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: 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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