Mid-Year Review: Enhancing Your Dealership’s Marketing Strategy for 2024

A 2024 Mid-Year Review

As dealership managers and marketers, it is essential to periodically evaluate your progress and strategize for the remaining months of the year. With the mid-year here, now is the perfect time to assess your dealership’s performance and make data-driven decisions. In this blog post, we will dive into the key areas you need to evaluate and share insights from the Cox Automotive Mid-Year Report.

Are You Hitting Your Goals as Mid-Year Approaches?

As the mid-year mark approaches, it’s crucial to reflect on your dealership’s goals and determine if you are on track to achieve them. Consider the following aspects:

Follow The Data

It’s important to look at what is happening in the industry first to then evaluate what can be done internally. Here is some of the latest from the Cox Automotive Mid-Year Report.

New Vehicle Sales
US Auto Sales are expected to finish the first half of the year higher by 2.9%, in line with expectations for slow growth. Cox Automotive forecasts U.S. new-vehicle sales in June to show mild improvement over last year, but high prices and interest rates continue to hinder a stronger market. The full-year new-vehicle sales forecast is steady at 15.7 million, a gain of 1.3% from 2023, when sales finished at 15.5 million.

Used Vehicle Sales
Retail prices have consistently decreased each week, with used sales pacing for 36.8 million, up from 36.4 million in 2023.

Fleet Sales
Fleet sales are forecast to finish the year at 3.0 million, up from 2.8 million in 2023. 

Alternative Fuel Share
EVs are estimating an 11% quarter-over-quarter increase in sales volume, while market share remains flat. Gas and plug-in hybrids experience year-over-year volume growth – HEVs up 152%, PHEVs up 59%. Q1 EV leasing hits a record high with approximately 75,000 vehicles leased.

Market Uncertainty
According to Cox, the growth seen in the first half of the year may not continue into the second half due to ongoing market uncertainties. Many consumers are holding off on purchases, anticipating a clearer picture after the November election. Despite this hesitancy, 2024 is still expected to finish slightly better than 2023, thanks to increased discounting and more favorable prices. 

Evaluating Your Current Marketing Plan

Your marketing plan plays a pivotal role in achieving your goals. Evaluate its effectiveness with the following considerations:

Forecast and Budget Assessment
Have you adjusted your forecast and, if so, have you adjusted your ad budget? Or are you overspending or underspending based on your goals? Have you checked co-op allocation to make sure you are utilizing all your funds? Now is the time to make adjustments.

Performance Assessment
Scrutinize the performance of your current marketing plan and its alignment with your quarterly and mid-year goals. Are your key performance indicators in line with industry benchmarks? Evaluate the performance of your website’s traffic sources and identify areas for improvement. 

Merchandising Assessment
Take into account the impact of consumer sentiment on your dealership, considering factors such as affordability concerns, and offer attractive discounts and incentives to customers. Ensure your advertisements highlight inventory availability and affordability, especially low-interest rates and payment deferrals. And with EV leasing on the rise, make sure those attractive lease payments are out there. 

Inventory Assessment
Hybrid Vehicles, Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles, and Electric Vehicles are growing in popularity, as is their market share, and fleet sales are up. Make sure you have these vehicles merchandised on your site, in your ads, and in SEO. In addition, don’t forget to always merchandise your top-selling models.

Competitor Analysis and Audit
Would you like to see how you stack up against your competitors online? Take advantage of our free competitive analysis, which provides valuable insights to enhance your marketing strategy and drive performance.

Vendor Assessment
Determine if your vendors are being proactive and keeping you informed about your key performance indicators, industry best practices, and relevant metrics. If not, it may be time for a change.

Conclusion

As the second quarter concludes, it’s crucial for dealerships to assess their performance and adapt their strategies to meet their goals for year-end. The recently released Cox Automotive report provides valuable insights into the industry’s current standing. By focusing on optimizing your website sources, reassessing your marketing plan and budget, and making data-driven decisions, you can drive your dealership toward achieving both quarterly and mid-year goals.