7 Car Marketing Ideas To Maintain Brand Awareness During Shortages

car marketing ideas

Nowadays, 92% of car buyers start their searches online, but sales themselves rely more on bringing people into the dealership. Having a solid marketing plan can make a huge difference in improving your visibility and attracting more people to your dealership. After all, the car industry is saturated with competition and competitive advantages, so your advertising needs to be vigilant.

There are 773 dealers in Chicago — which means your advertising needs to compete with more than 750 other businesses for the attention of car buyers. The purpose of advertising is to develop a long-term awareness of your brand in customer’s minds so that they think of you when they need a specific product or service done. Regardless of whether you’re serving seasonal demands or are facing certain supply shortages, you’ll want to maintain your advertising to shape your audience’s impression of you. In this industry, there isn’t room for underestimating the power of good marketing.

While many car manufacturers are concerned about the ensuing chip shortage’s impact on car sales, but consumers are far less affected by it. Sixty-percent of consumers are still intent on buying new cars regardless of the chip shortage and any ensuing increases in costs. The reality is that the customer relationship with their vehicle has evolved from simply a mode of transportation to a part of their identity, or an escape from daily tasks. Radio listeners are 33% more likely to do so, and 77% of radio listening adults have continued their efforts to buy a new car.

Consider these 7 car marketing ideas to keep your dealership front and center in consumer minds.

1. Target The Right Customers

In the auto industry, customers can range in demographics quite broadly compared to other industries. Still, different cars reach different people, which is why you need to advertise them differently, basing your ads on who is most receptive to them.

Just take, for instance, luxury and home models alone. Luxury models cost more and typically have more improved engines and power. In contrast, home (or standard) models are more affordable because they don’t possess these extras. For this reason, the same audience wouldn’t be interested in both models.

You need to break down your advertising by age, gender, income, location, lifestyle (if they’re young or have a family), and accurately define your target audience. That way, you can be more customer-centric rather than product or brand-focused.

As an example, you could target people right out of college with special rebates or family financing options. Since most college students are in school debt, these kinds of offers can be more attractive.

2. Build Trust With Your Customers

Reviews and good customer service are crucial in the automotive world, especially as more people can research their vehicles online before coming in and making a purchase. Consistently bad service will, without a doubt, show up in your reviews and negatively impact the purchasing decisions of car buyers.

Since people can now research and decide on the car they want before ever stepping foot in your dealership, having positive reviews is crucial for having them visit you over the competition. After all, 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether to do business with a company, and people read an average of 10 online reviews before they’re willing to trust a local business.

Likewise, replying to and working with ‘bad reviewers’ online will also influence buyers because they’ll see that you care how your customer’s experience was with your business.

3. Nurture Leads Online

Another part of building trust involves providing value through online means, like social media engagement and email campaigns. Your brand improves trust through these marketing means because it actively and regularly interacts with its consumers to ensure you’ve met their needs throughout their entire buyer journey.

For instance, social media is a great place to address concerns people have about their cars and provide helpful industry information. Meanwhile, sending emails and newsletters with safety tips or vehicle information regularly provides valuable information while giving you a platform to include upcoming car deals.

4. Use Ads With A Broad Reach

Using ads with a broad reach can expand the geographical area of your customer base, especially when advertising through radio and TV. Not only can radio and TV ads reach people across your state to increase your brand awareness, but they can also reach nationally too.
Moreover, combining your TV or radio ads with a digital PPC campaign helps you encourage more customer action because they’re already familiar with your brand. It can take as much as 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember a brand, so combining your strategy can be significant in making the process quicker.

5. Use Radio Ads To Reach Car Buyers

Radio ads, in particular, have a significant reach to car buyers, in part because of the high volume of people listening to radio. Not only has 67% of the U.S. population listened to the radio recently (compared to 27% ten years previously), but Chicago ranks third in the national market for listeners.

You have more opportunities since listeners tune in while driving and thinking about their car, allowing radio ads to encourage actions like visiting your website or simply conducting web searches.

Most importantly, you’ll want to segment your audience to reach the right people through radio and measure the effectiveness of your radio ads to continuously improve your efforts.

6. Offer Unique Deals To Incentivize Customers

Standing out isn’t easy in a competitive market like the auto industry, but you can differentiate yourself from the competition by offering deals to customers. However, keep in mind that the more unique and creative you are, the more you’ll stand out.

One way to ensure this is by keeping your audience in mind in every idea and decision you make moving forward. For instance, you can base your deals off your target demographic. If you sell luxury cars, you can offer car waxing for free. Alternatively, you can offer trade-in discounts for families purchasing vehicles that are good for kids.

7. Retarget Your Current Customers

An essential part of staying relevant in the industry is catering to your current customers as well. You don’t want to neglect past customers, especially since many of them would be willing to keep coming back, either to get another vehicle (like families with teenagers turning 15/16) or to replace their current with a newer model.

For this reason and more, you need to keep up with retargeting efforts and continue to advertise other services you offer to keep them coming back.

The car industry is incredibly competitive. However, if you have the right advertising strategy and the latest marketing tips and best practices for reference, you will be better able to reach a receptive audience.

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