Y’all got any more of them low funnel in-market shoppers?

Jason Girdner
Jason has always been at the forefront of connecting companies with customers. Before car dealers had websites, he was helping them generate leads using an 800 number that could take a credit app over the phone. He followed that up with success in direct mail, auto loans and a new frontier: Social Media.

Ask yourself this; Have the prices increased for low funnel in-market shoppers, yet the conversions have decreased over the past few years?

AdWords was like a gold mine for the dealers that jumped in early. This is no longer the case. The sales are getting harder and harder to get. You have to price vehicles way back of invoice to get conversions. Form completion rates have dropped on your website.

What do you think would cause this? Let me help you out. Google supply and demand. Companies like TrueCar, AutoTrader, Cars(.)com and many others are bidding like crazy for the eyeballs. OEMs are forcing dealers to buy a certain number of impressions and a boat load of dealers are doing this on their own. The market is absolutely flooded. If this was home sales it would be called a MAJOR sellers’ market. These large companies are hitting grand slams while dealers are getting squeezed more and more.

Salespeople are becoming merely order takers and are no longer salespeople. Gross and commissions are at an all-time low. This is the reoccurring theme I hear over and over.

Here is exactly what happened. As humans, we like to take the path of least resistance. Just like water. AdWords and other low funnel outlets create very easy price oriented shopper leads. Have the lowest prices and bingo, you get more sales. Easy! That is until everyone jumped on the boat. Now that boat is starting to sink.

What is the industry left to do? Just keep going in the direction it’s going? No, the answer is simple. General audience targeting on Facebook. The concept is simple. Just like Television, Radio, Newspaper and other traditional media outlets, you can reach people who may not be in-market yet. You can be first to capture their attention and be first to get a chance to sell them a car before they start shopping online.

Instead of filtering your audiences down, target broader audiences. Find people who have the idea of a new vehicle in their head but have not started the process.

Television, Radio and Newspaper didn’t stop working because your advertising sucked. It stopped working because people stopped using them and their attention shifted. Your advertising tactics were fine, you just need to shift them to where the eyeballs are.

We have had tremendous luck for our clients simply by using broad targeting and traditional advertising tactics on Facebook. This does drive a different kind of customer though. It generates a customer you will need to actually sell on why they need a vehicle and not just the price you are selling the vehicle for. You will have to ask them questions like; Do you need a bigger vehicle for the family? Are you looking for something more reliable? You will need to convince them that now is the time to start shopping.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t advertise to capture some low funnel shoppers, what I’m saying is you should fill your funnel completely! Top to bottom. This will help reduce the demand on low funnel, help you find new customers to do business with, increase your gross profit margins and help the industry as a whole. Everyone needs a new car, they just don’t know it yet. It’s our job to show them why they do. Facebook combined with text messaging is the perfect median to do that.