The auto industry is a very competitive market that is quickly changing and adapting to trends. Online marketing has quickly become the newest and most important trend in the business. The reality is pretty simple: you can adopt an online marketing approach or you can watch your competitors get ahead. The internet age is here and with it there is a new kind of consumer. The day when the first time you contacted your customer was when they walked through the door is over. In today’s world customers first step is online not by going to a local car dealer. Customers are much more internet savvy then they use to be and dealers have to be as well. Gone are the days when sales staff and managers didn’t use computers. Today using a computer is pretty much essential.
The job of a store manager used to be fairly straight forward: get the person that could get the deals done (the closer). However in today’s automotive industry the manager of a dealership is in charge of all types of activities; most of which aren’t even located under the store roof. Things like online marketing. The reality is now a day managing an auto dealership is a lot less about managing people as managing online resources. That isn’t to say managing your sales staff isn’t important and that getting good staff isn’t also important. However it is well documented that most sales now essentially occur online. Customers check prices between dealerships and now often just walk through the door to say they want this vehicle. The sales staff does little more than place their order. This results in a much greater importance being placed on your online marketing and connections with your customers over the internet.
The automotive industry will always entail a strong commitment to personal relationships. However the context or space those relationships are formed in has changed. Now customers don’t find a dealer by word of mouth or driving around; they search online. Thus things like SEO (search engine optimization) are much more important than what use to be important. The engagement with the customer happens less so in the physical space that is the car dealership and more so over the internet. It is the future and like it or not it is here and it isn’t going away.
If your dealership doesn’t have a defined online strategy, or if you need help getting on course we can help. AIM Experts and our team of automotive online experts have helped countless Canadian car dealers develop a plan and a simple process for keeping their online showroom ready for business. For a free consultation, call us at 1 888 955 8777 ext 700