By Lisa Gener, Chief Revenue Officer, Dealer Alchemist

Today’s leading dealers are taking the time to learn the difference between reaching the right audience and selling the vehicles they have versus screaming into the internet void. They know that what worked before will not work in our current climate.

Below let’s explore what these leaders are doing in the space, and why you should take a page from their book in order to find success.

Get to know your data inside and out – or find someone who can.

Would you believe it if I told you 8-out-of-10 dealer analytics are set up incorrectly by those who are handling your digital marketing?

Are you comfortable sifting through data beyond your roll-up monthly reports? In order to have a full view of everything that matters, (i.e. the depth of Google Analytics, social metrics, website behavior flow, etc.,) top dealers are digging deeper, getting educated, and using this information to inform spending.

Ask questions. Take notes. And if it’s not something you have the time to dig into correctly? It’s time to bring in industry experts to help.

Once someone has taken the reins of your data, things get a lot easier.

The differentiator is inventory.

One of the questions I get asked all the time lately is whether I see dealers pulling back on their ad spends due to a lack of inventory. My answer is yes, BUT instead of allocating dollars towards what is most likely to result in more conversions, I still see them geo-targeting audiences and sinking money into display ads. I also still see plenty of dealers paying per month for SEO packages that aren’t taking into account their inventory, audience, or Google Analytics data. These are old-school methods that aren’t optimized for dealership reality in 2022.

Make your investment actually work for you.

Top dealers are using this opportunity to create a completely custom approach, (as in, no more cookie-cutter ad templates and SEO programs.) They are building their ad strategy around prioritizing the products they do have in stock and in transit, placing emphasis on vehicle features and amenities straight through the VDP. In this way, these dealers are prioritizing their vehicles by days to sell and are able to prioritize selling their aging vehicles first.

Then, these leaders are creating dynamic inventory searches via Google and Facebook ads around their inventory. They spend the money where their audience is spending time. Don’t forget to make the most out of optimizing your Google Business profile. It benefits sales, service and parts and ensures you’re top of mind for your audience doing a standard Google search.

The sweet spot is smack dab in between analytics and buyer behavior.

Business is nothing without an audience. Within your data, you’ll find gems that call out customer trends and behavior, like how long visitors are spending on your website and where they are clicking. Social media engagement also tells a story, along with Google search terms. In short, the dealers winning today are the ones who know how to find the buyers looking for the vehicles they have in stock and how to best market to them.

A multi-channel approach is what brings it all together.

The moral of the story is that dealer inventory (especially new) is at an all-time low, but the dealers winning in this current market are not using their budget dollars on SEM for brand and regional location terms. They’re not spending money on buying their group name. That’s already covered by free, organic reach. They’re spending it where it counts- on the vehicles they have on their lot and in transit right now, knowing that someone is just waiting to snatch them up.

About the Author

Lisa Gener is the Chief Revenue Officer for Dealer Alchemist, a company focused on delivering the most effective digital ad strategy in automotive. 

Author: Christine Corkran

Digital Dealer