According to Jared Hamilton of DrivingSales, the traditional approach of influencing shoppers through a fixed buying funnel doesn’t always align with present-day shopper behavior.

“Customers go on a journey, and it’s never a linear path,” he said during an interview with DealerADvantage from the NADA expo floor, where he shared the following tips to help dealers effectively market to potential customers throughout their entire shopping experience.

Play to your strengths

Jared recommended dealers look closely at what makes them unique and valuable to potential customers. With a defined brand, dealers can tailor their message to consistently target shoppers throughout the buying process.

Stand out with new-car shoppers

For new-cars shoppers especially, finding an available vehicle isn’t always a challenge. Price and features are often comparable between dealerships, so consumers look to differentiating factors like special offers and ease of purchase to help steer their decision.

Measure Value Beyond the Last Click

Because consumers rely so heavily on online research and visit so many different sources, Jared encouraged decision makers to look at all customer touch points – not just the last interaction — when measuring the performance of their marketing investments.

What steps are you taking to optimize the way you reach customers? Let us know in the comments below!

Related:

Have you met the NEW new-car shopper?

#NADA2013 Discussion: Understanding the consumer journey

Get the facts about new-car shoppers