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2023 Digital Marketing Trends for Auto Marketers And Car Dealers

picture of moving vehicle zooming through the screen with augmented reality UI

The car retail industry is one of the most competitive industries today. As a car dealer marketer, it’s important for you to stay ahead of the curve and know about the latest digital marketing trends that can help you get the most out of your efforts. The year 2023 is just around the corner or you may be reading this in 2023 and it’s likely that the digital marketing landscape will look a lot different than it does today. To ensure that you’re ahead of the game, we compiled the list below: 

10 digital marketing trends that every car dealer marketer should be aware of in 2023:


1. Mobile Optimization

Mobile optimization will continue to be essential for car dealers in 2023. With more than 70% of web traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s important to ensure your website is optimized for mobile devices. This includes making sure your website is responsive, loading quickly, and has a user-friendly navigation.

2. Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is becoming more popular in the car retail industry and it’s something that every car dealer marketer should be aware of. AR can allow customers to view cars in virtual showrooms, customize their vehicle, and even take a virtual test drive.

3. Chatbots

Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular in the car retail industry. They can provide customers with quick answers to questions and even help with the booking process.

4. Video Content

Video channels like OTT and CTV are great ways to engage customers and showcase your vehicles. It can be used to promote new models, answer customer questions, and provide customers with a virtual tour of your dealership.

5. Voice Search Optimization

Voice search optimization is becoming increasingly important as more people use voice search technology to find cars. Make sure your website is optimized for voice search so customers can find your dealership easily.

6. Social Media Ads

Social media ads are a great way to reach potential customers. Leverage platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote your dealership and drive more traffic to your website.

7. Personalization

Personalization is key to providing a great customer experience. Use data-driven insights to provide customers with tailored content and offers that are relevant to them.

8. Automation

Automation can help you streamline processes and save time. Leverage automation tools to automate repetitive tasks and free up your time so you can focus on more strategic tasks.

9. Local SEO

Local SEO is essential for car dealers. Make sure your website is optimized for local searches so customers can find you easily.

10. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly important in the car retail industry. AI can help you optimize your digital marketing efforts and provide customers with a better experience. These are just some of the digital marketing trends that every car dealer marketer should be aware of in 2023. Staying ahead of the curve and leveraging the latest technologies can help you get the most out of your digital marketing efforts.


Are you ready for 2023?

Marketing channels that influence the path to purchase have shifted dramatically. Search Engine Marketing used to be the best bottom-of-the-funnel tactic because it caught buyers searching for a specific vehicle. But now, targeting data has become so good that more digital tactics can influence all stages of the marketing funnel.  

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Pay Attention To The marketing funnel Scramble 

In addition to these trends one a significant shift to be aware of in 2023 is where paid search falls in the marketing funnel. Historically, paid search has been a digital marketer’s go-to to capture low-funnel leads but with the advancements of social media, display and video advertising, it shares the spotlight. Dealers now use multiple media channels to deliver very specific inventory-based ads to active shoppers at the bottom of the funnel. This both saves money and increases sales. 

New paid search technology allows for dynamic, inventory-based paid advertising that eliminates wasted spend. With dynamic, inventory-driven paid search ads auto dealers can bid on specific vehicles they have in stock and eliminate wasted spend on sold units.   

Paid search also has an often-overlooked value: branding. Unclicked search ads are free impressions that will provide latent branding effects.  


Break free from the clutter 

Shoppers today are always plugged in, whether it be social media, YouTube or even connected TV sources like Hulu or Pluto. Platform adoptions provide plenty of opportunities to get in front of shoppers, but they also pose two problems: increased audience size and fragmentation.  

To break free from the noise and resonate with active shoppers, it is important to leverage multiple data sources, including a blend of first- and third-party data. You can read more about the importance of first-party data here. 

Context is more important than ever 

As digital algorithms advance it is increasingly important to deliver high-quality, engaging, and relevant content to customers because they have come to expect it. In the automotive space, this includes showing customized ads to shoppers that speak to their interests rather than that of the general population.   

 Without relevant content, shoppers won’t engage with what you have to offer, and you run the risk of giants like Facebook or Google, deprioritizing your content. That leaves plenty of room for competition to sneak in and get in front of active shoppers in your area.   


What's Next For Automotive Digital Marketing?

All digital marketing platforms have become more advanced over the last two decades. Take Google Ads as an example. When first launched, advertisers could only pay by impression for their ads to deliver on the right-hand side of search results. Today, Google offers much more control and features like ad extensions and responsive search ads.  

Similar advancements have happened in social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram which now offer advanced marketing options like retargeting and inventory-based ad creative.   

With this advancing technology, it’s important that savvy business owners reframe their take on marketing in 2022 and ask themselves, “Is my marketing funnel set up for success?”  

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