Emerging Dealership Marketing Trends for 2023

January 9, 2023

Team ACV




Emerging Dealership Marketing Trends for 2023

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A man looking at his cell phone looking for a used car.

Over the years, advertising has evolved from print and radio to TV and beyond. Today, it’s all about making yourself visible and building customer relationships online. You need a strong digital marketing strategy to help your dealership to stand out from the rest of the pack and succeed. Marketing strategies for car dealerships are always evolving, just like any other industry, so it’s important to keep up with the current automotive marketing trends and keep an eye on new technology that’s making a splash. 

5 Cutting-Edge Ways to Market Your Dealership

1. Mobile Website Optimization

People don’t just visit websites from their computers anymore—especially not Millennial and Gen Z car buyers. They use their phones and tablets to search and browse the internet, too. In fact, most organic search engine visits now come from mobile devices1. If you want to capture that organic traffic for your dealership, you need to make sure your website is properly optimized for mobile devices. 

People won’t stick around very long on your website if they visit it from their mobile device and find that the page doesn’t display properly. Search engines also won’t rank your website as high in the search engine result pages (SERPs) if it doesn’t function well on mobile devices. That’s the cost of not optimizing for mobile.

To optimize your dealership website for mobile devices, make sure you change your website settings to reformat automatically on smaller screens. You also need simple navigation on mobile websites; otherwise, visitors might get frustrated and leave. Make sure to optimize images to improve quality and loading speed, make navigation buttons larger, and reformat your content as part of your mobile optimization efforts. 

2. SMS Lists for Promotions and Appointment Reminders

The importance of building email lists to reach current and potential customers is well-established, but in 2023, expect dealerships to place a greater emphasis on SMS or text messaging. SMS marketing is more effective than you might think—SMS marketing messages average an 82% open rate2 and are consumers’ preferred channel for receiving updates from brands. If you aren’t trying to build your SMS list, you’re missing out on this valuable dealership digital marketing idea.

Don’t just use SMS marketing for sales and promotions, though. You can also use SMS as an effective tool for customer service. For example, text customers on your SMS list appointment reminders to reduce the number of no-shows your dealership gets. Send repair updates or updates about car viewings. 

To grow your SMS list, try strategies like offering exclusive discounts to customers who provide their phone numbers. Alternatively, you can add a form to your website where customers can sign up for the list to receive updates. More and more dealerships will likely take advantage of this powerful marketing channel in 2023, so get started now to stay ahead.  

3. Increased Video Content

The explosive growth of TikTok in 2021 and 2022 highlighted the fact that video is the next big thing3. And on Facebook, for example, video content has a higher engagement rate than any other type of content on the platform4. Video isn’t going anywhere, so dealerships will put increasing emphasis on video content as part of their online car marketing to customers in 2023. 

Auto dealerships have a wealth of engaging topics they can create video content about, from car buying tips to behind the scenes videos of what happens inside the dealership. Video is the perfect media form to help your cars—and your business—shine. 

4. AI-Powered Chatbots to Manage Customer Service Inquiries

Customer service inquiries can be a significant drain on your dealership’s resources, but you have to handle them well if you want to keep your customers happy. AI-powered chatbots dedicated to customer service can offer the ideal solution. These bots can automatically handle some customer inquiries with minimal involvement from your staff. Your dealership staff saves time and effort, and your customers get the answers they need quickly—even if they need help outside standard business hours⁵.

That’s not to say that AI chatbots can handle all your customer service inquiries, though. You will still need some dedicated customer service representatives to handle more complex conversations. Using smarter AI helps customers get answers to basic questions and get in a queue if they need more help, allowing your staff to spend more time on inquiries that call for a personal touch. 

5. Retargeted Social and Display Ads

Paid ads are a tried-and-true marketing strategy, and that isn’t going to change in 2023. Placing these ads on social media sites where your target customers consume content is a great way to grab their attention and boost your marketing strategy this year. Social media is a cost-effective way to reach specific groups of customers⁶, whether you’re trying to attract new ones or maintain contact with people who already know about your business.

Don’t forget about retargeting ads to keep your dealership at the front of people’s minds. These ads go out to website visitors who might have looked at inventory but didn’t contact your sales department to get more information about a vehicle on your lot. Using retargeting ads is a simple method for increasing your conversion rate. 

Dealership digital marketing done right

Marketing your dealership online is only half the equation. Is your lot ready for an uptick in foot traffic and buyers? Secure top-quality dealership inventory by registering with ACV Auctions today. We make it easy to learn about the used cars up for auction and keep track of bids. We’re ready to help your dealership thrive in the new year. 



1. Bianchi, T. (5 December 2022). Mobile share of U.S. organic search engine visits 2013-2021. Statistica. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/297137/mobile-share-of-us-organic-search-engine-visits/

2. Anthony, J. (20 December 2022). 48 SMS Marketing Statistics You Must See: 2023 Market Share Analysis & Data. Finances Online. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://financesonline.com/sms-marketing-statistics/ 

3. Ceci, L. (5 September 2022). TikTok: number of global users 2020-2025. Statistica. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1327116/number-of-global-tiktok-users/ 

4. Tran, T. (21 July 2020). The Ultimate Breakdown of Social Video Metrics for Every Platform. Hootsuite. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-video-metrics/ 

5. Dilmegani, C. (26 December 2022). Top 14 Chatbot Benefits for Companies & Customers in 2023. AI Multiple. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://research.aimultiple.com/chatbot-benefits/

6. Coleman, B. (6 April 2021). Paid Social Media: Worth the Investment? Hubspot Blog. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/paid-social-media

7. Lahey, C. (10 August 2021). What Is Retargeting & How It Can Help Your Business. Semrush Blog. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://www.semrush.com/blog/retargeting/