3 min read

Top 6 Ways to Market Low Auto Inventory in 2022

variety of cars at a dealership

When inventory is low, it is important to stay ahead of the competition. Read on to learn our six top tips for leveling up your marketing, attracting active buyers, and polishing your digital presence.

1. Advertise only the inventory that needs advertising

Try to pinpoint which vehicles you want to publicize over the next month and allocate your budget accordingly. The best way to do this is through marketing automation. Our proprietary technology and platform, MarketAI, collects real-time supply and demand data to calibrate the optimal exposure needed to sell a vehicle--whether new or used. The key benefit to using marketing automation is that you eliminate wasted advertising spend and increase your bottom line.

2. Focus on used vehicle marketing

With the current inventory shortage, we recommend a focus on used vehicle marketing. Used vehicles come with a lower Cost Per VDP – around half of that of new units – and inventory-based marketing allows you to avoid wasted ad spend on vehicles that may have sold already. With the shortage of new car inventory, the demand for used cars has risen, driving prices up. Ensure that you are turning used inventory quickly to take advantage of high margin sales opportunities.

3. Use high-efficiency, non-traditional media

With some of the auto industry still focused on traditional media, this is your chance to gain a competitive edge. All dealers are familiar with traditional TV ads that are created to get the dealer’s name in front of as many people as possible. The problem with this kind of ad is that often by the time a shopper is ready to buy, the vehicle they wanted from the ad has already been sold, leading to frustration. Towards the end of the buyer’s journey, buyers tend to know what kind of vehicle they want to purchase already. To get the sale, you need to show them that you have exactly what they are looking for in stock.

We recommend using video advertising that can be easily updated to reflect your inventory. ZeroSum created Auto-Stream, an inventory-based OTT/CTV platform built specifically for dealers. Auto-Stream targets potential buyers who are actively looking to buy a car in the next 15 days and serves them ads of vehicles on your lot that match their preferences through their favorite streaming services. The benefit of this type of marketing is that the customer sees only vehicles that you have in stock and are taken directly to the VDP where they can purchase the exact vehicle they were shown. The platform also creates and serves your ads which means a lower cost production and faster go-live than traditional media.

In addition to OTT/CTV advertising, it is important to reach your potential customers through social media. It may seem that everyone has an Instagram these days, and for good reason. Social media pages are the new auto brochures, and with 87% of buyers using social media to research before buying a car, clients are much more likely to check out your digital footprint before purchasing from you (The Business Journals).

4. Put your dealership in front of customers ready to buy

Now that advertising is everywhere we go, it can feel like we’re swimming in ads. It is important to stay mindful and intentional about which customers you’re targeting.

Our platform gathers billions of data points to pinpoint and pair an active auto buyer with the style of car (on your lot!) that they’re interested in purchasing. Through our data, we’re able to trace an active shopper’s activity and determine that they’re aiming to buy a car within a 15-day period. By providing a two-week window, your team can publicize the vehicles currently in your inventory and increase your turn-rate overall.

5. Increase turn rate and steal market share.

Want more vehicles to sell? Increase your manufacturer’s allocations by increasing your turn rate. ZeroSum’s MarketAI can help get vehicles off your lot faster by automatically determining how much marketing is needed to turn each vehicle and putting that vehicle in front of the right shoppers. Our high-quality data along with artificial intelligence allows us to understand the market better than anyone else and give you the competitive advantage that you’ve been looking for. Our insights go beyond the current state of the market to tell you where the industry is heading and what factors will influence sales the most.

6. Keep pricing competitive.

As a dealer, it is extremely important to ensure you always know how your pricing stacks up to competitors. Our platform shows you exactly where you stand in the market in real time so that you can make strategic decisions about price and win market share. These pricing insights, along with many other insights like market share, days on lot, and predicted sales, are shown on a dashboard in an easy, digestible format, saving you time and money.

Tackling and elevating your company’s marketing strategy is no small task, but we are here to help. See what we can do for your dealership: zerosum.ai/demo



About ZeroSum 
ZeroSum is a leader in software, marketing, and data. Powered by its SaaS platform, MarketAI, ZeroSum is simplifying and modernizing automotive marketing by leveraging artificial intelligence, data, and scaling ability to acquire new customers. ZeroSum is the first and only company that matches consumer demand with automotive data in real time. For more information, visit https://zerosum.ai


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