If this past year has taught us anything, it is that we need to not only be agile in our process, but also in our thinking about our customers. Customers and their patterns have changed DRAMATICALLY, but sometimes we ignore it. We can pigeonhole ourselves into believing we know exactly who our customers are, but things have changed. And if you don’t start really thinking about who your customers are and who they could be, you will miss out.
Our customer has transitioned into a whole new generation. If we thought Gen Z was different before, the pandemic they are going through solidified that. One of the biggest ways they vary from their predecessors is the way in which they communicate. And communication is the root of every business.
Think about the way Gen Zers experience and communicate with the world. Technology has always been part of their life. Friendships, love, education, and business is all wrapped into their iPhone and laptop. Many grew up never having to call someone’s house and ask a parent if their friend is home; never had to actually talk to an adult that they didn’t know. Verbal communication is secondary to written text–and it is where they are most comfortable.
And even their most intimate relationships are found and built through texting. And if you want to truly think about how different they are experiencing life, think of their love life. Most of their “meaningful” moments are in writing, and a form of writing that is constantly and inevitably open to misinterpretation. How does that translate to how we communicate with this new and changing customer base?
There is this old saying that you don’t learn new ways to fish when the fish are jumping in the boat. And believe me, it makes sense, but this shift will be abrupt and there will be no fish in your boat. And Carvana, Tesla, whoever gets it right and speaks their language will win. They will be saying to us as their elders, just like we said to ours when we showed them how to send a text message. “Here, mom, let me show you how to buy a car. Here’s the app….”
Now is the time to get it right. How are you communicating with your customers? Are you actively texting with them? It’s time to shift your thinking and really try to understand a new way of customer engagement and purchasing. When I hear that car dealers don’t have a digital retailing tool on their website or when I see them leaving tech on the table, I get passionate about helping them. It’s easier than you think and more important than you realize.
Don’t let your auto dealership be the next Blockbuster. Nothing was broken with Blockbuster. Not one part of the process of renting a video was broken. The business was amazing and profitable and growing. Fish were jumping in the boat! And then someone had a better answer for some people. It wasn’t for everyone right out of the gate. But it was GREAT for early adopters and those early adopters said, “Look at this new way to rent a movie! I didn’t realize I needed this, but I love it.”
And that is how change starts.
Was it painful to go to Blockbuster? No. Some of us enjoyed browsing and reading the backs of the videos.
But was it an option to browse at home and have movies show up at your house?
And people fell in love with it.
Now think about the car buying process of today. Is it that much different from that blockbuster moment?
I think you can see the similarities. And I can tell you. It’s time now to start looking at everything and making the changes needed to sell the cars of the future.
And guess what, you don’t have to do it alone. This is what Lane Marketing is all about. Helping you identify the changes needed to stay relevant and implementing the best technology to be the amazing powerhouse in your community! My number one saying is, “Don’t leave tech on the table!”
Let’s meet! I’ll bring the popcorn!
Nicolle Lamb |CEO and Founder of Lane Marketing
Car girl, through and through! My favorite place to be is in my car with my sunroof open! A proud advocate of the automotive industry and passionate about helping her dealer partners improve their business model. Nicolle brings over 25 years of exceptional leadership and customer service know-how to the core of her business. She is a proven leader in the automotive industry. With 18 years of experience collectively at two of the most successful automotive companies, Aspen Marketing/Epsilon and Dealer Inspire, Nicolle’s resume for automotive success metrics is extensive. She was on the ground floor helping to build these businesses. Excited about new opportunities and never one to back away from a challenge, she is a highly creative problem solver and a data geek at heart. Driving outcomes is her only measurement for success!