An Argument for Personalization in 2015

Okay, we get it. 2015 is the year of Customer Experience. But what is the first tangible step that a dealership can take toward not just better customer experience, but the sort of award winning, mind blowing, shareworthy, life changing customer experience that will convert your prospects into loyalists?

Aaron's Personalized Marriott Video

The answer is so simple it is simply overlooked:

How to Track Email Campaigns with Google Analytics

Many people don’t realize that there is a lot more to Google Analytics than just tracking your website activity… it’s also a great way to provide you with insights into your email campaigns.

email analytics tracking

Advanced Segments are GA’s way of dividing up all your visitors into associated groups. You can acquire details telling when visitors were there; what operating system they use on their computer, and so on… You can find the referring URL (what site they came from) or how many times they have visited. However you can do so much better with your data-mining.

GA includes one Advanced Segment (of many) that sorts by referrers or Traffic Sources. This is much more important because these can include Social Media Sites, Direct Traffic, Search Engines (Paid leads, Non-paid Leads, SEO, etc.), as well as email newsletters and email campaigns.

In this instance, the last two are the important ones to us. If you tag an email for a campaign (or within a newsletter), and clients click on links to your site within them, Google Analytics provides you with lots of data. What you need to do is build the URLs that will allow you to code your links with data GA can interpret. It might be complex, but there are automated tools…

3 Easy Things to Do TODAY to Fill Your Service Bays Tomorrow

Pretend you’re the owner of a 2010 Ford Focus that recently went off warranty. Your check engine light just clicked on – most likely due to a battery issue – and you need to get it fixed ASAP. There’s seven inches of snow forecast for the weekend ahead and you can’t afford to risk an issue in the cold. Put your consumer hat on and think about where you’d turn for help and information given the circumstances.


Now take it one step further.

Pull out your smartphone or open a new tab in your mobile browser and search for “battery replacement,” “brake repair,” “oil change,” or any number of common services consumers look for online in your neighborhood every day.

See what comes up!?

4 Predictions That Will Affect Car Dealer Performance in 2015

2015 Automotive DealerRefresh Prediction

It’s time to get the band back together for another round of predicting the future of automotive marketing, technology and consumer behavior for 2015. This is one of my favorite annual posts as it provides the opportunity to share my vision for all of the things I love about our business.

As I gathered my thoughts for this post, I kept coming back to two themes for dealership performance this year: Growth and Simplicity – as in a maturation of our activities and efforts. We have all experienced a flurry of new products and services over the past couple of years. I get a sense that we have reached a point of information obesity and are ready to finally to trim the excess. This year will be more about understanding the customer and how dealers can make better connections based on the unique experiences they provide, versus simply plugging another new tool into a fragmented array of dealership services.

Let’s get started…

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%.