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Students considering a career in the retail automobile industry might be surprised to learn about the wide diversity of positions available at a car dealership.

One of those positions is the automotive marketing manager, a role that has changed considerably over the years, driven by digital/mobile marketing and social media.

Studies have shown that 95 per cent of all car shoppers now conduct their research online, and spend 11 hours, on average, researching their purchase. During those 11 hours, consumers will visit manufacturer and dealership websites, dealer review sites, consumer websites, and auto journalist sites and social media platforms.

The need for automotive marketers to understand how consumers purchase vehicles today was confirmed by a Car Buyer Journey Study, commissioned by Autotrader and conducted by IHS Automotive (2016). The Study said that “88 percent of shoppers use the Internet for vehicle shopping, and 78 percent use third-party sites or apps during the car buying process.”

To address this new marketplace reality, automotive marketers have become experts in “pull media” – providing information that viewers can consume at a time of their choosing, on a smartphone, table or PC.

Many of today’s automotive marketers have marketing diplomas and understand the tools, platforms and services that are used to engage with digitally savvy customers and prospects in this age of connectivity.

Automotive marketing is now a multi-disciplinary profession that includes proficiency in SEO (search engine optimization), website optimization, PPC (pay per click) advertising, e-marketing (e-newsletters), mobile marketing, social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), and web analytics.

Marketing managers also monitor and analyze market trends, present findings and ideas to their managers, study competitors’ products and services and attend trade shows and conferences.

Indeed, this is an exciting time to be working in the marketing profession, especially in the retail automobile industry. There are many opportunities for those who are internet savvy and who want to work in a progressive and dynamic industry.

If you have a passion for marketing and want to learn about a marketing career in the retail car industry, contact your local car dealership or community college; or visit the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association’s website, carsandjobs.com, or indeed.ca.