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.

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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 CNN.com, FoxNews.com, CNBC.com, or Yahoo.com 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?

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Take a look at the FoxNews.com 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!

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Video Wasn’t Added By Accident

Websites like FoxNews.com 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.

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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 Cars.com.

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Despite the rising costs and dwindling dealership brand presence, about 40 percent of CarMax’s 141 stores are now back up and running with Cars.com. 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 Cars.com – 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…

The Missing Ingredient To Automotive Enterprise Software Recipes

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In recent months there has been a renewed effort by some of the largest automotive software providers to entice dealers to sign enterprise business agreements. These contracts bundle products and services to offer considerable savings to dealers who are willing to standardize on the vendor’s product suite.

The largest software companies serving franchise automotive dealers include CDK Global, Cox Automotive, Dealertrack Technologies, Dominion Dealer Solutions, and Reynolds & Reynolds. Some of these companies offer dealers a complete operating platform that includes the DMS, CRM, Inventory Management, Websites, Desking, F&I, and Fixed Operations software while others have a few key software pieces to offer.

18.2 Reasons to Reconsider Google’s Zero Moment of Truth

For the past three years, Google’s Zero Moment of Truth has been a pillar of the automotive industry. Wedged into nearly ever conference workshop and lauded by trainers, vendors and dealers alike, the groundbreaking study shed light on the multi-faceted journey car shoppers take every day when purchasing vehicles.

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With tangible proof of the importance of things like online research, reviews and excellent customer service, we were forced to take a step back and put our consumer hats on, to realize that many of our greatest marketing challenges were right in front us waiting to be solved.

But where ZMOT starts to answer the what, it stops short at the whywhy do car shoppers use the tools they use to make decisions?With so many moving pieces, how do they all fit together in the minds of consumers?

Study: Do Consumers Trust Automotive Websites

LeadiD recently published an infograhic titled, “Do Consumers Trust Automotive Websites”. Naturally, this caught my attention as the words trust and automotive were in the same sentence. Also, I just love infographics – it’s the visual consumption of content that gets me every time.

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I read through the infographic expecting to learn something new, except I was left being disappointed and confused with the data. It is worth mentioning that I am familiar with LeadiD because they had reached out to us to promote this study on DealerRefresh and we hesitated because we hadn’t seen the study first. Sorry Patrick.

Now onto the Data:

The opening paragraph states: “The automobile industry is in flux. These days, dealers are feeling the crunch. Consumers are more Internet savvy, more mobile, and more finicky than ever before. Sales leads are flowing in from third party websites, and dealers are skeptical.”

Flux, really? Sales leads are flowing in. Are they quality leads, duplicate leads? Dealers are skeptical – damn straight. And, who funded this “study”? Can’t we know if a third party listing company paid to have this study done?

The Top 10 Trustworthy Third Party Auto Sites: