We’ve had some nice success stories with Hendrick Chrysler Jeep over the years, primarily in traditional media. As the marketplace has changed and the automotive world has been hurt by the recent recession, we’ve modified our strategies.
Nearly 85% of people shopping for a vehicle go online to research and compare before they ever visit a dealership. Our objective was to be in front of those people as they were searching and drive them to one of several Hendrick websites. The ability to promote specific vehicles in pay-per-click advertising and banner ads allowed us to deep link right to the page with that vehicle. A contact form was prominently featured that encouraged the visitor to email the dealer.
We leveraged traditional media by increasing the visibility of the website and promoting its value for up to the minute information on pre-owned inventory and the announcement of specials and incentives.
An outside specialty firm conducts surveys with people who have purchased from the dealership on an ongoing basis. In answer to the question “What brought you in?” 20% of the respondents during the Summer/Fall 2009 survey said “Internet.” That was the number two source of customers. For the first four months of 2010 “Internet” was the number one source of customers, accounting for 34% of new customers.