“Raw imma give it to ya, with no trivia raw like cocaine straight from Bolivia”
~ Wu-Tang Clan
2015 has been a sh*t show in the world of automotive digital marketing. You have one camp that says online sales will never be a thing while the other camp is selling cars to people. It’s like living in the days when the government wouldn’t admit Area 51 was a thing.
Are you serious?
In addition to that whole mess there is an over abundance of people in this space who, for whatever reason, seem to think they know a thing or two about a thing or two and feel ever so inclined to take the tiny bit of internet knowledge they have and vomit it back up everywhere they can..
If I sound hypercritical of this all it’s because I am. I feel like I’ve been surrounded by a sea of unskilled sailors in shallow water.
And, Like a man with no arms, I can’t hang…
So i’ve decided to give you guys a raw list of 5 things that I think are important for dealers to focus on going into 2016.
Here we go..
1. Dealer to Vendor
Stop asking for general vendor recommendations. Figure out which problem you are trying to solve first. No one can help you sell more cars better than yourself.
Hold your vendors accountable to KPI’s that are actionable from their end, while holding yourself accountable for KPI’s that are actionable from your end.
Understand that “more” is not a unit of measurement.
2. Responsive – Adaptive – App[itive]
Anyone who still believes that an adaptive site is of equal or of greater value than a responsive site, should be stripped of their digital marketing card and have all of their usernames returned to the pool for eternity.
Car dealers are not Amazon, nor should you compare yourself. It’s not likely you have mobile app that offers an arguably better mobile experience than your own mobile adaptive dealer website.
You have one shot to wow a customer with your wares but when half your site looks great on a phone and the other half looks like the inside of a confetti cake, it’s all to easy to loose out on that one shot. Take a few extra moments in 2016 to review the experience happening your website (and mobile app if you have one) across multiple devices.
3. Social Media
Nobody wants to follow your dealership, be a friend with a dealer or get updates from your dealership by snapchat stories. You’re lying to yourself if you think otherwise.
In my opinion, social media is nothing more than an advertising platform. Back in the day when business pages first came around we all wanted more people to like our pages and our posts and we would schedule them out at the perfect times so we could try and define a successful strategy while working over edge rank in our favor.
Why was that important?
Because, that was the only way to get demographical data about our social base. That way we could build the creative around their likes, dislikes, age, gender, etc.
Today you can get all of that and more inside of Facebook’s own ads platform.
Social Platforms have become the perfect platform to place your company on blast. More often than not we spend our time fielding complaints trying to save face vs. conducting business of some kind.
Putting effort into building a “Social Following”is like trying to fix up a Daewoo. It’s a waste of time, money and energy.
A CRM is as good as you want it to be. Think of your CRM like your house. Do you let people come over and just dump all over the place, placing their feet on the furniture. Probably not. Garbage in is garbage out.
When you don’t have standard for how people use the software that is literally powering your business. You are basically letting other people use your toothbrush to clean toilets.
Build automation into your crm, Don’t rely solely on people. Utilize all the tools and features available, stretch your CRM to its limits.
5. Database Marketing
I refuse to call it equity mining. I think it sounds cheap. It’s taking two words that dealers understand and placing them together in hopes they can sell more features to you.
I like to view Database Marketing as the backbone of all marketing. When you have everything else running perfectly, designing database marketing campaigns are the incremental sales we’ve all been been paying that guy with nice shoes and tie to bring us.
So do yourself a favor and go get some religion on database marketing in 2016.
If there is anything that you take away from my quick rant for 2016, I hope that it’s a better understanding that in order to get more, consider doing less. The more stuff you have to deal with, the more crap you are going to have to weed through in order to find the wins. Become hyper focused and improving upon what is really going to impact your dealers business.
Define specific goals and use only what will help you achieve those specific goals. And remember… “More” is not a unit of measurement.