Even in 2017, if you are still struggling to make a decision on how to best approach your consumers – marketing once or twice for 30 days and seeing what happens or should you advertise with mobile and include Snapchat and Twitter in the mix? These are still relevant concerns, however let me share some reasons why marketing to a targeted audience should extend beyond the typical 30 days and yes, expanding your marketing channels is a must.
In March 2017, eMarketer reports US digital media usage is still strong and remains consistent between 2016 and 2017.
- 3M Internet users
- 1M Social network users, up 2.9% from 2016
- 4M Snapchat users, up 14.2% from 2016
- 0M Instagram users, up 12.5% from 2016
- 5% of internet users are on dual devices
Get the picture? Two hundred twenty-three million Americans are using their mobile phones to access the internet. With more people using mobile devices to access the internet, marketing messages need to be present and specific to these potential buyers.
Google uses a term called Micro-Moments to refer to moments when people “reflexively turn to a device – increasingly a smartphone – to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something or buy something.” In these moments, consumer expectations are higher and they fuel their consumer buying desires.
As consumers are naturally reaching for multi-channels to receive messages, dealerships should be taking advantage of these micro-moments and using them as a means to encourage your active, in market buyers to seek your dealership for their next purchase.
Create messages, for example, that are tailored to a shopper who is coming off a lease, new college graduate, or has expanded their family. You can leverage technology that will identify real-time, in market buyers that are within a specific radius of your dealership to hone your messages to the right buyers at the right time. Although it may be tempting to run a campaign and cut it loose within 30 days if it doesn’t “provide proven ROI”, I would like to remind that the average sales funnel for new buyers is 60-160 days. Research shows that automotive customers spend on average 10 hours or more researching their next purchase; more than 50% want to only allocate 45 minutes or less for a dealership visit and test drive. This indicates the majority of their data collection is done outside the dealerships. So it does become more important to create repetitive influential touchpoints.
With this much time to research, explore, research some more, and look to social media for advice and references, consumers need to be actively courted by your marketing messages during this time. Think about how you can be part of these moments and how you can be part of the journey customers take when buying a car. If you appear at each stage of the shopping process, then you are much more likely to be seen as a good choice and to be considered when a shopper is ready to purchase.
 eMarketer, US Digital Media Usage A Snapshot of 2017, March 2017
 Deloitte, Driving through the consumer’s mind: Steps in the buying process, December 2016