Automotive Digital Marketing

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Six ways online dating validates live chat

Unless you are selling cars out of a cave in the Sierra Nevadas, you know that virtually everyone does some or all of their vehicle, boat, and RV shopping online. A well-structured live chat is the most effective way to engage car shoppers and start the process, and if you’re not convinced of the potential, just take a look at some online dating statistics that closely resemble car biz numbers:

  • Like the car industry, it’s a multi-billion-dollar business
  • eHarmony is touting its success with five hundred-plus marriages per day, and more than a million to date
  • Match.com turns 20 this year and leads the online dating pack
  • Plenty of Fish says as many as 85 percent of users access their site with mobile devices
  • Data from all three sites indicate the biggest segment of users is the 25-45 age bracket.
  • Pew Research Center data from 2013 show that nearly a quarter of the population in the 25-34 age group had actually used an online dating site or app.

What does this mean for digital marketing in the auto industry? It means a HUGE chunk of the population is using a form of chat messaging to cultivate the most important relationship in their lives. If they’re so comfortable relying on chat for love, don’t you think dealers would be wise to meet them in this comfort zone?

It’s been nearly 80 years Dale Carnegie basically convinced the sales world the importance of relating to others on terms in their comfort zone. All 15 million copies of How to Win Friends and Influence People explain how a focus on clients and prospects’ interests, and when it comes to auto websites, giving shoppers a chance to communicate on their terms.

People of all ages and demographic strata are in their comfort zone using SMS text messages, Facebook, Instagram, Skype, and a host of two-way chat apps to do more than stay in touch with family and friends. The data say that the ‘comfort zone’ clearly extends to finding love – and major purchases – is on some kind of digital screen, be it computer, tablet or mobile phone. Live chat in some form another is a way of life for nearly everyone with a mobile device in their hands. This means giving shoppers a chance to use live chat to start the buying process is a must in today’s market.

In case you’re wondering, the most commonly used term in a Match.com profile last year was travel, so presumably a substantial chunk of lovers not only spend a bunch of time using chat, but could probably use a new car, boat, or RV to ride off into the sunset with their new companion. 

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Tom LaPointe CarChat24 CHAT GURU
www.carchat24.com/ 24/7 Interactive Automotive Dealer Website LIVE CHAT Solutions Hosted or In-House Options – FREE web chat software 727-638-0195

A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Tom has an MBA in Marketing and is an automotive writer and author with nearly 20 years experience in virtually every aspect of the retail auto industry. He has been involved with the internet from the beginning, building websites at Johns Hopkins University in the 90's, and has been a performance leader in nearly every dealer role, from sales and service, to BDC / internet sales and viral marketing.

Views: 236

Tags: CarChat24, Match.com, POF, SMS, Tom LaPointe, chat, eHarmony, online dating, text

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Oops... You need to stop "Lurking" on ADM and become a more genuine Automotive Professional by completing your membership registration. As a registered ADM Member, you can post comments, publish your own articles (be a star!) and start Forum discussions. Stop being an online "Peeping Tom" and JOIN ADM RIGHT NOW!

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Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on October 1, 2015 at 9:03pm

Thanks for the tip Steve. And Brian, I hope we get to share a beer at DSES. The irony here is I DID meet my wife online. In Canada (I'm in Florida). I have a whole stand up routine on the do's and dont's of online dating. Rule 1, use a good photo. Not a pucker-lip bathroom selfie or (worse) one with the ex's hand still in the photo with the rest of him cropped out! lol. People put WAY more into marketing a car than they do finding Mr. or Mrs. Right (now).

Comment by Brian Bennington on September 27, 2015 at 5:29pm

Hi "Big Tom,"  The worst thing about your posts is that, at the end, I'll read your bio and have this sudden overwhelming feeling of inadequacy.  Come on, guy, do you ever even have time to go to the bathroom?  Anyway, I get what your saying and agree with it to a certain extent, but advertising for "strange" is a lot more important than selling cars, especially if you're not getting any!  Luckily for me, I've got this spectacular wife of 29 years who eliminated any desire to look for a replacement back when I was selling vehicles, and consequently, my efforts were dedicated to my work.  Of note, she's still spectacular and I'm still solely dedicated to my work.

You do deserve "kudos" for relating the comparison to something everyone is interested in!        


Influencer
Comment by Steve Tamulewicz on September 23, 2015 at 8:47am

A good tool to use for this is Twitter. They have a tracking tool that you can scan your area for certain conversations that take place and you can engage the person you are targeting. There are many conversations containing complaints about an old or unreliable car. You can offer to assist them in correcting that problem with a newer car. 

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