Inbound Marketing: The next step for the automotive industry
You want to buy a new car. How do you start the process? It's possible that a few years ago, you would have chosen a dealership by its name or ads, followed by a visit to perform a test-drive and meet the specs, prices and repeat this somewhere else. But this trend has changed, and the way dealerships do marketing must change with it.
According to a study developed by DMEautomotive, in 2014 buyers visited only 1.6 dealerships before deciding for a car, a number that has plummeted from the 5 that used to be visited 10 years ago.
This is because, buyers aren’t as they used to be. Right now, we’re dealing with an empowered buyer. One that doesn’t react to external influences about benefits or brand awareness, but rather an independent one that finds all the information alone, trusting only his/her own judgment by performing an indepenedant search.
Due to this, a great number of dealerships have shifted to Inbound marketing over traditional methods, because, according to DealMarketing, the cost of customer acquisition through digital marketing is $150, yet $1500 when acquired by traditional methods.
Why is Inbound the best option?
An Inbound Marketing strategy is based on empowering buyers through informative content, so that they reach your website by choice via organic traffic and form a special bond with the users.
To do this, Inbound uses a variety of tactics - content strategy being one of them. By doing so, prospects will find your website when looking for solutions for their challenges or needs. This content marketing strategy has been proven successful, by HubSpot, who concluded that companies that published 16 posts a month generated 3.5 times more traffic than others that had 0 to 4.
Using SEO optimization techniques taking into account your buyer persona, this hook is even more personalized. For example, if you want to sell a car to a young adult who isn’t looking for space, but performance, all content won’t have the product as a focus, but instead it will have information concerning the problems and challenges that they're looking for solutions, such as “How to recognize a car that uses less gas?”
"People already know what they're looking for, and they like to do research using their own methods so they will decide on where to buy depending on how helpful the dealership was during the process. When you're making such a big investment like buying a car you want to feel confident about where you're going to spend your money," states HubSpot's Inbound Growth Specialist, Jessie Gonzalez.
Personalizing the Communication
Once the user has become a lead, you will know their data and all the content they have consumed on your website, prompting the sales department to continue what the marketing department started.
Using tools provided by the Hubspot CRM and the contact's timeline, it's possible to know what the prospect is looking for. Was he/she reading about the benefits of a SUV? A video about how to seat kids in the backrow seat?
Through personalized emails or direct contact, the dealership will be able to offer services and products in a subtle way, targeting exactly what the prospect is looking for, making the relationship feel personal and not forced upon.
Post Sales Delight
Once the purchase is done, the Inbound process isn’t finished. This is where the client must be delighted further improving the services that were being offered before.
"Keeping the relationship alive is what will encourage a client to turn into a promoter and tell others of the benefits of buying at a certain dealership. The idea is that, even if the engagement is done once every 4 years, the name of the dealership will still be around their mind when the time comes," added Gonzalez from HubSpot.
Do they need more information about the recently purchased car? Maybe the latest trends in 2017 in the automotive industry? How to make the most out of this specific model? These tips can still be offered to all contacts after they’ve done their purchase to delight and transform them into brand promoters.
Just leaving this job to post sales or the warranty department isn’t enough. The dealership itself must continue being part of the process with the same value as if the sale isn't complete, and a better job can be done now that there’s more information available, all to make the customer satisfied with his purchase and comfortable with the brand.