Wanna Chat? What about Now? Now? Now? How about Now?

Is your website turning into the Times Square of today’s website homepage?

too many dealer chat invites

A constant barrage of invites to chat blinking away, distracting your attention. Is it noise? Is it just smart conversion tactics? Chat is getting a bit gratuitous.

While speaking at a NADA 20 Group last week, I was live reviewing dealership website experiences, along with mystery shopping results, as I get called on to do. One thing became abundantly clear…

Your website wants to chat with me, and it won’t take no for an answer.

Like a needy significant other, they are constantly trying to steal your focus away from your core objective. Research.

Even some of our own dealer clients are guilty of this. And yes, I know it is more the chat providers themselves implementing these in-your-face tactics, but I digress. I see some websites that have an offer to chat…

DealerRefresh Cartoon Series

How common is this?

I tell ya, it’s NOT uncommon for me to step into a dealership on the first day of consulting, only to find the Internet Sales Manager lacking many of the basic applications and tools needed to perform the most simplest everyday tasks.

Even worse – they’re working on a 6-7 year old Asus / Intel Celeron PC with a single monitor…that once belonged to the body shop manager, before being handed down to a service writer and then somehow someone figured it was still good enough for the new ISM.

Sound Familiar?


Are Wearables Providing a Competitive Advantage to Early Adopters?

According to eMarketer.com, businesses are taking advantage of the opportunity of wearable technology and more specifically the opportunity to track and improve workplace productivity.


As more and more innovative tech products emerge into the market place and have the potential to change the competitive landscape, businesses are left trying to decide when to adopt and when to ignore. In early 2015 a study by Salesforce.com published that close to 8 out of 10 US businesses believe that wearables will remodel the future success of their businesses.

How’s Your Site Post-Mobilegeddon?

The purpose of this article is to provide information to automotive dealers about Google’s new indexing changes and the technology and opinions related to them. The article has links to all my research for you to expand in the topic.


It is safe to assume that by now we have all heard that Google rolled out a “mobile-friendly update(1) on April, 21 2014. It is important to understand these changes as they are the beginning of the way our websites will be accessed by our customers. We are moving from desktops to mobile devices and the way Google works for mobile changed.

The update will begin to change how Google ranks and indexes website content for mobile searches. This is an update to force website owners to improve their websites so they are mobile compatible. You can no longer ignore mobile traffic. Period.

Autobytel Acquires Dealix

Here we are, just talking about the quality of 3rd Party Leads and the few 3rd Party Lead providers.


Well, as of this evening, the number was reduced once again as Autobytel acquires Dealix (wholly-owned subsidiaries of CDK Global, LLC), for $25 million.

The acquisition adds approximately 600 retail new dealers and 300 retail used dealers to the Autobytel network, for a combined total of approximately 4,954 dealers. These dealer additions do not include the 450 retail new and 170 retail used overlap dealers that were receiving leads from both Dealix and Autobytel. Autobytel management expects the acquisition to be accretive to net income in 2015.

Read the full press release

Do you TRUST your 3rd Party Lead provider?

Dealers are always questioning the quality of 3rd Party Leads the Lead Providers they come from – OEM programs are NOT excluded.


WE KNOW – we (dealers) get sold duplicate leads from time to time.
WE KNOW – we get sold recycled leads from time to time.
WE KNOW – we get sold straight-up FAKE leads sometimes.

It happens, it’s the lead business.

BUT CAN the quality of 3rd Party Leads be IMPROVED? The better question might be, does anyone WANT TO IMPROVE THEM?

My guess is NO. But let’s assume it could be. But HOW?

I’ve been an advocate of Lead Scoring for years now. I’ve used Polk (IHS) Lead scoring with good to great success when applied at the dealership and vendor level. But let’s face it, lead scoring for whatever reason has never really caught on.leadid-logo

There’s possibly another solution that I stumbled upon several months ago - LeadID.

To summarize: LeadID provides a script that resides on the same page as the lead conversion form. Their script/technology not only records the user form fill session but also appends a unique ID to each lead. So if you can imagine:

comScore Smartphone Penetration-Mobile-Subscribers by Age May2015

Smartphone penetration reached 77% of the US mobile subscriber market (13+) during Q1 (the 3-month average ending in March), up from 74.9% in Q4 2014 and 68.8% in Q1 2014, according to the latest comScore figures. Compared to that ~8-point year-over-year increase, penetration growth has been strongest for subscribers aged 13-17 (up 10 points to 85%), 45-54 (up 10.7 points to 63.7%) and 65+ (up 11.6 points to 49.1%).

It’s worth remembering that the data is limited to mobile subscribers rather than the general population. A recent survey from the Pew Research Center, for example, found that just 27% of adults aged 65+ own a smartphone. - MarketingCharts

5 Tips Dealers Need To Beat Chrysler Digital and FCA Digital at Their Own Game

Just what is ShiftyDigital / Mutha FCA Digital doing to their dealers? If you don’t already know, you’re about to find out!

chrysler dealers lied to
I am going to preface this article by strongly encouraging Chrysler Dealers to take a few minutes to read and familiarize themselves with Brian Pasch’s recent expose prior to reading this.

I can easily pin the origins of my distrust of Chrysler to around 2 years ago. The Dealer group I was working for at the time had just received a report from Chrysler, showing that our internet closing ratio had dipped over a 3 month span for reasons that seemed to be unexplainable – even to Chrysler.

The best course of action would be to create a handful of email addresses and submit bogus leads (primarily through our own website) to determine any issues. Within minutes we found a potential issue, the Chrysler Concierge service.

For those unfamiliar with Chrysler’s Concierge program, it’s essentially a third party company employed by Chrysler to follow up with CDJR dealers’ internet leads.