Understanding the Financial Implications of New Automotive Marketing Methods

Why is it that we as a modern society are so eager to sign our way into any number of financial contracts without truly understanding the financial implications of what we are signing? Now big business knows this and it is used extensively to make deals look more attractive to us, especially when it comes to the area of automotive marketing.

Vehicle dealerships and companies roll millions of dollars every year into their automotive marketing strategies and for good reason, the better they can make the deal sound for the client, the easier they are able to make a sale of their highly priced product which comes in the form of the vehicles which we drive every day.

By not taking the time and effort to actually invest in yourself and find out how the structuring of all of these fancy deals and financing options work, you are lining yourself up to fall prey to the automotive marketing machine and at the end of the day this could end up costing you a whole lot more than you are led to believe.

By taking the time to actually understand the structuring of these flashy deals and no deposit offers, you stand to save yourself a lot of money and interest payments when you purchase a new or used vehicle. Take the time to sit down, understand what you are signing and do the calculations, you might just be in for a shock.

Many new methods of automotive marketing are specially designed by marketing experts to make it seem as if the automotive dealer is trying to create the best possible deal for you with the easiest payment terms, but when you actually go and do the math you find that they are making far more out of you in the long run and you are definitely losing financially.

Top 10 Ways to Waste Your Automotive Search Marketing Budget

10: Buy outside of your dealership’s geographic area:

Every car dealer wants their customers, their competitors customers, and will go to great lengths to buy zones or marketing areas well outside of any reasonable area. Often, it’s a naive marketer that buys a 100 mile radius on new car leads. What’s the REAL CHANCE you will sell a NEW Chevy when a customer will have to drive past 53 other Chevrolet dealers on the way down? Used cars is another story. We have some great success stories of selling cars outside of the state, region, even country.

9: Buy keywords for models you do not sell:

Of course people are cross shopping vehicles. Yes you may put a Cayenne buyer into an FX45 but first and foremost, get the proper keywords before you even think about buying any other automotive keywords. Then, if and when you do buy competing models, closely watch the clicks, conversion rates to see if these are even turning into automotive leads or are just a wasted effort.

8: Buy generic phrases:

If you are buying phrases like “cars” and “used” then you have purchased a one way ticket to spend budget quickly. You will attract all sorts of crazy requests especially if you buy a “broad match” which may include such wonderful phrases as “cars for demolition derbies” and “used jeans just like Madonna”. Automotive marketers beware but a click is a click to Google and they will charge you if you are not smart enough to prevent it.

7: Don’t match your ad to your destination page:

You ad says “Toyota Camry’s for $199/mo” and your landing page is a homepage that is still 3 clicks away from finding the Camry inventory. As a special bonus to your customer, they can’t find this $199 special because someone forgot to load it into your special offer section of your dealership’s website. Talk about a time waster. Another one-way ticket to find another dealer on Google is coming to a customer near you. Could you envision a situation where a customer walked into your showroom, asked about a Camry, and you walked him around your entire dealership, showed them the service department, F&I, and led them to a few doors which may or may not lead to a price on that car?

6: Make crappy boring generic ads

This is an automotive marketing staple. Boring, generic ads with no compelling reason to click on them. Sure it’s great you are on top of Google but that will not last long if you have a low click through rate, and customer’s are going to click on the ad that excites them. We run many automotive ads simultaneously and constantly make them compete to beat the next ad. This is why we can see a 15% or more click through rate on some ads and other dealers say that pay per click just does not work.

5: Spend too much on “gotta have it” keywords

I was at a dealership the other day, who shall remain nameless, who said “I have to win the word Honda”. I don’t care how much it costs, but anything Honda, I need to be #1 in paid search.”. This dealership would have put together a pay per click campaign that resulted in clicks on Honda motorcycles, Honda outboards, Honda used, Honda jet planes (yes take a look at them) and anything else. Plus he may end up paying $10 per click on competitive words. Insane.

4: Ignore Analytic reports and focus on traffic:

90% bounce rates on pay per click ads mean that 90% of your customers are leaving almost immediately. If you are not looking at analytic reports then you are spending money on the wrong keywords, ads, sites, etc. We just left a dealer who was buying the word “free” in their PPC campaign. Sure, tons of clicks. Duh. Bounce rate near 100%. Duh. I can’t even imagine how much they paid per click. Factor in the exit rates (what pages people are leaving from) and the new visitor ratio, and you can get a good idea of the best sources of traffic. Buy more good, buy less bad.

3: Let Google run your campaign

Sure it is easy and may be good to get you started, but Google suggestions will often just give you irrelevant phrases, or provide you with odd budgets. Buy what you need, leave the rest. Remember, Google wants to spend your automotive budget.

2: Spend too much per click

Sometimes, coming in 2nd is a good thing! When the price between being a first place listing and second place listing is $2.00 per click, it pays to let go of first sometimes. Often, we can buy several times as many clicks for our clients just by avoiding the “bid to win 1st” mentality. Sometimes, the “long tail” philosophy can lead to a boatload of clicks at a low price.

1: Buy your own name

Here is our favorite one of all, bidding on your own name. There is a very popular and well known automotive marketing company who can get dealers a ton of clicks and “phone calls” as well. It’s easy when you buy the dealers name. If you are already #1 with your own name (most dealers are) and there is no competition, the DO NOT buy your own name. They will find you for free. That is buying the cow, AND paying for the milk. It’s insane that a major, well funded business has built a business model around redirecting a dealers own traffic back to the dealer, and getting full credit for it. There are cases where you do want and need to buy your own name but in most cases, it is not necessary.

Essential Internet Marketing Tools for Automotive Businesses

Marketing goods and services on Internet can be one of the cheapest and efficient ways to promote businesses. Hence, it can be the best medium for local businesses such as auto dealerships to market their business. Traditional marketing methods (like TV’s, Radio’s and papers), make it difficult for automotive dealers to tell each and every individual about their existence, and then educate them about the various models, designs, brands and services they offer. Internet on the other hand helps auto dealers to share information about their products and services.

Essential Internet marketing services
Knowing that Internet is one of the popular marketing tools available for auto dealers, many of them think that visitors or potential consumers will simply come once they put up a website. But the truth is that you need to use proper marketing services to make your website effective to bring in quality leads which eventually turn into sales.

Let us know in detail about the various Internet marketing methods, which are found to be beneficial for automotive dealers.

Interactive web design: One of the important things you need to have as part of successful Internet marketing strategy is an interactive website. It means that your website should be appealing, eye-catching, fast loading and user-friendly, which makes it easy for the customer to navigate through your website. An automotive business website should specifically concentrate on providing interesting product catalog features with required amount of graphics to highlight the various unique features of different models of automobiles. Besides this, make sure that your website also offers easy to use e-commerce tools such as shopping carts, which enables customers to pay for products and services easily.

Site submission: After your website is fully loaded with all the required promotional features, you need to submit your website to the major search engines. Site submission helps your website to come up whenever a potential customer searches for the products or services you offer. Right submission tools will enable your website appear in the search engines, Internet directories etc.

SEO: It is not enough to have an online presence; the target customers should feel your online presence. You need to optimize your website in such a way that it gets listed in the first few results whenever the customer is looking for particular model, brand or unique feature that you offer. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital tool that makes it possible. When your website comes first in the results page, it will influence the customer look in to your website for the product he wants.

LSS
Local Search Submissions (LSS) are very helpful for local auto business as they precisely target the local and search terms. Major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are displaying them as part of their organic search results. In recent times, Google especially is giving more preference to local listings. The conversion rate using this tool is often higher than others as the potential customer will be more interested in the auto dealer in his area.

PPC: Pay per click feature is very useful in increasing the traffic for your website. This method enables you to place your website in the ‘sponsored listings’ of search results on Internet. If any of the reader watches your ad, finds it interesting and clicks on it, then he/she will be diverted to your website. For this, you need to pay some amount for every click.

Display advertising: Display advertising is a major tool which helps in increasing the visibility of your dealership online. This method, your ads appear on various web pages and browsers to reach the relevant audience. Your ads may be in the form of web banners and posters which may contain static or animated images of vehicles, along with audio or visual elements. This is an attractive and efficient way of catching the attention of customers.

Advantages
Unlike traditional media, Internet marketing is always on. Shoppers can visit your website anytime and from anywhere to check what you have to offer. It’s like 24 hours-a-day and 7 days-a-week marketing.

Cost effective: Huge amount of information about all the varieties of automobiles and their particular features, along with the services you provide to the customers can be made available on the Internet using above tools at a very cheaper price.

Better ROI: Probably, this is the only marketing strategy which makes use of limited investment, but offers quick and better return on investment. It is also a best strategy which is highly predictable, which enables you to assess the success of your strategy in the initial stages only and then modify it accordingly to avoid losses.

As the Internet user population is growing day by day, it is very wise for automobile business owners to opt for Internet marketing strategies. These are cost effective and they also minimize the effort and time required to generate sales.

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