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Internet marketing fails to attract women buyers

A survey by online portal Yahoo! Cars reveals that most automotive marketers are failing to reach female car buyers.

The findings claim that despite an increase in time spent by women on the internet, automotive sites are failing to engage them. Just 15% visit an automotive site at least once a month compared to 41% of men.

Kevin Bauer, European general manager of Yahoo! Cars, says 80% of women surveyed identified the key advantages of the internet over other media as having the ability to get what they want quickly and to save time, while 52% cite the internet as an empowering tool that puts them in control. However, most automotive sites seem to be failing to offer these advantages.

Bauer feels targeting specific sectors of the buying public will become an increasingly important tool for motor retailers, and one that the internet is perfectly suited to delivering.

He says: “The industry is at the beginning stages of understanding the full opportunities of this technology. Many are guilty of simply copy and pasting what they have used for a press advert, but the opportunities are massive.”

He urges retailers to set up a dedicated system to handle your online leads. “Internet customers have specific needs, for example they expect far faster response times,” says Bauer.

Yahoo! Cars tracks customer phone calls to dealers. The successful ones have an average call time of five to six minutes. At the other end of the scale, some average 30 seconds. “In five or six minutes that dealer has probably booked a test drive. In 30 seconds, the best they are likely to have achieved is putting the caller on hold,” Bauer says.

He believes dealers need to better structure their marketing. “I’m not saying don’t advertise in a local newspaper. What I’m saying is think about how you use that space. Instead of two pages listing a hundred lines of stock, why not take out a quarter page, brand-style, advert and with the savings, run an online ad as well.”

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