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Car Buyers Are Spending More Time Researching Online, Less Time Visiting Dealerships

“The opportunity for a dealer to interact with their core audience is only limited by their ability to see where their audience is most reachable and susceptible to messaging online,” says Adtaxi's Joel Sesco.

Consumers are devoting three less hours to shopping for cars while visits to dealerships have gone from an average of 5 in 2005 to 1-to-2 in 2015, a report from digital agency Adtaxi says.

According to Adtaxi’s white paper, car sales are expected to be down this year from a record-breaking, seven-year streak that appears to have ended in 2016. In addition, data indicate that 80 percent of consumers now aim to learn as much as they can online, visiting dealerships only to “confirm their decision or complete paperwork.”

While targeting on social media has shown individual dealership lift in visits, the panoply of digital ad choices — how, when, where, and who to target — confusion continues to plague auto dealers. Among the three main challenges dealers are contending with:

  • Identifying the dealership’s ideal audience
  • Identifying which digital channels offer the best ROI
  • Optimizing overall campaign performance using data across all campaigns

“Digital marketing technologies and campaign management best practices are rapidly evolving as competition in the marketplace increases,” says Brian Kroll, Adtaxi’s VP of Sales and Strategic Accounts. “Combined with this year’s decrease in car sales, these factors present distinct challenges for dealerships. However, if sellers implement new, cutting-edge digital marketing strategies to stay ahead of the curve, they can confront these obstacles, leveraging insights to improve targeting and achieve the desired results.”

The biggest challenges dealerships experience is keeping up in a multi-device world and understanding what’s working and what’s not,” Kroll adds. To get the balance right, dealers must understand the inner-workings of digital media buys and how to leverage insights from attribution reports.

“The opportunity for a dealer to interact with their core audience is only limited by their ability to see where their audience is most reachable and susceptible to messaging online,” says Joel Sesco, national director of Automotive at Adtaxi. “With omnichannel capabilities, a dealer is able to more precisely target the best high-value consumers, where they are – online and in the decision-making process – and in a way that will most effectively resonate with them, in order to provide the highest possible ROI.”

 

 

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.