Omni-channel represents a significant shift to providing a seamless experience, regardless of how a consumer engages with a company – be it a physical store, with a sales or service rep, on an online website or mobile app, through a catalog, or through social media. Advertising is an important component of an overall marketing strategy – but it’s not the only component. With omni-channel marketing, it is essential to extend and connect all activities you do to promote and communicate the value of your product, service or brand across all channels to the customer so that each piece of their experience is consistent and complementary. A true omni-channel experience doesn’t stop with advertising.
In automotive, this is especially true because unlike other industries, final sale will most likely happen at a dealership. Yes, there is a contingent of shoppers desiring to make the entire purchase online, but nearly 90% want to complete their purchase at the dealership. As competition for shoppers grows, it is imperative to evaluate your entire dealership and your dealership website for opportunities to enhance a customer experience.
I encourage dealers to start with an omni-channel approach to advertising and carry it through to every other touchpoint within their dealership. Specifically, I see dealers who miss opportunities to leverage the data that powers 1:1 omni-channel advertising and drive it through to their showrooms, BDC calls and sales teams.
Over the past few years, I have worked with hundreds of dealers to help train and equip sales teams to infuse holistic customer experience into their outgoing calls and in-dealership interactions. One Buick GMC dealership in Kansas City took this omni-channel approach in early 2018 to drive an increase in their number of units sold. In a year where the industry plateaued, this dealership grew 63% year over year. In 2019, they are using an omni-channel approach to drive profit and catapulted their revenue in March.
That brings me to truth #3.