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Building Your Dealership’s Online Presence

Before the age of the Internet, gathering information for a new vehicle required taking a look at the local paper or paging through a manufacturer’s booklet.  Driving down to your local dealership for a test drive it was something that was part of the norm.  In some of those cases, it may have necessitated a phone call to schedule an appointment to get a hands-on experience.  


Today’s automotive marketing efforts now open us to numerous possibilities to gather information for a new vehicle purchase, especially with access to the Internet.  With a few finger taps on the keyboard or a few clicks of the mouse, we have 24/7 access to automotive reviews (both professional and peer), reliability ratings and pricing details for any make or model that may fit into a targeted purchase.


At this point in the automotive buying process, it’s crucial that online car dealer marketing be effective.  To do so, a dealership needs to develop an online presence that stands out among a crowded landscape and gives the consumer a need to visit their sites and showrooms.


The follow represent just a handful of points to consider when putting an online plan in motion.


Engagement.  As social media continues to make inroads in all facets of automotive marketing, the most important aspect is that it provides engagement with the customer.  With the emergence of Facebook as a social media dominator, it’s vitally important in establishing a presence on that medium to build a robust online brand. 


Reach.   As noted in previous posts, the Internet offers “active reach.” Teamed with a traditional car dealer marketing plan (mailers, collateral coupons, etc.), automotive dealers now have unprecedented reach in offering prospects information on future sales, service specials and more.  Putting more relevant details into the right hands helps enhance reach, can improve sales and offers a better return on investment. 


Choice.  Developing a dealership’s online presence also offers the ability to tailor messages to specific targets.  Recently, we touched upon being proactive in your automotive marketing campaigns.  Within that entry, there were four key points (control, active listening, engagements and staying on point) that give planning online some clout.  When coupled with the identification of active and non-active prospects, these plans can help improve the efficiency of marketing campaigns.


A strong, online presence should consist of many key elements that help establish the dealership’s standing and reputation amongst peers.  A plan that offers engagement, reach and choice provides automotive marketing campaigns a solid starting point and lays the groundwork for establishing an online presence. 


In the future, we will delve further into this topic and explore how each of these points can prove valuable for your dealership.

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Tags: 2.0, Facebook, automotive, car, customer, dealer, dealers, dealerships, direct, interaction, More…marketing, mutli-channel, web


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Comment by Stacy Mueller on January 3, 2011 at 2:18pm
Thanks for your insight, Chris! I definitely agree.
Comment by Chris Nashed on January 3, 2011 at 12:06pm
This is absolutely where the car buying experience is going. Very solid points made here!

Comment by Stacy Mueller on December 29, 2010 at 8:23am
Thanks for the kind words. Establishing a dealership's online presence is just one part of the cog that should make for a robust marketing plan.
Comment by chatmeter on December 28, 2010 at 5:53pm
You make some great points here! I read somewhere that over 70 of auto purchases are made after online contact/marketing. With more and more consumers going online before making a purchase, online reputation management has never been more important.

If you're looking for some neat tools that can help you monitor reviews and chatter about your business, track your social media pages, and compare your search results with local competitors, you can test-drive chatmeter's service here:

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