Get your digital marketing right and get car buyers through your door

Get your digital marketing right and get car buyers through your door

Six out of 10 car shoppers entering the market are unsure of which car to buy, according to Google research. This presents a prime opportunity to attract new customers and online research will, undoubtably, form an important part in their decision-making process. This can be anything from simply finding their nearest dealership’s address through to months of studying different makes, models, reviews and deals.

Google compiled a case study of a consumer’s 900 plus “digital touchpoints” over a three-month purchasing journey. Stacy conducted 139 Google searches, 14 YouTube videos, 89 image views, 69 dealer interactions and 186 manufacturer interactions. 71% of those digital touchpoints occurred on mobile, demonstrating the importance of ensuring your online presence is smartphone friendly. You can see an in depth look at Stacy’s search paths here.

What questions do car buyers want answers to online?

There are five key questions Google says are at the heart of car buyers’ digital research. These are:

      • which-car-is-best
      • is-it-right-for-me
      • can-I-afford-it
      • where-should-I-buy-it
      • and am-I-getting-a-deal.

As demonstrated in Google’s case study, Stacy’s online research aimed to find answers to these questions, manufacturers and retailers had 139 opportunities to present her with relevant and useful content that could shape her decision.

While much of this research phase now occurs online, the visit to a dealership remains a crucial step for most car buyers. In fact, search interest for “car dealerships near me” doubled in the year leading up to this case study of Stacy. Alongside her searches for nearby dealerships, Stacy was also looking at local inventory, deals and specials, which could have influenced her decision on where to go to buy her new car.

Video also played an important role in Stacy’s purchasing journey, with 14 YouTube visits. In our recent blog, we looked closely at the power of video to attract customers to your business. Learn more about what kind of videos you should be producing here.

What can auto marketeers learn from Google’s car buying research?

Manufacturers and retailers must consider how they’re meeting potential car buyers across the digital research phase of their purchasing journey. Is your business present online? Are you showing up in searches? Beyond that, are you addressing the questions buyers want answers to? Safety, seating, capacity, price, fuel consumption and driveability are just some of the key areas you should be focussing on. And are those answers optimised for a mobile experience?

The ability to quickly and easily view and compare vehicles online, as well as research retailers and available deals has meant the opportunity to win customers is there before they set foot on your forecourt. Your digital presence is absolutely essential in this process. It can be the difference between a customer picking your brand or dealership or going to a competitor, simply because they showed up in their searches and presented answers to their questions in an easily understood and accessible format.

If you would like to know more about how digital technology can bring buyers to your business, download our eBook – Digital technology for dealerships.

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