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Digital Marketing Is ALL About Mobile

What are independent retail dealers doing to capitalize on social media and digital advertising?
That’s a question I hear more and more frequently in 20 Group “hot topic” sessions around the country.
Some dealers are finding no success on Facebook. Others attribute more than 80 percent of their current sales directly to Facebook.
I surveyed 20 Groups this summer (informally) to record what percentage of the members’ advertising budget
is spent on traditional vs. digital.
The strong majority are spending more than 80 percent of their total advertising budget on digital, and more and more are spending up to
100 percent.
A few weeks ago in Chicago, a dealer demonstrated to the group that 80 percent of his sales were originating from Craigslist.
So where are dealers spending their dollars in digital, and what is returning the best results?
That’s literally the million dollar question.
But before dealers can decide how to allocate their ad dollars, they must decide how and where their prospects will access the message.
In the past, if it was TV or radio, dealers wanted to know what demographic was watching and listening. They also wanted to know their income levels, interests, gender and other relevant information to provide an inside scoop on who they are marketing to through that channel.
That allowed dealers to create and present the most effective message to deliver through that channel.
So what channels are prospects tuning into today?
We all know the world is going digital. But before spending a ton of money, you need to know if your
advertising dollars and branding efforts are designed and distributed for desktops or mobile.
A recent study conducted by IDC for Facebook found 25 percent of smartphone owners aged 18-44 said they cannot recall the last time their smartphone was not next to them.
Think about that. They can’t recall the last time their phone was not next to them.
I laughed when I read that stat and showed it to a colleague standing next to me. He laughed as we shook our heads and both mumbled, “millennials...”
After thinking about it for a few seconds, I tried to recall the last time I didn’t have my phone next to me. I was a bit taken aback when I could not remember.
I suppose the joke is on me. Not only are our phones next to us most of the time, but we are using them ... a lot.
A Time article recently reported more than 3 billion people worldwide now use the Internet, and 80 percent of them access it from smartphones. GSMA’s Mobile Economy Report 2016 reported the mobile industry generated $3.1 trillion in annual revenue last
year – 4.2 percent of global GDP – and said that figure is likely to rise to $3.7 trillion by 2020.
According to Marketing Land, the majority of growth in digital media time – that’s the time spent online – is now being generated by the
use of mobile devices, with desktop computers increasingly becoming a secondary device.
The email marketing firm emailmonday predicted that by 2018, eight of every 10 email users will likely access their email accounts from their mobile devices. Do you?
The average consumer checks his or her smartphone 46 times a day,and App Annie said Americans do that a collective 8 billion times every 24 hours. Research by Deloitte found 60 percent of Americans pick up and begin using their smartphones within five minutes of waking up.
The advertising landscape is changing right before our very eyes thanks to mobile. Mobile ads will account for 72 percent of U.S. digital ad spending within the next three years according to eMarketer.
Google’s Mobile Movement Study found 88 percent of customers who search for local businesses online will actually visit or call those businesses within a day.
Dealers must learn to connect and engage users through mobile platforms. Today and in the near future, that will not only be critical to business operations but critical simply to remain competitive in the industry.
So as you sit back in your chair at the end of each month and review what worked and what didn’t work, as you track where you are spending your dollars and what is or is not returning sales, remember that mobile is where users are and will continue to be.
Users are your sales and service prospects and customers.
A strategy formulated completely around the desktop is already an aging strategy. As you investigate effective marketing and website formats, be sure they are mobile friendly and constantly look for tactics to maximize those opportunities on mobile devices.