Like most new concepts and practices, it takes time for new ideas to be embraced. It takes even more time for dealers to implement them effectively and streamline their business processes around them.
I would argue for the 80/20 rule in our business when it comes to new ideas, that is, until at least 20% of dealers embrace an idea, the other 80%-plus will not. As we reach the 20% threshold, the remaining dealers begin to follow suit.
Generally speaking, it takes at least 2-3 years for new ideas to reach the 20% threshold, and then another 3-5 years for the industry as a whole to catch on. We’ve seen this with a several developments such websites, display, social media, live chat and mobile…
In the early 2,000’s, when the idea of dealership websites was new, most dealers dismissed the Web as a fad. By the time it was evident that the Web was here to stay and not a fad, the 20% that had embraced the idea of a website, and Internet customers, had a leaping head start on their competition.
The same happened with Social Media, specifically with Facebook and Facebook Ads. Five years ago, fewer than 20% of dealers were experimenting with Facebook. Today, most dealers deploy a Facebook strategy and leverage Facebook Ads. The ones that have been at it for a few years are almost assuredly reaping the rewards.
I know a dealer who now sees more website traffic come from Facebook than from Google.
Mobile, of course, is not a fad
In a recent post on by Aimi Gundersen about the rapid pace of advancement with mobile, Aimi builds on the reality that mobile is not a fad and that dealers must be questioning their approach with mobile.
This is the right advice, but “mobile” is not a singular problem to solve either. There are multiple aspects to consider with mobile.
For the sake of conversation, let’s classify each into one of two distinctions: Business Problems and Technology Solutions.
Technology should always be solving or enhancing a business problem, so let’s begin with some of the business considerations where mobile is a factor:
- Customer Experience
- Customer Loyalty
- Lead Generation
- Sales Process
- Vehicle Ownership
- Marketing Strategy
Then there are the technological considerations:
- Responsive websites
- Mobile Apps
- SMS Communications & Compliancy
- SMS Lead Generation
- CRM Integration
- Third-party Listings
- Personnel & Training
The point here is that there is no one-to-one business-to-technology problem-to-solution dynamic. Practically every aspect of your dealership today is already impacted by mobile factors, and there is no single solution for addressing them all.
Whether you are a Dealer Principal, a General Manager, a General Sales Manager, a Marketing Manager, a BDC or Internet Sales Manager, these “mobile” implications impact your ability to compete, thrive, and succeed.
The challenge that you have is less about where to begin and more about where you need to be. To determine this, you need a road map designed around your dealership’s goals and objectives. By identifying your business goals you can then begin to leverage existing technologies to help meet your objectives.
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