Does Direct Automotive Marketing Still Work In 2023?
It’s not a secret that the US automotive industry has taken some painful hits over the past 2+ years. In 2022 alone, the industry endured loads of supply disruptions, production hindrances, and maddening inflation, at a minimum. Another year like that might drive many auto dealerships off a cliff.
Now, in 2023, excitement about digital marketing dwindles and blossoms as the latest digital communication platforms fade away and take off, but the recognition and value of direct automotive marketing have never died.
In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that General Motors, Hyundai, and Kia America all expanded their digital and direct marketing budgets in 2022, optimizing personalized customer reach on and offline. According to WSJ, indirect and direct automotive marketing is poised for substantial future growth.
Direct Mail Automotive Marketing in 2023
The most effective and proven direct automotive marketing techniques include
- Direct mail
- Direct selling
- Email marketing
- Letterbox drops
- Text (SMS) marketing
There are rumors in the marketing realm that direct mailing potential and established customers is making a comeback. However, the fact is that direct mail has never failed. In fact, it’s more effective than ever before, because today’s direct mail campaigns are much more high-tech and data-driven.
Let’s dig deeper into how technology and data are driving high ROIs for direct mail marketers in 2023.
Highly Targeted, Data-Driven Direct Automotive Marketing WORKS
There’s no doubt that direct mailing as an automotive marketing method has endured the tests of time. Today, it continues to deliver excellent value for auto marketers, largely due to the fact that, being tangible, it doesn’t get lost in digital inundation.
2023 direct automotive marketing via postal mail allows you to leverage customer-specific data, hyper-target your audiences, and provide personalized interactions with every customer.
You can segment and utilize customer data based on:
- Lifestyle, activities, interests, values, and other psychographics
- Physical location (country, state/province, city, postal code)
- Gender, income, age, ethnicity, and other demographics
- Past purchasing preferences and patterns
According to Forbes, “Up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20% of emails due in large part to modern direct mail strategies like personalization and hyper-targeting.”
Some of the smart ways you can take advantage of the power of personalized direct mail include:
- Welcoming new customers
- Reinforcing your e-mail marketing campaigns
- Rewarding customers for long-term milestones
- Reconnecting with inactive customers from the past
- Cross-selling, upselling, or presenting customized special offers
- Jumping on sales opps based on geographic events or shifts in local/regional behavior
The appeal and strong effects of direct automotive marketing help to build brand loyalty by captivating attention and connecting with your customers on a meaningful level. In a nutshell, data-driven direct marketing helps you to resonate with specific customer demographics.
The Crucial Importance of Digital Marketing for Automobile Dealers
While the importance of direct auto marketing is undeniable, the same holds true for your digital marketing efforts. It’s 2023, and the world has never been more connected. Prospective and current customers definitely appreciate personalized, and rather nostalgic, direct sales techniques.
Compu-Mail reports that coordinating your direct auto marketing campaigns with your digital marketing strategies can drive up response rates by 63%, website visits by 68%, and increase your conversion rates by a very appreciable 40%.
Your digital marketing strategy should include detailed protocols for:
- Ensuring best practices
- Minimizing wasted spend
- Monitoring account activities
- Improving your Google Quality Score
- Optimizing performance for mobile devices
- Utilizing the huge marketing powers of social media
- Increasing click-through ratios and impression shares
- Honing SEO efforts to capitalize on relevant long-tail keyword phrases
Effective digital marketing should also harness the incredible power of video. Use videos in your multi-channel online advertising efforts, and always ensure high-quality videos that demonstrate your dedication to detail. Low-quality, poorly produced videos can definitely work against you.
Further, your digital and direct automotive marketing strategies should highlight excellent customer reviews. This is paramount for gaining the trust of new customers and forging the future.
WordStream asserts, “We’ve seen that once automakers combine their data to understand their buyers, they become more strategic and boost their conversion rates. With connected data streams, executives can sort out the qualified buyers and track the precise steps in the customer journey.”
Most vehicle shoppers begin their buying journeys online, and then finish up at the dealership. That’s why it’s crucial to intelligently blend your online and offline advertising practices. Remember, the goal is to create a seamless, personalized purchasing experience for every customer in 2023 and beyond.