Wednesday, 6 November 2013

 Get your digital ducks in a row

In todays world of superfast broadband and increased connectivity you would be forgiven for thinking that it
would be relatively easy for car dealers to connect with their potential customers,not so,but let me explain . 

Gone are the days when physical forecourts were filled at weekends by potential customers viewing cars,the salesmen would have rich pickings and if your forecourt was clean,attractive and you had all your ducks in a row then a percentage of the sale was almost completed the time the customers walked into the dealership . 

Fast forward a few years and we have the situation where the dealers customers now spend more time on the internet on the dealers website than they will on the physical forecourt,it is interesting to note that eighty-seven percent of new car buyers use the internet for car research and out of that seventy-four percent use search engines like Google ,on the used car side of things the figures are almost the same .

But here's the thing,it's clear that a car dealers website is now their digital forecourt,and in the very same way a dealer would have their physical dealership looking attractive and ready to meet customers interests then so should the website,all your ducks have to be in a row digitally to make that experience just as enjoyable on-line for the customer,and that applies to multi-channel whether it's desktop,laptop,mobile or tablet the experience should be an engaging enjoyable one ,if you add social media into the mix then there is lots to be done.

People will only generally visit a car dealer today to touch,feel and confirm what they have seen on the website so every customer is a much more qualified lead than they were ten years ago,that customer that visits the dealership has an intention these days ,they aint there to kick tyres and walk round the car .

Some of the more common mistakes some car dealer websites have are things like overstuffed content,unoriginal content ,bad design and architecture and no engagement by reaching out to the customer ,you see the idea should be to make your car dealer website an emotional journey,the journey from digital to physical has to be seamless.

Google is the choice of search engine for over ninety percent of people looking for a car,whether that be new or used ,the search engine giant has recently changed it's algorithm to become smarter,you see Google doesn't just want to be a search engine with a list of results for users,it want to now be able to answer questions,and that means that the content that is on a website has to be dynamic,unique and engaging,it has to be ready to provide and answer for any questions asked of it.

Stimulative v Directive

Stimulative advertising is where you would typically place an ad trying to stimulate someones interest in buying that product.

Directive advertising is when the customer has already made their decision to purchase a product and will research and look directly at  businesses that stock the product .

I predominantly deal with car dealers in Scotland ,some are used car dealers in Scotland and some are new car dealers in Scotland ,however it is clear that a lot of dealers are now aware that digital is upon them but they don't have the time or the knowledge to make the changes to the website ,build a new website,create great content and make that journey for the customer a great one,my advice is simple ,print advertising for car dealers is on it's last legs,even rang the changes and no longer print their publication,they saw the landscape changing and are now almost a complete digital business ,car dealers must realise that where their traditional ad spend was spent in  print etc,that must now be directed at digital,it's less expensive pound for pound and has far greater transparency of that ad spend actually working,digital has fantastic visibility  . 

Listen I could blog all day about car dealers websites and the digital world,i mean we haven't even mentioned the rise of mobile and cross-channel usage or even search engine optimization ( SEO ) amongst many other things but lets get the fundamentals right, car dealers need to get their digital ducks in a row and create that great experience for customers,now like never before the customer is king,make them feel like it !