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How Can You Leverage Mobile Marketing For Sales?

July 7, 2011

Mobile marketing has become a key part of any business’s online selling and customer interaction strategy. 93% of the U.S. population now has a phone – and 40% of them own smart phones. What is your dealership doing to take advantage of this massive and ever-expanding marketing opportunity? Here’s a great write-up from to get you thinking. To read the full article, which includes sections dealing with mobile apps and tips for retaining and reselling consumers, follow this link to its original location.

Mobile Marketing Mania

Written by Alex Rodrigues
Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Mobile mania is officially here. It is not the future, it is now. And it’s going to dominate how dealerships interact and market to their customers.

Already, 93 percent of the U.S. population has a mobile device, and 40 percent have smart phones or mobile web devices. At some point in 2013, more people will access the internet using a mobile device than they will with a PC. In 2010 alone, mobile web browsing jumped 32 percent while there was a 90 percent increase in mobile app users.

Mobile Commerce

The kicker is that people are using their mobile devices to conduct business—researching and shopping for products, even buying and selling products. Clearly, people are becoming more comfortable using their smart phones for various activities. People spend what amounts to 125 years every day playing the popular game Angry Birds. On eBay, a mobile transaction occurs every second; and recently, 72,000 burgers were sold in 72 hours via a Groupon coupon.

According to a recent study conducted by Ipsos OTX on behalf of Google, 78 percent of smart phone owners use their phones for shopping. “It’s happening faster than all of our internal projections,” Google Chairman Eric Schmidt told attendees at the Interactive Advertisers Bureau Leadership Conference in April of this year. There are more than 200 million YouTube videos played on mobile devices daily, he notes.

The study for Google is hardly the only example. Even, investment firm Morgan Stanley estimates more than $119 billion in commerce will be conducted over mobile devices by 2015.

Automotive Mobile Opportunity

Numerous studies indicate much of that commerce will happen in automotive. A recent study by mobile ad platform GreyStripe shows that 78 percent of the people planning to buy a vehicle in the next 12 months will use some sort of touch smart web device (iPhone, iPod Touch, Android) during the purchase process.

“Industry studies show approximately 17 percent of the U.S. mobile audience are ‘auto-intenders’—people who will buy a new car over the next six months,” says Sean Wolfington, owner of “With 20 million auto-intenders in the mobile universe and one of three of them using a mobile device at some point during their vehicle search process, car dealers need to capture this market.”, which developed a mobile application four years ago, gets 18 percent of its traffic today from mobile devices., meanwhile, is getting nearly a million hits a month with its mobile application. Traffic patterns indicate mobile users were most interested in finding vehicles for sale and locating a dealer, versus some of the more in-depth auto reviews and “research and compare” functionality. Like, much of the traffic occurs on the weekends.

According to the GreyStripe study, 48 percent of the people who say they will use a mobile web-enabled device in their vehicle search will conduct initial research into vehicles; 44 percent will compare prices of different dealerships while on the lot; 32 percent will find a dealership using their mobile device; and 23 percent will actually use their mobile device to contact a dealership.

Using Mobile Solutions to Serve and Sell Consumers

One observation regarding the growth of smart mobile devices is that customers have greater access to information and often are more informed about the vehicle than even the dealership salesperson is. So, IntellaCar is putting a different spin on mobile apps creating one that is for dealership usage. It has developed an app for the iPad and other mobile devices that help salespeople promote the dealership, vehicles, finance, accessories, and service. “Since most customers research online before visiting a dealership, they often know more than most salespeople about the vehicle they are considering, and this knowledge gap can hurt a salesperson’s credibility,” says Jim Hughes, cofounder of IntellaCar.

IntellaCar’s app helps salespeople quickly access product benefits that are tailored to the customers’ hot buttons (safety, performance, comfort, convenience, etc.), walk-around videos, pictures, videos about the dealership, certified programs, leasing, finance products, and accessories, along with introducing the customer to the service department.

“When used properly in the sales process, these showroom apps help salespeople increase their closing ratios, average gross profits and CSI, because they can answer questions quickly while also building value in the dealership and the products they sell,” says Bruce Polkes, Hughes’ partner at IntellaCar.

Sales consultants typically see an impact in the first week using IntellaCar, with results such as selling two to four more vehicles each per month while generating up to 30 percent higher gross and 47 percent higher CSI.

Dealers are also giving service customers access to these apps on iPads in the service lounge where they can view videos about additional services like car detailing, dent removal, and even new and used vehicle specials.

Get On Board Now

The time to put a mobile strategy in place is now. “The rate of adoption for dealers leveraging mobile solutions seems to be much faster than it was for the internet,” Wolfington, of Tier10 Marketing, explains. “A lot of dealers took a ‘wait and see’ posture when the internet first arrived, but it seems like they are reacting faster this time around.”

Dealers are learning that mobile is a cost effective way to stay in front of the customer. “We get a lot of leads from our app for a fraction of the cost of internet leads,” says Brian Benstock, co-owner of Paragon Honda and Acura, the top selling Honda and Acura dealer.

Dealers that get it and understand technology are going to be the businesses consumers want to interact with. It’s time to get ready with a clear mobile strategy that integrates into existing marketing plans.

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