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3 min read

Part 1: Key Automotive Insights for COVID-19

4/13/20 1:45 PM

As consumer interests shift due to the effects of COVID-19, marketing strategies need to change too. In order to capture demand, your dealership needs to appear, engage, and convert consumers where they are spending their time—and that’s online.

We’ve dug into the latest studies to uncover what channels are taking consumers’ time and interest, so you can stay ahead of online trends and pivot your digital strategy to reach in-market auto consumers.

Media consumption

Media consumption is up since the outbreak and it’s primarily video based. 87% of U.S. consumers say they're consuming more content – broadcast TV, online videos, and online TV streaming take the top spots overall for increased media consumption1.

Another consumption trend is the surge in desktop use (+13%) over mobile usage (-21%), likely due to consumers preferring a larger screen for at-home viewing2.

  1. Paid Search Points to Fixed Ops

As of March 27th, 2020, Fixed Operations searches have surged dramatically since the initial outbreak. This data was sourced from Google Trends, which can change on a daily basis. However, in general, Fixed Ops search trends continue to show elevated search volumes since the outbreak.

  • +800%: “Auto Repair Essential Service”
  • +250%: “Tire Repair Service Near Me”
  • +110%: “Oil Change Shops3
  • +44% increase in Vehicle Repair and Maintenance searches4

Other automotive search topics that are seeing an increased search demand reflect the current economy where consumer debt is rising. Price, sale, and offer searches are part of the customer journey and provide an area where dealers can be helpful.

With a sharp increase in “deferred payment” searches, consider more flexible payment options to reassure auto shoppers. Include payment and financial search ad messaging and access to your  payment options for potential buyers and owners.

  • Used searches
  • Service searches
  • Parts searches
  • Finance searches5
  1. Social Media is Facebook-focused

Social media consumption in the US has grown significantly with stay-at-home orders in place. In fact, 49% of U.S. consumers are reading more news stories on social media as a result of the outbreak – this is the primary motivator to use social media across markets, gender, and income right now.

In the U.S., Facebook is the most used platform for up-to-date information about the virus across all demographics and it’s also the top place to connect with friends and family during this time.

  • 69% of consumers are using Facebook while 66% are using Facebook messenger
  • Instagram takes the third spot with 47% of consumer using it during the outbreak6


Part 2: Key Automotive Marketing Tactics for COVID-19mouse-cursor-click


1,6 GlobalWebIndex: Coronavirus Research | April 2020

2-3,5 Google Internal Data, March 2020
4 WordStream: How COVID-19 Has Impacted Google Ads Results for 21 Industries 

Topics: Best Practices

Written by GSM

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