How to Stand out with Increased Digital Competition

By Amber Cruickshank

Competing for your customer’s attention isn’t like it used to be. A full-page colour ad in the paper or a radio jingle that has people singing the name of your dealership as they waltz through your doors has become archaic. People are busy. They don’t have the time to sit with a paper over a morning coffee. They are steaming music through Apple CarPlay to avoid ads on the radio. They get their news on their mobile devices and do a great deal of shopping online. Whether you like it or not, we operate in in a predominantly cyber world and digital advertising is an absolute must if you want to reach your target customer. 

Luckily, digital marketing isn’t new, and most likely, your dealership has had some sort of digital advertising in place for the last decade. What is new is the increased competition for customer awareness and the sheer volume of digital channels to reach a person. This competition comes from a variety of places, including other auto dealerships, manufacturers, online marketplaces, and even private sellers. As more consumers use digital channels to research and purchase vehicles, auto dealers must compete with a growing number of competitors for consumer attention and online visibility. It’s a lot to keep up with and it may have you asking yourself often, what can I do to be a winner in this competitive digital world? There are many things you can do to keep your business top of mind digitally but as a digital marketing specialist, if we had to pick two main characters to focus on, they would be Omnichannel and Creative. 

What is Omnichannel? 

Omnichannel refers to a marketing and sales approach that provides customers with a seamless and integrated shopping experience and messaging across all available channels and touchpoints, including physical stores, online stores, mobile apps, social media, and other digital and offline platforms.

The idea behind an omnichannel messaging strategy is to create a consistent and cohesive brand experience for your customers, regardless of how and where they interact with your dealership. To be successful, you need a deep understanding of your customers behaviour, preferences, and needs and a coordinated effort to integrate all customer-facing channels and backend systems. 

The key benefits of an omnichannel approach include;

  • increased customer satisfaction
  • customer loyalty
  • improved operational efficiency
  • inventory management
  • sales performance

For example, at Leadbox we start with your dealerships unique selling propositions (USP) and then build a cohesive omnichannel marketing plan around your skills and your goals. So if your dealerships USP is that you have award winning service and a larger inventory that the local competition, our Omnichannel messaging strategy would ensure that these USP are communicated in all digital channels in an effective way for your potential customers to hear. When your campaigns include Search, Display, Social and Video – all messaging is consistent and on brand. 

High Quality Creative is Imperative 

Have you heard the famous Bill Gates quote, “Content is King”? What you say and how you say it is just as, if not more important than how you get that messaging to your target customer. Once you have the right omnichannel strategy in place for your dealership, the next key ingredient is the creative and it better be good otherwise it will get lost in the cyber sea of wasted marketing dollars. 

Every brand has a personality and every dealership has a purpose. What is it about your brand, dealership…USP that is going to persuade a consumer to do business with you? And how can you say it in a way that’s going to cut through all the other noise out there in the digital universe so that they actually stop and pay attention? Think of it this way, if your dealership was at a speed dating forum with all of your competition and you had just a few minutes, maybe even seconds to win over your customer, what would you say? What energy would you present? Your target customer is inundated with ads and messaging all day so whatever you do, it better be different and more interesting than your competition. Is it humor? A deal they can’t refuse? Something no one else is offering? To remain competitive in this digital landscape, auto dealers must focus on creating high-quality, targeted content that resonates with their target audience and find ways to differentiate themselves to stand out from the crowd.

Overall, increased competition in digital marketing is a significant concern for auto dealers but it doesn’t have to be a thorn in your side. Finding ways to differentiate your dealership and effectively reach your target audience is easy if you have the right team in place that understand omnichannel strategy and how to deliver outstanding creative. If you don’t, Leadbox is here and we love to help our customers navigate the competitive automotive digital landscape. Happy speed dating!


Dealer Marketing