The Tide Has Changed
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The Tide Has Changed

As soon as the end of this year, you’re going to be concerned about aging inventory again, and will need an effective store process and marketing to move units and stay profitable. 

Zach Billings is the vice president of client performance for Wikimotive.

You’re About to Need to Work for Sales Again

There are still lots of issues with the supply chain, and the inventory crunch is not over. But have you realized we’ve turned the corner? New car allocation is increasing for almost every brand. You might only be feeling it on the ground off and on, but the consistency of new vehicle allocation is factually on the rise. Have you thought about how things are going to change over the next six months as this develops? We have …

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It may not have felt easy or comfortable, because change never does, but the truth is that profit has come easy over the last year. Any salesperson who can fog a mirror can sell a car when five people want it and there are only two available — and holding gross obviously hasn’t been a challenge. All that is about to change, and the inventory relief we’ve all been hoping for is about to bring another uncomfortable change. Soon you’re going to have to work for your market share and your sales volume. As soon as the end of this year, you’re going to be concerned about aging inventory again, and will need an effective store process and marketing to move units and stay profitable. 

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For our elite dealer partners, this is already taken care of. They’ve been investing in future market share with SEO (optimization for organic Google traffic). They have a much larger share of the market than they did before the inventory crunch, and it’s about to pay much larger dividends as dealers have to compete for the customer’s attention again. 

What you need to understand about your marketing position is that you have pay-to-play marketing methods, like Facebook ads and Google Ads (paid search/SEM), and you have long-term investments like branding and SEO. The pay-to-play advertising always drives a worse average quality of users to your website and it also only returns proportional to your spend. If you want to increase your visibility, you’re going to need to spend a lot more. Long-term marketing, on the other hand, takes some time to become effective but it returns bigger and bigger results (in quality traffic and leads), for a static marketing spend. 

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The best move you can make right now is to take stock of your long-term marketing and especially your SEO (which you have direct control over). Bolster this area now, by beginning an effective strategy or fine-tuning the one you have. SEO takes three months to have any effect and nine to 12 to gain big traction, so you’re down to the wire to get started, or you’ll find yourself behind your competition. 

We offer a free, no-obligation SEO and SEM audit to any dealer. Just request one on our website and we’ll do a custom audit and meet with you to review. It will help you understand where you’re over-spending on SEM now, and where your missed opportunities are with your SEO (organic rankings). Every dealer we’ve ever audited has significant holes here, so arm yourself with knowledge before the changing tide leaves you stranded.

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