Proper audience research is the key to an effective automotive direct mail campaign. With the level of personalization incorporated into marketing strategies these days, audience targeting governs every stage of your advertising efforts.
However, it helps to know more about how to set up a thorough audience research process that ensures you’re taking every aspect of your customers into account.
Luckily, the marketing professionals at Aspen Automotive are here to guide you along the various stages of choosing audience segments that will determine the trajectory of your auto marketing campaign. As a result of our research insights, you’ll start seeing your dealership’s ROIs and conversion rates climb.
Are you ready to see just how easy it is to boost your dealership’s sales with a fast and simple direct mail campaign? Keep reading!
What Is Audience Research?
To make audience research as easy as one, two, three, we’ve created this 4-step how-to research guide. Although, before we can jump into the guide, we first need to talk about audience research as a whole and why it’s important.
To start, audience research is a way to investigate your target audiences’ needs, pain points, behaviors, and more. This is done several ways, which we’ll discuss shortly, but before we can do that, we have to talk about why conducting audience research is necessary.
Anyone who is looking to drive sales with the biggest ROI should perform audience research. That’s because it’s estimated that consumers see about 1,700 ads each month. Furthermore, it’s estimated that nearly half of those ads go unnoticed.
With this bombardment of ads, you want to make sure that the right people are getting your direct mail campaign. That way, you’re sure to have a higher ROI.
Additionally, when you do audience research, you can be more specific in your direct mailers to include the information your audience wants to see. In doing so, you’re more likely to break through the wall of unnoticed ads.
Now, let’s take a look at four ways you can perform audience research for your automotive direct mail campaign.
1. Dive into The Data
Just as personalization is the foundation of a successful automotive direct mail campaign, clean data is the cornerstone of a well-defined target audience. Well, the best way to do that is by tapping into a system of data-mining solutions that provide you with more information on your leads.
That’s why Aspen’s data team uses a set of advanced databases, such as Aspen SureDrive Data, to home in on not only the demographics of your consumers but also their lifestyles, purchasing habits, needs, and desires.
For instance, Aspen SureDrive Data identified the specific make, model, year, auto style, purchase date, and purchase type of each lead’s vehicle. The result? An automotive direct mail approach that’s tailored to the preferences of specific subsets of your audience.
Once you’ve rounded up enough data, narrow down your buyers by defining a few parameters, including:
- Geographic location
- Age range
- Household income
- Interests and more
Voila! You’ve managed to whittle down your leads into unique audience segments that will help your team determine the look and feel of your direct mailers.
2. Consider Your Offer
While audience segments are the guiding light of your campaign’s final message, graphics, and other details, you also want to consider the actual offer, coupon, or discount code featured on your dealership’s direct mailer.
Is the service you’re selling best suited for truck owners? Are you advertising a new SUV model that would be best for road-tripping families? These are all questions that you and your team should be asking yourselves while building your targeted audience.
From there, you’ll want to test out a few different automotive direct mail formats to determine the exact imagery, messaging, and sizing that garners the best response from each audience segment. By doing this, you’ll drive more success for each of your dealership’s campaigns.
In addition, it’s important to analyze the results of the most successful advertising campaigns you’ve rolled out in the past.
What types of individuals responded to that direct mailer? Do they seem like buyers who would also be interested in your dealership’s upcoming offer? That way, you can mimic the design choices and messages included in that strategy.
3. Define How Your Dealership is Unique
You want your dealership to stand out to your targeted audience, right? Well, that’s why it’s essential for you to clearly define the qualities that make your dealership different from the rest.
Not only does doing this solidify your brand identity, but it also makes it easier for relevant car buyers to remember your business in the future.
Regardless if your dealership’s vast inventory or hard-to-come-by models are what make you stand out from the competition, it’s important to highlight this clearly in your automotive advertising. That way, there will be no question as to why potential leads should choose your business.
Aside from brand-wide characteristics, promoting your dealership is as simple as creating a unique offer that goes further than the offers that your customers might find at other businesses. Plus, you can vary the specifics of the incentive based on your different audience segments so that each demographic is receiving a discount or promotion that benefits them.
4. Turn to Social Media
Some of the best sources from which to collect information on your targeted audience are your dealership’s social media accounts. That’s right! Sites like Facebook®, Instagram®, Twitter®, and more actually track visitor interactions and data that you can use during the audience research and segmentation process.
Some of the details to keep track of while gathering data are:
- Who your customers follow?
- What they say about you?
- Where they get their information?
- What they’re sharing?
From there, you can more effectively target specific subsets of your audience who will benefit most from your dealership’s offer.
Additionally, if you already have each audience subset divided out by age, you can enhance the effectiveness of your automotive marketing efforts by finding out which social media platforms each age range uses most. Doing so will ensure that your dealership’s messages reach the right audience in the right place at the right time.
5. Send Out Surveys
If you’ve narrowed down your audience segment to a reasonable size but still want to get more specific, it’s time to think about creating a survey for the individuals included in your targeted audience.
By allowing your customers to provide you with detailed information, you can further enhance your audience segmentation efforts and ensure that your dealership’s direct mailers are only being sent to the recipients who would be most interested in engaging with your offer.
While creating the questions for your survey, be sure to include questions that evaluate your audience’s goals, automotive needs, and pain points. That data will be used to craft a relevant direct mail campaign that moves more business through the doors of your showroom.
As a final remark on the benefits of surveys, many survey resources easily integrate with social media platforms, which makes it even simpler for your questionnaires to reach younger audiences where they spend most of their time. Not only does this create a positive experience for your customers, but it also increases the number of responses that your team could potentially receive. The more information you get, the better you’ll understand your dealership’s targeted audience.
6. Keep Learning About Your Audience
Perhaps one of the most important marketing practices you should establish for your dealership is performing regular and thorough audience research. Rather than settling for a one-time evaluation of your customers’ interests, needs, purchasing habits, etc., audience research should become part of your regular automotive marketing regimen.
Why is this the case? As times change, so do people. Especially considering the swift changes brought on by constant technological advancements, it’s crucial to stay updated on your audience’s interests. The best way to do that is by regularly checking in with them via market research.
As if that weren’t enough motivation, routine audience research helps your team identify new business opportunities or areas of growth. Let’s say that you create a new survey that allows your targeted audience to provide you with information about how they prefer to shop.
Thanks to the responses that you receive from your consumers, you now know that the majority prefers to shop online. Now, this gives your dealership an entirely new, commercial avenue to explore.
By aligning your dealership with the shopping preferences of your buyers, you’ll increase the chances of building your business revenue year over year.
Begin Your Audience Research Today!
When it comes to a successful automotive direct mail strategy, your customers should be top of mind. After all, your dealership’s buyers are the ones who will be responding to your advertisement and, ultimately, giving you their business.
Fortunately, these steps to quality audience research will help your team increase the ROI and response rates for your dealership’s auto direct mailers while also establishing solid relationships with your leads.
To get started on your journey toward effective audience segmentation, give our data-mining gurus at Aspen Automotive a call or send us an email today!