Understanding the Car Buyer’s Journey

A couple of car buyers

You want to build your business and enjoy consistent growth. To do that, you have to attract customers. One of the best ways to draw them in is to put yourself in your prospects’ shoes, and that means understanding the car buyer’s journey.

No one should go on a journey alone. Let Aspen Automotive be your guide as we walk you through the customer’s experience and show you how to help them find their way to your automotive business.

Browse Aspen Automotive’s Direct Mail Services


Couple buying a carThe buyer’s journey is the thought process a consumer goes through before making a purchase. All kinds of shoppers go through it without even realizing it, including you. Basically, it’s a theory that maps out how prospective customers go from needing something to considering your business to deciding to buy from you.

Along the way, they’ll realize what they need, do some research, and weigh their options. These steps can be broken down into three stages:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision


buying a car onlineYou’ve probably heard the saying, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” When it comes to the buyer’s journey, that first step is when customers realize that they need something. It could be a new set of tires, an inspection, or even a new car.

No matter what they want or need, once they’re aware of it, they’ll start searching for answers. An interested person may start seeking solutions in these ways:

  • Asking friends and family for recommendations
  • Clicking on banner ads on social media
  • Checking out blogs with relevant content
  • Visiting your website


Whether it’s a new car or an oil change, once a consumer knows they need something, they’ll begin to consider their options. A lot of research goes into the consideration stage. This is where people start to narrow their focus, weigh the pros and cons, and zero in on a few specific options.

When it comes to getting a new car, they’ll have to figure out what model they’re interested in and where they want to get it from. To do that, a potential customer may take the following steps:

  • Researching local automotive businesses online
  • Reading vehicle reviews
  • Reading reviews of your business and your competitors
  • Scheduling a test drive


Deciding on a carAfter doing some thorough research and exploring all their options, customers eventually come to a decision on who they want to do business with. In terms of your automotive business, this is the stage where you’ll see customers make moves like:

  • Choosing to sign a lease
  • Scheduling a service appointment
  • Applying for financing


Marketing for the car buyers journey with direct mailSo, now that you’re familiar with the buyer’s journey, you’re probably wondering how you can design a marketing strategy that’ll move things along and guide customers to your business. The best approach is to appeal to all three stages.

Fortunately, that gives you lots of options. It’s smart to include both push and pull, or inbound and outbound marketing in your strategy. That way, you’re making customers aware of their needs, drawing them in to consider your business, and helping them make a decision.

For example, you can attract both new and longtime customers with your mailers. Whether it’s a postcard or a newsletter, you can draw them in with relevant content and offers. Then, using tools like QR codes and personalized URLs (PURLs), you can direct them to your website, landing page, or other useful content.

The same is true with banner ads and social media posts. Either way, make sure that both your digital and direct mailers include calls to action, so your prospects know what to do. You should also feature informative content like blogs and eBooks on your website to help prospects learn more and consider your business.

After you’ve connected with a consumer through direct mail or a well-placed ad and they’ve engaged with you, you can nurture them as a lead through targeted mailers and emails. Think of these tools like signposts that’ll help consumers on their buyer’s journeys.


From creating awareness to helping leads decide to do business with you, Aspen Automotive will be by your side through every step of the car buyer’s journey. With our industry experience, you’ll be able to connect with the right people at the right time. Contact us to get started!