Beyond Trends: 4 ways to Win Millennial Business, Now

Posted on April 29th, 2014 by Ryan Soffa in + Dealer Management, + Leadership, + Marketing, + Sales Management, + Sales Strategies   Email This Post Email This Post

56529476Everyone’s talking about why targeting Millennial-generation consumers is important, but the “why” is only theory without knowing “how.” If you’ve heard the buzz about Millennials and believe there’s value in pursuing this increasingly influential customer segment, you understand the trend – now, you want to understand how to win the business. So, grab your smartphone, take a selfie and get ready to take the first important steps toward doing it.

The fundamental first step toward reaching Millennials is not simply for your dealership to be online, but to be smart online. A static, informational website is not enough to win Millennial business.

This is an interactive consumer generation that thrives on reciprocity – not just receiving general information, but expecting it to be relevant and have an opportunity to respond to it. If you’ve not evaluated how digital and social media advertising, SEO and retargeting can grow your business with this segment, it’s time to try these approaches:

  • Talk about yourself. According to FordDirect’s recent Digital Advertising Survey, 26 percent of respondents indicated that they have contacted a dealer after having seen its online advertising. Of the many types of online advertising, surveyed consumers said that email advertising, like a newsletter, resonates with them most (41 percent), followed by Google AdWords (25 percent).
  • Pick your platform. The same research reveals that advertising through social media platforms can also be effective, although knowing where to be is key. Among those respondents who have contacted a dealer because of its social media advertising, 74 percent did so in response to dealer Facebook ads, and an impressive 56 percent of those ultimately purchased from the dealer. Significantly lower contact rates in response to ads on Twitter (19 percent) and YouTube (18 percent) were reported.
  • Spark a memory. “Retargeting” is advertising where you can target prospective shoppers who have previously visited your website, even after they’ve left your site. Website and banner ads for your business will appear where that shopper subsequently travels on the Internet, which is extremely targeted (and, therefore, cost efficient) messaging with only the consumers who have had an experience with your brand.
  • Make yourself searchable. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool because it helps ensure your business is seen when Millennials are conducting their initial online searches for local dealerships. Traditionally, SEO was based upon infusing website content with searchable keywords plus “link building,” which involves embedding content with links to third-party sites in an effort to position a business high in the list of search results. Today, strong SEO strategies also involve publishing quality content, including insights and tips on a corporate blog, which others will want to share thought their social networks. Social sharing can also be a significant SEO driver, so it’s worth the effort to put thoughtful, useful content on your site.

Grasping the Millennial trend is important, but these are the essential online strategies for capitalizing on it. Consider engaging with the dealership digital marketing experts at FordDirect to reach these valuable consumers as they interact on social platforms, travel throughout the web and conduct their vehicle and dealership research online.

Ryan Soffa, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy, FordDirect, has worked in the automotive industry for his entire career. Soffa has experience working on the retail, wholesale, and third-party sides of the industry with experience in both dealership and manufacturing. Before joining FordDirect, he held various positions in the retail automotive marketplace and American Dealer Services, a finance and insurance services technology start-up. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration and automotive marketing from Northwood University.

You can email Ryan at

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