9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog

Where automotive meets digital marketing.


Don’t Jump the Gun on Marketing Automation

First thing's first: We’re huge fans of marketing automation. But this shouldn't be news to our regular readers. After all, our team has already written about it here (and here and here and here…and here).

With our history of covering this subject here on the 9 Clouds Auto blog, you think we’d want everyone to automate — it connects you with the right people at the right time, after all.

But in reality, it’s not for everyone.

Dealerships need to hit the inbound marketing sweet spot before they attempt marketing automation, and it’s vital that you don’t automate too soon. 

What is Marketing Automation?

Even though we’ve written about marketing automation before, that doesn’t mean everyone has read our posts. We’re not vain enough to think you’re hanging on our every word. 😉

In a nutshell, marketing automation uses rules (a set of if/then statements) to determine which leads should get which communications. It takes a task that would be impossible to perform manually and enables an auto dealership to contact each individual lead with a personalized message.

It’s important to note that marketing automation will not spark the customer’s initial interest, though, and it’s definitely not closing the sale. That’s where your marketing and sales teams fill in the gap.

Why Should I Wait?

That sounds great, you’re thinking, why wouldn’t my dealership want to start right now?

With the limited staff at many auto dealerships and the intense pressure on marketing, automation seems like a no-brainer. But like we said before, there’s a reason you don’t want to automate too soon.

Marketing automation is a fairly advanced practice within inbound marketing. You have to start on the bunny hill before you take on the mountain, and we’ve found that dealers who push for early automation aren't necessarily prepared to process the resulting data.

In our experience, dealerships need to gain a fundamental understanding of inbound marketing and apply it before fully appreciating the power of marketing automation. Otherwise, there’s no chance the tools will meet their expectations, and that’s an easy way to ruin your inbound experience entirely.

What's Next for My Dealership?

Even though automation makes your life so much easier, your dealership needs to be prepared to use it properly. You don’t want to end up losing efficiency because no one understands the tools or the goal.

With a little time spent learning about digital marketing tools, you can prepare your dealership for an inbound campaign — and eventually, marketing automation.

And we’re here to help. Check out our list of free digital marketing tools you can try online to start your dealership’s inbound marketing campaign.


Image: Paul (VegasEddie) on Flickr