It used to be that car dealers relied heavily on traditional marketing techniques to reach customers…techniques such as television, radio, newspapers, billboards, inserts, etc. – but were never really being able to quantify their effectiveness.
The advent of mobile marketing and access to car dealer websites has resulted in a fundamental change in which the way automobile dealers do business, and conversely, the way in which consumers do business with car dealers.
It is estimated that over $119 billion in business will be conducted over mobile phones by 2015. A number of studios also show that a large percentage of that business will take place within the automotive industry.
But first, some statistics.
- 61% of smart phone users make local searches from their devices
- 48% of those with web-enabled devices will conduct their initial research into vehicles.
- 44% will compare prices at different dealerships while actually on a dealer’slot.
- 32% will find a dealer with their smart phone.
- 23% will contact a dealership using their mobile device.
Further, by the end of 2012 smart phones will replace both PC’s and laptops as device of choice for accessing the internet…of the 6.8 billion people on the planet – 5.1 billion own a cell phone… and 91% of all the people in the US keep their devices within reach 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The importance to and effectiveness of mobile marketing and mobile car dealer websites cannot be overemphasize. Lets explore the mobile marketing and advertising currently available to car dealers.
Short Message Service (SMS)
Far and away, the most essential tool in the arsenal of mobile marketing for car dealerships is text message marketing. Everyone, even those with the most rudimentary cell phone, has the capability to send and receive text messages. SMS has become incredibly popular since its introduction in 2001.
Location Based Service (LBS)
Offered by some networks, LBS, usually in conjunction with a GPS chip built into the smart phone, is a way to market to cell phone subscribers based on their current geographical location.
Quick Response code (QR code)
You’ve seen them everywhere… those black square patterns on white backgrounds encoded with virtually any form of information. Recently QR codes have become exceedingly popular as a result of the fact that they can be incorporated into traditional as well as digital marketing techniques.
Mobile Car Dealer Websites
When a consumer on a smart phone visits the main website of a car dealer it is vital that the website automatically displays a mobile version of the website without the user clicking through to the mobile version. Some experts say that mobile car dealer websites can be more important than the main site as mobile shoppers are usually out shopping right now. There is no question that mobile marketing, and specifically for the automotive industry, has and will continue to change how the internet is used by both the consumer and the car dealer. Mobile marketing is no longer a ‘trend’, and car dealers can no longer take a ‘wait and see’ position.
Historically, car dealers spend an average of $1,000 on advertising for each unit sold. Mobile marketing now offers an opportunity to reach consumers at a fraction of that cost, while at the same time providing the consumer with a quick, easy and accurate experience.