You’re ‘Polling’ My Leg

Online Surveys and Car Buying

Whether it is a political poll or an automotive shopper’s poll, the biggest variable is the involvement level of the people being surveyed. They might like a candidate, but do they vote? And as a potential car buyer, are they credit qualified and where are they in the process?

The 2016 AudienceSCAN survey conducted by SalesFuel is a perfect example to make me question the responses versus reality.

One section focused on why shoppers would purchase a new vehicle in the next year. The top 5 reasons:  27.3% want the new model; 21% have a problem with their current vehicle; 20% needed an additional vehicle; 13.7% wanted a safer vehicle and 8.3% would buy because the deal or incentive is too good to pass up. In the 8.3% group, the comment was added, “It’s not incentives that are driving them to dealer lots.”

Every poll represents opinions, but the reality seen in the market movement prompted by 20% off offers, 0% for 72 month financing for the first time on several brands’ most popular vehicles and even $0 down Sign & Drive packages cannot be overlooked. Our dealers who stepped up and promoted these offers had huge success within their respective Summer Clearance themes.

The people surveyed may have been thinking about buying, but shoppers deep in the cycle saw the savings and responded. This is why you promote the right message at the right time, no matter what the survey says.

Acknowledgement to:

Auto Remarketing “What prompts car shoppers to buy & choose your store” August 29, 2016

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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