Automotive Digital Marketing

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Build A Digital Relationship With The Customer

The automotive dating scene is changing, gone is the day of just wooing the customer, now you must create a relationship with their mobile device as well. They key to landing a date with your mobile shopper is to tap into the very device they keep all their most personal information. Their mobile phone is basically their permanent boyfriend/girlfriend they look to for advice, pricing and limitless amounts of information. Your team must now create ways to manage these relationships, so that you can walk your customers down the aisle to their new vehicle, phone in hand.

But how to do this you ask?

Identify what your mobile consumer needs most when they interact with your dealership. Focus a value proposition around these cases, and utilize strategies to grow your dealership.


  • 80% of shoppers do their mobile research IN STORE

  • 39% of walk outs are influenced by smartphone usage

  • 80% of smartphone users use mobile phones for shopping research

  • 20% of sales are lost in store when a customer can’t find an item


  1. Keep Their Mobile Experience Within Your Control

    1. Customers often have more information in their hands than your sales people so give shoppers routes to utilize this info.

    2. Connect them with your dealership’s mobile app/website, provide sources for them to find reviews and testimonials so that they are usefully spending their mobile time and make it branded to your dealer.

    3. Create resources around your dealership that involve mobile and lots of information. The more information you provide your customers with the less likely they are to look for other sources to answer their questions.
    4. Integrate your mind set to be mobile forward
    5. Keeping their mobile experience within your control and branding will combat the urge for them to showroom.


  1. Build Policies And Train Your Employees On Showrooming Techniques:

    1. Create a policy on how to handle price matching requests

    2. Give your staff tools to implement information

      • Use the technology your customers are using to teach them

      • Tablets are an awesome method that keep your customer visually satisfied while finding all the information they want, fast.


Merge Your Inventory With The Mobile Web:

  • Turn your physical store into an even stronger asset. This is huge for the used car market, utilize those vehicles that set you apart from the competition to your advantage. Having unique vehicles prevents showrooming because other dealers don’t have them, so make sure you are marketing these to the fullest.
  • While buying a completely online is currently feasible it is not widespread, so utilize the fact the the customer MUST come to your dealership to get the vehicle to your advantage.

Offer a Differentiated In-store Experience:

  • Capitalize on things customers can’t accomplish online, and make these your focus

  • Constantly invest in your relationship with your OEM to offer exclusive vehicles that set you apart from competing dealers

Selective Price Matching:

  • Find a way to match online prices that works for you and your customers

    • Instead of having price match guarantee on all items, apply an online guaranteed only on those items most prone to showrooming

    • By setting aside select products as “loss leaders” you can avoid having to expose your entire inventory to price matching


Understand How Customers Are Currently Interacting With You

Become The Customer:

  • Pretend you are shopping for a vehicle using your phone and go through the same processes you customers do. Many times we are so focused on the sale and constantly looking from the other side of the fence that we fail to understand why they are doing what they do. Put yourself in the consumers shoes, they hide behind the very device they use to combat you in the dealership. So create a strategy to fight back.

Assign a mobile champion to your dealership:

  • Find someone who understands mobile marketing and showrooming and allow them to focus a large amount of their time on this, may it be someone in the internet department to someone in sales, have a person who is able to research and learn about the constantly changing mobile effect on the auto industry and have them educate the rest of your dealership so that you stay constantly progressive.

  • Build mobile accountability into your organization

  • Drive ROI and branding in mobile specific ways

  • Focus your value proposition to meet true mobile specific needs


Leading dealerships are aware of mobiles potential to drive conversions across all channels.

So get in the drivers seat and use your intellectual horsepower to take control.





-Josh Knutson

- Interested in more updates on mobile and the automotive industry? Subscribe by emailing


Resource and Stats:

“Image courtesy of stock images/”

Views: 67

Tags: digital, marketing, mobile


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