The current changes in the automotive industry are creating new business opportunities as well as making some old strategies obsolete. How can you stay competitive in this dynamic industry?
Historically, the automotive industry has tended to follow more of a seasonal schedule than any other industry. Think of all the hot cars and trucks that you see on your way to work. That’s because people buy the cars during the off-season, when the supply is low. Therefore, it would make sense that the auto industry would follow this same pattern as well.
However, today’s auto industry is doing things differently. While there’s still a seasonal component to the auto industry, there’s also a real trend towards long-term planning. This means that car buyers and sellers are beginning to take a much more strategic approach to their buying and selling, which in turn has created a new wave of opportunities for marketers.
Today, marketing and advertising are done through two basic channels: digital and analog. They’re called digital because they use digital media to reach a mass audience, and analog because they are driven by traditional telemarketing and direct mail campaigns. Each type of marketing channel has its own advantages and disadvantages. Digital is obviously a much more advanced form of communication, while analog is something that people are accustomed to and comfortable with.
Digital marketing is probably the most immediate channel. With digital, a company doesn’t have to wait for a phone call to get a message to its customers. It can put a digital advertisement up on the web for anyone to see within seconds. The message can be read by anyone, anywhere, at any time.
Digital marketing allows the company to customize its messages for each recipient. It’s also easier to send a series of messages to a number of different prospects, rather than writing a single, long message for each customer. This creates a more personal connection between the company and its consumers.
An often overlooked channel that helps people understand the automotive market is through digital signage. Many of these signs now use interactive elements, such as screens and touch screens. These digital signs serve as multi-purpose advertising displays that can be seen from across the street or in a park.
Digital signs can be placed in different places throughout the day. In addition, they can be placed out of sight for less than two hours, allowing for other advertising opportunities while still helping people better understand the market. By offering a product or service to those who are not in the location, these signs add another layer of communication. Most customers don’t know what an auto dealership is unless they see one, so getting them to see the digital sign, or another sign around the same location, is usually the key to their visit.
Digital marketing is just one aspect of how businesses connect with their customers. Many companies offer physical displays, such as billboards, but they don’t offer the same interaction. Rather than making direct contact with a customer, most companies sell products or services to people who aren’t even aware of their presence until they see a billboard.
Advertising on physical advertising space can still be important in the automotive market. There are still areas of the market that offer very limited space. The car owners who are looking for a car dealership, for example, may be in a different area than those who are interested in buying a car from a private party.
This isn’t the only place where digital signage can be used, however. Digital signage can be integrated into the physical business with print advertising, as well. Simply put, businesses can use their existing property to create a more direct relationship with their customers by installing digital signage.
Digital signage isn’t something that should be treated like an afterthought in today’s automotive marketing trends. For many companies, it can prove to be the most effective strategy for increasing sales.