Disrupt the customer journey

The customer journey is a popular topic of discussion in the world of digital marketing. These days, it’s not as simple as someone seeing a boat ad in the newspaper and coming into your dealership to purchase it. The constant connectivity that our digital world creates makes it easier to reach prospects and customers, but also requires more strategy and creativity to make your message effective. The constant ability to connect also creates a constant chance for distractions. Targeted Digital Advertising strategies, which help retailers reach consumers both online and offline as well as outside of the search engine, help to disrupt the customer journey and capture attention of likely prospects.

Emphasis is often put on Search Engine Optimization and Marketing (SEO and SEM) when digital advertising comes to mind. While these are highly valuable tools that should be used in addition to other strategies, it’s important to remember that people take part in other online activities that present advertising opportunities as well. When someone begins their initial research on a boat purchase, they likely visit non-dealership websites like industry-related blogs, news sites, and other platforms. Behavioral Targeting provides a way to reach online users reading content relevant to your dealership on other sites. It also allows you to reach customers making in-site searches using keywords relevant to your dealership. In both scenarios, Behavioral Targeting lets you advertise your dealership to online users demonstrating behavior that makes them a likely prospect based on the content they are reading and searching for.

Once an online user has visited and left your site, Website Retargeting can help remind them about the boat purchase they were considering. Website Retargeting ads follow online users to other sites they visit online, even showing them the exact unit they were looking at, encouraging them to return. These online users have clearly expressed interest in your dealership by visiting your site in the first place, so it makes sense to continue to reach out to them.

Video ads provide another way to capture customers’ attention throughout their journey, and these can reach online users both browsing websites and using apps. Pop-up video ads are powerful and memorable. Similarly, Video & OTT/CTV Advertising reaches people streaming video content on platforms like Apple TV and Xbox. Quickly taking the place of traditional TV commercials, ads that run for the video streaming audience present a unique opportunity to reach prospects during their downtime.

Targeted Digital Advertising isn’t limited to online activity, either. Geofence Targeting allows retailers to draw a map around any location (think the local boat dock, or your competitor across town) and target ads via mobile device to those who visit that place. These people are visiting a location that signals a likely interest in the boats you sell, so intercepting them with an ad for your dealership can make a big impact. Your ads can reach these location visitors both during their visit and for up to thirty days after. The ideal scenario would bring that person into your dealership after seeing your ad. Geofence Targeting makes it possible to reach prospects digitallywho are making in-person choices related to your dealership.

These strategies help your business command the attention of prospects who are likely to become customers for your dealership. Techniques that let you disrupt the customer journey increase your dealership’s chances of earning more conversions and achieving the best possible return on investment from your marketing efforts.

Lauren Labunsky is the public relations manager for Dealer Spike, a company that provides innovative websites as well as a suite of powerful online advertising solutions that help marine dealers help increase sales and service profitability. For more information, visit www.DealerSpikeMarine.com or call 800-288-5917.

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