Identifying Opportunities During Disruption

Part of our obligation as a firm is to update our clients with the most current information affecting the market, regardless of circumstance. As such, we understand how important it is to provide updates during the current COVID-19 pandemic as we continue to look at the data surrounding your dealership marketing strategies, as well as how they might be affected and what action items you can take now during this time.

First, despite what you may have heard, new car search interest has not wavered. We know from recently collected data that new car searches are still as strong as they were prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. This means it is imperative to stay the course and understand the opportunities that lie ahead. Next, as you might expect, YouTube watch time is increasing, primarily through the daytime hours. Leveraging video advertising has been a key component to any sound digital marketing strategy, but if there was a time to get on board or adjust your budget and message, it is now.

The third and perhaps most overlooked area of a dealerships marketing strategy is what the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are doing with the message being broadcast into your market. While we are unaware of any OEMs who may have stopped their digital marketing spends in-market, it is important to understand if there will be any changes to their strategy so you can plan accordingly (i.e., search, cable, etc.). Don’t hesitate to contact your local manufacturer representative or business center and understand their plans so you can best align yours.

Exposure is key during this time, and we know the right message will yield big wins in the long term. This exposure, however, does not have to come strictly from paid search campaigns or video pre-roll. There are several grass root initiatives that can also prove to be extremely beneficial to your customers. For instance, consider instituting delivery services for test drives or service appointments. You can also provide customers the ability to receive a custom walkaround video for a specific vehicle or simply offer to remotely handle their paperwork. If utilizing any of these recommendations, remember to advertise them on your site, e-blasts and other media outlets.

Ultimately, while COVID-19 may be creating obstacles in day-to-day life, your digital marketing should not have to be one of them. Search interest is strong, video views are on the rise and there are plenty of low-cost advertising methods that can help create awareness and build trust when we need it most.

About Dealerships

DHG Dealerships is one of the largest professional service teams providing assurance, tax and advisory services to dealers across the country. We collaborate with key industry stakeholders to enhance the insights we bring to our clients and provide them access to valuable resources. For more information, visit

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