In today’s market, many dealerships are leaking money. They are unknowingly minimizing, rather than maximizing the effectiveness and profitability of their marketing efforts. It is also the technological innovation used for endless marketing efforts, often times by some of lowest paid employees in a company. I am referring of course to technology. The good news is this leak can be repaired.
In recent years, Google did a study in regards to the “Zero Moment of Truth.” Let me explain what that means. This is the essentials for adjusting to the changes in car shopping patterns. It used to be a three step process. When customers hear about a car, their first reaction is to “Let me Google and do some research first.” This means they go on a journey of discovery about this new found upcoming vehicle. Zero Moment Of Truth is that moment when you grab your laptop, mobile phone or iPad, and start learning about the new 2013 Ford Edge you’re thinking about buying.
It is very surprising that 70% of Americans now say they look at product reviews before making a purchase, or that 79% of consumers now say they use a smart-phone to help with shopping. The Internet has changed how we decide what to buy. Today we’re all digital explorers, seeking out online ratings, social media-based peer reviews, videos, and in-depth product details as we move down the path to purchase. Marketing has evolved and modern marketing strategies have to evolve with the changing shape of shopping. We call this online decision-making moment the Zero Moment of Truth – or simply ZMOT.
Step 1: Stimulus
This is when a person is thinking about a car and what their wants and needs are. The desire.
Step 2: FMOT
This is the “First Moment of Truth” when a person goes to a car lot. They can touch it and test drive it, making their next car purchase a reality.
Step 3: SMOT
This is the “Second Moment of Truth” when a person has purchased the car. They are excited they drive it home, and now it is a reality.
A taillight call on their home phone should not just be thanking them for their business, but validating them. Notate the good conversation starters that go down the line. Customers are learning about the products doing homework and making smarter decisions on buying the right thing and not paying too much for it. The “Zero Moment of Truth” includes all the bends in the road and getting in front of the customer making lasting impressions with chat, social media, website, blind sites, SED, SEO and mobile marketing. Be involved in the customer’s decision process from the beginning in every step of the decision process.
Hosting a charity event is a fantastic way for a business to increase traffic, help to build or reinforce a positive perception within their community, and raise public awareness while supporting great causes. The benefits to any business reach far beyond the increased sales potential and realized foot traffic from the day of the event. Disseminate not only the announcement of the event itself, but later the success of the event on the Internet and to the media where the record of the business being involved in such events will be memorialized.
By engaging customers at your virtual front door, more people will visit your dealership website(s) then will ever walk in the actual showroom. Engage them using today’s technology with today’s’ personal touch Live chat, mobile apps, QR linked inventory and reviews and reputation management. People prefer text-based communications today. In 2010 text messages exceeded phone calls by more than a third comes in six seconds in less than two years this has more than doubled.
Chat does not take away from the leads stores receive. It just increases the opportunities that are available. It puts people who are at work or in a situation where they cannot talk on the phone and allows you to see the sizzle of why they should come see you versus every other dealership around. Making Smart phones your best friends and not your worst enemy.
About 46% of Americans now own a smartphone, up 35% from May 2011. Using smartphone devices to text confirmations including the easiest directions for navigation and confirmation, like: #GR177. Use MMS and e-mail to send your picture to the customer so they know who they are meeting with. Expanding your reach with today’s mobile technology, Stay in front of your customers with an intelligent offer that will keep them doing business with you.
You can deliver everything from coupons customized to the recipients’ specific interests, reminders, surveys, alerts and notices and so much more. Are you part of this revolution? Being in first place is not enough, localize the search and dominate the results. It doesn’t replace SEO.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you only visit the first listing in search results?
- Do you visit often and purchase from pay per click listings?
- Do you only use one search engine?
Next generation professional sales and service is more than just making technology available. I believe customers will tell us what they want and need in their lives, if only we will listen anew every day. Ultimately people will forget most of what you said and know, however they will never forget how you made them feel.