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Digital Marketing Framework for Navigating Uncertain Times



COVID-19 has brought an unprecedented time for the automotive industry. As some states slowly begin to reopen this month, dealerships are beginning to show signs of recovery.

To react to the quickly changing market demand, NADA dealership management consultant Mario Clementoni and Orbee Auto CEO Daniel Kim outlined the key frameworks to guide dealerships with digital marketing strategy and turn marketing efforts into car sales. Their webinar, Digital Marketing Framework for Navigating Uncertain Times, covered how to measure market demand and highlighted specific actions dealerships can take to optimize their digital marketing efforts.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution in digital marketing for dealerships, especially during the current situation,” Clementoni said. “Dealers must learn to use frameworks and data to make decisions on how to navigate uncertain times.”

“Consumer sentiment and public policy is changing marketing strategies at dealerships more than ever,” said Kim. “Having a clear framework to navigate through this uncertain time is vital.”

During the webinar, Clementoni and Kim presented examples of the current environment in geographically diverse dealerships; and outlined their recommended advertising strategy for each, based on consumer sentiment and the dealerships’ respective state’s stay-at-home orders.

In determining the effectiveness of a dealership’s marketing strategy and the need for real time adjustments, data is king. The webinar recommended examining unique visitors to a dealership’s website over total visitors, and mobile website activity versus desktop activity in today’s environment. Additionally, dealers should measure internet leads in two categories – one for traditional contact sales and another for no-contact sales.

“Understand which metrics you can control and focus on changing them; market demand is not a metric that dealers can influence,” added Clementoni. “If demand is down, act accordingly.”

In offering words of encouragement to dealers navigating a new auto retail reality: “Times of uncertainty is a time where we can reinvent ourselves as an industry,” said Clementoni. “Now is the time to invent retail 2.0 for the automotive industry.”

A recording of the webinar is now available to NADA members here.

Note: NADA’s webinar is offered to assist its dealer members in the operation of their dealerships and for general informational purposes only. Each dealer must seek their own legal counsel and make their own independent business decisions and work with their attorneys to ensure social media posts and advertising comply with state and federal consumer protection laws. Before attempting to sell vehicles online, dealers must consult with their attorney or state/metro dealer association or licensing authority to better understand the requirement in their state. The presentation of this information is not intended to constitute legal advice nor encourage concerted action among competitors or any other action on the part of dealers that would in any manner fix or stabilize the price or any element of the price of any good or service.