Although 2021’s continued focus is Americans learning to co-exist with COVID-19, automotive manufacturers and dealers will likely remember 2021 as the year of the chip. The semiconductor chip shortage is now expected to cost the global automotive industry $210 billion in revenue in 2021 and it is now forecasted that 7.7 million units of production will be lost in 2021, up from 3.9 million in the May forecast.1 Most experts agree that the shortage will likely extend into 2022.
Chip Shortage Creates Additional Challenge for Dealers
The current shortage in semiconductors has automotive manufacturers and dealers questioning whether to continue advertising or pull back. Some dealers view the increase in profits due to reduced inventory a signal to pull back on advertising spend. Other dealers, however, are thinking about long-term marketing strategy—and are continuing to advertise to help maintain brand exposure to customers.
Foreword-thinking dealers and agencies should use this time to evaluate advertising strategies and plan for life after the chip shortage. Staying visible to customers in the interim is critical, so any advertising needs to be strategic in audience, medium and message.
Here are three recommendations to help keep your brand in front of current and future consumers while using marketing dollars wisely.
Identify Your Audience: Be Sure to Market to the Right People
Knowing which consumers are most likely to purchase your vehicles is a key element of targeting with the promise of saving money by marketing only to those who are most likely to result in a sale. By evaluating prior purchase, demographic, and psychographic trends, including specific life events, dealership marketers can more effectively pinpoint demand as well as foster positive relationships. For example, knowing that a consumer recently added a new child to the family would be a great reason to send a coupon or make a call.
Experian’s Automotive Intelligence Engine™ (AIE) will send “events” to your CRM to alert you of life events that can help develop and deepen relationships that lead to future vehicle sales. Additionally, AIE’s Market Insights enable dealers to grow market share by identifying the best prospects and matching them with the right messages. Strategically targeting both conquest and loyal customers with appropriate messaging keeps consumers engaged so they will remember your brand when they buy next.
Leverage Your Brand Reputation
Keeping your brand front and center has been the cornerstone of your marketing efforts and that shouldn’t change. Much like looking at family photos or reading an article about your favorite team, exposure to positive advertisements reinforces a consumer’s relationship with your brand. Whether the goal is to leverage your OEM driven brand awareness or support the consumer relationship with your dealership, positive messages from local dealers perpetuate ongoing loyalty.
Experian’s Automotive Intelligence Engine generates powerful marketing strategies and efficient data-driven, omni-channel media plans with engaging, brand-specific messaging direction that resonates with consumers. Dealers and agencies use AIE to generate custom marketing plans that leverage data-driven market analysis, strategic audience creation, and powerful marketing strategy, creating messages that effectively reach the right prospects, with the right message, on the right channel. This end-to-end solution will reach consumer mailboxes, inboxes, screens, and computers where your best audiences spend their time.
Continue to Foster a Positive Relationship with Consumers
Marketing is more than selling a story. Marketing initiates the consumer experience, especially in the digital world. From effective OTT ads to strategic social posts, successful dealerships often put their relationship with the community at the heart of their message. Simple images of your dealership delivering meals to local first responders and essential workers or posts showing the local high school marching band loading instruments into one of your trucks can convey a strong sense of community pride to your brand. This sort of promotion impacts future consumer purchases well beyond any chip shortage.
While the chip shortage has had a profound impact on how dealerships approach vehicle acquisition, price structures and marketing, it will eventually be resolved. The decisions you make now can have a big impact on your success when the shortage ends.
Learn more about Experian’s Automotive Intelligence Engine™ (AIE).