Automotive Marketing

The times, they are a changin’.

The First Step To Getting More Customers!

We Know What Works

The pace of innovation in automotive engineering has been blistering in the past couple of decades. However, from a marketing standpoint, many dealerships have been stuck in a rut. 

In comparison to other high tech industries, automotive as a whole is sorely lagging behind. In the competitive landscape of automotive marketing, you need every advantage to not only stay in the game, but to thrive.

Reaching potential customers across the entire buyer’s journey is becoming more and more difficult. How can auto dealers in today’s market compete?

There are several tactics that can get you started down the right path when planning out a great marketing strategy. First, think about categorizing activities into different phases, or buckets. If we strip away all the marketing jargon, there are four areas where most businesses focus energy into getting and keeping customers.

Stages Of The Marketing Funnel


Awareness is when you take a customer from being completely unaware of your product or service to aware that it exists


Consideration is where customers enter a relationship with your business by inquiring about your product or service and doing research of their own.


Decision is when the customer decides to make the purchase.


Retention is getting current/previous customers to come back for repeat purchases.

Get People Interested

Let’s break these four areas down a little bit more. What activities and strategies can we put in these different buckets when it comes to automotive marketing?

The Awareness Phase is one of the most important parts of the marketing funnel when it comes to automotive. This is your first impression, and you have to make it count. The auto industry is crowded, and there are a lot of other dealerships vying for a customer’s attention with their own vehicles and services, not to mention countless news outlets and entertainment sources. With the amount of content that people are subjected to on a daily basis, a potential customer’s attention may only be yours for a couple of seconds before they move on to something else. It’s absolutely crucial that your business stands out in this stage. Catching someone’s attention can mean the difference between a loyal, repeat customer and someone lost to your competition.

When potential customers enter the Consideration Phase, it is very important to supply them with the information they need in order to make a decision. Having essential information listed on your website that customers are looking for when shopping is imperative. Followup is also important after those potential customers have browsed vehicles on your website. Utilizing retargeting techniques will help you stay top of mind as they look to make a decision on their next vehicle purchase.

Get People To Act

The Decision Phase is your bread and butter. As an auto dealer, this is where your strength lies. Strong sales processes here are paramount. Make sure sales staff is up-to-date on CRM training. Having your lead process nailed down from the get go will ensure no opportunities are needlessly falling through the cracks. As leads come in, you can help walk them through the sale and provide them with a positive experience that will have them coming back when they are ready to purchase again.

And lastly, the Retention Phase. Healthy follow-up sales processes and excellent service are your best friends here. Email and direct mail are particularly powerful activities to engage in after a sale. A monthly newsletter can keep your brand top-of-mind in customers’ lives when their next automotive need arises. Direct mail pieces for major holiday sales events and service coupons can also help incentivise people for return visits and give them something to share with friends who are in need of service or a new vehicle.

Be Smarter Than The Average Dealer

Dealerships have to be smart with their money these days with so many different marketing avenues available. How do you know what works? With the current mix-media landscape, decisions can be tough. Old world media like print and radio are still effective, but only when used wisely as part of an overall acquisition strategy. Gone are the days of placing a newspaper ad and watching the phones light up. In today’s media landscape, paid social and search campaigns along with a strong organic content and search optimization strategy are the best value for money. Understanding your current and potential customers along with the best ways to reach them is key to driving more leads into your sales funnel.

Let's Work Together!

Fortunately for you, SEMD excels in helping auto dealers master automotive marketing in the digital media landscape. To learn more about the services we offer, please use the link below to see the marketing activities we can help you leverage to grow your business.
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