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Micro-moments: Convert Online Leads into Sales Every Time!

Todd Lawson

Fact: the fastest way between two points is a straight line. A prospect’s journey, on the other hand, is anything but. From the seed of considering to buy a vehicle, to driving away with one from your dealership, the path is fraught with uncertainty, doubt, angst and skepticism, which are known as micro-moments. Sure, as dealers it’s another day, another dollar. But for the consumer, we can forget the grandeur of such an investment.

According to Cox Automotive’s 2017 Car Buyer Journey Study, only 32 percent of buyers know what car they want to buy. Imagine the possibilities of showcasing your dealership in each micro-moment on your customer’s purchase path; like a salesperson answering their questions along the way, converting leads into sales. Every. Time.

Micro-moments generally reflect as Google searches. Depending on your dealership’s content (or lack thereof), it will influence customer buying decisions. Google’s ability to analyze clickstream data (searches, clicks, website visits, video views) encompass the prospect’s purchase path results.

The preceding is an example of Google’s refined view of Stacy’s three-month car-buying journey.

Stacy Car Buying Journey C

(Source: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/consumer-car-buying-process-reveals-auto-marketing-opportunities/)

As a result, there are 900 digital touchpoints. If your dealership isn’t a part of that conversation, then that’s a huge problem. So, don’t think of micro-moments as questions to overcome. Start thinking of them as opportunities to seize.

The following are the three automotive customer micro-moments dealerships must address.

Which car is the best?

What prospects are really asking themselves is, “Which car is right for ME?” The first thing you learn in Auto Dealer 101 is fitting customers with vehicles that suit their needs by asking probing questions. It doesn’t mean your online content must be a dull questionnaire that is more painful than filling out your taxes – it’s all about subtext.

Online advertising’s come a long way from the fast talkin’, bolo tie wearin’ salesperson yelling at the customer to c’mon down to their dealership – albeit remains highly entertaining – and is trending towards portraying a customer’s potential lifestyle. Any video content you embed on your site or post on social media should feature a real-life view of specific automobiles serving the dual purpose of persuading the viewer to choose a vehicle and decide if it’s appropriate for their way of life.

Can I afford this?

Not every customer is thrilled to buy a new car. Before you spit out your coffee in disbelief, there are circumstances where it’s unenjoyable: worrying about the substantial financial commitment, comparing vehicle models, and the pressure of aggressive salespeople who can suck the excitement from what could be a milestone in their life.

The trust factor is crucial, and nothing sets that tone better than being friendly. The automotive industry’s current marketing trend is answering the question, “How can you make my life better?”, focusing on relatable content immediately resonating with consumers.

Subaru’s “Share the Love 2017” campaign celebrates 50 years of sharing Subaru owners’ real-life stories, plus donating $250 of each sale to charity. These campaigns reassure customers your brand isn’t a symbol of vanity, but a beacon of hope. It ignites their passion for investing in a vehicle while restoring their faith in what may seem like a self-serving industry.

Where should I buy my car?

Let’s say it together, “my dealership!”. It’s unfathomable that regional prospects purchase your vehicle models anywhere but your dealership – that’s blasphemous. When they are prime to buy, it’s because your brand was there for every micro-moment. Now, you need a social media blast (organic or paid) promoting your inventory sale. Customers insist they are offered the best deal, and of course, you’re the only deal in town.

Effective micro-moment strategies

Personal URLs (PURLs)

PURL’s distinct dealership advantage is its ability to hit every customer’s micro-moment at once. Tactfully aggregating your online content so they each address a touchpoint (lifestyle, trust, affordability, etc.) keeps them on your website longer and their likelihood to purchase higher. Extinguishing the need to navigate to a competitor’s page because you are providing credible, engaging content, you will gain more loyal clients and be seen as an automotive industry thought leader.


A monthly dealership e-newsletter ensures your customer database stays abreast with your content. By segmenting email lists into interest groups and A/B testing them with different subject lines, you will get a deeper understanding of what type of content resonates with each prospect based on the email’s engagement rate.

This micro-moment was brought to you by Vicimus. Now, make your own.

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