Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Future of the RV Industry is Yours for the Taking

I’m not the first person - nor will I be the last - to share with you that the millennial generation, those 18-35 years old, is different than any other generation. They’ve been described as being non-committal, job-hoppers and easily distracted by technology — but they also offer the RV industry a great opportunity to capitalize on their desire for experiences and achieving true work-life balance well before retirement.

The goal for every dealer and OEM is to help them as a first time buyer and earn their loyalty so multiple purchases can be made throughout their lifetime. As a generation raised in the shadow of a recession, making a purchase as large as an RV can at times seem overwhelming. Millennials are often more prone to rental or sharing options rather than purchasing a unit themselves, which is why it is important to offer guidance and options throughout the process. As a dealer for instance, promoting payment options over unit price, developing leasing options, highlighting how your parts and services teams will continue to serve them into ownership and reinforcing that your relationship will continue long after the dotted line is signed. As an OEM, it all comes down to your brands image. These millennial consumers pay attention to brands that align with their values — so think about marketing campaigns that relate to their lifestyle, giving back to the larger community or promoting your brand’s unique value proposition. Focusing your efforts on creating an ongoing, positive brand experience will get you lots of points with the millennial buyer and help position you as a contender when they go to make their first and future purchases.

Even though the millennial generation has it’s “challenges”, they are looking to lead lives in line with the values of the RV industry — family and community focused, adventurous and free to roam. Engaging this generation may take more work on the front end, but they hold more opportunity than any other generation that has come before them.
Trader Online Web Developer

SEM 101

SEM 101

Search Engine Marketing - or SEM - has become an increasingly popular way to target consumers in your local market. Often referred to as paid search - these campaigns run across all of the major search engines, are incredibly customizable, and should be considered as part of a well-rounded digital marketing strategy.

While Pay-Per-Click campaigns are likely the most well-known type of paid search - there are other varieties that could peek your interest and be a good fit for your dealership. Since this is our 101 guide - we’re going to start by giving you an overview of each type of SEM campaign to help you get a firm understanding of how they work individually and together.

Pay Per Click

The most recognizable type of SEM campaign is a Pay-Per-Click or PPC campaign - you’ve likely seen one of these ads today. When you search for a product or service in Google, for example, PPC ads display at the top and bottom of the search results. They are distinguished from other search results by a small “Ad” icon.

What differentiates Paid Search ads from the other organic search results is that advertisers pay for each click on one of these ads - where you don’t have to pay for a click on an organic search result.

PPC campaigns are built on keywords, ads, and landing pages. Once you’ve identified keywords your customers might use to search for your products - you can bid on these keywords and have your ad displayed when a potential customer searches for one of these terms. You will be able to write custom ads that are relevant to these keywords and choose the webpage that these searchers will land on if they click on the ad.

Display Ads

Display ads are another option when it comes to paid search campaigns. These ads are more traditional banner ads - rather than a designation on a search result - and allow you to target ads to an audience that has been identified as in-market or that show an affinity for certain products or services
that you offer. To give you a real life example - since I am looking to upgrade my HVAC  system and researching that online - I’ve been identified as someone who could be interested in the Nest Thermostat - so now their ads are displaying while I check the weather, even though I've never visited their site.


Remarketing is also powered by banner ads and allows you to target past visitors to your website. Once a potential buyer has left your site - these ads follow them as they browse other sites or do subsequent searches related to your products. I’ve been searching on Amazon - and left that site to check the news on – and right there on, I see an ad encouraging me to return to Amazon to check out additional products.

And because we always want you to fully understand that value of your partnership with RV Trader - we want to reassure you that we have active campaigns in each of these SEM categories - all with the goal of driving potential buyers to your listings. RV Trader has a strong reputation with search engines and a dedicated team - all with the various certifications to qualify their expertise - focused on constantly improving these results. As we grow and hone our efforts - as a customer, your dealership will also benefit with the major search engines. Rest assured that we are always looking for the latest and most innovative ways to drive connections to you. And that’s just an added perk of being online with us.
Trader Online Web Developer

The RV Buyer: A Deeper Dive - Communication Expectations

As your partner in this industry - it is our job to provide you with as much insight and educations as possible - and what better thing to focus on than gaining a deeper understanding of your potential buyer? Lucky for you - RV Trader has the ability to run custom surveys to better understand the thoughts and needs of potential buyers - so this will be the first edition of a larger series breaking down some of the insights we’ve learned from these custom polls.* This month we will be focusing on a buyer’s preferences once they’ve contacted you about a particular vehicle.

So - let’s dive in. When it comes to a potential buyer’s contact preferences - they shared that:
  • 60% prefer to be contacted via email
  • 56% would like a response back within the same business day
  • 48% will wait one day for a response before they move on. 
  • 52% will contact another dealer if they don’t hear back in a timely manner.
  • Once a dealer contacts them - 55% plan to have the keys within a week

While these statistics all have individual implications in terms of how you should interact with a potential buyer - the big takeaway here is that these buyers are motivated. They have done their research, identified the amenities they need, the price they are comfortable with - and you have the unit they want. They are coming to your dealership with their research done and ready to buy.

But - and here is where the rubber meets the road - they aren’t above going to another dealership if your communication strategy isn’t up to snuff. They expect a good experience because this is a big purchase for them - and they want your customer service to reflect that.

Bottom line - these leads are yours to close - and as hard as it can be to get back to consumers quickly, it’s imperative that you do because they are ready to buy and are yours for the taking. 

*Hotjar 2016
Trader Online Web Developer