Finance firms have urged dealers not to forget the basic objectives of marketing programmes.
John Hughes, director of broker Mann Island, said: “Word of mouth remains the most important customer loyalty and sales creation programme.
“The challenge is that it is not a quick win. It requires an ongoing rigorous approach to customer care and quality. That means traditional service values and the widest selection of finance providers.”
David Challinor, The Funding Corporation managing director, said the non-prime lender’s used car retail arm did little paid-for advertising: “ACF Car Finance uses a combination of social media, affiliate marketing, recommend-a-friend schemes, editorial press coverage and high-visibility dealership locations.”
But the single most potent source of sales leads was referrals from finance intermediaries and dealers, said Challinor.