Many dealers are comfortable with traditional marketing strategies like print advertising, radio spots and direct mail pieces — and that’s easy to understand. While these methods of advertising have been around for decades and some even centuries, newer digital marketing strategies like search engine ads and e-newsletter campaigns have only gained momentum in recent years.
But here’s a little statistic that may shock you – according to multiple sources including Search Engine People, 81 percent of shoppers research online before making a purchase. People are quickly doing away with TV and radio commercials, opting for ad-free streaming services instead. They’re cancelling newspaper and magazine subscriptions – why bother when information about anything you want can be found online? And as far as tangible items like billboards and flyers go, we live in a busy and distracted world. Where does a person’s attention go when they’re a passenger in a car or even walking down the sidewalk? Likely his or her smartphone, where they are probably on the Internet. We now live in a world where over three quarters of consumers are looking online – at your website, your social media platforms, and your reviews – before even considering a purchase in your store.
What percentage of your dealership’s marketing budget is currently allocated toward your online presence? If you’re following best practices for reaching prospects in the right place and at the right time, your answer should be at least 81 percent.
Beyond the fact that so many prospects are most reachable online, there are several other benefits that come with digital marketing that you cannot get through traditional:
Measure & track results.
- Resources like Google Analytics and the Facebook Ad Manager show you how online ads are performing – the impressions and clicks they are receiving, the conversions that result from them, the demographics of the online users engaging with the ads and much more.
Make changes or updates to your marketing messages in real-time.
- If an ad or ad campaign is not performing well based on the results, there are options. You can make edits to your ad, replace it with a better one or remove it altogether. That isn’t the case with an expensive billboard or TV commercial – you can’t simply edit something like that, and it would be a huge blow to the budget if it failed to perform.
Deliver your message directly to people in your target audience.
- Traditional marketing methods reach a huge audience – including many people who will never buy from you. Instead of spending the effort and money advertising to everyone, pinpoint a custom audience that is likely to buy from you based on demographics, online buying behavior, search history and a number of other variables to choose from.
See exactly where your marketing dollars are going and justify your investment based on solid results.
- This aspect is nearly impossible with traditional advertising methods. While traditional marketing is like throwing a ball into the air and hoping it lands in the right place, digital marketing is like throwing a dart directly into a bulls-eye. There’s no need to convince your boss that your idea for an advertisement is worth the money with digital – you can show him or her the results and keep them updated on the ad’s performance all the way through the campaign. Not to mention the fact that digital marketing is often dramatically less expensive than traditional – with a budget that you set and adjust yourself.
Customers are easiest to reach online, and it’s only logical to cater your marketing budget accordingly. Not only do you get more for your money with digital marketing, but your efforts will go much further as well.
Lauren Labunsky is the public relations manager at Dealer Spike, a leading web services provider for powersports dealerships. The award-winning digital advertising company is focused on helping dealers increase sales through powerful, distinctive website design and a full suite of online marketing tools to drive results. Dealer Spike’s expertise comes from real-world dealership experience and a team of professionals who also ride. When you work with Dealer Spike, you’re working with digital marketing experts who have a passion for your industry.