Five Tips for Auto Dealers Rethinking Their Advertising Approach 

It’s no secret that the traditional franchise auto dealer business model is under pressure. Supply chain issues, changing consumer buying habits, and aggressive, disruptive competitors are all conspiring to transform dealerships into mere delivery centers. What can auto dealers do to pivot?

Brendan Jackson, Senior Director of Automotive Strategy at Effectv, recently explored that question during an interview with podcast host Brian Pasch about automotive video marketing strategies.

Listen to the full podcast below, and keep reading for key takeaways from the conversation.

Be Authentic and Embrace Locality  

“It used to be a much simpler world [for dealers],” said Jackson. “There was a core set of broadcast stations that you could advertise on to get into consumer homes, and then cable came along.”

But today’s dealers can still tell their stories and create meaningful relationships that will help them sell a convertible on a rainy day, without being limited by yesterday’s tools. Jackson suggested emphasizing community ties, customer service, and a deep understanding of consumers’ needs to help build brand loyalty.

Give Consumers Options

“Dealers have really had to adapt their businesses to meet their customers where they are and provide optionality,” Jackson said, citing large ownership groups that have pivoted to let consumers engage in-dealerships, online, or somewhere in between.

Jackson compared this to the way today’s consumers expect to be able to watch whatever they want, wherever they are.

“Today, there are so many ways a viewer can get access to their favorite programming,” he said. “On the flip side, that fragmentation makes it really challenging to reach a specific audience across all those access points and screens.”

Start Reaching Consumers Seamlessly 

So, how can dealers address the challenges presented by that fragmentation?

Effectv offers a unique combination of wide market reach and planning informed by Comcast’s aggregated first-party deterministic data to create a seamless advertising experience. Dealers advertising through Effectv can execute comprehensive campaigns while also learning valuable insights about consumers’ viewing habits and synthesizing these findings into measurable reports.

Jackson added that Effectv is pioneering a new approach that will “have the ability to attribute online conversion events across live TV and digital impressions, meaning that Effectv will be able to provide aggregate reporting showing how those exposed to an ad took action on a dealer’s website, providing opportunities for increased optimization and greater visibility into the long-term success of those multi-screen campaigns.”

Do Your Due Diligence 

It seems like new video advertising providers and products pop up every day, so it’s up to dealers to do their research and discover where the best value lies.

“Dealers should really look to understand what these solutions are and the level of transparency that they’re providing,” Jackson advised. “Not all impressions are created equal. You [want to] be confident in the quality, delivery, and context in which your advertising is displayed in a brand-safe environment.”

Focus on the Entire Customer Journey 

Even as they explore the new technologies that will help their brands reach the right people, dealers will need to rethink the “bottom of the funnel” approach and focus on building meaningful connections further upstream. “Consider the lifetime value of your customer,” Brendan advises. “Consider the customer journey, the multiple dealership touchpoints and how you are feeding the entire approach in your pipeline.” With mounting pressure on the franchise dealer model, local dealerships need to do more than just promote finance programs and leasing options. Focusing on the entire customer journey, as opposed to the point of sale, awards dealerships the opportunity to build a longer lasting relationship with their customers.