A strong digital marketing push during the holiday season (October, November, December) is one of the best investments you can make for your dealership. People love to shop for new and used vehicles online during this time and their path to purchase is shorter. At the same time, competitors pour money into their online advertising to drive awareness and capture buyers, making it more challenging for everyone to meet their sales goals.
There’s a big risk if you don’t take action. Last year, businesses in the four segments we serve, including automotive, missed out on more than 15 million opportunities to sell more during the holiday season.
The good news: It's easy to avoid making the same mistake this year! "People who search online during the holidays are also much (140%) more likely to buy than those who search at other times of the year," says to Nina Thatcher, Internet Development Manager at Google. "These shoppers are 1.5x more likely to buy than those who don’t use search. They know what gifts they are looking for and are primed to buy."
In Q4, our digital marketing intelligence revealed that your ideal car buyers are searching online (boosting search volumes) and showing purchase intent (converting on websites and calling) more than any other time in the year. But many dealerships make a single mistake that costs them sales and now is the time to act.
Impact of Missed Clicks Due to Budget
The mistake many dealerships make is not increasing their digital marketing investment to match the season's opportunities. This impact can be best seen in your digital marketing reporting as missed clicks due to budget.
With increased competition, underfunded campaigns will see their visibility shrink, showing up as a drop in digital ad impressions and a diminished share of voice. Together, these drops lead to a reduction in clicks, leading to fewer sales opportunities in the form of website conversions and phone calls. Watch this video to learn more about these important key performance metrics.
Let's examine both the Q4 trends we see in our industry’s digital marketing data, as well as the impact of underfunding digital campaigns during this time.
q4 opportunity for local dealers
While our data shows that July sees the highest level of online searches for new cars, this is preliminary research that leads to an upswing in Q4 sell-down purchases, with buying levels staying high through January. Our dealers get an early Christmas present, with December conversions rising 43% at an 8% decrease in cost per conversion.
Dealers in the markets we serve missed clicks due to budget, averaging 12,063 missed opportunities per rooftop for a grand total of 4.4MM missed clicks due to insufficient digital marketing investment. That’s a lot of unsold vehicles!
To Win, You Must Invest More in Q4
Increasing your digital marketing investment is the best way to solidify your strong position at the top of search results, be visible to new customers on Facebook, drive video views on YouTube, and capture clicks via searches on Google and Bing.
It takes a multichannel mix of search engine marketing, display banners, Facebook, and YouTube to bring new customers in your dealerships door, and a strong budget to match.
Don’t Forget Retargeting!
Retargeting is the most cost-effective digital tool for following website visitors after they leave your website with digital messages to remind them to return. They’ve already raised their hand by connecting to your website, so treat them like the valuable individuals that they are and keep your business top-of-mind with retargeting.
You have 15 million reasons to double down on digital during the holidays. Don’t miss a click! If you're a Netsertive partner, talk to your account manager today. If you're new to Netsertive, call a digital expert at 1.800.940.4351 for a no-obligation consultation.