auto dealership digital signage

Utilizing Auto Dealership Digital Signage to Promote Your Service Department

By now, your dealership has probably gone away from giant inflatables and wacky waving inflatable tube men, and moved onto more sophisticated digital marketing strategies. But while you’re building your web presence, beefing up your social media, and working to get good online reviews, don’t forget about catching people’s eyes and keeping them engaged when they’re actually in your dealership. And that’s where auto dealership digital signage comes in.

When people come into your dealership — especially when they come in for service — you can’t just plop them in a room with a coffee pot and yesterday’s newspaper. This is why so many dealerships now have fancy waiting areas packed with TVs, computers, drinks, snacks, playrooms for kids, fish tanks, and more. And that’s all well and good. But what do most people do when they sit down? Stare at their phones and tap away.

Now, we’re not suggesting you try to create the next great app to capture people’s attention. You’re not competing with the Instagrams and Candy Crushes of the world. But what you can do is create an in-store experience that’s fun and compelling — with the use of auto dealership digital signage.

We spoke with David Wible, the CEO of Industry Weapon, a digital signage disruptor that helps organizations — including auto dealerships — make sense of the digital signage landscape. These tips, and the help of the Industry Weapon team will help you determine what equipment you truly need, without purchasing unnecessary bells and whistles you’ll never use.

What is Auto Dealership Digital Signage?

Look around your dealership right now. Got any signs up? Surely you’ve got signage promoting sales, deals, service offers, warranty plans, and more. Why not make those messages truly engaging by presenting them in a digital format? You know your customers and how to communicate with them. Why not create and curate fresh content that will attract their attention and keep them captivated?

With digital signage — digital displays, interactive kiosks, video walls, etc. — you can deliver content that’s socially and personally relevant. A regular sign or banner that promotes your latest sale, only does that: promote your latest sale. It’s easy to walk past without a second glance. With digital signage, you can go deeper. Yes, you’ll still be promoting your dealership or sales or service department or whatever, but that self-promotional message will just be one part of it.

Making Digital Signage Compelling

Again, you want to use digital signage to celebrate the in-store experience. So, yes, you want to sell and promote. But you also have to entertain and engage. Perhaps you’re already using some form of digital signage. But is 100 percent of that screen dedicated to you and your pitch? Then people are likely passing it by just as they would a regular sign. But if part of that screen has a news scroll, or the local weather, or cool videos and images, people are more likely to stop and watch. You still want your promotions on there somewhere, but they shouldn’t dominate the screen. And, you need to be smart about it. If you’re just throwing up the same service special and it never changes, people will tune it out the second time they see it. But if you get creative, you can deliver offers that seem catered to every individual that sees them.

For example, say it’s raining outside. All of a sudden, a video about the importance of quality wiper blades pops up. And then there’s a promo for wiper blades, and not just any wiper blades, only the wiper blades that you have in stock and will expertly install. You’re providing a positive and intuitive guest experience, not just running the same promotions over and over again. Also, run exclusive limited time offers. Not a weekend special or an end-of-the-month offer. Something that makes the customer feel unique; something they have to act on now, not tomorrow. For the next four hours only, free wiper blades with every purchase of floor mats. Or two years worth of oil changes for the price of one — but only if you sign up today.

Another way you can keep people hooked on your digital signage is with reviews. As we’ve discussed, people rely on the internet and social media to help them form an opinion of the products or services they’re going to buy. They want to see what their friends and family think. They want to buy what their favorite celebrities or online influencers buy. They want to see pictures and videos of the product or service in action. You can deliver all this content with digital signage.

You could have a scroll of the great online reviews you’ve received. You could share posts from local celebrities or influencers touting the vehicles you sell. But digital signage really sings when you tie it all together. Say you’re a BMW dealership. Use your digital signage to run a sizzle reel of a loaded X7 driving around looking cool while you also scroll social media influencers or your own customers saying, “I live in [your town] and I love the X7.” Or, “Hey, I love XYZ dealership’s service. I wouldn’t take my vehicle anywhere else.” You’re taking the best digital assets from the manufacturers and you’re blending it with a very localized feel. People buy from people they like and they also like to buy local. So, give them all the reason to do just that.

What Not to Do With Digital Signage

First, don’t install something just to have a shiny new device. Touchscreens are fun and interactive, but you want people touching your product not touching the screens. Your digital signage should complement the in-store experience, not necessarily dominate it. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you’ve got powerful tools at your disposal — highly-trained employees and vehicles and a service department people can actually see and touch. Catch someone’s eye with that X7 sizzle reel? Offer them a test drive. Got someone taking advantage of your service promo, pitch them on all your other great services. The technology is the hook, it’s up to your people to provide that personal touch and reel them in.

You also have to be careful with what you run on your digital signage. Never let your social media feed just stream on-screen. You never know what the “trolls” might post, especially if they know it will be prominently displayed for all to see. You have to be very purposeful with the posts and reviews you share, not just run real-time feeds. Make it look like it’s in real-time, but deliver up timed, calculated posts.

Finally, remember that digital signage is meant to be interactive and engaging. You don’t want static content — there should be motion on the screen at all times, even if it’s just your logo spinning in the corner, or a moving background. Also, make sure you use the right colors to convey the message you’re trying to deliver. It’s not all about your dealership’s colors. Color psychology goes far deeper than that. Industry Weapon can show you what colors truly mean. The length of the messages you share matters, too. Wible suggests four seconds per asset. Keep your messages quick, brief, and constantly cycling.