Director John Smyth explained: ‘Sticking an ad in the local paper or shoving a blow-up gorilla and a windy-man on your forecourt and waiting for the sales to flow are long gone.
‘Today the routes to market are many and varied – we have websites, social media, CRM systems, customer and prospect email, PR and community engagement.
‘We can now monitor and analyse what works, find out what doesn’t and build meaningful relationships with our new, used and service customers, as well as potential customers and the wider community.’
To do this, Swansway recognised the need to substantially grow its marketing function. Six months ago, the team increased from two staff to five and the results have been exceptional.
Anna Ling, Swansway marketing manager, said: ‘Purely by implementing an automated CRM programme across the group, sales conversion levels have increased and the programme’s delivered a 36 per cent service booking rate from the customers we’ve contacted.’
The increase in the number of staff allowed a number of key areas to be focussed upon, not least the group’s websites.
Anna said: ‘New websites have been built for all the centres across the group. This has produced a 45 per cent increase in website visitors and a 57 per cent increase in inquiry volumes.’
Swansway recognised the need to engage with the public via social media too, bringing on-board a marketing team member, dedicated to this burgeoning communications area.
John Smyth added: ‘As customers become ever more sophisticated, motor retailers need to communicate with them in innovative and engaging ways.’
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