Best PracticesDealership MarketingIndustry News & Trends

The Mobile Movement for Your Dealership

This is a guest post by Shawn Petley (eCommerce Director). Shawn and I were discussing mobile strategies in relation to some of stats coming out of the Google Mobile Playbook. Before we ended the call, I asked Shawn if he would like to write an article around our discussion highlighting some of the data from the Playbook…
– Jeff Kershner


image form the Google mobile playbook

Smartphones are embedded into daily life. Understanding the impact of smartphones on consumer behavior is key to reaching today’s on-the-go user and we all need help figuring out what to do in mobile and tablets, Google wants to help us in the form of a “playbook” for the industry.

The Mobile Playbook, offers tips on how we/dealers can better take advantage of mobile. The Playbook starts by asking five “crucial mobile questions” everyone should be asking today:

  1. How does mobile change our value proposition?
  2. How does mobile impact our digital destinations?
  3. How is our organization adapting to mobile?
  4. How should our marketing adapt to mobile?
  5. How can we connect with our tablet audience?

Consumers are using smartphones and tablets to find the answers to questions and it’s our goal to answer those questions.

Mobile has a direct correlation with winning ZMOT because:

  • 81% of smartphone users access the internet on mobile devices
  • 77% use a search engine
  • 48% watch videos
  • 95% of smartphone users search for local information
  • 61% called a business after searching
  • 59% visited in person after search

At Google, they believe that our success in mobile will determine the future of our business.

Mobile search queries have grown 5x more in the past year. Mobile is incremental and needs its own budget to maximize exposure. Within the mobile budget you can allocate across mobile search, mobile display, experimental programs, extensions of other channels (email, social, coupons, etc.)

It’s important to note that these searches are incremental to your desktop search traffic, and these different searches create new opportunities. Meaning we need to embrace and leverage mobile ads because 74% mobile internet users are using search engines.

How many of you are using mobile ads?

Mobile ads can help you achieve your goals by connecting you with customers while they’re on the go. Mobile ads can help you get new users, more leads and more conversions. Keep in mind that you will see higher phone conversions then eleads. When creating mobile ads add the following call-to-actions.

  • Increase your sales and leads with Click-to-call, a clickable phone number right in your mobile ad which makes it as easy as possible for customers to connect directly to your dealer.
  • Add ratings and online reviews
  • Add location-based ads that target customers who are looking for local dealers and show them relevant info like your dealer phone number and address.
  • Add sitelinks to help people get straight to a specific page on your mobile site.
  • Add location extensions which display directions to help customers find your dealer. So, if consumers are close enough to your business, a distance marker will show up in the ad indicating how close your dealer is to consumer.

How many of you have a mobile app for your dealership?

Google says “Having an app is not the same as having a mobile strategy. An app is essentially a bookmark for users who want to engage with you, but the majority of your traffic is likely coming from the web, not from brand-loyal power users who’ve downloaded your app.”

Keep in mind, your mobile website is also accessible by users across all devices, while apps must be designed for specific platforms.

But if you have an app you can increase downloads of your apps with click-to-download mobile ad formats. Also check out Google AdMob because you can connect with other apps to increase downloads and get noticed.

Here are some more takeaways from The Mobile PlayBook: The Busy Executive’s Guide to Winning with Mobile:

  • Check you mobile website for ease of use and ensure it’s dynamic with your phone number prominent.
  • Separate mobile-specific search campaigns from desktop search campaigns so your ads are more relevant.
  • Define your value proposition by determining what your consumer wants to do with your dealership in mobile.
  • Increase conversions with click-to-call phone number on mobile ads.
  • Maximize Email marketing for mobile users. Up to 30% of email opens come from mobile.
  • Incorporate location based products and services and make it easy for mobile customers to reach you because local information seeking is common among smartphone users and they are most ready to act on the information they find.
  • Develop a comprehensive cross-channel strategy as mobile shoppers use their phones in-store, online and via mobile website and apps to research and make purchase decisions.
  • Test, measure and develop messaging specific for mobile

Take 5 minutes today and search for your dealer on a smartphone and tablet as a consumer would. Are you happy with what you see?

What features are you looking to add to you dealers mobile website or mobile app in 2012?

  • K
  • May 31, 2012
This is a tremendously important area that dealers need to take seriously. Just take a look at your web analytics and see how (and when) your mobile traffic is growing. Mobile traffic is different than your traditional website traffic and your mobile site needs to accomodate what they are looking for - phone numbers, directions and hours, and simplified content that downloads quickly.  Kudos to Shawn Petley!
  • D
  • May 31, 2012
Shawn, thanks and congrats on your first post here on DealerRefresh. We look forward more!
Mobile consumes a lof of my focus and as it should. Just as Kevin mentions, my dealers have seen a 200-300& increase in mobile traffic over the last 12-18 months. Unfortunately it seems as if most dealers and website services view mobile as nothing more than an extension of their wired dealer websites. Many mobile sites are nothing more than a re-styled (CSS) version of their wired sites; very restricted on what you can do with them. Talk about templated??
Dealers and most of our mobile website providers IMO need to step up their game. I've seen some really bad mobile dealer sites over the last few months. 
I started a thread awhile back over in the forums asking dealers who they are using for theor mobile websites, what features they have and what feature they would like to see. Please , take a moment and contribute to the thread -
The next year in mobile is going to be a fun and exciting time! 
  • J
  • June 1, 2012
Great first post Shawn!
  • S
  • June 1, 2012
Thanks for all your support Jeff, Kevin & Jerry.
I agree with Jeff that most dealer websites are very restricted so in the meantime ensure your mobile website is well branded and have your department numbers prominent because consumers are looking for instant gratification - Like Kevin said “simplified content”
Mobile usage is yet another evolution change and as advertisers we must open all channels of communication and make it convenient for consumers to conduct business.