Many businesses find the start of a new year an opportune time to reflect on their strategies over the previous 12 months. They use this as a chance to evaluate and fine-tune the processes they have employed and establish a plan for the year ahead. This effective business practice can help enhance a company’s efficiency and overall performance across all areas – marketing included.
Dealerships, like other businesses, often tend to start a new marketing partnership with all the drive and enthusiasm in the world. They build a new website, strategise around target audiences, and establish lead generating campaigns across the different channels. As the months go by, however, priorities change and many find themselves leaving their digital media to merely hum along in the background, as they tend to other facets of their business.
Yet, to stay competitive and relevant, dealerships must continually assess their digital activity. A regular, comprehensive digital health check is essential for ensuring that the business’ online presence is making the right impression with the right audiences, adapting to shifting trends, and maximizing return on investment (ROI). And what better time to do this, than at the beginning of a new year.
Let’s take a look at what dealerships should be considering when it comes to evaluating their digital footprint.
The dealership website is often the first point of contact between potential customers and the business. It serves as a virtual showroom, and just like the physical one, it needs to be appealing, user-friendly, and up-to-date. Ask yourself: Does your dealer website put your best foot forward? How long has it been since you gave it a major overhaul? Is it generating as many conversions as it could?
In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, a website that is outdated or difficult to navigate can turn away potential customers. Regularly updating and refreshing a site ensures that it remains visually appealing, functional, and aligned with the latest design and user experience trends.
Digital marketing is witnessing significant changes, with the shift towards a cookie-less digital world being one of the most profound. Business owners must regularly evaluate whether their digital partners are staying ahead of these trends. Are they adapting to changes in data privacy regulations and finding innovative ways to reach and engage customers without relying on traditional, outdated tracking methods?
Being confident in the ability of your digital partners to navigate these changes and stay at least one step ahead is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge in the online space. It’s not just about today’s trends but about anticipating and preparing for tomorrow’s challenges.
First Party Audiences
Building and effectively marketing to first-party audiences is a key component of digital success for car dealers. Every opportunity to capture the data of a potential customer and engage with them should be leveraged. As part of a digital health check business owners need to consider whether every opportunity is being utilised to build and effectively market to their first-party audiences. This includes tracking and recording details of interactions with each customer, ideally through automated processes that push their data directly into a CRM and/or LMS. It then involves utilising that data to run targeted marketing activity, including email and SMS campaigns, that resonates with the specific interests and needs of the customer base.
Access to comprehensive reporting and insights is fundamental to understanding what advertising is working and what needs adjustment for a better ROI. Dealerships must evaluate whether they have the tools and resources in place to accurately analyse the performance of their digital efforts.
A digital health check should include an assessment of the reporting mechanisms in place. Are they providing meaningful insights into customer behaviour, website performance, and the success of advertising campaigns? Without this data, it’s challenging to make informed decisions and optimise strategies for maximum effectiveness.
The importance of running a digital health check at the start of each year in a market as competitive as the automotive industry cannot be overstated. By regularly evaluating and optimizing their digital strategies, dealerships can ensure they stay ahead of the curve, connect with their audience effectively, and drive success in the ever-evolving digital landscape.