When it comes to marketing your dealership, 2017 will be the year that separates the wheat from the chaff.
Social media, search, content, social ads, digital ads and the strategies that make them shine, have all advanced to a level that many marketers can’t keep up with. It’s very difficult now to achieve good outcomes without a specialized group of skills.
Marketing is evolving. Dealership Marketers are not.
Many dealership marketers may be incredibly talented in a few of the traditional skills that have been around for a while. But in the past few years, those traditional skills have become the baseline.
It’s no longer possible to just ‘figure things out.’ In fact, it could be dangerous to your dealership reputation and future revenue.
Mad Skills Every Marketer Needs in 2017
Whether you’re considering promoting from within, hiring an individual, engaging an agency…or you’re someone who’s getting ready to take the leap into entrepreneurship, there’s a number of diverse skills every dealership marketer needs in order to succeed in 2017.
1. Web Design
Your website is your digital storefront and in many cases, it’s the first thing customers come in contact with when they’re researching their next purchase.
- Does your website represent the store and its products/services well?
- What’s the user experience like?
- Is the site structure solid?
- Is it being optimized for search?
A basic understanding of site structure is crucial.
Being familiar with or possessing a working knowledge of HTML and PHP is of great advantage to today’s dealership marketers. Now, I’m not saying you need to build a full website from scratch. I am saying that a marketer should know enough about it so that when issues arise, they don’t mess up your daily workflow.
2. Writing Ability
Writing skills are vital in today’s marketing and will continue to grow in importance in 2017.
Writing for the web requires two separate sets of skills:
- Ability to attract, engage and convert customers and build relationships.
- Optimization techniques to achieve search engine authority.
3. Strategy Development
I just had an automotive company reach out to me for marketing services. They had been bootstrapping it for year and were at a point where marketing strategy was sorely needed. A few months back, they tried PPC/Adwords but said, “Because we didn’t have a strategy, we spent a lot and got very little.”
Goals are at the heart of strategy development.
Many dealership marketers jump to execution of tactics. Some simply take what’s communicated to them by the boss without using their expertise to uncover the true goals or breakdown how to achieve them.
YOU have to answer for results, right? Don’t let anything stand in your way of developing a winning strategy.
4. Data Analysis
There is a massive shortage of marketers that are skilled in the art of data analysis. A recent study found that only 3% of marketers are competent in analyzing data.
In digital marketing, every visitor, view and share are tracked. In fact, there’s so much data now that dealerships have a mountain of it to review every month. Sifting through that can be exhausting.
Data analysis is a requirement in every facet of marketing.
Too often, people focus on the creative part of marketing. Of course that’s important but the skill of measuring and analyzing results is also. Never accept one without the other.
5. Social Media Savvy
Social media has grown up, graduated college, got married, had kids and is staring down the barrel at middle age.
Every dealership marketer in 2017 should be a regular user of social media personally, as well as professionally, which requires being savvy in the social environment.
To be competitive, dealership marketers should possess social finesse, be able to tell stories well and maintain a working knowledge of storytelling components.
It they have a blog or write for online media, that’s a huge advantage because that means they’ve already tested the waters of content marketing.
Social media is not independent from other media now. It’s an integral part of an overall marketing strategy.
6. Marketing Automation
The marketing automation industry grows exponentially each year. As marketing automation tools continue to improve and multiply, it won’t get any easier in 2017 and beyond.
Shrewd marketers command the use of specific tools while also investigating and re-evaluating to discover new and enhanced solutions.
For 2017, as digital marketing becomes even more sophisticated, I advise keeping a consistently-updated database of tools, their benefits and the skills needed to apply them in specific marketing campaigns.
Marketing tech and automation is not going away, so learn it before others catch on.
And the more we make decisions in a given day, the worse we get at it.
Decisiveness is an element of great leadership. I chose this seventh skill because, with today’s marketing, it’s not only what you put out there to attract customers that counts – it’s what you do once they see it and start interacting with it.
I see so many companies still trying to keep a veil up between them and their customers. Most of it is habit from the old days of advertising and PR. Those companies (and their marketers) who take on the task of removing this barrier will be positioned for the long-term.
It’s a skill to interact with customers and to do it well demands decisiveness.
Often that interaction requires thinking on your feet, which calls for confidence, patience, empathy, gratitude and courage. All those skills make for better decisions and happier, engaged customers.
Is your marketing moving at the speed of digital?
These techniques and skills, which every marketer needs, have never been more diverse. Mastering the complexities that are happening now and those coming in 2017 means upping your skills game.
Stop tolerating mediocrity.
Author: Kathi Kruse
Kathi Kruse is an Automotive Social Media Marketing Expert, Blogger, Speaker, Coach, Author and Founder of Kruse Control Inc. Born in the heart of Los Angeles to a family of “car people”, Kathi’s passion for the car business spans a 30-year career managing successful dealerships in Southern California. Kathi is the author of “Automotive Social Business – How to Captivate Your Customers, Sell More Cars & Be Generally Remarkable on Social Media”.