A digital marketing expert says Dealers need to overhaul their marketing and retailing strategies to focus solely on the customer.

MediaDigitalX Managing Director, Simon Van Wyk, told the 2017 Mumbrella Automotive Marketing Summit last month that the car buying process had not changed for decades and neglected the customer.

Mr Van Wyk said economic conditions supported the purchase of a new car, but Dealers were failing to take advantage of the opportunities presented by technology.
He said sales people had to use modern tools to best accommodate the customer, not facilitate the sale.

“There’s been an enormous investment in technology, but on its own that stuff does nothing,” he said.

“It’s just technology; it’s a hammer. It has to be used; the data has to be dealt with. None of that has really happened and a lot of initiatives have gone backwards. This is because they’ve been handed over to the Germans or the Japanese, thus we’ve got global initiatives so every website looks the same, works the same and operates the same. But the customer experience…is actually very local; it’s done around the corner from your home.”

He said the best strategy was to remove as many barriers and friction points as possible, including the sales person-business manager ‘loop of pain’.

“You circle through these people, have to shake their hands, introduce yourself. There’s no need for any of that; it could all have been moved through the system with one person,” he said.

The attention to detail should go towards easing the customer experience and from there the sales strategy will come naturally.

“People can’t be bothered with queues,” Mr Van Wyk said.

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