3 Ways Auto Marketers Can Drive Consumers Straight to the Dealership

Just like buying a house, buying a car is one of the most important decisions a person will make — not to mention a very expensive one. Much like how customers weigh their options when it comes to a car brand, features, and type of vehicle, automotive marketers must do the same when researching and challenging their competition. While there are many factors that can make a huge difference in strengthening automotive marketing, it ultimately comes down to one thing: the power of location data.

Our recent study with 451 Research found that automotive firms are beginning to leverage location intelligence to understand real-world consumer behavior. Through location intelligence, automotive marketers can work toward building brand loyalty, increasing customer engagement, and ultimately boosting revenue by connecting online with offline.

Here are three daring ways to drive customers straight to your dealership:

Crush the Competition

According to our study, marketers in the automotive sector are more sensitive to the moves their competitors are making than any other vertical surveyed. In other words, leveraging competitive intelligence is key in the automotive vertical.

To crush the competition, auto marketers can leverage aggregated anonymous data to understand overlaps between fans of particular car brands and other kinds of retailers, financial services providers, or gasoline brands, among others. This opens the door to pairing proximity marketing to visitors of those kinds of outlets that are near competitive dealerships.

Competitive analysis and location intelligence go hand in hand because when you continuously keep tabs on who sells a similar product to yours and where your customers are gravitating, you will always stay one step ahead of the game.

Use Footfall Patterns and Promotions to Your Advantage

Automotive marketers differ from their peers in other retail environments in several key respects. Many automotive sellers face the hurdle of getting customers to travel physically to their dealership locations before making a sale, which explains the need and emphasis on in-store visits.

In the automotive industry, seeing a car in person is what seals the deal. As follows, 61% of auto marketers cite the need for integrating online and offline promotions, while 52% are significantly more likely to be sending promotions when customers enter a geofence.

In the same vein, 53% are highly familiar with using footfall trends to understand visits compared to competitors. These insights further highlight how invaluable location intelligence is in learning both how to reel in customers, as well as how to engage them to beat out the competition.

Make Your Marketing Matter

Using location intelligence to inform your marketing strategies can help you not only reach your target audience, but ensure your messaging resonates with them. Auto dealers are finding that location data can help maximize the chances that marketing messages will get through to the right potential buyers, pulling them in with relevant pitches and allowing them to stand out from their competitors.

Location data can also help you measure your marketing campaigns. In our study, auto marketers gave high scores for location data applications such as optimizing multichannel campaigns while in flight and integrating outdoor advertising with mobile and email programs to drive visits.

Overall, as an auto marketer, you are not just selling a car; you are selling a brand. You need to establish strong branding and loyalty in your marketing campaigns to distinguish yourself from competitors.

Finally, automotive marketers see efforts in employing location data as part of a journey that is ongoing, and they’re looking to increase usage of location data. 84% expect the role of competitive intelligence in their marketing strategies to increase over the next two years. This survey suggests that within the automotive vertical, location intelligence will soon become instrumental in measuring how well marketing drives people into dealerships.

To continue staying ahead of the curve when it comes to location intelligence, download the full 451 Research report.

Rebecca Schneider

Brand Marketing Intern

Rebecca is a brand marketing intern, going into her senior year at Penn State with a major in print & digital journalism and a minor in digital media. She is passionate about writing, marketing and social media and enjoys spending time in NYC!