Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers and their Managers
By Kathi Kruse, Founder CEO at Kruse Control Inc.
Kathi Kruse is an Automotive Social Media Marketing Expert, Blogger, Author, Speaker and Founder of Kruse Control Inc. Kathi is the author of “Automotive Social Business – How to Captivate Your Customers, Sell More Cars & Be Generally Remarkable on Social Media”
In her previous article, Kathi discusses the challenges dealers face in identifying the metrics that matter and capitalizing on those key performance indicators to execute a winning marketing and advertising strategy. Here she presents five steps dealers can take to help increase sales, visibility and influence online.
Publish blogs to answer their most frequent questions. Post Facebook updates that show what it’s like to do business with you. Tweet useful info and converse with would-be buyers. Give them useful information about things they don’t know. In fact, go one step further: give them information they didn’t know, they don’t know. Buying a car is stressful. If you can alleviate even one of their fears, you become remarkable.
First, your marketing must communicate why people buy from you. This is the foundation that differentiates your store from all the rest.
Next, you must identify who your customer is. There are 3 main consideration stages in the buying process:
See: People who buy and service cars.
Think: People who buy and service cars and are thinking they might need to.
Do: People who buy and service cars, are thinking they might need to and are ready to take action now.
We can think of these stages as a sales funnel. “See” people are at the top, “Think” people are in the middle, and “Do” people are at the bottom with their legs dangling out. Keep in mind that even though a customer is in the “See” stage, he/she may have members in their network who are “Think” and “Do”.
Your marketing and advertising content must be broad enough to attract and engage at each customer consideration stage. Define a solid content strategy and you’ll be able to take it to any platform and get real results.
There is such a wealth of data now that it’s ludicrous to design marketing and advertising strategies around what your gut tells you. I’m a big fan of using my gut for decisions (it’s what made me successful as a dealership executive manager) but it’s not the ONLY resource. The numbers don’t lie. Use them to help you decide your next move.
Let’s face it - we all used to consume content from one resource (newspaper, TV, radio) but today all of us have our chosen medium(s). There is no “standard car buying process" anymore. To reach people where they are, you must first understand how each of the platforms works.
I meet dealers who like to show disdain for social media. Please don’t be one of them. It’s like bragging that you can’t read. Get expert advice so you can make informed decisions (read my blog , there’s a lot of info there!). Hire or promote someone to handle your social media and digital marketing and for goodness sakes, get them trained!
With a solid content strategy in place, you can take that foundation to any platform - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Your Blog - and apply your content strategy accordingly. This is where knowing your audience is really going to pay off. Launch a marketing campaign and measure your results. Use those results to tie back to your objectives.
Kathi Kruse is an Automotive Social Media Marketing Expert, Blogger, Speaker, Coach, Author and Founder of Kruse Control Inc. Born in the heart of Los Angeles to a family of “car people”, Kathi’s passion for the car business spans a 30-year career managing successful dealerships in Southern California. Kathi is the author of “Automotive Social Business – How to Captivate Your Customers, Sell More Cars & Be Generally Remarkable on Social Media”. Her Kruse Control Blog is the leading Automotive Social Media blog in the US and Canada.