Many consumers are doing their research online ahead of their buying experience. With today’s internet capabilities, we are many times able to target those looking for a car at the perfect time in their future journey.

Luci:

Amy, tell us more about how to leverage, reach, and leverage things like machine learning and models and audiences. You know, these are things big companies talk about all day long, but a dealership can be a single owner, or a dealership can own, you know, 10 brands and 10 locations.

But all in all, we’re still talking about a small to medium business. So how does a business of this size, leverage, you know, these things that larger companies, you know, think nothing of, how can they get access to this without, I’d say, investing a fortune?

Amy:

Sure, sure.

Well, a good agency will be able to, will have access to data resources, that will be able to target in-market shoppers. First of all, people who, based on their online content consumption, we can tell that they are in-market for a car.

So, it doesn’t rely anymore on if they have been visiting lots. Do I need to do geo-tracking? You can tell by their online behavior before they even show up on a car dealer’s website. So, this would be, you know, many people do retargeting of people who hit their website, this would be before that.

Even earlier in the process, there are companies, now, like Porch Group Media, that have modeled the in-market audience. So, based on historical data, we can tell who is going to be in-market to buy a car before they even know that they’re going to be in-market to buy a car, which is really intriguing, right?

And, if you can, if you can start reaching out to them, then, you’ve already planted the seed. Then carry them through, you know, talk to them digitally, as many channels as possible, and then, you will be front and center in their mind when they get to that decision-making stage.

Luci:

Yeah. I love that. Look at the trends here. Again, research on models online. 50% of consumers are solely researching their models online, another 25% doing a combination, and then you know, you still have your traditionalist. I mean, that’s me. I like to go to the dealer. I’d like to see it, smell it. What are the different options? Let’s test drive it. I’m much more of a hands-on person versus research and stuff in advance. But, you know, again, a lot of that time and effort can be done at your leisure, and also when dealerships are closed, right? So, they’re traditionally opened during working hours, and so, we’ll have time, they can do a lot of this research when dealerships are closed, and then, obviously, make an appointment, or, you know, organically show up.

Amy:

You and I seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. You like to go into the dealership. I like to know absolutely everything before I go in.

I want to know, do they have what I want on the lot? Is it something that I want, something I’m going to have to order? What’s the payment going to look like? What interest rates are available? What are the extra fees? And then when can I go in and look at the exact car that I want to bring home? I’m not going to waste my time going from lot to lot to see what they have. I want to know what they have before I even set foot outside my door.

Luci:

Wow. That’s amazing.

So again, you know, different types of consumers can have different journeys. How do you prepare for all this? This is what fascinated me about this data. And this came from Price Waterhouse, PWC. You know, they did this really extensive survey on the car industry.

And 25% of consumers are in advance, already, either negotiating their financing or pricing, you know, in advance, before they even show up at the dealer. Another almost 25% are doing their document signing in advance.

You know, pick up the car and I applaud them because again, I was just at the dealer doing this, you know, with my lease and it would have been much easier. I was sitting there doing this, I’m like, why didn’t they send this to me in advance at home? Like, I just don’t understand it or, why couldn’t we have gotten on video at home before I actually came in?

And that would have been a much better service, you know, experience for me. Having been, you know, associated with this dealer for three years, you know, during my lease overall. And, yeah, just, I definitely think there’s still some dealerships who have an opportunity to kind of step up that digital game overall.

Again, you know, planning, and leveraging these types of curated audiences, and things are definitely an opportunity for dealers, and as you said, at Porch Group Media, you work with large enterprise companies and even small singer proprietor companies. So definitely something that is available to these small businesses, they just really have to seek it out.


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