As humans, we’re already used to the fact that technology solves our problems. Waiting for taxis (Uber), waiting in lines (mobile order), or splitting the bill with friends (Venmo). So when we think about some of the dealership’s biggest challenges, it shouldn’t be any different.
Aged inventory is one of the biggest pain points for dealers: the flooring costs, the lot rot, frozen capital… You know the deal. So aside from incentivizing your sales team with an extra bonus for selling older vehicles, your marketing can be your partner in crime here too.
It’s important to understand the connection between inventory and your paid ad strategy.
By simply looking at the numbers, we can see how crucial implementing a digital-powered advertising solution has become when advertising cars on your lot.
80% of recent vehicle buyers surveyed visited a Facebook property; meaning, they looked at Facebook before visiting your dealership.
64% of millennials surveyed in the U.S. learn about new car model launches on mobile. Amazingly, this means that millennials are highly likely to scroll through their mobile device and take interest in a car on your lot before ever researching your dealership in the first place and become an in-market shopper.
56% of U.S. auto internet shoppers surveyed use their mobile devices to shop for vehicles. Not only do shoppers learn about vehicles organically through scrolling on mobile, but will continue to shop and research using mobile.
56% of U.S. auto consumers surveyed would like to receive personalized engagement on their smartphone from their auto brand. This means that shoppers are learning about new models, shopping on mobile, and most importantly, interested in receiving very personalized ads.
As Google and Facebook compile this data, they’re able to capitalize, optimize, and strategize in real-time and leverage their findings. So why should it be any different for automotive?
Google’s five micro-moments breaks down the stage of every shopper’s journey with four game-changing moments that really matter. Every single one of these moments are creating opportunities for dealers to get in front of shoppers to target them instantly. By understanding the ads, keywords, and campaign combinations as well as introducing your brand at the right moment, getting in front of your audience in an impactful way, thus moving stuck inventory out.
Similarly, Facebook has its very own strategy called the “Facebook Four Strategies.” These include: why buy here, ready to buy, customers for life, promotions/events, and while similar to Google Best Practices, are of course built off Facebook’s algorithm. As these massive tech companies leap forward with groundbreaking solutions such as smart bidding, attribution models, inventory API’s (you name it!), dealers will need to not only adopt but invest heavily in understanding how to leverage these tools.
Dealers that adopt technology-driven marketing are, by definition, automating their paid ads machine.
They’re plugging into multiple data sources to create hundreds of ads that speak to inventory, incentives, and dealer brand. The strategy machine takes these ads and matches them up with multiple audiences to show just the right message to just the right shopper. And while this sounds like a lot of work, it’s actually seamless and frictionless.
But what is even more powerful is that dealer-tech can adapt to the dealership’s business goals and align the automation accordingly. If your dealership wants to optimize for a specific metric, for example, the technology will be sure to shift campaigns and work toward that goal, becoming our night and shining armor once again.
Similarly, your paid ads strategy can be your best salesperson in moving more aged inventory. As this is often a critical pain point for dealerships, technology should be a serious consideration for a solution, as it often doesn’t disappoint.
How does this work?
Dealers can dictate to the automated paid ads strategy certain goals so that the machine knows how to “behave.” If moving inventory is an important goal for the dealership, the dealer can automatically put more resources and money into campaigns that will move those vehicles and essentially “boost” their online presence if a viable shopper is searching.
Maybe you’re currently manually allocating 20% ad budget to social and 80% to search and display. But is this the best breakdown? What if one month google is bringing more leads than social, and the next month social brings more than google? If you’re manually allocating budget you may miss this and allocate budget as is, since you don’t catch the optimization. If it’s automating, you’re constantly putting the money where it matters, and in turn, moving more inventory off your lot.
Your paid ad strategy machine is waiting for you.
It’s 2020, and moving stuck inventory quickly while saving money is a reality. Getting rid of frozen capital is a reality. Best of all, implementing digital-first dealer-technology along with these best practices is a reality and will jump-start your inventory management and match every car with every buyer, moving metal like you’ve never seen before.