Local Marketing and Web reputation: the key elements to a post-covid restart

Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown highlighted the need to speed up a process that had already been underway for some time, but was still struggling to break through: the digitalisation of the automotive sector.

The past few months have certainly had an impact on consumer behaviour, with customers increasingly preferring online car-search, and consequences that will have their counterbalance even in offline behaviour.

According to MotorK’s forecasts, conducting daily monitoring of all touchpoints involved in the selection, choice and purchasing process in the automotive industry, due to recent events, the average number of visits to dealerships per car sale is expected to drop from 2.6 pre-pandemic to an average of less than 2. This will make it essential to invest in the key elements that can bring together offline and online experience: local marketing and web reputation.

If, in fact, as analysis on trends and consumer behaviour in the world indicate, the walk-ins figures will no longer return to be as they were before, these activities, already of relevance before the lockdown, will represent the key strategic lever to restart.

The key role of local searches and user reviews at this point in time

Improving one’s positioning on search engines has always had a significant weight for all activities, including dealers. Now it will be essential for dealerships to intercept local searches and reach out to potential customers with an impeccable reputation.

Local marketing includes all the strategies that dealers and garages must implement to reach potential customers within a certain distance from their premises, and thus maximize and optimize the drive to store. On the one hand these tools improve their presence on local research, and on the other increase the reputation of their brand and therefore an intensive monitoring and management is required of what is published online about their company – from reviews to comments on social media: the so-called reputation management. 

For some time now Google has pointed out a growing trend for searches with keywords such as “open”, “now”, “near”, “today”, thus, with the aim of optimizing motion, enhancing positioning on such online searches will become crucial.

At the same time, with fewer chances for the consumer to see first-hand and get an idea by visiting in person, reviews, opinions and ratings from other consumers will be taken even more into account as a key factor in the choice of the dealer.

With this in mind, MotorK has decided to support dealers and after-sales specialists by releasing a new product: WebSparK Local, a SaaS marketing platform, with the end goal of optimising one’s web presence in terms of localization and online reputation, now more important than ever.

The new technology allows to improve the most relevant aspects for indexing, minimizing errors, and misalignments, and providing the customer with more comprehensive and complete information. All this through the management of multiple local platforms (such as Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, Bing Places for Business, Waze, Maps, etc.) from a single interface. It also allows dealers to manage their web reputation, thanks to the customer interactions analysis (profile views, site clicks, reviews) and automation in the management of responses and reporting fake reviews. The overall result is an increase in customer satisfaction, a high-priority factor for business.

In an extremely difficult situation like the one we are facing, dealers and after-sales service providers increasingly need to use the many digital and technological tools available on the market to better manage rapid turnovers. Local marketing and web reputation, which act in the final, and therefore more decisive, part of the purchasing process, become priorities following the new rules of social distancing: we have chosen to fast-track the release of WebSparK Local technology to deliver substantial support to business operators, as we truly believe that digital support is the main lever to relaunch the industry.

Tommaso Carboni, Country Manager MotorK