How Car Dealers Can Ramp Up EV Marketing

Car dealers’ marketing strategies for EVs are often unclear, relying on mass emails, directory listings, local commercials, and even pop-up social media ads. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with these approaches, EVs are a different breed and require innovative marketing strategies to attract a new consumer audience.
Car dealership focuses on electric vehicle marketing strategies against an urban backdrop.

Car Dealer Need to Ramp up EV Marketing Now!

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As automakers face challenges in transitioning to electric vehicles (EVs), such as access to charging stations and driving range concerns, another obstacle arises from the complicated and number-ridden names given to EV models. From the Rivian R1S to the Volkswagen ID4, Tesla: 3 Y X S (and Truck soon), Jaguar I-PACE, BMW iX, Mazda MX-30, and Genesis GV60, it’s not easy for consumers to recognize and remember these models.

But the challenges don’t end there. Car dealers’ marketing strategies for EVs are often unclear, relying on mass emails, directory listings, local commercials, and even pop-up social media ads. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with these approaches, EVs are a different breed and require innovative marketing strategies to attract a new consumer audience.

Some analysts argue that a key challenge in consumer reception of EVs is the perceived lack of emotional appeal compared to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). Without the roar of an engine, consumers don’t associate EVs with power, performance, and freedom. This may or may not be the case. Still, it’s a lesson dealers and marketing teams should learn: consumers want to feel an emotional connection when purchasing. EVs need invigorated marketing strategies that embrace emotional connections and excite consumers about purchasing an EV.

To many dealers, EVs still represent a niche market. While they may account for a small percentage of total sales, dealers need to plan for the future when electric vehicles become mainstream. By creating lifelong EV customers now, dealers won’t have to play catch-up later.

So, how can auto dealers appeal to the EV audience? Here are some contemporary and innovative marketing strategies to consider:

Add open-to-the-public charging stations onto Google Maps: By making EV charging stations available for public use on Google Maps, local EV drivers and travelers on road trips will be aware of the contemporary outlook of zero-emission vehicles.

Content marketing: Provide digital information through articles, infographics, videos, quizzes, and calculators to address common customer questions and misconceptions about EV adoption. Incorporate market research and demographic data to tailor the content to the target audience.

Hire local sales staff: Inclusive representation extends to media planning. People want to see and hear from people like them, but more importantly, they want to experience familiar environments. Having sales staff who look like customers and can speak to their fears and concerns can go a long way toward creating a positive EV buying experience.

Develop buyer personas: Create semi-fictional representations of ideal customers based on market research. These buyer personas should be tailored to potential consumer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.

Hyperlocal advertising: Target potential EV customers in the local area surrounding the dealership. Customize advertising campaigns based on specific demographics, population numbers, and cultural nuances of the target market segment.

Partner with influencers: Influencers carry significant weight on social media platforms. Find influencers with a reputation for their knowledge and expertise in EVs. Partnering with influencers with a large following on preferred social media channels can generate enthusiasm and engagement among potential EV buyers.

Mantras become a theme: Highlight the unique advantages of EVs, such as sustainability and innovation narratives. Marketing campaigns should focus on the impact of EVs and promote them as a conscious choice for a greener future. Emphasize technological advancements, autonomous driving capabilities, and cutting-edge features that position EVs as symbols of progress and innovation.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Optimize your website’s ranking on Google search results by focusing on keywords related to available EVs and accessories. Good SEO ensures potential customers searching for EV-related information will more likely find your dealership.

Social media integration: Use social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to reach potential customers and engage existing ones by posting organic content such as photos, videos, and blog posts to attract attention from people interested in EVs. Social media builds a digital presence, supports your brand, and establishes your dealership’s leadership in the market.

Train sales staff thoroughly on EVs:

  1. Ensure your team understands EVs inside out and has the resources to fill any gaps in consumer knowledge.
  2. Provide as much information as possible about how EVs work and include answers to common questions that consumers may have when considering buying an EV.
  3. Better yet, allow each salesperson to drive an EV themselves so they can better anticipate range and charging needs.

In conclusion, auto dealers need to electrify their marketing strategies to attract interest and generate inquiries from potential EV buyers. By embracing innovative approaches that evoke an emotional connection with consumers while highlighting the unique advantages of EVs, dealers can position themselves as leaders in the growing electric vehicle market.

** EnergyOne offers car dealers, and staff extended educational and training library access. In short lessons, and in their time salesman, finance and other staff can learn the language, and understand the technologies.

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