The automotive industry took a substantial hit over the last year. While the world was adapting to a new way of life during a pandemic, many industries saw a shortage of available inventory. The predominant issue being manufacturing issues and delays. Automotive dealers across the country were hoping for a change in fate and a miraculous surge in cars distributed by manufacturers. However, the Covid related factory shutdowns of last spring have maintained their lasting impact into 2021. While these shortages seem to spell doom and gloom for the industry as a whole, automotive dealers averaged $2.1 million in pre-tax profit in 2020. As a dealer, how do I maintain profitability when inventory is almost non-existent? What steps do I need to take to set up our business for the future?
Market Doctors, a nationwide advertising firm headquartered in Houston, Texas, has the solution. With 24 years in the automotive marketing industry and partnerships with hundreds of dealers, the Market Doctors team has developed some best practices to ensure your success.
Looking at your budget
First and foremost, you should be looking at your budget and removing all unnecessary/redundant marketing campaigns from 3rd party sources. Why spend tens of thousands of dollars on several 3rd party marketing campaigns that are all designed to accomplish the same goals? The Rx product suite from Market Doctors aims to replace all unnecessary 3rd party programs. Not only is it more cost-effective than traditional marketing campaigns, but it is much easier to understand and keep track of its progress. At Market Doctors, we want to help you become less dependent on these 3rd party programs. We have a dedicated team of professionals who will be there to support, educate, and advise your team every step of the way.
Heavy Hitters –
Mobile Rx, Service Rx, Vin Advantage
Mobile Rx focuses on identifying and securing customers who shop for vehicles at competing dealerships. Mobile Rx uses polygon mapping to map the perimeter of these dealerships and utilizes real-time mobile ad device linking. There is enough technical jargon in that explanation to confuse even the author himself. To put it into simpler terms, examine a concept that most people are familiar with nowadays: geofencing. Geofencing creates a virtual boundary around a given area. Whenever someone enters or exits the specified areas with their mobile phone, a response is triggered. This response is usually information such as mobile device IDs and persistent IDs unique to that device. Information gathered from these responses can be used to serve targeted messaging and ads directly to the device. The primary issue with geofencing is its radius. Traditional geofencing methods failed because the radius was too far and often targeted the wrong people. If you are a car dealer, you want to target the people who are actually near your dealership and not several blocks over. That is where polygon mapping from Mobile Rx comes in. Polygon mapping is the most precise form of geofencing, using satellite imagery and virtual polygons to acquire the customers nearest to you. Polygon mapping also wastes less data than any other geofencing method. In some cases, polygon mapping can save up to 75% of data waste.
So what do my competitors have to do with it? Glad you asked.
Think of three dealerships in your area that you wish you could take their customer base away. Imagine having a way to serve ads and targeted messaging from your dealership to anyone who visits competing dealerships. If that sounds appealing to you, Mobile Rx is the tool for you.
Fixed operations and the service department are going to be your saving grace while there are inventory shortages. Services account for nearly half of the gross profits for a dealership. Even if you do not have cars on the lot, your customers will always need someone to service their vehicles. However, marketing your service department does not come without its challenges. One hurdle that you need to get past is 3rd party service centers. If you were to pull out your phone right now and search car service near me, there is a strong chance these service centers will be in the first ten results (at least). Dealerships are virtually non-existent in the list; only your local Jiffy Lube, Walmart Autocare Centers, etc., will appear. The next thing you will have to worry about is retention. 80% of customers who buy your cars will not return to your dealership for service. Considering how often people have to service their vehicles and how many customers you will sell cars to in a year. By not reacquiring or retaining past customers, you are missing out on a ton of revenue for your dealership.
Service Rx helps dealerships gain new customers, capture customers who defect to other service centers, and reacquire previous customers that have not returned for service. If you are a car dealer and looking to get eyes on your service department, you need to market directly to the customer, wherever they are on the internet. Service Rx has a unique advantage over other marketing campaigns because it can target your customers throughout the entire lifespan of their cars (on any of their devices). When the customer is ready for their next service appointment, they will receive targeted messaging and ads for your service department.
82% of the U.S population has a social networking profile of some kind. Facebook has 2.7 billion monthly active users, and Instagram has just over one billion. The point being, it is likely that your customer base resides on one of these platforms.
Here are some questions to consider:
- How do we serve ads to the people on these platforms?
- How do we know what cars they would be interested in purchasing?
- How do I know if I am targeting the right people with the right messages?
Vin Advantage takes all the guesswork out of the equation. The program can mine data from 3rd party automotive search providers such as Carvana, TrueCar, Cars.com, and many others. This data generates a customer profile to compare a customer’s interests with a dealership’s available inventory. Once the algorithm finds a match, it begins creating dynamic carousel ads between Facebook and Instagram.
The moral of the story, if you’re not on board with Market Doctors yet, you should be. Our company has proprietary, industry-leading technology that can put you way ahead of the competition. We want to be clear that none of our approaches are one-size-fits-all. We will customize marketing strategies and campaigns to suit the needs of your dealership.
More in-depth information about our products is under the services tab in the dropdown menu.
If you have questions or concerns regarding our company and its products, please reach out to any contact information listed on this site.