Millennial car buyers

Engaging with the Most Influential Car Buyers: Millennials

Dealerships today are engaging with their current and prospective customers via numerous channels, including social media and email. And while it’s important to provide relevant and timely information to their audience, dealerships must also focus on the most influential car buyers: Millennials, or Gen Y.

Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. Some researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s to define this age group.

These young people grew up with a home computer, took a laptop to college, and likely got their first smartphone before their parents made the switch from the flip phone. This generation is obsessed with technology, social media, and immediate results. The sons and daughters of Baby Boomers, they’re often impatient, well educated, and career driven.

So what makes this group of car buyers so influential? Their tech prowess allows them to conduct car research (reviews from people as well as reliable sources such as Consumer Reports or Car and Driver) at lightning quick speed and narrow their search accordingly before ever stepping on a showroom floor. They account for 21 percent of the total population and 40 percent of the car-buying population. Millennials are identified as “digital natives” by the Pew Research Center and are tech savvy.

Gen X looked to their parents for advice on purchasing a car or home. Now parents are asking their Millennial children to help them find a vehicle that meets their needs. In fact, just last month a friend of mine was talking to her parents on the phone when they mentioned they were looking for an all-wheel drive SUV. While on the phone with them, she was on her tablet searching for used vehicles that met their requirements (leather, heated seats, etc…) and suggested they drive a couple of vehicles that popped up in her search. They did; and later that week they purchased one of the SUVs their daughter recommended.

So how can dealers maximize social engagement with their most influential car buyers? By changing the approach to dealership social media marketing.

Instead of blasting out tweets about events, promotions, and community involvement 24/7, start engaging with the people around you who are looking for a new car or need to have their car serviced. Chances are, they are talking about it on social media! Remember, Millennials grew up in a quick evolving tech environment. They can tell the difference between an email sent out to your entire database and an actual handwritten note from their salesperson. It’s the same with social media. Real engagement is genuine, not created by marketing agencies or manufacturer marketing programs. Think of it as a conversation, a two-way street between the dealership and the customer.

Through conversation marketing, dealerships can engage with the most influential car buyers and develop meaningful relationships that will improve revenue for years to come.

Nate Marquardt

Co-Founder, CEO of ChatterUP - A strategic thinker and visionary who brought the right people together to form and launch ChatterUP. With over 12 years of leadership, automotive software and social media experience, he has helped align the team’s vision to create a product that is both simple and innovative.