|The shift toward Internet marketing has led many automotive industry experts to convince dealers that the way to increase their profits and get the most from their marketing dollars is to spend more on their digital marketing and advertising efforts. Yes, key words, micro sites, search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) can all contribute to successful Internet sales, but to what end? And, who’s getting the real ROI from your expenditures—your dealership or the outside marketing firms? Too often, it’s not the dealership.|
As a dealer, before jumping on the Internet-charged bandwagon, you should ask yourself, “Do I need more leads, or do I need to do more to improve my performance with the leads I already receive?” The industry currently estimates that most dealers receive plenty of quality leads via the Internet, but are not managing those leads in a way that turns them into viable sales. Evidence of this shortcoming is supported by how many lead providers are now looking to secondary markets to sell off “unabsorbed” leads. Why invest more money driving customers to your Web site if the final result is little-to-no lift in sales? Before optimizing your Internet business, first optimize your e-commerce processes.
Internet-Savvy Shoppers Call the Shots
Know Your Business and Your Business Processes
Having the right processes in place will not only help you gain new customers, but it will also help you prevent damage to your dealership’s reputation and business. Without the proper foundational processes in place, spending more money on digital marketing in an attempt to drive customers to your showroom could do more harm than good. Once that is addressed, then—and only then—should you consider increasing your digital marketing dollars.
Make The Internet Work as a Part of Your Dealership
To get started, check with your manufacturer about their e-business process initiatives. You may also consider contacting your DMS provider or third-party e-business consultant as a way to get started. Remember, as demanding as today’s buyers are, if you meet the needs of today’s Internet shopper, you’re well on your way to using your marketing dollars to help you gain lifelong customers.
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