One Size Doesn’t Fit All: How Smart VIN-Level Marketing Can Elevate Your Dealership

  Ilana Shabtay

Let’s be honest – the one size fits all concept was a clever marketing ploy introduced to sell more t-shirts. In reality, however, one size will maybe fit some- and that’s on a good day. Typically designed to fit the “average” body, the one size fits all concept cannot possibly satisfy every customer despite its claim otherwise. 

The same is true in automotive marketing. Using a one size fits all marketing strategy means you are essentially spending your marketing dollars on a singularly focused campaign in the hopes of hitting that one particular lead who may have a slight interest in the vehicle you are advertising. 

Instead of using the one size fits all method, your dealership should consider a method that involves targeting shoppers with hyper-personalized VIN specific ads to create targeted, relevant shopping experience for your customers. Not only will you see a better ROI for your marketing dollars, VIN specific marketing allows you to move your inventory quickly and avoid the dreaded lot rot making it a win, win solution. 

While VIN-level marketing is a solid strategy to sell more cars at a lower cost, it can get tedious and complex so it’s important that you consider an AI-powered solution to help your dealership create and distribute personalized ads and messaging so you avoid falling into the one-size-fits-all marketing trap.

The Customer Website Experience with VIN-Targeting 

We often think of VIN-level targeting as a way to drive traffic to a dealership’s website, but a well-rounded VIN-targeted strategy should also include the on-site experience. 

Let’s use a real world example. When a shopper clicks on a VIN-specific ad, their expectation is that their targeted experience will continue on your website. They want the ad that they clicked on to lead them to the specific page for the VIN advertised. If your ad takes them to the main page of your website or any other page that does not directly reflect the ad they clicked, they will quickly lose interest and leave your site, losing you a potential deal. 

Dealerships should have the infrastructure in place to continue the conversation that is started with an ad through mini landing pages and personalized messages that match the content on the ad. Scaling this personalization both on and off site will elevate your VIN-level marketing strategy and bring more leads to your dealership.

Real-Time Updates for VIN-Level Marketing 

The main benefit of VIN-level targeting is that you’re able to dig deep and advertise every single vehicle to every single buyer, making it easier to find the perfect vehicle to customer match. In order to do this effectively, your strategy needs to keep up with the constant changes in your inventory. 

Essentially, as you move cars off the lot or make updates to your pricing and offers, your digital showroom and ad campaigns need to be instantly updated to avoid false advertising and potential confusion for your shoppers. This means that, if a vehicle was sold, the VIN-specific ad leading to that VDP must be removed immediately so that your dealership stops sending traffic to a link that is no longer relevant. Additionally, if anything associated with a vehicle’s incentive, pricing, or disclaimer changes, the ad must be immediately updated to match the new information in order to maintain a frictionless customer experience. 

This is where real-time updates become extremely critical to your VIN-targeted marketing strategy. In order to make this work seamlessly, your dealership will want to consider an automated, intelligent solution that can handle these updates without human interference.

VIN-Targeting and Automated Budgets 

The central goal of VIN targeting is to market specific vehicles to the most likely buyer. In order to do this successfully, your dealership should not be limited by reconceived definitions of success. Just because specific ads on a particular platform brought you success in the past, it doesn’t mean you will have the same result with these highly specific targeted ads. 

To get the best results for your VIN-level campaigns, you will need to monitor your ads and reallocate your ad budgets cross platform based on performance. Automated budget allocation, as opposed to manual, relies on machine learning and AI technology to move budget according to opportunity. For example, instead of pre-deciding which car models, campaigns, or ads will get which budget, the machine takes the total budget and makes nimble moves between campaigns and ads to maximize leads. 

This is a critical component when considering VIN-level marketing. Automated budget allocations can help move more vehicles faster by allocating more money and resources to the ads that will be most likely to result in a solid lead.

Skip “One Size” and Personalize!

Today’s shoppers have high expectations when it comes to marketing. They expect to see specific and personalized messaging at every stop of their shopping journey. While VIN-level marketing gives dealerships an easy way to satisfy this customer craving, it must be coupled with the right strategy to make it work. Once your dealership masters this, there’s no going back to the one-size-fits-all marketing technique.

AutoLeadStar’s Last Call can help your dealership master VIN-level marketing. Get started by contacting us at get.started@autoleadstar.com.  

*An earlier version of this article originally appeared on dealermarketing.com