How the ZIP Code can Help Auto Dealerships
The zip code was first invented to help make the US Postal Service more accurate and efficient in delivering mail, but it can also be revolutionary for online marketing. Dealerships could, and definitely should, use zip code marketing to its fullest potential – otherwise, they are just tossing profit out the window.
Target Specific Ads towards Specific Communities
Zip code-level marketing isn’t just about targeting customers in a dealership’s immediate area. Of course, everyone in the immediate area should be targeted - people are more likely to visit a dealership if it is convenient for them – but they should not be targeted with the same messaging. Every area around a dealership has different zoning (commercial vs. residential), different income levels, and different lifestyles. To best cater to specific neighborhoods, use zip code-level marketing to pinpoint a dealership’s ideal customer base and send them messages that are specific to their wants and needs.
These messages don’t necessarily need to be sent through the mail – although zip codes started with the US Postal Service, they can be used just as meaningfully through websites like Google and Facebook. Social media sites display their advertisements and search results through zip codes, and dealerships can take advantage of this.
People tend to cluster in areas with other people similar to them. For example, neighborhoods near a college tend to be filled with college students. Use zip code-level marketing to advertise cars specific to college students (such as a used sedan) in this specific neighborhood. On the other hand, a suburban neighborhood filled with families isn’t going to respond as well to the used sedans - but one could use the same strategy to target this neighborhood with ads pertaining to mini-vans.
Local Customers Lead to Higher Profits
Customers that travel further to buy a car off an automotive dealership’s lot are more focused on getting the cheapest deals. This means that they are less likely to buy upgrades, packages, and warranties, and they definitely won’t be coming back for service visits. When it proves time for their next vehicle purchase, their loyalties won’t lie with that specific dealership, but with the cheapest price.
Studies show that the highest profits for a dealership come from local customers. Local customers live nearby and will return again for service visits and vehicle purchases. They value reputation and involvement in the local communities. Local customers will feel that a local dealership is trustworthy and convenient – familiar with their commute, wants, and needs. Targeting local zip codes for exactly what they might be looking for is a great way to get the local residents to depend on and trust in a dealership, and that trust will equal higher profits for its business in the end.
To conclude, “precision marketing” is a big buzzword in marketing for a reason. Since everyone has the ability to target specific customers with specific messaging, why not take advantage of it? All dealers would be foolish not to use zip codes to their advantage in today’s competitive market.