Is Your Dealership Color Blind?

We’ve convinced ourselves that an easy way to help a customer select the right vehicle is to narrow down their expectations on price. Once we know their budget, we can show them a large variety of vehicles in all shapes, sizes, and assorted colors that can meet their needs. Being color-blind may be costing us opportunities to find vehicles for our customers faster.

color_blindness

In Cobalt’s 2014 Inventory Shopping Experience Study, 63% of all dealers surveyed believe price to be the most important and widely-used search filter on their website. Essentially, they believe that when a customer reaches the dealership’s SRP or inventory search page, they narrow themselves down by the price feature. It turns out, our customers care first and foremost about the color of their next vehicle. Who knew?

DealerRater and AutoTrader Partner to Bring Dealership Reviews to AutoTrader.com

We knew it was only a matter of time before AutoTrader.com jumped into the dealer review arena. Well, today they announced their partnership with DealerRater.com to to bring dealership reviews to AutoTrader.com.

Beginning this month (assuming December), DealerRater reviews and ratings will be featured on AutoTrader.com dealer profile pages. Shoppers on AutoTrader.com will also be able to click a “Rate & Review This Dealer” button that will direct them to the “Write a Review” page on DealerRater.com. Consumers can rate dealers on the criteria of customer service, quality of work, friendliness, price and overall experience.

“This partnership reinforces how critical online dealer reviews are in today’s car shopping process,” said Gary Tucker, CEO of DealerRater.”

You can grab the full Press Release here.

Have something to say about this? Comment below to join us in the forums where we are discussing this right now..

If you missed last weeks DealerOn webinar “Expert Panel: Are You an Internet Ninja Warrior?” with our friend Jerry Thibeau – here it is.

In this particular webinar, 8 dealers signed up to be mystery shopped and then critiqued by a panel that included myself, Joe Webb, David Kain, Eric Miltsch and Jerry Thibeau. The top rated dealers had the opportunity to win some cash, compliments of the Phone Ninja himself.

The webinar was to go the usual 1 hour but I’ll warn you, we went a tad bit over. Each of us reviewed and critiqued the dealers (2) first response by email, the first phone call and then any follow-up email right afterwards. I believe you’ll takeaway some good information from each of us on the panel as we critique each dealer and their follow-up. As usual, when you have this group together – there’s sure to be a bit of mud slinging and fun banter.

Give it a listen during lunch today or when you have some down time. Since it’s a video, you can always pause it and come back to it later.

Have questions? Shoot away in the comments below.

5 Reasons Video Is the #1 Vehicle Selling Tool

TV commercials. Billboards. Newspaper advertisements. Direct mailings. Door hangers.

Importance of video content

 

A new study by Demand Metric shows why video is better than most all other forms of marketing and advertising. The study weighed more towards the B2B audience, but the takeaways are just the same.

The Video Content Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study asked 295 businesses that were using video about the ROI they are getting from their strategy. More than 70% responded that, in terms of conversion rates, online video gets better results than traditional approaches to customer acquisition. About 8 in 10 video marketers said their programs were somewhat (60%) to very (17%) successful.

Here are 5 reasons why videos is so effective…

8 Essential Attributes Dealer Marketing Pros Need

Whether you call him/her a Digital Marketing Manager, Web Presence Manager, or something else, you need someone at your dealership to manage the marketing efforts of your partners, vendors, and agencies. 

8-essential-traits-of-marketing-pros

Dealers, if you’re not actively managing the efforts of your vendors with some level of in-house oversight, you’re probably being taken for a seriously expensive and round-about ride.

Further more, if you are incapable of appraising the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of your marketing due to a lack of on-site digital marketing guru it is very likely that other, more progressive, dealers are getting the upper hand and are eating your lunch.

I know this because I have been on the losing team and, more recently, a winning one.

Your Dealership Needs a Go To Market Strategy

In politics, just as in life, the devil is in the details.

Business Graphs and Charts

When it comes to winning elections, the difference between victory and failure can come down to a figurative – and sometimes literal – handful of votes. Advertising strategies usually revolve around big spending on attack ads through traditional media, with local TV blanketed throughout the weeks and months before Election Day. We all count the days until the election is over; when things return to normal!

TV advertising can influence elections, but big spending doesn’t always equal a big win: See, last month’s North Carolina senate race, where both sides shelled out historic amounts, but the incumbent lost despite outspending her opponent.

Car dealers approach their local markets no differently, except that, unlike in politics where elections only happen periodically, dealers live in a world where de facto elections occur every 30 days! Every month brings different nuances in a dealer’s local market: New goals, new incentives, new inventory, new competitive tactics, requiring constant reaction and adjustment. While it’s a comfortable, go-to tactic, blanket spending on ads to drive sales often quickly reach a point of diminishing ROI.

Ultimately, winning elections in politics, and winning the month in automotive, comes down to capturing the attention of voters and shoppers who are undecided, and who will sway the outcome to one side or another. For that, you need a good, focused, and dedicated ground game.

It’s the opposite of carpet-bombing markets with TV advertising

The Ground Game

You’ve probably heard the term “ground game” during the last few elections. It’s the opposite of carpet-bombing markets with TV advertising; instead of blasting an area with one message, you hone in on focused pockets of people who have the “right” characteristics to favor your point of view. The Democrats applied data science to their ground game to great effect in past elections, including during 2012’s presidential election. Of course, after 2014’s midterms, it looks like the Republicans’ work honing their ground game paid off. Reince Priebus, Chairman of the RNC, even stated, “We made a commitment to mechanics and data and digital operations first and foremost.”

A tightly focused strategy applied to pockets of voters or, in automotive terms, “in-market shoppers”, will help you convert those who aren’t yet swayed to one vehicle/dealership or another. The executive team of a large dealer group I recently visited hit the nail right on the head: “It’s not our loyal customers we need to win over, since they’re already in the our corner. It’s the people in the middle that are the key.”

So, how do you begin drawing up a blueprint for a strategy to win the ground game? You start with a few key data-driven inputs: Product, target, and message.

The Product