Back to Basics: Strategic Benefits of Market Analysis
New smartphones. New website widgets. New privacy policies. Sometimes we can get so caught up in what’s new in technology and in marketing that we forget the fundamentals that effectively put our inventory in front of potential buyers. Sometimes we have to go Back to Basics!
Welcome to Part 4 of our Boatline Back to Basics blog series! As leading providers of innovative solutions that connect buyers and sellers in the marine industry, we’re committed to using this blog series to help dealers reach more customers.
To check out the previous entries in the Back to Basics series, just click on the titles below:
Part 1: Best Practices for Inventory Photos
Part 2: Keeping Listings Accurate and Updated
Part 3: Impact of Usability in Website Design
Today we’re talking about the strategic benefits of market analysis.
Uploading photos, completing listing information, and ensuring website usability are great for gaining initial traffic, connections, and leads, but maintaining consistently successful campaigns that achieve market penetration and lead to sales takes a bit more work. Specifically, ongoing advertising should always be informed by insightful metrics and dynamic reporting, including competitive marketplace analysis. Whether listing inventory on your own website or advertising via online markets, this data is key to strategic decision-making, so let’s dive deeper:
Dealer Performance Metrics:
It can seem like simple information, but it is essential for dealers to keep up with basic metrics that measure listing performance. Some of these important metrics include impressions (how often a product is seen), full listing pageviews, and connections (how many consumers demonstrate purchase potential). You’ll also want to be able to access a leads summary that breaks down the type of connections you are generating, from phone calls and emails to directions-to-the-dealership and website referrals from outside sources. Finally, a dealer should be able to quickly view how many listings are complete — with photos and essential details — or incomplete.
Tracking metrics, such as those we’ve just mentioned, keep dealers knowledgeable about their general online inventory performance. Connections summaries are especially important, as they can help dealers begin to identify consumer search patterns (more on this below!) and develop realistic expectations for overall consumer engagement. Finally, basic metrics can provide great reminders for dealers to add listing information they may have missed or forgotten, and keep those listings accurate and updated!
Exposure & Activity Reporting:
Beyond performance metrics, dealers should also develop or gain access to reporting that provides more in-depth understanding of listing exposure and activity. These types of internal reports break down performance data by listings, so that dealers can see which specific units receive the most impressions, pageviews, and connections. Exposure and activity reports should also allow for comparative evaluation, in which dealers can contrast the performance of listings that include photos and essential data (like pricing details) with listings that lack such information.
By accessing this information, dealers gain an advanced perspective on their inventory, demonstrating how consumers find and connect with their dealership. With an acute understanding of inventory performance provided by comparative internal reporting, dealers can identify specific factors which contribute to increased exposure and activity for their listings and adapt their marketing and communication strategies accordingly.
Conducting a competitive marketplace analysis is one area of reporting where dealers could likely use some help. Luckily, third-party advertising leaders, like Boatline, can provide information that helps dealers identify their place in the industry.
The tool we use is called “Market Insights,” which is available to dealers selling inventory on Boatline. This feature provides a unique snapshot of industry supply-and-demand needs by ranking top-performing units in local and national markets, highlighting the most popular model years, and indicating how many of those models are currently for-sale on our websites. Additional filters are also available for more complex competitive marketplace analysis.
“With Market Insights, you have access to information that provides a unique competitive advantage, saving you the extensive and valuable time it would take to manually research and track outside inventory on your own” says Amanda Ayala, Vice President of Operations for Trader Interactive. “With market analysis, you will be able to clearly see the volume of the competing inventory and know if you are priced competitively.”
Market research provides game-changing data about local markets and key nationwide trends which helps dealers more strategically design their listings to dynamically engage with consumers and position their business more competitively in the marketplace. If you advertise your listings on any third-party market website, you should be sure that they offer you competitive marketplace analysis.
As we wrap up, it’s worth remembering that today’s marine buyers increasingly conduct their own research online — and come as close as possible to making a decision — before they ever reach out to a dealer. Insightful metrics and dynamic reporting, including competitive marketplace analysis, can give dealers the tools and data they need to stay just as informed and active as their consumers, strategically adapt advertising efforts, and stay competitive in our rapidly changing industry.
Boatline is a next generation marketplace powered by Trader Interactive, an industry leader in online advertising for recreational and commercial industry dealers. Marine Dealers have access to premier tools for advertising their locations and inventory, researching prices and scarcity, as well as top-of-the-line lead generation tools. Our mission is to bring buyers and sellers together through our advanced insights, next generation platform, and intuitive search capabilities. We want to bring a better digital buying and selling experience to the marine industry!