The world of marketing is always changing, almost as quickly as the world of the automotive industry! To be in the business of both means that you need to keep abreast of the changes in all areas. Therefore, in this article, from online marketing and making the most of every search engine to offering the very best customer journey to reach a wider audience and maximize sales, we’re looking at the top automotive marketing trends for 2019. The ways in which you can best engage with your customers and, more importantly, your prospective customers, in order to sell more cars.
If you are working in a traditional dealership, the world of selling is getting harder. Gone are the days when you would be a potential customer’s main source of information about a car and simple press or radio campaigns would draw buyers in. Now, they can search for everything they need to know about a vehicle online and will have probably formed an opinion before they step in the door. So, how can you go the extra mile and ensure that you are offering something other marketers simply aren’t to maximize the customer experience?
Nowadays, to get cars sold, successful marketing is all search engine optimization, social media, apps and other marketing initiatives that are engaging. If you have been involved in automotive marketing for any length of time, then you probably don’t need me to tell you about the importance of social media and technology. The modern expectation is not just to be embracing social media as a brand, but also to be totally encompassing every aspect of it.
It is worth the time needed to keep putting out content and always being “the name” your customers see and associate with cars.
Embrace Visual Content
Whether it is a high-end sound system or just the weekly grocery shop, people are buying with their eyes more than ever before. And it is no different with the car industry. Instead of coming and taking a look at a vehicle in person, they want to see what it looks like first by seeing it in different colours, the different interior designs available, the different backgrounds and ultimately imagining themselves in the vehicle itself. Therefore, to make it in the modern automotive marketing world, it is imperative to embrace the latest technology available to create better visual content than ever before. A new smartphone will take incredible photos, but why not try out some that will wow almost any potential customer. Take panoramic sales photos or get a 360 stitching app and create an interactive experience for your potential customers, so they can look at a car’s interior properly.
Not only does visual content give you more of an opportunity for customers to see what you have in stock and what you are offering, but it also makes you look more professional. Good quality content shows that you are an expert and builds trust with potential customers. If you want to take this a step further, why not add a knowledge section to your website where you create videos to show what you know about vehicles? You could upload content to YouTube and prove that you are at the cutting edge of visual content, which is still growing in 2019.
In-car technology is one of the biggest draws in the world of automotive marketing at the moment. If you can offer more in the way of in-car technology, then customers may well find themselves opting to go with you as a company. To some extent, the technology of vehicles themselves isn’t changing at a rapid rate anymore. Unless you are fanatical, you probably aren’t looking for the absolute fastest car or the one that does 0–60 in a split second. Instead, you will probably be more focused on comfort and the driving experience. In fact, all modern vehicles go fast enough for the roads on which they are going to be used.
The advanced technology that goes into a car is where dealers and automotive marketers can get one step ahead. People are starting to expect more from their cars and everything from reverse parking cameras to digital audio are becoming the norm.
Future developments to keep your finger on the pulse will include “smart” technology as standard. It may even be the case that you can pay for your gas straight from the dashboard of your car. When selling your vehicles, focus on the trend of people wanting the most enjoyable experience and the most possible technology.
Fill Your Pitch with Data
We have more data and information available than ever before. While the customer has access to pretty much exactly the same data, they probably won’t know how to interpret it or what it means for their potential purchase.
Instead of trying to be the alternative to Google, you should work with all the data that is available on the Internet and beyond to find out what others thought of the car, the MPG, and the average price range if it is second hand. Selling vehicles should never be about pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes. You’re not trying to keep secrets from your customers and being the font of all knowledge for them can only help.
As well as the benefits of providing your customers all the information they need to make an informed decision, the respect you earn and the likelihood of them trusting you will also increase as you show that you know what you are talking about—and are happy to put in the work to show them which vehicle best suits their needs.
This sounds like it has been an automotive trend for some time now. The truth is, it has! While there will always be some customers out there who don’t care too much about the environmental impact of a car, most will care a great deal about the effect on their bank balances and the less fuel a vehicle requires, the more economical it is to run.
The environmental angle is not going everywhere. While not everyone can afford an electric car, and the secondary market for such cars still hasn’t fully developed, it is worth looking into which vehicles offer the most in an environmental way. Hybrid engines, economical designs and electric aided vehicles are only likely to continue growing through 2019 and beyond.
We live in an age of fast-moving technology. In 2019, some car leading brands have even announced they are trying to add robotics and “legs” to their vehicles for climbing purposes. Of course, these are concept cars at the moment, but having your finger on the pulse of where the industry is going will help you to market and sell cars in this year—and the years that follow.
Melissa Cadieux is the Social Media Manager at Turbo Marketing Solutions and you can email her here or reach her at Turbo Marketing