Automotive Sales Have Changed, Have You?
Access to information, technology, and the internet have completely upended the automotive industry – and that’s a good thing for both consumers and dealers – but if you’re still playing the game the old way you risk doing serious harm to your business, not to mention wasting your ad spend. Luckily, PIN Business Network’s automotive expert and veteran dealership liaison Aaron Wood has offered some of his insights on the 4 types of customers, which type you should try to attract, and how you can attract them.
In his video series, he begins by establishing the 4 types as: the cheap customer, the difficult customer, the sophisticated customer, and the affluent customer. As you might imagine, the cheap customer is driven primarily by numbers and is less invested in the experience. The difficult customer is the person that comes to the dealer with a negative attitude about the whole experience. The sophisticated customer is the buyer who has done their research and is looking for a dealer to connect them with the product, and the affluent customer is a well-to-do customer looking to make an emotional purchase.
Of the 4 types, the most desirable is the sophisticated buyer followed by the affluent buyer. Why? The sophisticated buyer has bought into your brand, whereas the affluent buyer may only be acting in the moment. When the customer buys into your brand, they’re much more likely to have service performed at your dealership, refer a friend or a family member, leave a positive review, or purchase again – and that’s what separates the average dealers from those hitting manufacturer bonuses.
So how do you reach that type of buyer? (That’s the question every dealer should be asking) And the answer is strategic messaging, targeted deployment, adequately fueling branding campaigns, and most importantly: understanding your customer’s user journey. That’s where Wood’s true expertise shines as he talks about the path from research to purchase. If you can augment that journey with your brand and deliver, you’ve got a customer for life.
In other words, branding, impressions, and exposure – despite having historically lower click-throughs – shouldn’t be overlooked or underfunded in favor of price-focused ads. When dealers do that, they risk price-focused ads being delivered at the wrong time in the user journey thus attracting the ‘cheap’ customer who is likely less invested in the experience and less likely to return.
Put simply, information is everywhere, including reputation, product information, peer reviews, pricing, etc and all of that means consumers that aren’t engaged with your brand won’t be ambassadors in the digital space. With that said, the game has shifted away from selling a particular vehicle (unfortunately 3 other people in town are selling the same product) but rather selling an experience – and one that starts online.
At PIN Business Network, we use proprietary scripting technology, data intelligence, dazzling creative, and strategic deployment across our networks to help you reach the right type of customer – getting your brand in front of them at the exact right time. Don’t say we didn’t warn you, though, it’s powerful stuff.