Since the dawn of time, dealers believed that automotive marketing vendors are trying to push more point products on them in order to upsell and increase their commissions:
Search Engine Optimization
Dealers are absolutely right. We are. But are we taking you down the garden path?
A new study proves that multi-channel marketing (use of five or more marketing channels such as email, social media, advertising, website, etc. used in a coordinated campaign) is actually far more effective than buying any individual channel in getting the real business growth metrics we all live for.
According to Aberdeen’s “July 2012 Customer Experience Management: Using the Power of Analytics to Optimize Customer Delight” research, businesses who engaged in multichannel marketing saw growth in key performance improvements across the board, such as: a 6.8% increase in customer retention, a 5.1% increase in customer lifetime value, and a 4.0% increase in customer satisfaction.
These findings grow even starker when compared to those businesses not engaged in multichannel marketing. Multichannel companies improve customer retention far more than all others on a year-over-year basis. They also double the year-over-year improvement in customer satisfaction results, compared to companies without multichannel account management.
To get even more granular, multichannel marketing also improves campaign participation and conversion rates of digital marketing programs. Another Aberdeen study reported that businesses that use three or more channels achieved 48% better year-over-year result in terms of unique website visitors.
This makes sense. In an environment where your buyers interact with a rapidly changing mix of media: content sites, email, social, OEM & dealer sites, etc., you need to be present throughout their entire journey and cater to their preferred media mix. You can fail to win their hearts by either not being present where they are, or by having inconsistent messaging as they weave an unpredictable path through the web.
Now, needless to say, organization is the difference between an army and a mob. You can’t just throw more channels in the mix and expect to instantly improve results. But, if done strategically, when it comes to marketing, it’s better to leave no stone unturned. The challenge has been that this is hard, sophisticated, marketing that has required a level of marketing expertise and technology access previously only available to top tier advertising agencies. The good news, however, is that several vendors are now offering multichannel automotive marketing solutions designed for dealers that don’t require a PhD or expensive agency. It’s never been easier for you to get involved with multichannel marketing.
Does that mean you should abandon “point” solutions like premium SEO, SEM or Reputation Management services? Of course not, these can be an important foundation for all of your marketing execution. Just evaluate multichannel marketing programs and make sure they are high up on your budget priority list. They work.
Is the tide turning in Automotive from focusing on independently managing a set of discrete digital media toward more integrated multi-channel marketing?
What is reasonable for the marketing manager in the store to do vs. one’s marketing vendor or agency?