Why Car Dealers Suck at Marketing and Sales

We recently conducted a survey of just under 100 car dealers.
The aim was to gauge usage and attitudes towards digital marketing.

You might be interested in the results, especially if you are a dealer doing marketing (hint: newspapers aren’t as important as they used to be) or if you’re involved in any franchise-based branded marketing.

Here are the topline results:

– Overwhelmingly dealers see that online and digital success is imperative for overall business success (most see it as more important than press).  

This is not surprising, because it is.

– Almost all dealers know that customers research their purchase online first these days.  

Again, this rings true.  Who in their right mind would go shopping for a car at a dealership without doing a bit of google work first?  But here’s the kicker…

– 60% of dealers surveyed said they have “no” or “limited” online marketing, or are just “getting started”.

So despite the strong intent to succeed at digital marketing, there is a distinct lack of action to make it happen.

The question has to be asked – what’s holding them back?

It seems the problems lie in three categories – SKILLS, RESOURCES and TIME.

Dealers have staff to manage their website, however they are most commonly sales or marketing managers, or general admin (their PA).

This is a leading indicator of a skills and capability gap, which was supported by the facts that:

– 74% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they need more help with skills.

– Only 39% have an external agency to help them.

And if  digital marketing is being handled by sales staff who don’t know what they’re doing (and haven’t been trained).. the big question is…..who THE FUCK is on the floor selling?  

As one respondent put it, the biggest hurdles are …

“Time and IT talk – we just want to sell cars and service cars!”

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