The world around us is so different from 6 months ago, that is for certain. In a matter of weeks or in some cases, days, car dealers were rushing to transition their automotive digital marketing campaigns from “stop by our store” to “shop with us online.” The general fatigue that the American population may feel is real – but dealerships still need to do business. So how does a car dealership continue to grow and thrive in less than optimistic times? What better way to lift the spirits of your local customers and continue to create brand intimacy and loyalty, than highlighting a cause that you feel passionate about?
Let your digital marketing tell the mission behind your business. According to Inc.com, “The 2018 Cox Business Consumer Pulse on Small Businesses survey polled 1,100 consumers and found that 71 percent of people who responded said they would spend more money at a small business if it supported a positive social or environmental cause.”
We have recently seen automotive digital marketing campaigns that really highlight the good that these brands and businesses are doing and we wanted to take a moment to share some of our favorites.
Subaru’s “Love the Earth” Initiative
Subaru has always done a fantastic job of highlighting the causes that are important to the brand, so it’s no surprise that when Photojournalist, Stuart Palley, began showing footage of his Subaru Outback in pursuit of California wildfires, the brand leapt at the opportunity to highlight a serious environmental issue and the capabilities of the traversing rugged and outright dangerous terrain in the Outback. This campaign also gave the OEM the opportunity to share their new partnership with the National Forest Foundation.
Here’s what we love about it: We give Subaru five stars for the fact that the brand is passionate about the causes they believe in and always have a philanthropic tie to their car sales. This brand is passionate about giving back and it shows with this campaign and others like it, like the annual Subaru, “Share the Love” event.
Jeff Schmitt Automotive Group’s “You Drive, They Thrive” Campaign
Jeff Schmitt Auto Group has a passion for rescue animals, and in an effort to support their local Humane Society, they donate funds for every person that came in to take a test drive for a particular period of time each year. Their dealerships also host adoption events and feature pets on their Facebook pages. The campaign was implemented across their social media platforms and on their dealership website. By the close of the campaign in March of 2020, Jeff Schmitt Auto Group had raised $10,000 for the Dayton Humane Society, even with the pandemic ramping up on it’s heels!
Here’s what we love about it: This event has become an annual campaign for the auto group. It’s something that their local community looks forward to and gives so many new homes to animals in their community. It also generates new foot traffic and digital traffic for the dealerships. Never discount the value of new digital traffic. Though 100% of these customers may not make a purchase today, they can easily be remarketed to once they hit the dealership’s website. Through consistent online exposure to your brand in their newsfeeds and online, your dealership will be the first they think of when it is time to purchase a new vehicle.
Minnesota Truck Headquarters’ “Race to 300” Campaign
Minnesota Truck Headquarters (MTH) has an annual charity campaign where they donate funds for every car sold. Their goal is to sell 300 cars within a 60 day period, with the potential to donate $60,000 to local charities. MTH has a major presence on their social media platforms, so when the opportunity arose to let their customers have a say in which organizations were selected, they thought of no better way to do so than to poll their local audience online. This fall will mark the third year for the event!
What we love about it: MTH’s charity event gives their customers the opportunity to feel invested in the event even before the event starts. By polling their customers on their website and their social media, they are bringing new customers and followers to their digital showroom and giving those customers ownership of the outcome of the event itself.
If you are looking for new ways to engage your local audience during this time, reach out to us at Dealer Authority. Our team of digital marketing experts have years of automotive digital marketing experience, and we use that experience to build creative, engaging, and lead generating digital marketing campaigns for our clients. The times we will currently live in may seem uncertain, but if we all work together to bring positivity and support to our communities, we all thrive.