Archive for September, 2012

The Inside Scoop: Millennial Buyers

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

I think the most life changing phrase I was told growing up was “Google it.” The second most impressionable? “Save your money.”

These notions comingled in my mind and look where it landed me. Yes, It’s fair to say, I’m a Millennial buyer. I research everything, from the best products to the best how-tos, and you better believe I want to be proud of where I’m spending my money. Now I’ll be honest, I’ve never purchased a new car and I’ve never even purchased a car from a dealership. I sport an ancient car from the 90s, and yep, I bought it off a trusted hometown neighbor (Wow do I fit the Millennial stereotype or what?).

So now that you know my dirty secrets you’re either going to give up on me or you’re wondering, ‘How the heck do I sell you a car?’

Well I’m young, full of debt and not going to buy a car for a few more years. But this is the important part: I am already researching my options. Seriously! All you have to do is get me to your dealership and build a relationship with me, your future buyer.

A car might be my second largest life investment, and your dealer needs to understand that me, the Millennial buyer, is just as big (if not bigger) an investment to the future of the automotive industry.

  • I still have a car, get me in for service.

Chances are the more familiar with your dealership I am, the more loyal I will become. Take advantage of my service visits by providing the finest customer service experience. Transform your dealership into more than just a sales floor.

  • I don’t know much about cars, educate me

Treat this like a doctor visit, not a sales call. What’s happening to my car? Provide reports or printouts of my vehicle’s strengths and weaknesses. Why do I need specific services and how long do I have to complete these services? How will your dealership help me overcome these vehicle flaws? Why should I choose your store over a competitor? I need to trust you.

  • My smartphone is my life, connect with me via apps, social media and videos

If you’re up to date with the latest technology then you have a major advantage. Reinvent the automotive experience making it convenient, hassle-free and fun!

  • Keep in touch, I need reminders

Contact me through a mobile app; send service notifications, reminders and specific messages to an exclusive feature on my phone. An app makes it personal, but still easy to connect from both ends.

If your store starts investing in the Millennials then the Millennials will start investing in you.

What Smartphones Are Telling You About Your Customers

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

The rate of smartphone adoption is coming faster than any other consumer technology in our history. According to Flurry Analytics, it’s coming ten times faster than the 80s PC Revolution, two times faster than the 90s Internet Boom and three times faster than the recent social network adoption.

The number of adult smartphone owners has increased from 35 percent to 45 percent since May 2011, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

But Pew Internet reports that 66 percent of these owners are between 18 and 29 years of age.

So you’re wondering how to target this giant and still rapidly growing percentage of automotive customers?

Gravitytank Strategic Advisor and former CMO of Office Max, Bob Thacker, puts it perfectly, “It is really understanding that you must be present in a conversation when they want to have it, not when you want to.”

And the mobile app makes this conversation possible. Apps have become the most powerful platform ever for conducting commerce and managing customer relationships.

Total app downloads measure in the billions and the number of adult cell phone owners who’ve downloaded an app to their phone doubled in the past year, according to Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. According to Apple Inc., there are over 650,000 apps available in the App Store. The number of apps expected to be downloaded worldwide this year is 36 billion, and the average smartphone user worldwide is expected to download 37 apps, according to ABI Research.

The mobile app opens up not only the opportunity to finally deliver on the long sought vision of communicating the right message at the right time via the right channel, but that mobile apps enable dealers to capitalize on the long tail marketing strategy; keeping in constant use by your customer, creating the opportunity to learn more about your customers and sell them more products and services over a longer period of time.

Targeting this generation means giving them useful, clever tools and practical value in their everyday life that keeps them coming back to the app frequently. Because the true power of an app comes with repeat usage and once that “muscle memory” is built up the app becomes a platform for all kinds of commerce.

Smartphone apps are the key that will turn your disloyalists into loyalists, all driven by the simple tap of the finger.