“Ask your customers what they want…and give it to ’em.”~Carl Sewell
Generating business today seems more elusive than ever. I talk to many salespeople and owners who say, “I’m working twice as hard for half the money”. With staff paired down and so many new marketing platforms available, things can get pretty crazy for dealers who want to generate leads and win in the Social economy. Marketing budgets have shifted more towards Social Media and things will continue to get more complicated for dealers and their staff. How can you stay calm and drive business when so much is changing around you?
The shift in consumer behavior, especially during the purchasing process, has caused a disruption in the daily operations of dealerships (and every other business). Marketing on Social Media has added another layer of responsibility to your operation. It can be difficult to manage and many give up. Producing dealership revenue today requires hands-on participation in the Social community. Your customer is not always online looking for you. They’re online asking questions and it’s your job to answer those questions and continue the conversation.
Like the coach said to Forrest Gump, “The secret to this game, son, is no matter what happens, never, ever take your eye off the ball.” The easiest way to stay on point with your Social Media marketing is to stick with the basic foundation you’ve always had: a customer-focused culture. Regularly ask yourself how you can serve your customer better. Where are your customers? They’re online. What topics are they interested in? Ask them. What problems do they have? Solve them. When you know everything about your customer, it’s easy to give them what they want.
To maximize your customer-focused strategy, the best operational solution is a dedicated socially-savvy Marketing Manager. Social marketing requires daily engagement with your online community. If you’re not there, others, including your competitor and the rare dissatisfied customer, will speak for you. Your Marketing Manager will be the quarterback for you, your staff and your customers. They’ll be dedicated to listening to your customer and that’s keeping your eye on the ball!
It makes sense to structure a marketing arm in your store when so much is riding on your online marketing success. Social is about attracting fans, engaging your audience and generating leads. Your marketing department would also eliminate the inefficiencies that often happen when new and used sales managers, and service and parts managers handle their own marketing for their respective departments. It would provide a centralized hub so your message is more focused and your budget is optimized.
Social Media is a critical marketing channel for dealerships. When things get crazy, leveraging the power of a Marketing Manager keeps things sane. Your customer-focused strategy will soar with you’ll score big with Social Media .