When entering the private party seller acquisition space, one of the most often overlooked elements of planning by dealerships is the automotive consumer acquisition marketing strategy. We like to recommend that a dealer meet with, discuss, and plan on how to communicate the message of providing an acquisition service to sellers in their overall marketing efforts.
We believe this is important not only for the marketing of a valuable service to consumers but also to add credibility to the acquisition department or buy center at your dealership. Internally, automotive consumer acquisition marketing supports and communicates to employees that acquisitions are a key part of the overall business plan for the dealership.
Externally, marketing to private party sellers not only enhances your efforts in reaching out to consumers in your market and letting them know the option to sell their vehicle to you is available, it also reinforces the credibility of your acquisition program by supporting it in at your dealership.
4 Places to Showcase Your Automotive Consumer Acquisition Marketing Message
We find that a combination of the following efforts achieves the best results:
- Social Media
The prime real estate for this marketing is, like other departments, on the dealership website. Dedicating a page to providing information about how your service works will help consumers understand acquisitions are not just a ploy to get them to trade their vehicle in to purchase another one from you. Even though trade-ins and new purchases often occur during an acquisition, for those consumers who only wish to sell, this information puts them at ease.
Another great element to include on your website is simple FAQ section that details the finer points of selling a vehicle to the dealership rather than expending the time, effort and potential safety of trying to sell it on their own.
Adding a section to the website or acquisition page that includes acquisition staff and the dedicated VAN-supplied telephone number for the acquisition department or buy center will help sellers understand this is a legitimate department that they are contacting. The telephone number being posted assists private sellers in confirming that the telephone number contacting them is in fact, the dealership and not a ploy or Internet scam because the number will be returned in search results when a private seller searches it on the Internet.
We also encourages dealers to include the vehicle acquisition department in their social marketing, newsletters and when developing new lists of AdWords and potential retargeting efforts in the dealership marketing plan. Additionally, dealerships should consider creating video content that can be integrated into their website and social media channel marketing efforts that target the private party seller.
Including your vehicle acquisition department or buy center into your overall marketing efforts and communicating the goals to consumers and employees reinforces that you are in the FSBO (for sale by owner) space but also supports the efforts of the employees that are involved in the day to day operation of the department or center. Consistent and congruent messaging will improve your chances of being successful with your efforts!