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Auto Dealerships Embracing the Online Market to Survive

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Auto Dealerships Embracing the Online Market to Survive

By Cesar Yepez, Marketing Manager-Automotive Solutions

"It's not the fastest or the strongest ... that survive; it's the ones that are most adaptable to change. This is also true for business." Zappos founder Tony Hsieh says in his 2012 book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose. By going online and being nimble to strategically respond to market conditions Zappos has established themselves as a leader in their industry.

With that in mind, if I asked you to describe why a consumer should buy a car from your dealership, would you be able to answer that question easily? This is crucial because there are conversations going on right now about your dealership via social media, and if you don’t participate…. then others will speak for you. An online presence is not a fad that is going away, check out this video about the staggering statistics to just how much pull the world wide web of people can have on your entire business model! Social Media is an open community, and it’s the ideal place to communicate your dealership’s unique personality. Engage with fans: attract their attention, listen, solve their problems, develop trust, reward their loyalty and be consistent with your message. That’s the formula for Social Media results … that’s what generates leads.

Business owners who fail to keep pace with the times and innovate will choke on the dust of their competitors and possibly fail altogether. For today's Auto dealership owners, online media marketing is the game-changing play that will make you successful. The world is online and so is your customer. Buyers no longer rely on traditional media for their research and shopping. In fact, in a recent study by Edmunds over 89% of car seekers professed to going online in their search before making a purchase. Ponder that number for just a moment; are you willing to forgo 89% of your potential customers just because your dealership’s web site wasn’t up to par?

To gain customers, Auto dealers must embrace online media and shift marketing resources to this powerful channel. Even having a dealership website simply isn't enough any more (though it is a start). Dealers need to maximize their use of Google AdWords, place online display ads on websites that their customers visit and they need to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other social network where customers may be 'hanging out.'

These are a few just a few points that General Managers and dealership Owners need to keep in mind when debating the exact importance of their online presence. Your dealership can effectively adapt to the new online world, and become a recognized voice in your marketplace, all while keeping the profits coming in.

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