Automotive and Your Small Business

Why Your Small Automotive Company Needs Online Marketing

 

Whether your business deals with the distribution, repair, or refurbishment of automobiles, it does not matter — you need online marketing. The automotive industry as a whole is one of the most competitive and grueling industries in the world. In 2017, auto sales in Canada hit 1.9 Million, which was the new record for sales — making it the fourth time in the last four years that the record has been set.

Why the upward trend in auto sales? A number of factors contribute to Canada’s booming auto industry.   Public transportation in Canada is seen as a second option compared to personal transportation and so, the volume of sales has increased. With 2018 coming to a close, the industry is still seeing record numbers. Interestingly enough, not all kinds of companies have seen this kind of growth.

Leading auto companies spend more on advertising.

Ford and Toyota lead Canadian car sales by a fairly wide margin and both companies continue to see sales increasing from year to year. However, Honda and Chevrolets respectfully rank third and fourth in sales and have seen the complete opposite results.  Namely, a significant loss in sales from 2017 to 2018.

Why does this happen? Well, the answer is actually a lot simpler than you would expect. Ford and Toyota have some of the highest marketing/advertising budgets here in Canada. Because of these budgets, and the technological advancements in the internet age, companies are seeing revenue results that directly correlate to the amount of resources being placed in online marketing and advertisements.

How does this impact your automotive business?

Now if you are a local automotive business owner reading this you might be saying to yourself “How could the successes of marketing budgets placed by automotive giants have anything to do with me and my small business of 20 employees?” Well, the answer is simple. The automotive industry contributes $19 billion to the Canadian GDP, as well as being one of Canada’s largest manufacturing sectors. This makes the automotive industry a major contributor to the Canadian GDP. This means that there is $19 billion CAD out there being spent by Canadians on cars — some of which is yours for the taking. The reason for these high numbers is a result of the multitude of complexities within the Canadian market.

Regardless of the part of the industry you find yourself in, you are submerged in an ultra-competitive market that has staggering customer loyalty and high profitability. But what does this all mean? Why does this industry generate so much money? The answer to this question is simple.  

People drive an absurd amount in Canada and have excess money to pay for transportation.

While public transportation is a viable option for many Canadians living in more metropolitan areas, the vast majority of people opt to drive themselves.  According to the 2011 National Household Survey, 79.6% of Canadians who commute to work in a car, either as the driver or passenger.  Conversely, only 12% of commuters used public transportation on their route to work.

A number of factors play into Canada’s flourishing automotive industry.

Let’s look at why the Canadian automotive industry is so strong, at the city level. We will use Edmonton (the capital city of  Alberta, Canada) as an example. Alberta is known for a couple of things: oil, hockey, and having terrible public transportation. Furthermore, there is really no other place in Canada (other than maybe Toronto or Vancouver) that is renowned for its transportation systems. Everyone drives. Everywhere.

Now, this may cause confusion to some, and clarity to others, but here are the facts. All of Canada (with the exception of the western seaboard) possesses a colder climate for half to the majority of the year. People don’t wait for the bus or train when it’s minus 30 and, when they do, they spend the entire time wishing they were in a warm vehicle.

The other important piece to note is that Canada has the second largest land area in the world, yet ranks 38th for population size. This essentially means that Canada has an incredibly large amount of space for a substantially low amount of people. Edmonton, for example, has felt a citywide growth that has completely exceeded early predictions. The problem is that instead of growing the city taller in the downtown area, its surface area increased but became less dense overall.

The other issue with this is that it creates difficulties in terms of transportation. People are now buying homes in suburbs outside of the city where there is no public transportation, yet they still have the responsibilities of transporting themselves 30 minutes to an hour to get to work in the city.

As a result of all these factors, Canada has a fascinating scenario where the success of the automotive industry outweighs what we could have expected given the population. This trend is the result of the difficulties of our winter climate, city sprawl, and successful economic production in other sectors of our society.

So now we know two things.  First, that marketing has proven to be a productive tool for automotive companies.  And second, the socioeconomic factors in Canadian society have shown to be optimal for automotive companies. If you are looking to increase your auto revenue, you need to be tapping into the auto sales that your competitors are making.  The best way to do this is with advertising.

Why does your small automotive business need online marketing?

If we take a look at the influence of marketing on a smaller business scale we see a number of different factors that contribute to the success of online marketing. Firstly, ads run by automotive companies are found to be more persuasive, most notably for millennials and Gen Xers. A 2015 AutoTrader study found that the internet is twenty times more influential to millennials and Gen Xers within the automotive market.

Secondly, economists and other professionals in the field say that having an online presence nearly doubles your chance of brand recognition, attracting willing prospects, and establishing strong customer rapport.

Finally, digital marketing has proven to provide a multitude of sub benefits, examples listed below:

  • Interact with prospects and learn exactly what they are looking for through their online searches.
  • Save money and reach more consumers than if you rely on traditional marketing methods alone.
  • Get to know your consumer more in-depth because of their interactions online.
  • Provide immediate responses to online comments and inquiries, securing more sales.

If you want to reap the many benefits that online marketing has to offer, you may be wondering which online marketing services have the highest return on investment.  

Which digital marketing services will help your business the most?

When it comes to digital marketing, the different services work cohesively together to promote your brand, so that no matter when people are in the market for a new vehicle they will come across your website first. If you are new to digital marketing, the following services would be a good starting point::

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Blogs/Articles
  • Facebook & Google Ads
  • Full Developed website

The above listing is a good starting point for your online marketing endeavour. Just remember that it is always best to visit a digital marketing agency for a consultation before deciding which efforts make the most sense for your business. When choosing an agency, make sure that they are willing to work with your budget and goals so that you get the highest return on your investment.

How do you begin your digital marketing efforts?

This is the tricky part. What to focus on? What opportunities do I try and take advantage of? What kind of strategies will bring in the most attention all while being profitable? How do I even do any of this?

If you are unsure where to even begin, our advice would be don’t try. Stick to your craft. Stick to the process you took to build your company to what it is.

Setting aside capital every month to employ a credible marketing agency that promises results is almost always the best strategy.

The reality is that marketing has become one of the biggest industries in the world because of one reason and one reason only – it is 100% needed to stay relevant. You don’t have time to learn all of the online marketing tactics, strategize them, set a plan in motion, and execute that plan to the fullest extent. You need people that have gone to school, that have learned about the way these strategies collide with consumers and are quick and efficient in making your online presence known. Hire those guys. If they don’t work out, hire someone new. You need them, and they need you. If you can remember that, then successful and sustainable marketing patterns will be felt by your organization; all while allowing you to have the time to grow and improve your business.

Growing Your Small Automotive Business With Lean Marketing.

Do you want to take your advertising budget further?  At Lean Marketing, we are experts in all aspects of digital marketing — the most cost-effective way to market your automotive company. With online marketing services, such as SEO, blog writing, website development, social media management, and paid ads, we can help you reach more consumers and turn more leads into customers.

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