Archive for July, 2013

Today’s Smarter Automotive Industry Thrives on New Truth Marketing

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

With coordinated multi channel communications like direct mail, email, text, phone call campaigns and mobile apps, dealers are able to break through the clutter and quickly grab the attention of the customer. But too often the strategy behind these communications is based on broken and outdated ideologies that focus on the car and not the owner, causing dealers to aim the wrong message at the wrong target customer.

This broken marketing approach is geared toward the service interval of the car and it’s spraying out messages that have little to do with the customer. Techniques of blindly firing off messages across multiple channels of communication, and hoping they stick, are outdated as these channels have been completely transformed by technology and higher customer expectations with ever decreasing attention spans. And millions of dealer dollars are being wasted on this Old Truth marketing, as direct service and sales marketing are delivered the same “spray and pray” way they’ve always been – largely unsupported by data and research.

That means dealers are communicating to the wrong consumers in the wrong channels with the wrong offer and at wrong intervals, neglecting to face the automotive industry’s current realities – realities that have completely changed the way dealers must market and communicate to the new automotive customer.

Here are some of the automotive industry’s current and alarming realities: 1) A growing age of vehicles on the road. 2) An increasing maintenance interval. 3) Improved vehicle manufacture quality. 4) Changes in consumer behavior and attitudes and 5) the continuing revolution of digital and mobile technology.

Based on these five realities, dealers need to re think marketing and adopt the New Truth – investing in new marketing science, new techniques and new technology – all founded on new research, tailored to the consumer’s behavior and attitude. It’s time to capitalize on the small fraction of time that dealers now have to target customers.

So where does a dealer start when abandoning the Old Truth and grabbing hold of the New Truth? It’s vital that dealers begin to integrate new technology and digital channels such as Responsive Email Design, mobile apps, QR codes, texting and Passbook to effectively communicate with consumers. Mid Interval Communications for battery, brakes and tires will help the dealer keep their customers coming back while Pre Paid Maintenance programs also give the customer a great opportunity to increase customer loyalty and retention, especially millennial customers. And hyper-targeting customers will allow the dealer to communicate to the right customers at the right time via the right channel.

This is a new, smarter automotive industry where not just any professional can play the game. It takes deep science, strategy and research with precision execution to thrive in the new digital marketing age. Today’s challenge lies in making the shift to New Truth marketing, centering your strategies around your customer, what they want, how they behave, where they spend and how they spend, and put an end to ineffective and expendable direct vehicle marketing.

Responsive Email Design Part 2: Show Me the Results

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Responsive Email Design is a critical part of any complete, forward thinking mobile strategy. As we discussed last time in Responsive Email Design Answers to Mobile, Responsive Email Design uses new techniques in coding to automatically reformat your email content in an optimal layout for whatever device your customer is using to read that email, regardless if it’s being read on a desktop, tablet or mobile device. By automatically optimizing email content for a specific call to action, this type of design delivers a compelling reading experience for the viewer, evoking more response, more action and more ROI.

One of the nation’s largest dealer groups implemented Responsive Email Design in April 2013 and in just one month they experienced an open rate increase of 6.7 percent, as well as a click-through rate increase of 1.2 percent across all devices. But it is the specific call to actions that proved to be most actionable by the consumer.

Before Responsive Email Design, call to actions such as ‘Call to Schedule,’  ‘Schedule Service Online’ and ‘Maps and Directions’ were nearly impossible to locate and even more difficult to select on a mobile device with the inherent “small screen/fat finger” problem. Now these action buttons are not only placed front and center on a mobile device, but allow functions like one tap dialing to ensure quick and direct interactions, getting the consumer where they want to be, faster. With one tap direct dialing, the same dealer experienced hundreds of additional phone calls, an 18 percent increase of service appointments scheduled online, and further engaged users through the ‘Maps and Directions’ call to action, bringing in more business to the service drive – all in just one month!

It’s vital that the dealer understands how to engage with customers in this new environment in order to deliver a compelling and actionable message. With Responsive Email Design, the dealer is able to direct consumer behavior, driving traffic to a preferred destination.

Applying pro-mobile channels, such as Responsive Email Design, to the dealer mobile strategy will be what sets the forward moving dealer apart from the stagnant. With consumers creating a more competitive environment than ever before, and innovations in mobile happening at breakneck speed, dealers need to establish marketing and content that is flexible enough to accommodate change.

Combining mobile channels such as Responsive Email Design, the mobile app, mobile websites, mobile search and texting will set up a successful mobile strategy that targets the on-the-go consumer.