Price Matters: A Car Buyer’s Search

Car buyer desires

A survey of 1,000 vehicle owners conducted by should not come as a surprise to anyone who has studied shopper preference polls over the past few years.  Price took top consideration and was followed by the desire for a good deal on a vehicle that would last up to 10 years. Sixty percent planned to purchase within six months, but that came with a caveat:  3 out of every 4 potential buyers would be shopping for a pre-owned vehicle.


One note of extreme interest was that dealership websites ranked second to last in value as a research site – Edmunds and KBB were ranked the highest for input when deciding which vehicle to purchase.  To a certain degree I find that surprising.  Here you have potential buyers with a high propensity for pre-owned vehicles and yet they rank local dealership websites as less useful than those with national scope.


One message we consistently encourage our clients to promote in traditional broadcast is how big – and important – used vehicles are to their operation.  If you want digital consideration, you need to address your market’s growing interest in pre-owned vehicles and reach them with focused messages on selection, quality and affordability.


While your market may recognize you as a volume new-car operation, they need to be aware of what that means:  trade-ins are coming in daily and posted immediately…on your dealer website.

About the author

John Paul Strong: As owner of Strong Automotive Merchandising, a company that increases traffic up to 1,000% for dealerships, Strong lives by the simple concept that your attitude affects your success. Without a positive mind set he would not have been able to grow the company over the last decade from just 10 to over 80 full-time employees. The rapid growth is thanks to his ability to keep the company on the forefront of technology, market changes and an infectious talent to motivate and keep employees striving to fulfill their potential. His beginnings in direct mail gave him the tools and skills to develop incredibly successful marketing plans. From there he moved on to traditional forms of media and has now mastered the dynamic world of digital and social media advertising. With over 150 dealers to please, Strong takes a hands-on approach and personal attention to detail in all aspects of marketing strategies. His expertise in plan development gives him a keen sense on how to maximize a dealer’s budget and ultimately increase their bottom line. Strong is a passionate speaker in the automotive industry. He has authored two books on creating next day traffic. He graduated from the Executive Education Program at the Harvard Business School. Strong received a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Montevallo. He lives with his wife and three children in Homewood, Alabama.


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