. It is very important to make sure that your website is ranking on the first page of all the major search engines in order to get highly qualified, exclusive leads to your website.

Sources to get quality leads
As a smart auto dealer, you should embrace all that the Internet offers. In order to survive, sustain and succeed in today’s competitive environment, you should take advantage of all the tools that are available; such as SEO, PPC advertising, e-mail campaigns, and an aggressive social media marketing strategy.

SEO
Automotive SEO is one of the major sources, which provides quality online leads for your dealership. A solid automotive SEO strategy lists your website among the top rankings for all your keywords. Ranking on the first page of the search engines makes your website credible, which in turn provides more traffic, more quality leads and eventually more sales. Proper optimization of home and inside pages brings up all the content related to services and products you offer – making it easy for the customers to know about your services.

PPC
Pay Per Click advertising involves purchasing sponsored links on the top of page of a search engines. These campaigns can generate instant sales to your dealership if used within the right context. PPC attracts highly targeted traffic to your dealership based on the keywords you have selected. An important aspect of a PPC campaign is that they can be launched quickly, which ensures that you get quality leads in no time.

Email campaigns
E-mail marketing is one of the most effective marketing methods that generate quality leads. Email campaigns increase sales, downloads, inquiries, registrations and overall sales. Through email campaigns, dealers can contact potential customers on a regular basis, increase customer loyalty by sending newsletters or other information related to products or services they offer. Through email marketing, dealers can target large number of customers with minimal budgets. In short, it is a cost effective, highly responsive and opportunistic medium to generate quality leads.

Social media marketing
Millions of people are using social platforms like Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis nowadays. It is one of the latest and the fast growing marketing base today. High-quality social media content can raise brand awareness and consideration levels. It can also change customer perceptions of a brand. Social media marketing improves your dealership’s reputation online and thus provides quality leads.

Automotive dealers can get quality online leads using Search Engine Optimization along with the other three campaigns mentioned above. But even today, many auto dealers are still not embracing these highly effective marketing campaigns because they either fail to understand them or they think that it is time consuming and difficult to implement. If you are one from them, it is very important for you to approach a reputed internet marketing firm that specializes in helping automotive dealers, to get quality leads that result in sales opportunities.