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Why Do Market Research at Your Dealership or Group?

Updated: Jan 16

Over the years, many auto dealers have asked, “Why should I invest in market research?  Is it worth it? Can I afford it?”  In most cases, the answer is the same:  Can you afford not to?

Market research helps you better understand the motivations, attitudes, and demands of your customers.  It helps you gain valuable insights into your customers’ habits and media consumption to plan the most efficient, cost-effective marketing strategies for your dealership or group.  This invaluable data can be utilized within both the traditional and digital marketing segments to help create a tailored media strategy that pinpoints buyers.

Market research also allows you to turn the focus inward.  What are the most important factors that drive your customers’ decision-making processes and how can you reach them at the most important time in their buying journey?  What are your dealership or group’s greatest strengths and weaknesses in the minds of your customers? Market research helps answer these questions. It also helps pinpoint and analyze growth opportunities and objectives for your stores, while staying on top of current trends in your market.  For example, which digital platforms are customers using to shop for their latest vehicle? Which radio stations are they listening to in the morning? Reducing risk and identifying both problems and opportunities before they happen is crucial to growing your business.

Finally, knowing as much as possible about your competitors is pivotal to your success.  What approaches are working well for them?  How and where are they outperforming you?  What are customers’ perceptions about their strengths and flaws?  This is all very important information that your dealership or group can use to gain market share.

“Ok, I agree that I need market research. What kind of market research should I do?”

When considering market research options, auto dealers often ask whether they should invest in qualitative or quantitative research. The short answer…both!

Qualitative research is essential for dealers to gain comprehensive insights about the goals, opinions and motivations behind the consumer decision-making process. This type of research is more exploratory, descriptive, and subjective, and the sample size is relatively small. Qualitative research answers who, what, where, when, why, and how regarding the reasons customers decide to shop and buy from your dealership (or not).

Conversely, quantitative research is more objective and structured, and is presented with measurable / numerical conclusions from a larger sample of respondents. It seeks to quantify consumer behaviors and attitudes and provide actionable statistics.

Qualitative and quantitative research methods complement each other and ideally should be used together to gain a clearer picture of consumer needs, behaviors and motivations.  Doing this will provide you with the insights your dealership or group needs to make better-informed business decisions and develop your most-effective marketing plans possible.

Are you interested in learning more about how market research can benefit your dealership or group, like it has for so many successful CBC clients? Then reach out to us below and let’s have a conversation!


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