Kraft Nissan Improves Marketing Results, and Efficiency, Using Four Strategies
As dramatic disruption continues to hit the automotive industry, dealerships can benefit greatly by proactively reviewing their overall marketing strategy to incorporate new digital marketing methods and leverage internal resources to be more efficient. Kraft Nissan was bold enough to look in the mirror and do just that, unlocking both operational efficiencies and discovering a new digital marketing strategy that garnered some very positive outcomes.
The results: Kraft Nissan was able to drive over 17,000 leads into their dealership.
In 2022, Mason McFalls, Digital Marketing Manager, led an initiative to review Kraft Nissan’s entire marketing strategy. McFalls explained, “after completing the review, we conducted some initial tests and immediately started to see leads coming into the dealership. After some refining, I came to believe that there were four main areas that our dealership should focus on to maximize results while reducing overall marketing costs.”
As with Kraft Nissan, McFalls“ encourages dealers to look for lead generation and cost saving opportunities” in the following ways:
1) CRM/DMS Internal Email Marketing (Human Driven) – McFalls believes that if a dealership isn’t making the most of their own customer database by delivering a steady weekly marketing email to their customers, they are missing a huge opportunity to leverage one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to drive sales leads. “Each week our sales team sends email directly to their prospective customers,” McFalls explained. “When sending manual emails, the key is to be consistent and send a high ratio of informational emails in relation to special offer related emails to provide insights that savvy customers appreciate. In addition, we find that many of our prospective customers want to understand what is happening in the market place, as well as how our dealership can help them with whatever automotive needs they may have,” he said.
Kraft Nissan Results: An additional 500 leads per month through using this simple, internal campaign-style strategy, emailed by our sales team directly to the prospective customer, resulting in 6,000 additional leads annually.
2) Text Marketing (Automation)– “Text-based marketing is the future of marketing for most businesses. It is 100% the single most effective tool to add to your dealership marketing ‘toolbelt’ to drive an enormous number of qualified leads, interest from the DMS,” said McFalls.
Kraft Nissan selected the Chatterspot full-service text automation solution, “which proved to be a great investment, as the cost for the entire year was recouped in the first month. I believe they are best-in-class when it comes to text-based marketing,” said McFalls.
“Chatterspot leverages data that is typically sits dormant within the DMS, which is not easy to access and difficult to leverage for most dealerships,” said McFalls. “Chatterspot first mines the data, then runs a series of data filters and audits to follow TCPA compliance. Next, Chatterspot optimizes the customer data and deploys campaign automations that trigger the delivery of relevant and timely text messages to customers – at an appropriate frequency. Chatterspot also assigned a Performance Manager to work closely with us to ensure marketing and brand continuity, campaign refinement, as well as monitor the performance of the campaign strategy.”
Kraft Nissan Results: In just a 4-month period, Chatterspot generated just over 3,000 text-based leads for both sales and service. Annualized at 9,000 leads.
3) Event Driven Email Marketing (Automation)– McFalls explained that “this type of marketing will send email to your customers when they fall within a specific criterion, automatically.” For example, if a customer has a high-dollar service expense, based on DMS data, then a branded email will be automatically sent to the customer that highlights the benefit of trading in their vehicle versus the prospect of continuing to pay higher maintenance and repair cost throughout the life of the vehicle. “Our dealership, again, worked exclusively with Chatterspot to leverage their email automation technology for this type of marketing,” said McFalls. There are dozens of automated triggers that you can set up with Chatterspot, including dealership specific automations, to drive optimal results with this event-driven email marketing strategy.
“In addition to the email automations and a dedicated Performance Manager, the other advantage to using Chatterspot is they offer several tools to enable customers to easily opt-in using web forms, QR Codes, and text-to-join options that are TCPA compliant for text, and CAN-SPAM compliant for email,” he explained.
“Also included in the service is a unique feature that Chatterspot calls a ‘virtual scratch-off’ to drive customer engagement. The virtual scratch-off works just like scratching off a lottery ticket, except with this you rub your finger on the mobile phone screen to reveal a special offer. It is really engaging! If the customer is interested, they simply click a link that takes them to our online scheduling system. It can be sent either by email or text, and it has been a big hit with our customers.”
Kraft Nissan Results: In that same 4-month period, Chatterspot generated an additional 3,000 leads for our service lane using their “Virtual Scratch-off” product and event-driven email automations.
4) Mass Area Email Marketing (Human Driven)– Kraft Nissan uses mass area email marketing as a conquest weekend replacement strategy. “Instead of spending a high concentration of marketing budget in one weekend for 33% of the cost, a dealership can achieve the same result by simply buying all their market data from a reputable, permission-based list company and creating a steady email drip campaign,” said McFalls. “As with CRM/DMS internal email marketing (same as strategy #1) the messaging can be much more generic to include automotive market outlook and insights.”
Kraft Nissan Results: This is the newest marketing strategy that Kraft Nissan started in the month of November, and has yielded 32 showroom visits, 10 sold, and 2 deposits. This strategy is one-third the cost of a conquest event weekend, and achieves the same result - with the added benefit of greater dealership marketing efficiency, inventory control and labor utilization.
When done properly, these four marketing strategies provide:
- A significant increase in lead generation effectiveness.
- More service lane activity, and vehicle acquisition volume.
- Improved brand loyalty generating more repeat business.
- Personalized customer experience contributes to better online reviews and surveys.
- More efficient marketing budget, that achieves real results.
“If a dealer starts to use these strategies, it is my belief that the only problem a dealership will have- which is a good problem - is they will not have the people power to respond to all of the leads appropriately,” explained McFalls. In Kraft Nissan’s case, “we chose to work with BDC United, a highly professional, experienced lead handling and appointment setting service that specializes in the automotive industry. This solution enabled us to immediately handle a significantly higher volume of leads in the most effective way possible.”
“Kraft Nissan’s partnership with Chatterspot and BDC United has proved to be the perfect recipe for success,” said McFalls. “We increased our overall numbers across the board while significantly reducing our overall marketing budget.”
As McFalls considers2023, he believes that this will be a year of efficiency. “Dealers will simultaneously need to reduce spending across the board, including marketing, and yet somehow find a way to achieve better results. This will require dealerships to improve internal processes, partner with the right service providers, and challenge themselves to think outside the box when it comes to past practices, like our conquest weekend replacement strategy,” said McFalls. “This is how dealerships will get to that new efficiency goal for 2023!”