Every effective marketing effort begins with a deep understanding of your target market. If you don’t know what they want, and don’t want, or what motivates them, your communication can’t break through the noise and spur them to action.
A valuable new study by Jumpstart Automotive Group has done a lot of the homework for you.
Among their findings: Four in ten shoppers buy a new car every three years. As the accompanying chart details, the three top reasons they begin a search are the age of their current vehicle; the discovery of something they think they might like better than what they have; and the demise of their current vehicle.
Of these in-market shoppers, 93% take four months or less to complete their transactions. A full 68% make a purchase in just one month. Part of the reason for that quick cycle is that shoppers are doing their homework. In fact, 80% of them conduct online research throughout the entire process, spending an average of 11 hours online before setting foot on a lot.
While most shoppers remained firm on the brand they wanted at the outset of their searches, one third did eventually change their minds about buying a new or a used vehicle. Notably, reasons for switching from new to used include better perceived value, underscoring the importance of strategic pricing decisions.
Among the more surprising findings in the report was shoppers’ perceptions of “glamour” shots of vehicles. They actually prefer more accurate, honest photos that communicate the practicalities of the vehicle. The same preference applies to advertising – shoppers prefer clear messaging and transparent, detailed pricing.
With the right approach, dealers can turn this information to their advantage. Providing prospective customers with thorough, accurate information about the exact car they’re interested in can go a long way toward closing a sale, quickly. Implementing a VIN-specific strategy can enable you to connect with shoppers who are looking for the exact cars you have on your lot, right now, even bringing them directly to those cars’ VDP pages for all of the detailed information they crave.