Mobile Marketing and Your Dealership: The Next Step

Mobile devices including Smartphones and tablets are altering consumer habits at an exponential rate.  In fact, Smartphone ownership increased a whopping 60% versus a year ago.

According to Gartner, mobile Internet devices outsold computers for the first time in 2009. By 2012, Forrester predicts tablets will outsell notebooks.

Consumers want information NOW and more importantly they want it in the right format for their mobile device, regardless of carrier or manufacturer.  Mobile technology gives consumers the ability to demand instant access to information and answers. If you fail to deliver, consumers will move right on to your competition without a second thought.

The obvious way to ensure shoppers have access to your business from their mobile device is to have a mobile version of your website.  Increase your chances of being seen even more by also listing your dealership on local directory sites such as Google Local and Places and Yelp. These sites allow you to add contact information, your website, and hours of operation so visitors can quickly see your information.

At this point in the game, by launching a mobile website and adding your business to local marketing sites you are just “playing catch up.”  In order to make your mobile presence start working for you, it is important to add mobile interaction channels at every customer touch point. For example, Ford has been piloting a short text code that is integrated into TV commercials. Viewers see a commercial about the latest Ford Focus, and then are called to “text for more information.” The program has been so successful that Ford is making it part of its TV advertising going forward.

In dealerships, text codes are also being added to vehicle window stickers, giving consumers 24/7 access to vehicle information and also around the service department as a way to send coupons for returning customers and share the latest details of new accessories or even a manufacturer recall.

Just as dealers are exploring the best ways to reach and engage with customers using direct mail and email marketing, it is also vital to invest in the right mix of communications to connect and respond to customers using their mobile devices.