Today’s automotive consumers can shop and compare options with a few taps on a screen. And since they’re spending more time researching online (specifically on their phones) than at the dealership, reaching them requires showing up in their searches, having brand awareness in your market, and standing out from a sea of competitors.
With the sheer amount of data at their fingertips, your marketing needs to be based on a clear understanding of your target audience. Today's post examines ways that you can use target audience insights to improve your automotive marketing.
4 Ways to Use Insights About Your Target Audience
1. Develop a Data-Driven Content Strategy
Creating ad campaigns and content to share on your website, social media accounts, and third-party sites are all important, but if your content strategy isn’t tailored to your target audience, you’re likely wasting your time and dollars. Only by developing a clear picture of your audience—including demographics and psychographics—can you choose meaningful keywords, craft impactful advertising creative, and make other decisions for effective marketing.
Is your audience interested in safety and reliability in a car, or excitement and adventure? Are they motivated by price or brand prestige? Knowing what they’re really looking for (besides a car) can help steer your advertising creative and the helpful, educational content you create for your blog, social media, and website.
A data-driven content strategy also addresses multiple states of your buyer’s journey. Car purchases take much more time and research than other consumer decisions, so you should have content for when people are beginning to search, and when they’re narrowing in on their car of choice.
2. Know Where to Reach People
Not only does your content need to speak to their wants and needs—it needs to show up where they spend time. Digging into audience research (or working with a media partner with automotive experience) will enable you to know which media and platforms are best to reach your customers.
No matter if you’re focusing a campaign on selling family SUVs or luxury cars, having these insights will enable you to make smart decisions about where to place ads. Perhaps you sell family cars and your audience consists of parents shopping for their kids’ first cars, and the teens who needs to be convinced, too. An integrated marketing campaign may include a mix of search and radio advertising, display ads on local media websites, video content with shopping tips for parents of new drivers, and even social media.
3. Use Cross-Channel Promotion Effectively
Once you know where and how to reach your target audience, make sure you’re doing so in a consistent, complimentary way across channels. There has been significant research conducted on how adding media platforms to a marketing mix leads to higher return. ROI increases with each added platform up to five, at which point ROI is proven to increase 35% over using just one platform.
What does this mean for your automotive marketing? Avoid isolating marketing efforts (like separating digital and radio), so that one platform can boost another. By combining audience insights with a cross-channel approach, you can make your marketing budget work that much harder.
4. Empower Your Salespeople
No matter how much research they conduct online, most people still want to visit a dealership before purchase. A car is a very personal purchase, and it requires a personal touch. At dealerships, the salespeople are the boots on the ground, tasked with moving cars off the lot and building the relationships and trust necessary to do so.
Dealerships can utilize audience insights to empower salespeople to close more customers. By sharing insights with your salespeople, they’ll be better prepared to field questions and address what’s important to customers.
Tips to Get Started
Adjusting your approach to build audience insights into your marketing might seem overwhelming. Here are some quick tips to get started.
- Do some research. Examine your existing customer base and analyze any data you already have.
- Look at online review sites. These can be extremely helpful in understanding what customers are saying, what their needs are, and how you’re perceived by the public—including shoppers who didn’t end up purchasing from you.
- Don’t guess. Forget any assumptions you currently have about your target audience. Stick with facts you learn through research.
- Analyze and make decisions. Review the data collected, discuss it with your marketing and sales teams, and start putting it to use.
With target audience insights in your arsenal, you can empower your dealership’s marketing and sales teams to better reach and connect with consumers, grow your customer base, and improve your ROI.