Hearing a lot about the challenges marketing to Millennials? Let’s get to the bottom of this.
Millennials are technically defined by anyone who was born between the years of 1980-2000 and is currently anywhere between 17 – 36 years old, give or take a couple of years.
The concept of marketing to Millennials has become a big hit in the auto industry, with concerns around how to market to them, understand their buying behavior, and retain Millennials as customers.
Why is this a big deal? Why has this influenced both CDK and AutoTrader Industry Reports regarding Millennials in the auto space? Well, Millennials are the future generation and the auto industry needs to understand their buying behavior. Because, let’s face it — one day Millennials will get married, have kids, and will need to take those kids to school and to soccer practice.
We all know the stats and caveats of the digital Millennials: they research online, they check your website, and they come to your dealership well informed. According to the CDK Report, 62% of Millennials use your website as a resource for research before entering the dealership. They are probably even showrooming the heck out of your best salesman on your dealership’s sales floor to compare deals with your competitor in real time.
Don’t worry. If you market appropriately to this segment you’ll actually find that your dealership is in good shape and can stay ahead.
Here are four ways you can engage Millennials in today’s digital world to get ahead of your competition:
“They want to know that you’re not just trying to sell your cars, but actually want to engage and inform.”
Personalized Marketing and Messaging: Millennials are online every day – they’re on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. They Snapchat and they Periscope. The point here isn’t to remarket on social media. In fact, only 5% of Millennials actually rely on social media for purchasing a car. The point is to understand the extent to which Millennials are familiar with the Internet – they have all information at their fingertips and this does not exclude the latest in the automotive industry.
Actionable tips for personalized marketing:
- Video Marketing: Millennials respond to videos. They like the quick information and they’re way less patient than their parent’s generation. Will they read a full article? Probably not. Put that content into a compact, well-done video, and you’ve got yourself a focused Millennial. (https://www.digitaldealer.com/author/greuscher/)
- Sophisticated Targeting: Don’t show the same message to all website visitors. Just like you would personalize every approach in your showroom, use technologies that allow you to show different messages based on different behaviors on your website. Is this a returning visitor or a new visitor? Is this visitor interested in leasing or purchasing? Millennials know this technology is out there and they expect the basic level of personalization with every shopping experience.
Build Your Brand Online: Millennials respond well to brand recognition. Studies show that they rely on word-of-mouth for car purchasing and if they can recognize and piece together your band when researching, you’re golden!
Actionable tips for brand building:
- Logo Consistency: Keep your logo consistent throughout your entire website. Design is a huge component of your website, so when working with multiple vendors (as most dealerships do), make sure every vendor is sensitive to your OEM branding and local branding.
- Social Media: Although not all Millennial buyers rely on your social media presence for purchases, it is nice to build brand recognition through their most used outlets. You can share positive customer experiences or safety reports through your Twitter or Facebook page to build your branding.
- SEO: Be easy to find online. If a Millennial can’t find your website online, they’ll give up quickly. It delivers a bad first impression, because, remember – Millennials associate all first impressions with their digital experiences. If they can’t find you, you don’t exist and neither does your brand.
Mobile Optimization: Millennials are addicted to their mobile devices and don’t go anywhere without them. Your best offers aren’t optimized to show on mobile? Well just like bad SEO, you probably don’t exist. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Millennials are more likely than any other generation to use their phone for their full car shopping research and experience.
Actionable tips for mobile optimization:
- Mobile Analytics: When you dive into your website analytics, make sure you filter devices so you can understand mobile visitors separately from tablet or desktop visitors. How long are they on your site? What is the bounce rate? Which pages do they visit most? Once you get the data, your dealership can optimize based on the mobile behavior.
- Mobile Targeting: Mobile website visitors behave differently – make sure that you or your vendor is creating separate campaigns targeting mobile visitors only.
Build Credibility Online: Similar to building your brand, you need to build trust and credibility online. With Millennials researching before walking into your dealership, you need to prove that you are a credible dealership and trustworthy online – a task that is not easy to do when you’re not face-to-face.
Actionable tips for establishing credibility online:
- Content: This is probably one of the biggest loss points when marketing to Millennials. They want to see stats, updated information, and content geared to their buyer persona. They want to know that you’re not just trying to sell your cars, but actually want to engage and inform. Keep the content short and sweet to keep the Millennial’s attention and create an experience for the Millennial web surfers (http://blog.rackspace.com/marketing-to-millennials).
- Engagement vs. Lead Capture: Focus on engaging your website visitors in other ways than just lead capture. This doesn’t mean to stop showing offers and sale specials, it just means to keep it in balance with content overlays, updates, and friendly messages on the website. Studies show that Millennials convert way less than other generations, so constantly showing them lead capture forms is not going to keep your dealership’s digital presence on the rise.
It’s important to understand next steps when thinking about marketing to Millennials. The automotive industry already knows the challenge – but taking the time to implement these actionable tips and shifts in marketing will take your dealership to the next level with Millennials.
Author: Ilana Zur
Ilana Zur is an expert in sales, inbound marketing, and business development. She is constantly thinking about how to perfect conversion funnels to build brand awareness and turn leads into sales. As Head of Business Development at AutoLeadStar, Ilana works to build relationships and find mutually valuable partner solutions. She contributes thought leadership for tech companies in and out of the automotive industry including Pendo and Dealer Marketing, and for the DrivingSales community blog. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org.