Automotive Marketing Trends for 2024

Last updated, November 11, 2023

The automotive industry is constantly changing, and with it, so must automotive marketing. Therefore, employers and employees at a car dealership need to stay alert about automotive marketing trends. These trends affect how customers buy cars and interact with the dealerships themselves, leading to an overall increase in car sales.

Your dealership must understand these trends and capitalize on them to remain a step ahead of the competition. Doing so helps to increase revenue opportunities.

In this article, we will discuss some of the essential car dealership marketing ideas. These include using handwritten notes for automotive, sending thank you message to car salesman, and boosting your car dealership’s ratings and reviews.

Overview of automotive marketing trends expected to stand out in 2023

The automobile industry is changing faster than ever before. As a result, car dealerships must adapt to these changes and employ an innovative digital marketing strategy.

In 2023, automotive advertising will focus more on customer experience than ever before. Your dealership needs to find new and creative ways to provide an excellent customer experience, and there are many ways to get more customers as car salesman.

Car buyers are also increasingly interested in environmentally-friendly vehicles. As a result, dealerships should focus on promoting green automotive technologies.

The use of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and other digital marketing strategies will increase in automotive marketing over the next few years, especially as more buyers want to experience the car from their couch or cell phone. Your dealership should begin preparing for these changes to stay ahead of the curve.

How can handwritten notes support automotive sales?

It’s true that front-end automotive marketing campaigns attract new customers. However, it’s the customer engagement element that creates loyalty and encourages repeat sales.

According to NakedLime, a retention marketing firm, the average dealership spends $630 to acquire a new customer.  Instead of constantly trying to acquire new customers, why not invest smartly (and cost effectively) in retaining the ones you have and driving repeat purchases?

The average dealership spends $630 to acquire a new customer.

One way to increase customer satisfaction (CSI) rates is using automotive handwritten notes. If you are a car dealer, you can use handwritten notes for the following activities.

Additionally, with new cars so scarce currently, Handwrytten is helping dealerships use handwritten notes to reach out to owners to buy their cars!

A handwritten card is personal and shows that you care about your customers. They also make a great impression and can help to increase customer loyalty. Using Handwrytten, we can fully automate the process.  We tie directly in to CDK, and through our partnership with DealerVault we can integrate to Reynolds and Reynolds, DealerSocket and others.

Handwrytten has been proven to deliver handwritten notes with 23x the response rate as print mail. Contact us to see how we can be of assistance.

Use direct mail marketing for your dealership

A well-executed direct mail campaign improve your holistic automotive dealership marketing campaign. It allows you to reach a large number of customers with your marketing message.  It must be done smartly to manage costs and deliver ROI.

Direct mail marketing tips

When planning your direct mail campaign, keep the following tips in mind.

  • Use high-quality images and fonts.  You don’t want to be perceived as junk mail.
  • Keep your message short and to the point
  • Personalize your messages.  According to, adding a name to your direct mail piece can increase response rates by 135%. Ensure your pieces are highly customized.
  • Target your audience carefully
  • Test different versions of your mailers to see which ones work best
  • Don’t make the same mistakes many dealerships make

By following these tips, you can create a successful direct mail campaign that helps to increase revenue for your holistic automotive marketing strategy.

Focus on social media marketing for your dealership

social media stock image with the logos for Skype, facebook Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Google

Make sure you’re using social media platforms to their full potential. Various social media channels of digital advertising – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter – all allow you, as a brand or service, to share interesting and engaging content. When you respond to comments and questions from customers promptly, emphasizing customer experience, new car sales typically funnel in quickly.

Creating a solid social media presence helps build customer loyalty and increase revenue opportunities for your dealership.

Facebook Marketplace

Introducing Marketplace: Buy and Sell With Your Local Community | Meta

The Facebook Marketplace is one area of social media you should focus your digital marketing efforts on. It helps you connect with potential customers already interested in purchasing a vehicle in the car industry.

The Marketplace allows automotive dealers to list their inventory, as well as to reach out to buyers through one platform. You can also use it to get feedback from customers about their automotive buying experience, making the process of collecting customer data extremely simple.

Listing used car prices and pre owned vehicles on Facebook Marketplace goes hand-in-hand with mobile optimization; the vast majority of consumers in the auto industry appreciate a certain level of customer experience, the present standard being easy access to automotive information from their phone.

Improve your digital automotive marketing presence

Car dealer marketing ideas are typically seen as completely unique, odd things that can take your marketing to the next level, but it can be as easy as taking a fresh look at your dealership’s website. It should provide a quality experience by taking advantage of up-to-date design and ease-of-use methods. In addition, use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. SEO helps keep your dealership’s website near the top of search engine results pages.

Here are a few automotive digital marketing trends to help improve your SEO effectively in the automotive industry to increase your marketing ROI.

Content marketing

Out of all automotive marketing strategies, content marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach car buyers. Customers are more likely to visit your website when you produce high-quality content for a few reasons.

On the technical side of things, when you create content that is optimized for search engines, your content will spread further than possible without proper search engine optimization. Even if you are the ultimate authority in your geographical area and follow all of the top marketing trends, if you don’t create content that includes relevant keywords, crawlers will not understand how or where to place your website in the worldwide web.

Moving onto the actual content side of things, make sure you’re producing a variety of content that appeals to your target audience. For example, you can create blog posts about popular automotive industry topics like electric vehicles. Or, even more popular in 2023, videos about the car buying process and infographics highlighting automotive industry statistics.

Video marketing

Video marketing is a powerful way to connect with buyers during the car buying experience.

statistic from Google that verbatim says "Over 70% of shoppers say online video has helped them learn more about an auto product they intend to buy"

In the auto industry, optimizing for online shopping on mobile devices is extremely important. According to information from Google, more than 70% of car shoppers say that watching online videos has helped them to learn about an auto product they intended to purchase.

This means that creating high-quality and informative video content is a strategy that can significantly boost dealership sales.

For example, you might use video to show off your dealership’s inventory, give a tour of the buying process to potential car buyers, or highlight customer testimonials. You can also use video marketing to build relationships with customers. One method is providing a behind-the-scenes look at your dealership.

Focus on reviews

screenshot of customer reviews from a random used car dealership with 4.7 stars and 1241 reviews

When it comes to automotive marketing, it’s essential to focus on the positive. Most of your potential buyers go online first to check out what past customers say about you.  Repost reviews across your multiple platforms.

Actively managing your online reputation by responding to positive and negative reviews is also a key part of good customer experience. If you can show buyers that you have a high volume of positive reviews, they’ll be more likely to trust your dealership.

But at the same time, along the customer journey, most customers will read reviews at one point or another. If and when they see negative reviews, they will pay more attention to them than the positive ones. As long as you respond to them cordially, customers will appreciate that you took the time to address any issues.

Email marketing

Email marketing is still an essential part of automotive marketing. Send regular email newsletters highlighting new vehicles, special deals, and upcoming events. You can also use email marketing to build relationships with past customers. Show them that you appreciate their business by sending them exclusive offers and discounts.

Dealership marketing using artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is no longer mumbo-jumbo marketing speak, but instead it is a true tool for marketing. As car dealership marketing strategies evolve, remain aware of how artificial intelligence (AI) impacts the automotive industry. Some examples of how to use AI inside your dealership include the following.

Automatic lead qualification: AI can help dealerships quickly determine which leads are worth pursuing.

Predictive analytics: Use AI to predict customer behavior. This option allows you to target potential buyers with greater accuracy.

picture of the Handwrytten homepage with an arrow pointing to a box around Handwrytten's chatbot

Chatbots: Website chatbots provide customers with information about your dealership and the automotive buying process. The above image of our homepage shows our chatbot; while we don’t work in the automotive sector, we take the information we’ve garnered about auto trends to emphasize our customer experience.

Stay up-to-date on these automotive marketing trends. Then, use them to your advantage. By doing so, you’ll connect with more buyers and increase revenue for your dealership.

How can car dealerships use virtual reality in automotive marketing?

Out of all auto dealership marketing ideas, this one is likely the most future-proof: dealerships can use virtual reality to create virtual showrooms. These experiences allow customers to view and explore vehicles from the comfort of their own homes.

You might also use virtual reality to provide test drives. Customers can take a virtual test drive of any car they’re interested in purchasing. Finally, use virtual reality for training purposes. It will help employees learn how to assemble and repair vehicles in a virtual environment.

How to take advantage of the current used car market

picture of an old, blue, rusty truck

The current used car market is an excellent opportunity for dealerships. Due to less faith in a struggling economy, more potential buyers will look for deals on quality used vehicles, so a used car dealer marketing plan should be created especially during the present day.

You can do several things to take advantage of the current market. First, optimize your website for used cars. List as many details about each car as possible, and include high-quality photos.

Some other used car marketing ideas are to hold special events to draw in potential buyers. Consider offering discounts or exclusive deals on used cars. Prepare your team to answer any questions potential buyers may have about the used car buying process.

Used cars are hard to come by. Work with Handwrytten to write letters to predicted sellers to purchase their cars before someone else does.

How Handwrytten Can Help Automotive Marketers

One non-digital marketing strategy we did not mention throughout this article is using handwritten notes. Interestingly enough, handwritten notes are highly appreciated by customers and are also forms of outreach that are low risk and high reward according to our research.

While we did note above that print marketing is largely dead, there is a significant difference in how a person psychologically receives a handwritten versus a printed note. When a note is handwritten, it feels more personal. It conveys the message that you, the automotive dealer, care about your customer. Not only will this help you to retain more customers, but it will also spike the amount of people who refer you to their friends.

Check out our services if you are interested in automatically sending handwritten cards to your customers.

Choose from our cards design or your own.

Over 100 designs to choose from or design your own. Our online card customizer makes it simple.

Check Out Our Cards!

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