For Auto Dealerships, Discounts Alone Won’t Drive Sales

How can your auto dealership expand its customer base and expand its profits? For years, there has been one basic answer to that question—provide enticing discounts on great automobiles. That strategy may not be quite as effective as it used to be, though. In fact, a recent study suggests that relying on discounts alone won’t drive auto sales nearly as much as dealers might like. It might actually be the worst way for dealerships to focus their marketing efforts!

Significant Findings for Auto Dealers

According to the study—as reported in Media Post—some “19.3 percent of adults online plan to purchase a new car or truck in the next year. The survey includes nearly 16,000 online consumers 18+ in the United States.”

The question is, how can dealers get those buyers to their dealership? The automotive category may be rich in opportunity for technological savvy and marketing prowess, yet many dealerships aren’t quite delivering on either category. They are missing out on key avenues for exploiting psychographic data and improving their own consumer reputations, the study shows.

Understanding Purchase Intent

“One priority should be to pay attention to ‘purchase intent’ of the consumer — their thoughts, emotions and behaviors that influence not only if, when and what they buy, but if they want to buy it from your specific dealership,” reports Media Post.

So why do consumers buy new cars?s The top reason is that they want to buy a new model; that’s where more than 27 percent of all purchases originate. For 21 percent of buyers, though, the motivating factor is that they’re having trouble with their current car. And for 20 percent, the primary concern is acquiring a new vehicle for their family.

The least important reason, cited by just over eight percent of auto consumers? Deals, discounts, and other incentives. Clearly, these things just don’t move units like many dealers think they do.

Implications for Dealerships

“Instead of promotions, automakers should focus their marketing on enticing shoppers with reasons for getting a new model: better technology, increased safety features, and slick body styles,” Media Post concludes, summarizing the findings of the study.

Indeed, rather than focusing on discounts, dealerships are smart to focus on what consumers want, why they are looking at new vehicles in the first place—and really playing up the ways in which they can address consumer needs.

Marketing for Dealerships

This leads naturally to a robust marketing endeavor—one that starts with consumer data and buyer personas, targets buyers based on their purchase intent, and emphasizes the dealership as a place for service and solutions.

That’s not an easy thing to pull off, but it’s something your dealership can do with the help of Get My Auto. Our automotive marketing experts can help you draw from data to position your dealership for success—without the need for ineffective discounts and deals. To learn more about what we can do to help you, contact Get My Auto today.

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