Dealer Digital Warfare – Do You Have a Winning Strategy?

Competition continues to increase dramatically in dealer digital advertising.  The old adage, “the best defense is a good offense” has never been more true than in today’s dealer digital combat.   With new technology, aggressive dealers now have the ability to combat a competitor on the web, on their lot and in their showroom at a fraction of the cost of traditional media.

Due to new technology, the average Auto Shopper no longer visits 4-5 dealers.  The number is now less than 2, which means that when an Auto Shopper enters your showroom, they know what they want and what they should be paying.  Digital savvy dealers are now influencing Auto Shoppers at every digital conversion point.

Dealers currently spend 63% of their media budget on Digital up 20% from 2012.  According to the Borrell 2016 Auto Outlook Study, Dealer’s’ Top 5 Sources of New Customers are:  1) Customer Referrals (74%),  2) Dealer Website (70%), 3) Online Ads (55%), 4) TV Ads (54%) and 5) Social Media (50%).   Other than TV, it’s a digital game!

For a dealer to compete, the digital house must be in order starting with SEO, SEM (Pay Per Click), Social Media and Reputation all under the umbrella of a comprehensive, targeted Mobile Strategy.

Let’s start with SEO.   It’s never been more important to have a fully optimized website that eliminates multiple/duplicate meta data.  Schematic markup is essential!  An aggressive keyword strategy will insure first page placement for profitable keywords.  In combat, dealers can now compete and conquest out of brand competitors and  build model comparison pages targeting competitors, which results in higher organic rankings.   Developing a local content strategy can also have a positive impact on your organic rankings.

The Cost Per Click continues to rise!   If your dealership is not showing in the Top 4 for your top models, you need a new strategy.  The days of keyword bidding in a radius around a dealership is no longer effective.   With our GeoForce technology a dealer can now utilize their DMS data and overlay in-market data (Polk, IHS, Experian, etc.) to determine which zip codes are the most profitable utilizing our bid modifier platform and save as much as 30% from the overall spend.

With Mobile now being the most important battlefield, a dealer can now target a competitor’s’ lot and showroom, serving up competitive, relevant ads to Auto Shoppers on their mobile devices while shopping and after they leave.   Once we capture the device ID, we then can retarget Auto Shoppers for an indefinite period of time.  With the same technology, a dealer can protect and defend its own backyard, serving ads to customers that are on their lot and in their showroom.  Our GeoMobile Marketing platform can place your dealership top of mind with shoppers on mobile.

Social Media must be utilized as part of your digital combat strategy.  A dealer can hyper-target auto shoppers by age, income, lifestyle, intent, etc. with aggressive campaigns that are effective and efficient.

And of course a dealer’s’ Reputation is critical in maintaining a dealers’ image in the local community and online.  Research shows that Auto Shoppers will drive up to 50 miles farther to buy from a dealer with a positive online reputation.

If you are unsure of how your dealership stacks up against the competition, let us perform a comprehensive digital audit showing your strengths and areas of vulnerability.   Please contact us directly at 800.591.5719 or  Find us on the web at





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