All too often, marketers count on passive digital marketing strategy when they could be taking a more proactive approach that is more efficient, says Eric Brown, president of LotLinx Media Holdings.
“The Internet itself is evolving, that’s opening new doors for marketing execution for the local dealer and allowing for a more proactive strategy versus a more passive strategy where dealers can highly target the best prospects in the market, as well as their databases,” said Brown.
Brown said dealers need leave their showrooms and “start knocking on the doors around the neighborhood in a digital sense.”
“With or without sales decline you’re seeing already sort of the evolution of the internet being reflected in digital strategy available to automotive dealers,” he said. “The Internet of Things is tying together the data in a way that allows auto dealers to take a more proactive approach to their ad budget as opposed to a passive approach.”
A lot of media, particularly traditional media in addition to some traditional internet media, such as automotive portals are passive in their approach, according to Brown.
“They do a lot of marketing through their general audience and hope that audience will show up in their virtual showrooms,” he said.
Additionally, Brown points out that with the internet of things, there is an abundance of data to understand who is precisely in the market and what they are showing greatest consideration for in terms of vehicle purchase — allowing dealers to target shoppers with much more specificity and greater cost efficiency.
“The Internet of Things is changing the landscape for a dealer in terms of the capabilities that are available to them,” said Brown. “The efficiency and cost effectiveness of those techniques are dramatically greater than the more passive traditional media.”
Brown predicts that the market will soften in 2017, but it’s not going to be substantial.
“The trend line is pretty consistent and we still have a fleet that’s more than 10 years in age so there may be some softening as you see a climb in interest rates,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to be dramatic, certainly nothing like we lived through in 2008, 2009, 2010. We are pretty much where we were in 2006.”
Brown also spoke of the impact of the new Trump Administration.
“What the new administration does from an import/export scenario can have some influence,” he said.
Additionally, he acknowledges that there’s potential the new administration might have a positive impact as well, depending on what they do from an infrastructure investment standpoint.