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It’s Nice to Meet You— Marketing to a New Buyer Persona

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Article Highlights:

  • ‘Work mode’ and personal mode’ are inseparable for this persona.
  • Customers in ‘work mode’ might be more critical in their research.

Connecting the right person to the right car is essential to ensuring that your dealership can stay open and profitable for years to come.  The past few years have drastically changed what the buyer’s journey looks like, and ultimately what dealerships need to focus on to keep connecting their cars to the right buyers.

Hey, auto industry, we’re not alone in this shift, either!

recent Microsoft Report found that this trend is not exclusive to the automotive industry—a variety of brands have noticed a shift in the way that consumers go about making purchasing decisions. The most important of their discoveries was that the past few years have led to the creation of a whole new buyer persona: The Workday Consumer (said with drumrolls and dramatic gestures).

Well, Hello There, Workday Consumer

The workday consumer was created out of the habits formed from when many began to work from home at the beginning of 2020. Working and living out of the same space created a consumer who finds ‘work mode’ and personal mode’ inseparable and can easily switch between the two. As just one example, this buyer may use a quick break from their work task at hand to shop for the tools they need for an upcoming home project, or to drop groceries into an Instacart to pick up after work. It’s a mix of work, play, and purchase all wrapped into one.

Even now, when many offices have reopened, roughly 26% Americans work from home all the time, and this number jumps to a shocking 80% who work from home occasionally. This buying persona is here to stay.

It’s Nice to Finally Meet You

Identifying the workday consumer can create a whole new opportunity for your dealership. Let’s consider some of the trends that make up this persona’s buying journey:

  • 59% of consumers consider their work and personal tasks to be of equal importance during their business hours
  • 48% of consumers prefer to complete their personal tasks and their work tasks without having to switch between different devices
  • 62% of consumers regularly research or purchase products and services during their work time, many of which tend to be high consideration items (think travel services, electronics, or a new car)

Knowing that your customers are looking at your cars and services online is nothing new, but these trends shed some light on what that buying process may actually look like for a lot of your customers. Purchase decisions are being made during different times of day, with different devices, and under different scrutiny than they may have been even just a few years ago.

As an example, let’s say that Tina wants to buy a car. She might look up things like ‘what car is best for me’ or ‘dealerships in my area’ during her lunch break on her work PC. Because Tina is at work, she might be looking at this information while in ‘work mode.’ This means that she might need different kinds of information (or more of it) before making the final decision of what car she wants to buy. Additionally, Tina is researching off of a different device and at a different time (and location) than she might have before—both of which are things that can have a significant impact on the success of your advertising efforts.

Let’s Stay in Touch

Aligning your dealership’s marketing strategy to meet the workday consumer’s needs and buying patterns is a great way to secure business both now and in the future. That said, it can be difficult to find a good starting place, so we have a few suggestions for how your dealership might cater to this consumer:

  • Digital Ad or Digital Bad?

It makes sense that customers in ‘work mode’ might be more critical in their research. That’s not a bad thing either (after all—nobody wins when a customer buys a car they hate). Make sure that your digital advertising provides what your customers need to feel confident in their decision. Maybe that means inventory display ads that lead to comprehensive Vehicle Detail Pages, advertising test drive videos and important features, or pushing your search and display ads to find the people actively seeking for information.

  • Email or E-fail?

Email is a staple of almost any dealership marketing plan, but are you finding success with what you’re doing now?

If you check your reporting and find some room for improvement, it might be worth considering if your database needs updated or cleaned. While you’re looking, see what kind of email addresses you have on record for your customers—are they personal addresses or work ones? You may find you have higher rates of success with one over the other. Don’t forget to also check on your timing—email open rates are typically highest for emails sent later in the morning (usually right before many people take their lunch break).

  • Info or Oh no?

Understanding the behavior of the workplace consumer can be extremely useful when it comes to staying one step ahead. Combine the traits this persona possesses with what your dealership already knows about your real customers—think demographic information and past purchase history. The end result should be clearer picture of your customer base, as well as a good indication of what they’ll do next (allowing you to be proactive in your efforts). Think of it this way: the better you can see your customers and their behaviors, the easier it will be to find the car that best suits them.


In an industry where customers conduct a majority of the buying process before they even come into your dealership, the small details of what the buying process looks like can prove to be monumental. The workplace consumer is a persona that, while only having emerged in the last few years, is here to stay. Aligning your marketing efforts with the needs of this persona could be a great step towards success.

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Mollie Swygart is a marketing communications professional at Reynolds and Reynolds. She is an expert on Reynolds’ suite of cutting-edge marketing products, their functionalities, and how they can be utilized to improve dealership success. Mollie received her Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art and English from Marietta College. She also obtained an Associate’s Degree in Marketing from Rhodes State College.

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