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What Is Conversation Marketing?

Xcel Media GroupBlog What Is Conversation Marketing?

What Is Conversation Marketing?

Do you listen to your customers or are you merely waiting for an “in” – an opportunity to pull them away from whatever it is they’re really trying to tell you and start hammering into their brains what you think they want to know.

It’s a fair question. You know the feeling of being in a conversation with someone and knowing they’re not really listening to you at all – they’re just waiting for their turn to speak…and they’re going to just blather on about themselves with no regard for what it was you were trying to convey to them. It’s all about them after all.

So, is your marketing – be it automotive direct mail or social media or traditional media – a conversation or is that spotlight always on you?

Of course, it’s marketing after all – so you can’t just toss the spotlight back onto your customer and expect them to run the proverbial show. However, what you can do is engage them in a more meaningful conversation. How? Well, pay attention to the customer that’s already engaged, for starters. If your Facebook page or Twitter feed has targets who are asking specific questions about specific pieces of your fleet, make sure your response isn’t a generic cut and paste: “why not come in and chat with one of or great salespeople and take a test drive!”; your response should be tailored to their needs.

Another way to present your dealership as one that’s interested in the needs of its customers is to go beyond just trying to sell sell sell – and engage them in a conversation with you as the expert. You can start a simple blog or twitter feed dedicated to maintenance tips and tune-ups and how to identify problems with their cars before they get out of hand. Your finance manager could offer weekly or monthly tips dedicated to helping them improve their credit so that they can qualify for even better financing deals when the time comes to get their next car. And, to really ramp this up, consider offering up a live Q&A session, perhaps a Google Hangout, where the resident dealership expert interacts directly with customers at a predetermined time.

The best part? These conversations and offerings up help and expertise can all easily be played up in your overall marketing efforts. Mention the weekly service-related Q&A sessions in your next service reminder automotive direct mail campaign – or invite them to a special credit repair class with your finance manager coinciding with your next big sales blitz. It doesn’t take much to show your customers you’re going the extra mile – so long as you are making the effort!

Jessica Mitchell

Jessica has been working in the automotive marketing industry since 2005. She has helped dealerships all over the country develop effective marketing strategies to retain their current customers and generate new ones.