It’s not how you find your customers, it’s how your customers find you

Digital Auto Lead Generation

So you want more leads for your car dealership? You are vying for position within the market like never before. In-market auto shoppers are doing their digital homework.

While time in market may not be changing, the number of research touch points is, at an average of 24 according to Google.

The Millward Brown/Google Vehicle Shopper Path to Purchase Study indicates how digital plays a big role leading up to purchase.

So what ad types prompt consumers to start researching?

Direct mail – 35%

Video ad – 34%

Mobile ad – 34%

TV ad – 29%

Search ad – 28%

These tools are important ways of getting the research process started. They’re the reason a prospect stops dreaming (and procrastinating) about “someday” replacing a vehicle, and begins engaging with the idea of a new car search – kicking the virtual tires, in a sense, and doing the preliminary research that ultimately paves the way for a purchase.

If we take into consideration how consumers begin their research, then we need to take a serious look at our direct mail and advertising. But before we do, we should focus on what digital channels impact purchase most.

The top 3 digital channels that lead to purchase:

Dealer Sites – 83%

Manufacturer sites – 81%

Search engines – 77%

Marketing channels (such as email, display ads, paid search ads, social, and direct visits to your website) influence the customer at different points in the path to purchase. Naturally, each customer journey is unique — but you’ll be better equipped to understand your performance if you put it in context.

Mobile usage has increased 35% year over year. Shoppers turn to mobile for a variety of research and comparison activities, the top 3 include:

Viewed images of cars/trucks – 44%

Called dealer – 39%

Read consumer reviews – 39%

Auto video research is on the rise and these shoppers are open to influence, with nearly 3 in 4 shopping across brands. 57% indicate watching videos online helped introduce new brands.

But most important, with the highest impact on conversion at 83%, is the website. It is time to be absolutely sure your dealer site is converting visitors into buyers. What does your website look like? How easy do you make it for your potential buyers to find what they are looking for?

36% reviewed the description of a specific model and 34% looked at consumer generated reviews. Does your site do a good job of leading the visitor through their research process?

42% checked the price of a car/truck, 36% looked up the dealer’s address or hours and 32% looked for discounts/offers. Is your site content focused on insuring your visitors find what they are looking for and then leading them down the path to purchase?

What does this mean to you? In summary, search is the most common research source, 955 of vehicle shoppers use digital channels to research across 24 touch points and 61% of vehicle shoppers research within online video. It is time to prompt more and convert more, let us show you how!