Automotive News, May 23, 2016: Survey was conducted May 2-11, 14,667 respondents.
It doesn’t specify whether the 14,667 customers who ‘visited’ the dealership bought on that visit, serviced on that visit or ‘other’. It refers to them a ‘customer visits’.
The article states that 24% of the respondents stated that they did not visit the dealer’s website.
Paradigms change, but significant exceptions continue to exist. Ignoring the exceptions is a big mistake if you are running an automobile dealership or other business that deals with the public.
There is no DVR on your mailbox.
How many emails to you get per day? How many did you get 10 years ago? 15 years ago? Same with your mailbox; most people get a lot less mail than they did 10 years ago and even more so than 15 years ago, but they get a ton more emails.
In the 1970’s, cassette tapes challenged the LP as the medium of choice for music. By the time the CD came along in the 80’s, the cassette was falling off the planet and LP’s were also declining in popularity. Today there are no cassettes. LPs are still sold (as well as online) in stores in both new and used condition along with CD’s. But, CD’s are by no means the preferred medium for music nowadays; the download has pretty much put it out of the mainstream. Yet, there is still a market for LP’s. Granted, it’s not huge, but it is enormous compared to the extinct cassette.
Each time the paradigm shifts, certain aspects of ‘old fashioned’ creep into the following morphs of the shifts to come. What that means is that the things that people like the best about something that has been left behind by a current paradigm shift, finds a way back into the next paradigm shift in some form.
Or, take TV. There is more and more evidence (TV stations don’t share this information) that more and more people don’t see local TV commercials because they either don’t watch local TV stations or they have a DVR and rarely see any commercials…or in many cases, a combination of the two. To make it worse, those with the most disposable income are more likely to be these people. We are approaching a time where 50% or more of people in many markets don’t see any substantial amount of local TV commercials. Would it be prudent to assume that if you are spending more than 50% of your advertising budget on TV, you’re probably not reaching the optimal amount of people for your dollar? You would have to conclude that you are not reaching a good portion of the most affluent people at all!
If 24% of your customers do not visit your website, should at least 24% of your marketing center on alternative ways of reaching them?
Exposure is the name of the game, especially exposure to the most likely buyers.
The paradigm dictates that email, social media and other electronic mediums are where you put your efforts, but as I have discussed, these mediums are loaded with ads as never before. As a result, they are more and more ignored because of the volume of the ads that are bombarding us all. Even if you look at the same percentage of these ads (email, social media, website ads and other electronic mediums), 10% of 10 is 1, 10% of 100 is 10. Get my drift? You end up not reading 90 instead of not reading 9. This is why I brought up your mailbox. You get less and less in the mailbox. Sure it cost more to deliver to it than the electronic alternatives, but people cannot put a DVR on their mailbox. There is often important correspondence that comes in your mailbox that you cannot ignore…and there are fewer things in there now then there was before.
With every paradigm shift, there are significant exceptions. Those exceptions have a way of working their way into the next paradigm shift. Ignoring the significant (24% is significant) minority to only concentrate on the majority is a good way of fighting the entire community over the last pork chop when there is a perfectly good pork roast that no one seems to notice right around the corner.
Don’t ignore the paradigm shifts, but at the same time, try to anticipate those things that are deemed ‘old fashioned’ that will most likely work their way back into the next paradigm shift. There are usually good reasons for this phenomenon; most have to do with logic and personal preferences.
Cadillac is now proposing to have Virtual Dealerships where there is no inventory on hand. This may well appeal to some and will certainly keep some expenses down for the manufacturer as well as the dealer. If this Virtual Dealership idea of Cadillac’s becomes the norm, someone will come along and offer Cadillacs with inventories and just watch the paradigm shift again. Why? Because we know that human nature associates a tactile relationship between people and their vehicles.
Stay creative in your thinking and use logic as your basis.