USED car advertising website Motors.co.uk is helping make dealers feel more confident in selling cars by having the right attitude.
‘Last year was very important for us as we made a number of investments and went to market with a number of initiatives,’ says Phill Jones, Motors.co.uk’s commercial director.
‘We feel we have real momentum at the moment.’ Along with growth in traffic, vehicles and dealers, the initiatives included new messages to the public and new deals with the car advice website Honest John – the latter of which joined another of Motors.co.uk’s partnerships, namely Parkers.co.uk.
New partnerships are good news for dealers using the Motors.co.uk platform. Such associations reach further into consumers’ research habits, and by Motors.co.uk appearing on websites consumers use when they are finding out what the experts think of a car, consumers are more likely to be directed to a dealer’s classified advert on Motors.co.uk. That’s not to mention the fact the firm is powering the used car search engines on Mail Online, LocalPeople and Thisis.
‘Our partnerships with regional newspaper groups also grew as did our sales teams,’ explains Jones. ‘Regional newspaper groups are very important to us as they provide a local audience and a sales team, and the more newspapers we’re in, the more promotion we get.’
And more promotion means more potential customers for dealers. Motors.co.uk currently has partnerships with more than 200 local newspapers, touching 38 per cent of the UK population. And only in November the firm announced it had partnered with Trinity Mirror Regionals – one of the UK’s largest publishers.
The firm introduced a new advertising campaign that focused on buyers’ emotions, and a nationwide search to find local heroes – people in communities who went above and beyond the call of duty – was also created.
Jones is confident that Motors.co.uk can be the perfect partner for dealers in 2012 too.
Although always high on their agenda, the firm will be concentrating on maximising dealer spend as much as possible. ‘Dealers need to know where their marketing spend is going,’ says Jones. ‘Marketing spend should be a revenue generator – so I would recommend dealers have a mix. This can be different portals, online adverts and local press. It’s okay to be getting a response, but where is it coming from and at what cost?’
Dealers who use Motors.co.uk’s software are notified on how often their cars are searched for, viewed, the details printed off, and how many times a customer calls. That means a dealer can price up exactly how much they are spending on advertising. The firm also predicts that there will be a growth in the number of consumers using mobiles to view dealer stocks, and says there will be even more research carried out online by consumers.
Another big goal in 2012 for the Car Dealer Power winning firm is very much Google-related.
‘The last 12 months have been tough for dealers,’ says Jones. ‘Not least in the online arena.’ Major changes to the way Google functions have seen many dealers fall by the wayside; and with more changes on the way with the advent of Google+ (see right), dealers need a service they can rely on.
This is where services such as Motors.co.uk’s very own Autoexposure can help. It’s a service that can build websites for dealers simply and in a bold way, and, crucially, work with Google’s technology in the most effective way possible. It’s also a service that has won a number of key profile accounts in 2011.
‘We will also be putting live a social media strategy this year,’ adds Jones. ‘Social media is always high in our minds as we feel social media embraces much of what we stand for. But it’s growing, and we plan to run some fun stuff with videos and competitions. We want to be touchy feely with the consumer – but, above all, we want to interact with them.
‘With social media you have to stay flexible. We have spent a lot of money and time on social media and that speaks to the buyers we are trying to tempt – and that is the nervous buyer. We all own a car, but not all of us are petrolheads.’