Your Dealership’s Digital Marketing Strategy Sucks!

Well… Maybe “Sucks” isn’t exactly the right word but, I promise that you are going about your digital marketing in the wrong order of operations. And, yes, there is a correct, comprehensive and strategic Order of Operations when it comes to all dealership website marketing approaches.

Supercharge You Digital Marketing

Hey, do you know something else that “Sucks”? Car Superchargers!

Building high-performance muscle cars and building a high-performance dealership website is very similar especially when the goal is getting the absolute best output from every dollar spent from your budget. I assume that everyone who reads DealerRefresh is familiar with what SEM is and what it basically does. And, seeing how this is an automotive-audience I will make the same assumption that everyone here knows what a Supercharger is and what it does.

Search Engine Marketing is the Same to a Dealership’s Website as a Supercharger is to a Vehicle’s Engine.

1.) Both are tasked to force-induce more “volume” into their perspective power plant.
2.) As they REV up whether it’s RPMs or dollars spent they increase exponentially.
3.) They both work better when the power plant is built to handle them.

Where superchargers and SEM are completely different is the stage at which they are implemented to increase volume.

Nearly every dealer that wants more leads starts SEM as their first (and sometimes only) modification to their website marketing  and very, very few engine builders select a Supercharger as their first power plant modification and for really good reasons.

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. 


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.

A Why Buy Is a Must Have!

“Today, the fight to convince automotive shoppers to buy from you is won and lost on the digital battlefield.”

This is a statement frequently made by Mike Hills, General Manager at Acton Toyota of Littleton, one of the most successful and progressive Toyota dealerships in the country.

fight to convince

We hope and trust all of you out there reading are in full agreement with Mike’s belief. If not, please realize the only time Mike made a mistake was when he incorrectly thought he had made a mistake, but in reality, hadn’t. We’d also refer you to a recent study from DMEautomotive to convince you Mike’s right on the money.

The DMEautomotive study reveals that overall car buyers only visit 2.2 dealerships to make a purchase. This study confirms similar research from McKinsey which found car buyers visit just 1.6% dealerships before buying- plummeting from 5 just a decade ago. That’s right. In just 10 years the average number of dealership visits for a car purchase decreased by well over 50%.

Is Your Website Alienating Auditory and Visual Learners?

I normally don’t read a printed newspaper unless I’m traveling on the road and pickup a free copy at the United Club or at a hotel. I prefer to read my news online. I visit,,, or to see what is happening around the globe. Regardless of which online news service you visit, have you noticed how many stories are exclusively video links on the home page?


Take a look at the homepage below. I have added orange stars where a video story is displayed on their open page. There are 21 video stories on the home page for this day!


Video Wasn’t Added By Accident

Websites like generate revenue from advertising. News websites are keenly aware of their visitor metrics and user feedback. Videos would not have need added on Fox News, to such a high degree, if consumers were not playing and enjoying the videos. The videos would not have been added if they were not generating more advertising revenue for the website.

News websites have acknowledged and have created content for consumers who are auditory and visual learners. There are many consumers who would rather watch a video to get updated with the latest news rather than reading text. In fact, when a consumer is on the go, video makes it easy to catch news on a train, bus, or in the back of a cab.

Mobile DSES Review with AutoMotion

DSES-Review-Image-Final Excitement filled the air as we boarded the plane for another trip to the strip for the Driving Sales Executive Summit.  This event continually amazes us each year with Driving Sales recruiting some of the most progressive speakers in the space coming out to reveal industry innovations and collaborate with a wide variety of outstanding peers on the future of the automotive industry. Primed and ready to learn, collaborate and have some fun we snaked through the immense halls of the Bellagio and DSES once again did not disappoint.

Written by Josh Knutson, AutoMotion

With re-nowned keynotes including Jared Hamilton, Brian Solis, Bryan Eisenberg, Rand Fishkin, Mike Hudson, Jack Simmons, Florian Zettelmeyer, Adam Justis and 30 break out speakers there was no shortage of quality content. The automotive industry is on the verge of some huge changes and DSES revealed some exceptional insights on where, why and how we are getting to the next level.

Mobile Is Taking Over Our Industry

As many of us know mobile is drastically changing our industry and DSES definitely spent a considerable amount of effort placing a strong importance on the topic.

internet zoo infographic header

Have you ever wondered exactly how long your tweet or Facebook update or blogpost should be? Is there an optimal length that could lead to more clicks, comments, and shares – actual engagement?

The great people at Buffer put together research on the topic and have provided in this easy-to-read infographic.

As you continue to build upon your dealers social media efforts or even hit the do-over button, and are re-defining what a successful automotive social media strategy is..check out, take note and save Buffer’s complete guide to Optimal Length for Every Social Media Update and More.


CarMax Returns to Third Party Lead Providers

According to a recent AutoNews article, and much of the automotive industry, CarMax returned to buying leads this month after a 16-month break-up with AutoTrader and


Despite the rising costs and dwindling dealership brand presence, about 40 percent of CarMax’s 141 stores are now back up and running with And, quite possibly though not confirmed, the same can be said for AutoTrader.

Senior automotive analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, Kevin Tynan says..

We’re heading into a robust pre-owned market,” Tynan said. “It makes sense to spread (vehicle) exposure as widely as it can.

I’m not sure we buy that….

CarMax back on the lead bandwagon?

CarMax wasn’t alone in its endeavor to quit third party leads. AutoNation didn’t go cold turkey, but as it builds the foundation that will rely on brand awareness over third party lead providers, the giant has been pulling away from buying leads. Check out what the Refreshers think about third party leads.

The U-Turn discussion is already underway over in the forums and waiting for your insight.

What is missing, if anything, in the research process that is being found on AutoTrader or – and, not on YOUR dealership website?

What are you doing at your store about third party leads? Are you actually measuring their worth, and I mean, truly measuring?

If your store has made the leap tell us about your journey…