Profit from the Mobile Wave

By: John Possumato

Profit from the Mobile Wave

Eight out of 10 auto shoppers now use their smartphone to shop for vehicles, according to a Greystrip Media Study and eMarketer. This isn’t really as shocking as it sounds when you consider mobile trends on a macro level: the ratio of text messages to calls is 3.75 to 1; the average cell phone user makes 5 calls a day (Pew); the average mobile user sends 582 text messages per month; 55% of all cell phone users access the Internet via their phone (Pew); and 31% of all cell phone users say they use their mobile Internet more than their computer.

The fact is, mobile marketing tools produce immediate and trackable metrics for your dealer client. No undefined “brand awareness” broadcast specials; these tools produce prospect engagement responses daily, weekly and monthly. Your dealer can track who responds, who walks in, who gives them business in sales or service. The value is clearly visible in the metrics, every day.

You should consider adding a comprehensive portfolio of mobile marketing platforms and tools to offer your dealer clients, now, before automotive retailers recognize the potential of this market. Then everyone wins and is ahead of the inevitable trend – your dealer clients, their prospects and customers, and you. These are tools and services that your dealer clients will thank you for, and provide you with substantial residual income month after month.

Mobile is not a fad, it’s here to stay, it is already an integral part of daily life, and is destined to become more so, with geometric growth in all demographics, going forward. This is already profoundly affecting the way consumers receive and respond to all marketing messages, and how they shop today. For your car dealer clients, as dramatically as the Web reduced the effectiveness and reach of newspaper advertising for automotive shoppers, the mobile device is already beginning to decimate the effectiveness of computer driven Web based promotion, unless a retailer mobilizes their efforts.

Overall, mobile marketing methods also offer some of the most inexpensive, effective marketing tools offered to automotive retailers, relative to any other forms of customer acquisition or retention marketing or promotion. Even with substantial mark-up, mobile marketing tools are so inexpensive that almost any dealer, large or small, can leverage them immediately to produce immediate results.

Here’s a list of some of the mobile marketing platforms and tools available today:

Mobile Sites: Web sites specifically designed and configured for a mobile device.

Mobile Apps: Phone Apps specifically designed for a dealer’s unique services, listed in the iPhone or Android App stores under the dealer’s name.

Text Message Marketing: A unique dealership keyword with a “shortcode”, such as “Text INFO to 12345” where the prospect receives a text with the dealer message, and your dealer then has the prospect’s subject of interest and their cell phone number.

Customized QR Codes: Just like regular QR codes, only embedded with the dealership’s logo or any other visuals for a greater response rate.

TextChat: All the benefits of regular phone chat, but the dealership has a complete dashboard record of every prospect chat conversation, and one touch import of that information into the CRM.

Send2Phone: A “Send2Phone” button next to all inventory pages on a Web site, mobile site, app, etc., that sends the prospect a text message with specific vehicle information.

Window Sticker Texting: A note on each vehicle window that says “For detailed information on this vehicle, Text ‘last six of Vin’ to 12345” – a text message with a link to the vehicle details is sent to the prospect, and, again the dealer has the prospect’s cell phone number and vehicle of interest.

Let’s close with a few statistics you should think about. By 2013 the primary way people will access the Internet will be via their mobile browser, according to Gartner; 90 percent of all U.S. citizens have their mobile device within reach 24/7, according to Morgan Stanley; and according to Mobile Marketer, 70 percent of all mobile searches result in action within 1 hour.

This article was written by:

- has written 1 posts on Agent Entrepreneur.

John Possumato is the founder, president & CEO of Automotive Mobile Solutions LLC, a comprehensive mobile marketing technology company dedicated to automotive retailers. Both a serial automotive industry entrepreneur and a retail sales floor veteran, Possumato has over 28 years of car industry leadership experience, having founded three other industry focused companies. Possumato began his automotive career as the owner/operator and sales manager of a small single point Chrysler store, and transformed it into the second fastest-growing small business in New Jersey, and the fifth largest volume Chrysler store in the nation in 1990.

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