Credit Based Car Buyers

Car Loan

The more I read about negative equity the more apparent it is just how large the pool of vehicle buyers are completely under water in their auto loans. The more dealerships I visit, discussions are more widespread about incorporating hooks aimed at credit into both our traditional and digital advertising. While the economic outlook for 2017 looks very positive, dealers have a real need to understand the credit mix of today’s shopper and what it will take to turn these shoppers into buyers.

When crafting a message, it is not just important to focus credit aimed ads towards used cars but equally as important to base your offers toward new car buyers. Especially during the months of January and February which many dealers refer to as “sluggish”. The dealers who are very good at mining poor credit and getting deals put together are the ones who come out of the gate in a new year with a better start.

Many people think that the key to attracting bad credit buyers is better done through direct mail, however, digital and traditional media can be equally as effective in creating credit traffic. Digital executions range from paid search activity targeting auto loan approval, display ads, video pre-roll and email marketing. Traditional media components work as long as the message sells the fact that you can get people bought with less than perfect credit. Traditional media used to be more dependent on the time and station that a credit message was targeted. Today with the growing sector that has bad credit, you are less handcuffed to run only on programming that was historically thought as credit based programming.

In preparing for the future you have to not only know the best way to target your buyers – you have to know what they will look like from a credit standpoint.


About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as a fresh-faced account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” feature and the 2017 CEO Awards. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.


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