There’s no debating the biggest challenge for dealers right now. All over the country, dealers are asking themselves how they can adjust marketing to bring in more revenue and entice car-buyers. The good news is that the inventory dealers do have (or could acquire) will be all the more coveted by buyers this summer. And even if this isn’t an option, dealers can still capitalize on profit-generating strategies in their area. We’ll look at how to turn a seeming disadvantage into an opportunity.
Instead of reaching out only to buyers, you might also want to try reaching out to owners as well. Getting trade-ins can be a game-changer for dealers, one that can send their numbers in the right direction. Used cars are more highly coveted than ever, especially when the number of new cars on the market continues to dip.
Your marketing messaging should remind people of just how much potential may be sitting in their garage or driveway, and underscore the fact that they don’t have to buy a vehicle from you to cash in on the offer. As you steadily build up your inventory, it will be easier to encourage potential buyers in for a day of test drives.
Pre-orders can be a way to grab people’s attention, especially if buyers haven’t had success finding their dream car elsewhere. If a customer wants a particular vehicle and you don’t have it, you can use transparency as a way to establish trust with the buyer and still make the sale.
For best results, your marketing should make pre-order offers sound exclusive to the customer. Let them know that your inventory might be limited, but pre-ordering can be the ticket to getting exactly what they’re looking for after just a short wait.
You can even try spicing up pre-order marketing by offering tickets to a local event or nearby attraction. This way, the client has something to drive to once they get what they’re looking for.
Extra focus on Pre-Owned Vehicles
If you have enough pre-owned vehicles in stock (a big if, we know), this is the time to shift your marketing to advertise just how full your lot is. We recommend this as a solo campaign that gives the focus entirely to pre-owned vehicles.
The backlog in new car production can be countered with pre-owned vehicles. More affordable and often just as attractive, you can hook buyers now who may have been content to wait until the industry recovers. Since we can’t predict exactly when the shortage is going to turn around, this tactic allows your store to remain adaptable to the situation at hand.
Importance of Fixed Ops
Service and maintenance were thankfully classified as essential during the pandemic. This proved to be a very valuable source of income for our dealers during a time where mandatory shutdowns were rampant and sales numbers were dismal. Focusing on the maintenance of existing vehicles, particularly when used cars and trucks need a lot of attention to run at their peak, is a smart marketing strategy.
If you’re having a difficult time wrangling the most popular trade-ins or fulfilling pre-order needs, now is a good time to shine a light on your fixed ops department. The best part of this strategy is that you tend to meet people at the lower part of the funnel if they’re in need of parts or service. There are going to be a lot of people delaying the purchase of a new (or new to them) vehicle. If they’re going to put it off, they’ll need to invest in maintenance on their current autos to stretch them as far as they can go.
Using Data to Your Advantage
Even for dealers facing extremely limited inventory, there are a number of strategies that can change the game and put them back on top. The key is to start with the right information. The best marketing campaigns have the best data and integrate it into their messaging and overall marketing puzzle. For instance, if you’re going to target trade-ins, you’ll need to know which trade-ins are the most popular in your area so you can tailor your campaigns. If you go the fixed ops route, you’ll need to learn the most relevant maintenance schedules for the average auto owner.
Are you interested in learning more about Inventory Marketing? Download this free guide to find out more valuable strategies.