In a not-too-distant past, dealerships had one showroom. It was their staging area where they strategically placed vehicles to awaken browsers’ senses. Sales professionals hovered, barely breathing, while trying to respect personal boundaries. They waited for the customers’ emotions to power up visual images of themselves behind the wheel. Then there was a handshake, signature, and exchange of keys. And that, ladies and gentlemen, was how it was done. Until recently, that was the playbook. Auto dealers began using that game plan when Henry Ford put the world on wheels.
Then, a new actor emerged on scene: the internet. Now, in addition to sprucing up their brick and mortar showrooms, dealers must invest time, energy and resources into maintaining one online. With the expansion of the digital universe, car buying behavior has been significantly altered. Hence, showroom waltzes aren’t as frequent as they were 20 years ago. While seeing customers live and in-person on a lot may not be as jaw-dropping as a Bigfoot sighting, their presence is becoming a novelty.
Showroom foot traffic may be down, but people are still buying vehicles– more than 17 million were purchased in 2018. And they are still visiting dealerships, but they are browsing inventory digitally– whittling down search field surface areas from several acres down to several inches. Surveys tell us that most consumers visit approximately 20 dealership websites prior to making a purchase. One of those sites may be yours. To gain traction and steer buyers to your lot, you must give as much attention, if not more, to your digital showroom. Remember although the showroom tempo has changed, the waltz continues.
Engaging the Returning Browser
You may not be familiar with the architecture of retargeting, but you have experienced it. How can you tell if you are being retargeted? If you have visited a site and viewed a product, ads for that same item will shadow you as you bounce around cyberspace. Retargeting comes fully loaded; it is equipped with high-performing digital horsepower. This marketing tool will keep you from being asleep at the wheel, and missing opportunities when a prospective buyer drops by.
Here’s how it works and how you can use it to your advantage. Let’s say an unidentified browser keeps returning to your site to view a specific model. Given their heightened interest, you do not know why they have not yet converted or even sought pre-approval. So, what do you know? You know that this visitor wants the vehicle that is on your lot. This golden nugget of information will make the sale much easier than sending blanket mailers to 5,000 people who have not indicated any desire in what you are selling. It’s prime time for you to make your digital move; connect with those bounced consumers who have already interacted with your site. Recapture their interest, coax them with reminders, and bring them into your physical showroom.
Targeting Repeat Viewers:
- Recaptures their attention
- Elevates consumer engagement
- Nudges the browser to take action
- Enhances brand awareness
- Maximizes advertising budget
Pixels can Re-engage Actionable Customers
Thanks to the advances in technology, you can enhance your brand and expand your reach by enlisting the power of an advertising pixel. Think of it as a tracking system– a legitimate one. Begin your retargeting campaign by installing a pixel on a designated page on your website. When a shopper visits your site, the pixel shifts into gear, installing a cookie (tracking code) on the consumers’ device. This unobtrusive little chip will follow the shopper as they jump to other sites (it’s like having a sixth sense in knowing the customers’ behavior). This knowledge gives you insight on where to display a follow-up ad. You can retarget prospects by placing ads on Facebook, for example, or on websites that showcase Google Ads.
Advertising by Smart Ad Placement
Tires that are out of balance or alignment can negatively impact your journey. The same holds true with retargeting; you need to find the right balance with customers who are on a buying journey. You’ll want to resist the urge to bombard the viewer with too many ads. Further, you shouldn’t tap the brakes too soon. To stay top of mind without driving them out of theirs, simply set a frequency cap.
Also, make sure your creatives are relevant for each particular visitor. If a browser continues to check your site for a small, four-door vehicle, avoid a prominent display of a heavy-duty truck…even if it’s been on your lot way too long.
Retargeting is an effective marketing strategy that you can leverage now that will help you navigate the digital realm and turn hot prospects into buyers.