In today’s competitive automotive industry, it’s crucial for car dealerships to employ smart marketing techniques to boost visibility, attract more customers, and ultimately increase sales. In this article, we will explore ten strategies that have proven successful for car dealerships of all sizes.

More goes into car dealership marketing than people expect. We all need cars, so selling cars should be easy, right? Unfortunately, if you’re looking up effective strategies for car dealership marketing, you probably already know the answer. sMedia can help you! Schedule a demo today to learn more about how to develop and execute the best car dealership marketing strategy!

Achieving targets, attracting new customers, and engaging with previous and current clientele. As a professional in the automotive industry, you’re responsible for so many facets that it can be overwhelming. So when you’re asked, “Are you in charge of attribution?”, it can feel like just another item on an already overloaded plate. But that’s why you have a marketing team, right?

Of course, there are service providers and dealer partners who specialize in attribution. You might be wondering if it’s worth it to take attribution off of your marketing team’s plate and hand it off to a third party, but is that the right fit? There’s a cost associated with it, and since you’re staffing a few professional marketers already, does it make sense to invest even more into that department?

Every marketing manager runs into it from time to time. Poor response. And now the owner and general manager are breathing down your neck. 

What misfired? Was there a snappy photo? Yeah. Was the message concise? You consider it a bullseye. And the recipient list was so diverse, there’s no reason for the phones to be dead and the salespeople playing Minesweeper in the showroom.

Not every marketing campaign is going to be as resounding a success as you think it will be. But when it doesn’t go to plan, where do you look to figure out what went more sideways than James Dean on the drift circuit? The data.

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, staying up to speed with the latest developments is key to staying ahead of the competition. This is particularly true in the automotive industry, where the customer journey can be complex, spanning multiple online and offline touchpoints. One area that has seen significant changes recently is attribution—the process of identifying which marketing efforts are driving leads and conversions. These changes are transforming the way we understand and optimize the car buyer’s journey.

In this post, we’ll delve into some of the major changes in attribution over the past six months, including Facebook’s response to Apple’s iOS 14 update, Google Ads’ shift to data-driven attribution, and the new capabilities introduced with Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Whether you’re a seasoned automotive marketer or new to the industry, this post will help you navigate these changes and leverage them to improve your marketing strategy.

Picture someone managing a dealership service department, constantly addressing staffing issues, putting out fires with difficult customers, and managing the on-the-ground details every day. Sound familiar? It can be challenging – to say the least – to focus on improvement and growth, especially for your marketing budget that’s paltry compared to the sales teams.

Attribution is the key to building customer loyalty and retention for auto services.

The work you do on a daily basis produces valuable data that provides insight, clarity, and a competitive advantage for your dealership.

Your team grabs engagement stats from social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Clickthrough rates from email blasts. Traffic from web lurkers on your website through Google Analytics (have you migrated to GA4 yet?). And any traffic from your CRM system factors in there somewhere too. Inbound marketing data streams in from every source you’ve invested in, but what does it all mean to you?

Are you even collecting the right data? What about relevant data? Can you trust your data source?

The car biz is worth billions upon billions of dollars in the US alone, and all you want is to get a fair share of the pie… and perhaps a little extra. Smart marketing can give you an edge against the competition and help you figure out what methods are working well to compel clients and would-be customers to come back for a visit. And that requires a good grasp of the raw data piling in from all of those channels.

But looking at the raw data may not serve the purpose you’re after. As it is, it could mislead you, making you push all your chips into a marketing channel that’s not as effective as it appears. Not all data is equal, and it needs to be put through a filter to determine what stays and what goes.

In the ever-evolving digital age, data privacy has become an increasingly important factor in the way we do business. This is especially true in the automotive industry, where car dealerships are struggling to keep up with customer attribution details due to new privacy laws. 

There’s no question that safely using and storing data is important, and every one of us wants our data protected too. But these data privacy laws affect analytics data. It matters to car dealership owners, general managers, and marketing managers especially. Explore what the challenges are and how you can navigate the murky waters.

If you’re in the automotive industry, it’s highly likely that you use attribution metrics to measure and generate insights on customer journeys. Understanding how customers interact with your online and offline marketing channels is essential for optimizing ad campaigns, adjusting pricing strategies, and targeted messaging. 

But when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of what these types of metrics actually mean – well, that can be a bit more complicated. In this blog post, we’re breaking down the basics of what five common attribution metrics are as well as their underlying meaning so dealerships and marketers alike can have easy access to a high-level understanding of these key topics.

Is the automotive industry complex? Absolutely.
Regardless of which department you’re exploring – service, parts, collision repairs, or sales – more than two-thirds of all leads come from online while virtually 100% of sales happen in person. But aside from sales, what dealer principals and general managers are most interested in is where their customers are coming from

Which channels are drawing the most traffic and generating the most revenue? What campaigns have proven most successful in converting shoppers into buyers? While attribution can help answer these questions and others, doing it at the dealer level can pose challenges that can render the results less effective than they could be, or they could be altogether misinterpreted.

The strength of the US economy has pushed interest rates up, attempting to slow inflation to near-normal rates. Caught in the crossfire between outrageous spending and government policy is the fifth-largest industry in the country: auto retail. And sure as the day is long, pricing is bound to soften as consumers’ budgets are constricted by rising everyday costs of groceries, mortgages, and utilities. That’s particularly true for the used car market.