Aust & NZ
18th Apr 2016

Does your SMS Solution have the ability to integrate into your DMS and automatically target your customer base?

The necessary need to distribute your Sales and marketing communications to the greater public are ever evolving. With traditional methods such as newspapers and magazine adverts still being used to engage with prospects and customers, Dealer Principals need to ask themselves a question.

“Are we happy to invest time and money, into this activity, in the hope that people will see our adverts and promotions?”

In addition to ‘paper’ some automotive retailers look at marketing campaigns via television and radio, this is seen by many to be a high cost but low yield investment. Media advertising relies on many uncontrollable variables to succeed, timing being largest variable - who’s watching and listening? is the content relevant to the audience? Both Media and paper communications have their place, but there must be a more direct way of communicating new and exciting customer initiatives. Step up to the forefront SMS!

SMS (Short Message Service), commonly referred to as “text messaging,” is a service for sending short messages of up to 160 characters to mobile devices, including cellular phones, smartphones and PDAs

What is the benefit of SMS? It goes directly to the recipient’s mobile allowing your dealer marketing strategy to be more effective, targeted and immediate.

The traditional methods of dealer marketing such as an email campaign, newspaper advertisements and television commercials only have a small chance of being opened or even seen. SMS boasts a 95% open rate. 1

Here are a few quick pointers on SMS dealer marketing:

  • SMS Marketing can be used for a variety of communication methods; MOT and service booking reminders (previous day and on the day), vehicle work progress, customer satisfaction surveys from recent interactions with your dealership (service or showroom), new model releases, vehicle anniversary or even to wish your customer a Happy Birthday.
  • Replies can be handled using an email address or mobile phone and the communication can then continue if a call is not required.
  • An SMS is extremely time efficient, no need to play around with HTML email templates to make them mobile responsive
  • A cost effective form of advertising when compared to other channels such as television campaigns, radio advertisements and large format signage
  • Highly effective within a retail environment especially amongst the age group of 40 or younger 2

A recent study conducted by a well-known SMS provider discovered two interesting facts.

  • Average age a human became a mobile phone user in 2015, was 11 years old.
  • 6 out of 7 billion people have a mobile phone. If SMS isn’t a part of your dealer marketing plan then it’s something which should be on the to-do list, add it to your customer process now to set your business up for effective communication well into the future.

Research has also shown that 95% of people in the UK will open and read your SMS and of those people, the majority will open the message in the first 90 seconds 3 of receiving it. Think about the power you have right at your fingertips with this information, dealer marketing can be more effective just by choosing the appropriate channel.

Some 80% of consumers haven’t received a SMS marketing message from their favourite brands. This shows that many businesses are missing out on this huge opportunity, consumers like new and innovative ideas, even though SMS marketing is not as cutting edge as some forms of marketing communications, it still a huge draw and can set your dealership apart from the rest.

To allow your dealer marketing strategy to integrate with your DMS, Pentana Solutions’ SMS Link is an extremely easy and user-friendly platform to use. The portal allows you to send an SMS instantly from your DMS or be scheduled for a specific date and time – this is a fully integrated process. Once sent, details of the message and all communication are recorded accurately in your customer’s contact history.

Due to the SMS functionality being able to integrate into the DMS, rules can be set against customer records to automatically message customer with service reminders or even when work on their vehicle is completed. This is all automatic and would not require any further work from your staff.

Is it time to take this next step and create more opportunities for your dealership?

1 Source: Figures for 2015.
2 Source: Digital Marketing Magazine – 7 Key Statistics for SMS Marketing by Laura Varley
3 Source: Digital Marketing Magazine – 7 Key Statistics for SMS Marketing by Laura Varley.