Win Business by Helping the Customer On Their Journey
In my last blog I discussed micro-moments – the critical moments, as defined by Google, in a customer’s car buying journey. I also covered the importance of having a strategy that caters to and attracts a customer’s attention at each touch point.
The 5 moments Google defines as important are: Which car is best? ; Is it right for me? ; Can I afford it? ; Where should I buy it? And, Am I getting a deal?
In this blog, I’d like to share exactly which types of video you can create to cater to buyers at each of those critical moments. More importantly, I want to share the secret to “mastering the moments” using video content.
As you know, a successful marketing strategy isn’t about simply providing a car buyer with content, it is using the content that the car buyer is looking for to attract them into your sales funnel while moving them from stage to stage throughout the entire buying cycle. This is no different with Video Marketing.
One of the biggest mistakes I see dealerships make is to satisfy the consumer’s quest for a particular type of information (moment) in a video and then leave it up to the consumer to search and find the information that is now critical to the next moment.
The secret to “mastering the moments” is to make certain to provide the content (or quick access to the content) for the next “moments” at the same time you are satisfying the current moment. In this way, you make it easy for the shopper to move from one moment to the next, become a trusted source of information to the shopper and keep them in your sales funnel.
- Which car is best? – This phase is typically the beginning of any car buyer’s journey. The moment can be as quick as seeing a car they like and deciding they want it; to as long as knowing they need a new car, but having no idea which will work for them. Of course, consumers have many choices in vehicle brands and your objective at this point is to convince a shopper that your brand is the best decision for them.
This moment is heavily dominated by OEM advertising, as brands compete for return and conquest buyers. Unfortunately, you aren’t just competing against other brands, you are competing against other dealerships that offer the same brands that you offer as well. This means that you must provide the same (or similar) content as your OEMs so that you will attract the car buyers to your “path to the sale.” To help the customer make that decision about “which car is best?” be sure to market your own Model Review and Model Comparison videos.This phase is also heavily influenced by the shopper’s peers and automotive experts, so Review Videos and video content containing “user experience” from “other shoppers” are great types of videos to market at this phase as well. Shoot a couple of quick videos of a new customer talking about their experience with a previous brand and why they chose you (your brand) this time, versus the brand they were driving.Most importantly, now that you’ve satisfied the shopper’s quest for information at this moment, make it easy for the shopper to move on to the next moments by having your “Is it right for me”; “Can I afford it”; “Where should I buy it”; and “Am I getting a good deal” content available at the same time and from the same location as your “Which car is best” content. Another important trick at this time is to also ask the shopper if they would like a “personalized walkaround” of any particular Model, Trim, or a specific vehicle from your inventory.
- Is it right for me? – Now that a shopper is feeling confident about their direction after their research in the previous moment, they need to start looking at specific vehicle features to make certain that they match their wants and needs. You can easily move the shopper from the “Which car is best” moment to the “Is it right for me” moment by having New Model Test Drive, Trim Specific Features & Options, and VIN Specific Inventory Videos available for the shopper to watch at the same time they are watching their “Which car is best” video content.This is another great time to utilize the “Request a Personalized Walkaround” call to action, as mentioned above. It is at this moment that the shopper will start having some very real questions that only the dealership can answer.
- Can I afford it? – Now that you’ve moved the shopper through the “Is it right for me” moment and they can visualize themselves owning a particular vehicle, you can make it extremely easy to move the shopper to the “Can I afford it” moment by having content such as Rebates, Incentives, and Special Pricing dynamically display on each video that is relevant. Make certain that this content is able to update in real-time so that it can be continually updated without having to create new video content.You can include quick access conversion widgets on your videos such as Get Pre-Approved, Receive a Lease Quote, Value Your Trade, etc., so that the shopper doesn’t have to leave the video of the vehicle that they are interested in to go searching for their “Can I afford it” answers. The easier you make the process for a shopper, the more shoppers will stay in your pipeline, trust you for their information, and will not have to venture off to go looking for the information they are seeking.
- Where should I buy it? – Now we get into more familiar video marketing territory. This stage is where “Why Buy from Us”; “Why Buy from Me”; and “Why Buy from Them (Testimonial) videos become extremely important. We know that people buy from people they like, and you have the ability at this moment to make a real emotional connection with a customer via video. Rather than simply being a website, or generic dealership, a good video can easily sway a customer into giving you the first crack at their business. Remember, this moment doesn’t necessarily start at the end of the buying cycle, the shopper is looking for someone to trust throughout the entire buying cycle. Each of these videos should in fact be included for each moment, along with all of the previously mentioned videos.Again, don’t make the consumer think about what they want to do next and then have to go find the content. Have the content there and lead the consumer from moment to moment.Once the shopper does reach out to you with any question throughout the entire buying cycle, the use of Lead Response and Appointment Confirmation videos will have a huge impact on building that trust relationship with the shopper and satisfy the “Where should I buy it” moment through the relationship that you’ve built.
- Am I getting a deal? – If a customer has followed your lead throughout their car buying journey, the answer to this question, while important, almost becomes insignificant. People are willing to pay more for a vehicle if they feel comfortable with the business, like their sales person, and have a great customer experience.If, at this stage, you have provided the shopper with an excellent experience; and you focus your efforts on reassuring a customer that you will continue to provide them with an excellent experience after their purchase; you should be able to win their business — even if a competitor is slightly less.That said, Google states in their study that 50% of shoppers with mobile while standing on a competitor’s lot. So, not only is it important to have your Inventory Videos (as well as Testimonial Value Proposition videos) on your VDP Pages. It is also important to have your competitor’s Geo-Targeted so that you can present a “last chance” offer to a shopper when they watch your videos from one of your competitor’s lots — and even receive an alert from your CRM if your video data is integrated with your CRM.
While not all-inclusive, this list should get you off to a good start as far as having content available that helps consumers answer the questions posed in these five moments. And this will help to position your dealership at the top of the food chain for their business.
Will You Be There Whenever Your Customers Need You?
In video marketing, many people think that to simply start making videos is enough. While it’s certainly a great start, there’s actually a lot more to it. In fact, I’d even go so far to say that simply beginning to make video at your dealership is more like showing up for your first day of football practice. The coach didn’t simply split everyone into two teams and have a game — chances are good that you did a whole bunch of running, pushups and other physical exercise until you threw up. You may have even done this twice a day — in the summer — and who knows how long it was before you actually — wait for it — touched a football! Do you think this practice, which happens every year on countless high school, college and professional football fields across the world doesn’t work? Of course it does. The point is that to be effective at the game, you must be in shape AND know the game plan!
I talk all of the time about the importance of having a strategy in your video marketing. That strategy includes multiple pieces — only one of which is actually picking up a camera and taking video. You have to know the game plan for the video before you can ever make an effective one. Just like you need to know where your wide receiver will be before you throw the football.
An article by ThinkwithGoogle.com perfectly captures this strategy. The article discusses micro-moments and describes them as Want-to-Know moments. Want-to-go moments. Want-to-do moments and Want-to-buy moments. These are the critical opportunities for brands and, according to the article, are the new battleground. In these moments consumers take immediate action, demand quality, relevance and usefulness. And will give their business to the brands that accomplish this the best.
So, what’s the strategy they recommend brands follow to win with consumers?
- Make a moments map. This means to simply identify the set of moments that your customer’s have in their journey. In a study released earlier this year by Google’s Automotive Division, the magic 5 moments are – which car is best, is it right for me, can I afford it, where should I buy it, and am I getting a deal. Keep in mind that these are only the buying moments. There are plenty of other moments. The buying journey is only one journey that leads them to your dealership. Service is another.
- Understand customer needs in-the-moment. While this is very basic, it is also one of the most important parts of the strategy. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes at each phase that you identified in your moments map and ask yourself what they want to know or what would be most helpful. Remember that to win the game, you need to provide quality and relevance. And, above all, be useful!
- Use context to deliver the right experience. Wherever possible, integrate context through geo-location or time of day to deliver experiences that feel as if your message was made just for them.
- Optimize across the journey. It is important to have a presence at each phase of the customer’s journey. And also ensure that your content is optimized for whatever device they are on. It’s very possible that one moment is visited on a mobile device, while the customer may continue their journey on a desktop. Make sure that wherever they are, your video content is optimized to deliver the best customer experience.
- Measure every moment that matters. This is one of the most important things in any marketing strategy, not just video. Inability to measure the successes (or failures) in your activities will inhibit you from discovering what actually works and will prevent you from increasing your effectiveness.
Don’t let the term micro-moments distract you. Each of these phases in the customer journey have always existed. The difference is that now almost everyone has the ability to access this information instantly from anywhere. So, the timelines have decreased exponentially. While it could take one customer months to get from the beginning of their journey to your dealership, it could very easily take another customer minutes to navigate through their whole journey.
Once you’ve created a strategy, the two-a-days are over. Now let’s pick up that camera and play some football!