[Posted August 21st by Keith Shetterly]
The way that car buyers search for vehicles has changed drastically in the past decade. In the past, potential buyers searched the local car lots, looking at models that were on display and returning to talk to sales personnel when they found one they liked. Today’s buyer approaches a vehicle transaction very differently. Dealership marketing software is designed to reach buyers in the places they now look for cars rather than through the on-site sales methods that may no longer be effective.
What Is Dealership Marketing Software?
Dealership marketing software is a collective term for any software designed to give auto dealerships access to potential customers and to promote sales. It includes software that is designed to funnel customers to a particular website or automated programs that generate mailing lists or marketing campaigns. It also includes the software that allows dealers to target specific audiences for their ad campaigns and isolates groups of targeted customers by certain criteria.
Why Should A Dealership Use Marketing Software?
Dealership marketing is conducted along very different lines since the advent of Internet sales. Today, potential buyers from all over the country can look at the inventory of any dealership, ask questions and make price comparisons. This means that auto sales must be done with attention to the market as a whole rather than through local competition.
Furthermore, dealers must be able to respond to different types of customer inquiries. Customers today expect to be able to click on a link and find information about a particular model or type of vehicle and to be able to compare prices instantly.
How Do Car Shoppers Find Websites?
Research into the habits of online car buyers has shown that most start the process with a vague notion of two to four models in which they are interested. They have developed this brand awareness from other methods of advertising such as television commercials or magazine campaigns. Once a customer has a particular model in mind, he or she will begin searching the Internet for information about that type of vehicle.
One of the first things most customers do is visit the brand website for the model in which they are interested. From there, they will move to Tier 2 or 3 websites. These are websites dedicated to a particular dealer or organization that sells that brand. Often, they are directed to these websites from ads embedded in the brand website or from searches for local sales of a particular brand.
This means that one of the first priorities of a marketing campaign is to get and keep the brand in front of the customer, encouraging him or her to follow that brand to a final website where price comparisons or contacts with dealers can be made. Dealer marketing software often works within brand websites to funnel customers to a particular dealer’s site or contact information.
Another important purpose of dealer marketing software is to transmit contact information to the right people. A good dealer marketing software program includes components that gather and disseminate lead information to sales teams for follow-up.
Dealer marketing software works with the Internet and with sales personnel to bring customers in and to give them a seamless sales experience so that dealerships can increase their sales volume.