This past January heavy-duty truck sales began to climb and could continue if demand persists. The trucking industry as a whole has struggled with fluctuating demands and driver numbers making it difficult for carriers to maintain the status quo.
As freight demand is once again on the rise, many fleets may need to expand to keep pace with the market. With that in mind, truck dealers need to be at the top of their game to grab as much of the market as they can. However, many dealerships are stuck in the stone age of marketing. This has to change if they wish to prosper moving forward.
Heavy-duty truck dealerships have a marketing problem.
A problem some dealerships face is becoming one-dimensional in their marketing approach. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Some dealerships’ strategies are quite diverse, but others have fallen behind the times in their approach.
Over the years, many truck dealerships have found themselves relying heavily on publications or websites that they do not control internally for leads.
Many are brought in by the promise of free services. But, as the saying goes, nothing in life is free. Even if no fee is attached or advertised, that does not mean that they won’t be compensated in some fashion.
What’s the problem with “free” websites?
How are these companies and site providers really making their money? In most cases, a website is provided for you “free” of charge. However, that $0 price tag comes with a few strings.
It’s important to note that online search is a huge resource for dealers. By actively searching, potential customers are displaying their willingness and intent to buy.
Directing this traffic to your website is a significant advantage. That’s where the problem comes in. Typically, the dealership will not get any of that search traffic or potential customer info (which could be valuable for targeting and nurturing through the buying cycle). Instead, the provider of the “free” site collects that data and drives the traffic to their own websites.
Additionally, these sites fail to track leads by channel. Not knowing exactly where leads are coming from keeps dealerships from harnessing the true power of social media.
It cannot be overstated just how important search can be in a dealership’s marketing efforts. Losing control of those results and the data that can be gleaned from them can be devastating. As important as search is though, there are other approaches to marketing that can bring dealerships into the modern age.
Make sure to utilize all the marketing tools available.
One-dimensional marketing is a bad thing. Diversifying marketing efforts is critical. Never put all your eggs into one basket. With a multi-prong approach, you give yourself the best chance possible to find, target and convert as many customers as possible.
Capitalize on the power of display ads.
Display ads have been around for quite some time and are proven to be a successful and valuable tool for any marketing strategy, although these ads have become so commonplace that, if not executed properly, the target audience may skim right over them.
One of the real values in display ads is how effective they are with retargeting. For instance, website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert on your website.
A well-designed and placed display ad (featuring pictures, video, or audio) can help drive customers to you. Retargeting those who have visited your site before increases the probability of conversion exponentially.
Social media can drive traffic for truck dealerships.
In addition to display, social media platforms offer a vast audience for dealerships to tap into.
Top Social Media Marketing Platforms
Obviously when talking about anything regarding social media, Facebook will be the go-to choice. The platform now boasts 2 billion active monthly users, and a multitude of advertising options including photo, video, carousel, slideshow, collection, as well as the new canvas ad format.
Facebook Targeting Capabilities
- Demographic – Target through common traits such as age, gender, occupation, relationship and job titles.
- Location – Zero in on specific geographic locations.
- Interests – Target based on interest, hobbies or favorited entertainment.
- Behavior – Based on purchase history and device use.
- Custom Audiences – Built from your lists of existing customers or prospects, those who visit your website, and those that use your smartphone app.
- Lookalike Audiences – These audiences are built and targeted based on those who act similarly to your current customers.
Though not as dominant or popular as Facebook, Twitter can still be utilized to help generate a buzz. Marketing on Twitter essentially revolves around targeted tweets, but the real potential in using Twitter comes from the possibility of going viral. Though not as effective, some companies have found a nice niche’ by thinking outside the box and executing a creative Twitter campaign.
Twitter Targeting Capabilities
- Language – Narrow down the target audience by language.
- Location – Target by geographical location.
- Gender – Choose to target men, women, or both.
- Interest – Targets only those interested in specific subjects or genres.
- Keyword – Users who have searched or tweeted a chosen keyword are targeted.
- Retargeting – Users who have visited your website or a specific page on your website.
- Tailored Audience – Target based on your own customer list or a custom audience.
That it’s considered the world’s second largest search engine is reason enough to take notice of YouTube. Combine that with the fact that Google has owned YouTube since 2006, and the emerging possibilities for marketing to viewers on the site is even more clear. Offering display, overlay, bumper and various other forms of unskippable ads, YouTube opens the door to reach the platform’s nearly 30 million daily visitors.
YouTube Targeting Capabilities
- Keyword Contextual – Uses keywords to match ads and serve web content.
- Demographic – Targeting based on age, gender or parental status.
- In-market Audiences – Targets those actively searching for or researching products that are offered by a manufacturer or similar to what they offer.
- Remarketing – Retargeting based off of previous YouTube interactions or visitors to your website.
- Custom Affinity Audiences – Custom audiences are built to pinpoint advertising to niche’ markets.
Bringing truck dealerships’ approach to marketing into the 21st century.
When staying ahead of the competition, it’s important to embrace all the new technology and techniques available. Randall-Reilly can help reach your goals with performance marketing that allows you to track and adjust campaigns for optimal success; as well as custom-made landing pages that allow for tracking exactly where leads are coming from.
Tracking CPL and even CPL by channel is a great way to monitor your campaign and also allows alterations to be made so that you are able to spend money where it is most needed, eliminating waste.
RigDig also offers a robust and constantly growing source of data for you to tap into. Access to features that track fleet size, vehicle preference, vehicle age, and credit rating are all available and easily navigable.
As the economic landscape continues to change, embracing high quality data, and making sure that you don’t slip into a one-dimensional approach will set you apart from the rest of the field and allow your dealership to finally break free from the stone [JC4] age of marketing.