When the “lowest-price-wins” online car-buying software was introduced about fifteen years ago, it was a fantastic idea. Dealers were happy to accept lower gross profits because their sales volume significantly increased.
But over time competition has changed the entire online sales landscape. As more dealers subscribe to these services and copycat companies emerge, the already small per-car profits continue to shrink.
This phenomenon has made dealers begin to think about seizing control back from these online companies – and for good reason. Even the original creator of the software whose philosophy once was, get as many cars as you can to market and sell them as fast as you can, now thinks it’s time for a sea change. He believes it’s more important in the current automotive marketplace for a dealership to focus on promoting itself to raise brand awareness. Therefore, it is no longer advantageous for a dealer to conduct business only on the premise of selling cars for the lowest price.
His opinion is supported by reports generated from today’s popular dealer data-gathering software services such as Vistadash. As long as the dealer’s ad campaign is executed properly, these reports typically show a direct correlation between when traditional radio and TV ads run and an increased number of online impressions, thereby enhancing the dealership brand. (Note: If you are not currently utilizing these valuable reports, please reach out to us. We’ll be happy to show you the process.)
When a dealer doesn’t invest in branding, they’re relinquishing control to online buying services and settling for lower profits per car.
Remember, there are many competitive deals out there for the consumer, so a good percentage of them are buying cars for reasons other than just the lowest price. What’s just as important is showing the customer you can provide them with the solution to their problems, such as trade value, credit issues, etc.
Focused, effective advertising gives you the chance to not only brand your dealership but also lets consumers know you have solutions for all obstacles to a vehicle sale.
JKR Automotive Advertising: The car dealer ad agency.