Price and the availability of incentives and rebates continue to be two of the most important attributes for new-car shoppers.* Special Offers, one of the features of PowerDrive, are designed to attract shopper attention through advertising OEM- and dealer-specific offers throughout the consumer search process.

To learn more about how offers and incentives can help dealers differentiate their stores, DealerADvantage recently spoke with Ryan Esler, Sales and Marketing Director at Detroit-area George Matick Chevrolet.

Stand out

“You only get one chance to make a first impression, and a shopper’s first encounter with you isn’t when they walk into your store – it’s an online review they read, a vehicle listing they clicked on or an ad they saw,” said Esler. “People are going to look for things that stand out to them – we want our store to show up better, and be more inviting than any other option.”

The dealership, which was named one of Automotive News’ Best Dealerships to Work For and is in the top 30 Chevrolet dealerships nationally, has long been at the forefront of digital marketing, which Esler credits as one of the reasons the store is able to sell in excess of 150 new vehicles per month on average.

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Be consistent

For a car shopper, reading one offer in the newspaper, another on Cars.com, another in a TV or radio ad and yet another on the dealership website can be confusing, which is why Esler ensures that the same incentives and other specials offered by the dealership are communicated consistently throughout all of his advertising.

“Overall, we make sure our branding and promotional strategies are consistent across our advertising, whether that’s TV, radio, newspaper or online,” said Ryan Esler at George Matick Chevrolet in Detroit.  “In addition to communicating the same incentives information consistently in all of our advertising, we also make sure the look and feel are the same, the tagline appears consistently everywhere and they all convey the same message.”

Esler says that providing information – specials or otherwise – consistently across platforms helps differentiate his store because it reinforces the connection between his brand and an attractive promotion for shoppers whether they hear about Matick Chevrolet online, on the radio, in a television commercial or in a newspaper ad.

Customize

In addition to the OEM incentives loaded automatically into PowerDrive Special Offers, Esler enters in his own offers unique to his store, which match other offers advertised in the marketplace and provide specific lease and buy payments for people to consider.

“If a shopper is looking through inventory search results and you don’t have Special Offers, you’re among a handful of dealerships who are probably pricing their vehicles about the same,” said Esler.  “Offers provide that differentiating quality, encouraging customers to click on your vehicle instead of the one above or below it.”

*Burke, Website Optimization Research, 2011