By: Jamie Szczecina
During October 17-19th, the engines roared and ideas ignited at the recent Digital Dealer Conference, where industry leaders converged to share valuable insights. In this blog, we'll navigate through the key takeaways from this event, exploring innovative strategies that are reshaping the automotive marketing landscape.
1. Unleashing the Power Through Customer Engagement: The Gold Mine Within
The conference attendees were not just informed; they were captivated by the revelation of a hidden treasure trove nestled within their existing customer base. This session captured the idea of comparison between customer retention and acquisition being nothing short of eye-opening.
Retention vs. Acquisition: Shocking statistics illuminated the fact that retaining a customer is a remarkable 25 times more cost-effective than courting a new one. This realization reverberated through the conference halls, emphasizing the paramount importance of cultivating and cherishing existing customer relationships.
Stop Advertising, Start Nurturing: The paradigm of dealership marketing underwent a profound transformation, pivoting from the blaring sirens of aggressive advertising to the artistry of nurturing. The speaker in this session recognized simple yet profoundly effective gestures such as handwritten thank-you cards and exclusive dealership coupons to be powerful instruments, crafting intimate, one-on-one connections that not only foster loyalty but also etch a dealership's name in the hearts of its clientele.
2. Community Involvement: A Win-Win for All
One standout example showcased the IT manager for Street Toyota, whose innovative approach to community involvement redefined the dealership's relationship with its surroundings.
Beyond the Check: Community involvement was reframed as more than just writing a check. Street Toyota made a significant impact by donating $2 million to community causes. Half of this sum was specifically earmarked for diverse projects, reflecting a multifaceted engagement strategy.
Employee and Customer Engagement: Street Toyota's success story was rooted in active involvement. Employees are encouraged to participate, and customers were not left out either. Monthly CRM blasts kept everyone in the loop, inviting even those not on social media to be part of the action through email.
Sports Events and Creative Engagement: Street Toyota's engagement extended to sports events, featuring creative giveaways like bobble heads and clear fanny packs. Additionally, the dealership capitalized on local sites, strategically positioning their inventory in captivating photographs.
3. Implementation of LMS and In House BDC
A session led by the BDC Director for Lexus of Pembroke Pines elaborated on their strategy of starting potential sales staff in the BDC before moving onto the sales floor. This constantly has their BDC with a high turnover rate, but it has been beneficial to their sales process.
Another groundbreaking approach that he also introduced was their implementation of a Learning Management Systems (LMS), with platforms, like Thinkiffic. This has revolutionized their training process because they tailored this LMS system specifically for BDC/Sales. It has not only transformed the BDC landscape, but also prepared their team members for the in-person interactions. It is important to note that with any LMS system, it will take time and effort to tailor courses for your team, but it is absolutely worth it. As an example, it took this team roughly 3 years of adding a custom course weekly to get the system where they would like it to be.
The workshop during this session illuminated the vital intersection of technology, training, and dedication in shaping the future of dealership marketing.
In essence, the Digital Dealer Conference illuminated a path forward, where customer nurturing, community engagement, and LMS converge to create a powerhouse marketing strategy. As the automotive industry hurtles into the future, these insights serve as the roadmap for success. Buckle up – the journey to marketing excellence has just begun! 🚗💨