Archive for June, 2012
AutoCon 2012 Provides Diversity and Women’s Issues Workshops – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community
Posted by Ralph Paglia in AutoCon, AutoConnections, Automotive Digital Marketing, Automotive Management, Automotive Retail Management, Automotive Sales, Automotive Social Media, Car Dealers, Conference, Dealer Training, Google, Social Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Women Certified on June 29, 2012
AutoCon 2012 Provides Diversity and Women’s Issues Workshops
The AutoCon 2012 Planning Committee is pleased to announce our partnership with Jody DeVere, CEO of AskPatty.com to create a powerful set of workshops that address diversity marketing and Women’s issues in the automotive industry.
Rarely do mainstream conferences invest the time and workshop space to cover what we consider as important topics for today’s auto dealership.
The workshops will include subject matter experts, women in leadership in the automotive industry, dealer principals, and diversity specialists. Attendees that attend at least three of the Diversity Tract workshops will receive a Diversity Training certificate on the closing day of AutoCon 2012.
Diversity Workshop Offered at AutoCon 2012
Here are the current workshops offered in this tract:
- Diversity Marketing to Latinos
- Recruiting, Hiring, & Retaining Women in Automotive Industry
- Case Studies of Dealerships Getting It Right With Women
- Diversity Marketing to LGBT Community
- A Candid Discussion With Women Leading Successful Dealerships
We encourage members of the automotive community that would like to see more discussion on Women’s issues, leadership opportunities for Women, and marketing strategies for our diverse customer base, to please share the information about AutoCon to their peers.
For more information and online event registration, please click the image below:
AutoCon, AutoConnections, Automotive, Automotive Marketing, Automotive Sales, Automotive SEO, Automotive Social, Car Dealer, Car Dealership Marketing, Conference, Dealership Management, Sales Management, Social Media, Training
As we all know, Google made a HUGE shift on May 30th, when they moved all Google Places pages to Google+ Local. We are 1 month since the announcement and shift, and I wanted to share some of my experiences and observations so far.
Google is very important when it comes to online reputation and specifically online reviews for local businesses, including auto dealers and other categories. Google’s move to launch Google+ Local shows a large commitment by Google to reviews and the local business space. As with any new launch, it will evolve over time. From what we have seen thus far there are some great things about Google+ Local and some challenges with how it is implemented currently. The fact remains that it is here to stay, and the best thing we can do is educate ourselves and our customers on Google+ Local, and utilize it to the best of our ability, while being aware of its current limitations.
This blog post summarizes some of my own observations, so please comment if you have any additional insights to share.
1: User Experience
The overall look and feel of the new Google+ Local pages looks great. It is easy to read, the larger images are compelling, and the way the review summary is highlighted is nice, etc. However, there are two areas where Google+ is lagging, and these two areas will impact user adoption: sign up process, and lack of iPad / iPhone support for writing a review.
Currently, in order to sign up for Google+, a user is taken through a 4 step process where they are “guided” through a variety of new features that Google has to offer. For new users, this may be over-whelming. In addition, each time there is a new step, users will fall out of the conversion process. Google needs to refine this sign-up process to make it easier for users to join Google+ and participate in reviews.
One of the big reasons that Google launched Google+ Local was to provide an increased focus on reviews and propagate their new Zagat-style review scale, the 30 point scale. For that reason, having users write reviews seems to be an important outcome of the launch. At this point in time, Google has not launched an iPad app for Google+ and their Google+ app for iPhone does not include the ability to search Google+ Local or write reviews for local businesses. With the penetration for iPhones and iPads and users’ desire to do things while on the go, this will limit user adoption and users’ ability to write reviews.
2: Phasing Out Google Places
The launch of Google+ Local really only encompassed a partial launch of the service — the front end user interface. The back end, which includes the management of a Google+ Local Business Page as well as integration with the Google search offerings is not fully implemented yet.
In order to manage or change information, local businesses still have to log into their Google Places dashboard. This is where they would update images, any information/ hours, etc. The business also has to log in here to respond to reviews from customers.
Google+ Local is not yet fully integrated into the Google search results. When you execute a search that includes local businesses in the search results, reviews are not included as a part of the Google organic or paid results. Where you do see reviews/ Google+ Local information is in the Google Places part of the search results. It is still entitled “Places for [xyz business] in [city]” and includes every listing for that business, the associated reviews, and a map to the businesses. I am sure that we will see further integration down the line and a complete retirement of any references to Google Places.
Google+ Local is here to stay. Google is pushing its review platform to be more relevant to local businesses and get users engaged. I believe that over time, using Google+ will become easier to use from all devices, and Google+ Local will be fully integrated within Google Search results.
Google is also establishing different standards (e.g., the 30 point scale, and 1-3 ratings) and requirements for reviews than other sites. For example, Google has stated that reviews can be obtained directly within the business location. Since a Google+ account is required to submit a review, Google must feel that the benefit of getting more customer participation by involving the business in encouraging customers to review outweighs the threat of abuse, since users have to have their own Google+ account to leave a review.
We cannot ignore Google+ Local and Google Reviews. We need to educate ourselves and our customers on how Google+ Local can be leveraged as an asset to drive additional business into dealerships.
Another prediction that I wrote about has come true. Change is in the air again at Google. Paid Search just took a big step forward or backwards, depending on how you think. It’s called “Google Commercial Unit For Cars“.
In November 2011, I wrote about a product called “Google Advisor” which will change the landscape of paid search marketing for new car sales. It has taken a very long time for this product to get off the ground. This type of product has been around in the mortgage lead generation business for years.
Well the Google Advisor product for automotive leads is here and it has a more common name: Google Cars.
I finally was able to see the product live today and so can you. Just change your browser location to Zip Code 94301 and conduct a search on Google with this phrase:
Palo Alto Toyota
What you will see might shock you, as Google has clearly entered into the new car lead generation business. I created a few screen shots to explain how the model works, and I am sure this will be evolving. I would love to get your opinion on this strategy and if you would be interested in testing this new service.
San Francisco Bay Beta Test of Google Cars
Currently, this product is only available in the San Francisco Bay area. We will find out when this will open up to other markets. This is only for new cars and it requires a dealer to provide and inventory feed of their new cars.
According to my sources, this product is focused on lower sales funnel queries meaning the buyer has already decided on a brand and a model to purchase. So it will not be showing up for all automotive search queries, just a subset that Google believes have already made a brand/model selection.
Google Cars Inventory Model Results Page
When you Click on the first photo of the Toyota Camry in the red box above, you will be shown this page
Google Cars Pricing Info
If you click on the “Google Price Info” link, you might get a chill down your spine, like TrueCar did for car dealers.
The Google Price popup box is shown on the right. If you click on the “Learn More” link, you can read about how these prices are determined.
The “regional price paid” data according to Google comes from data shared by dealers to the DMV in their state. Here is what Google says:
Regional price paid tells you how much the vehicle you want tends to sell for in your area. It is calculated from real new car sales in your area over the past 90 days, as reported by dealers to the DMV.
Regional price paid is specific to the make, model, trim, packages, and options shown. It includes destination charge; it excludes taxes and fees. It may include incentives and other promotions running at that time that may have impacted the average price paid.”
Google Cars VDP
When you you click on a specific vehicle, you will be taken to a VDP page that looks like this:
Google Cars Email Contact Options
And when you click to contact the dealer, you have three options. Clicking on the “Email Dealer” choice reveals this screen.
Notice that the consumer can easily select other local dealers to quote on the same vehicle.
Communication Via Proxies
I was able to confirm that this is a pay per lead model and user contact information is not shared, all communications will go through proxies. Take a peek at the image above to see the statement “Google protects you from spam“.
This is an attempt to limit spam to consumers from dealers. Read the information on this link: http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=…
This adds a degree of complexity since normal CRM workflows and contact strategies will be impacted by lack of direct phone number via proxies. This means that leads generated by the program will really need to be worked to get direct contact information before the proxy period expires.
I will be working to get the information you need to prepare for this new opportunity in new car vehicle marketing. If you have any specific questions, let me know. You can send me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, I’ll be busy researching this and getting the facts. Keep in mind that at AutoCon 2012 will have 3 deep dive workshops on all the latest paid search strategies that car dealers can leverage.
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing
AutoCon, AutoConnections, Automotive, Automotive Marketing, Automotive Sales, Car Dealer, Car Dealer Internet Leads, Car Dealers, Car Dealership Marketing, Commercial Unit for Cars, Google, Leads, Marketing, Sales Leads, Sales Management
Car Buyers Use Mobile to Research Vehicle Purchases – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community
Auto shoppers have demonstrated a predilection for online research for years, and that behavior is now carrying over into the mobile sphere. A report from Mojiva, a mobile ad network that relied on analysis of its own data, along with a Q1 2012 survey, found that 69% of consumers in the US were interested in researching the purchase or lease of a vehicle using their mobile phone.
And auto consumers are showing some receptiveness to mobile ads that aligned with their shopping needs. Almost half of respondents said they considered deals and offers to be the most valuable information they could receive after clicking on a mobile advertisement. Additionally, one in five said they were interested in clicking on ads to learn about the features of a vehicle, or to watch a video about it. The same percentage of respondents said they valued ads that allowed them to sign up for future deals and offers, or other communications.
Exposure to ads also led a significant number of respondents to direct action. As of March 2012, fully 57% of respondents said they would browse a website as a result of seeing an ad on their phone, while 43% said they would download a mobile app. And 38% said they would request more information after watching a mobile ad.
Because of the high cost of vehicles, along with a great need to “touch and feel” (and test drive) before you buy, it is unlikely that sales conversions will start to take place on mobile devices anytime soon. But mobile campaigns have the potential to shape consumers’ opinions at the early stages of their research process, and push them along the sales funnel. Car Dealers and OEM’s that incorporate mobile into their overall strategy, instead of considering it an afterthought, will benefit from the practice.
Posted by Ralph Paglia in Advertising, AutoCon, AutoConnections, Automotive Digital Marketing, Automotive Management, Automotive Retail Management, Automotive Social Media, Automotive Suppliers, Car Dealers, Conference, CRM, News and politics, SEO, Social Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Women Certified on June 19, 2012
Why Marketing Directors Should Choose AutoCon 2012 Over Other Fall Conferences
We understand that Marketing Directors have many choices where to invest their time out of the dealership. We have made AutoCon the ideal choice for Marketing Directors for these reasons:
- AutoCon is a new with fresh ideas and an innovative approach to the conferences structure.
- Advanced Marketing and Advertising workshops are include in the educational offerings.
- Breakfast, Plated Lunch, Breaks, and Evening Cocktail Receptions are included in the registration fee.
- AutoCon provides over 60 workshops and hands on labs to maximize the learning experience.
- Sponsored workshops are clearly labels to allow Marketing Directors to shop for new products or not.
- Exhibit hall allows Marketing Directors to shop for new products and connect with new technology.
- Conference format allows for peer networking and group discussions to improve your sales strategy.
- WiFi is provided in all conference areas and hotel rooms so you can stay connected to work.
- Marketing Directors receive vendor coupons worth over $5,000 in product discounts.
- Attendees receive conference workbook, Dry-Fit Conference T-Shirt, and assorted logo brands gifts.
Suggested Conference Workshops
- Leveraging Google+ Local For Marketing and Online CSI Scores
- Diversity Marketing: Latinos, LGBT, and Women
- Dominate Your Local Market With Video Pre-Roll Marketing
- Why Pinterest & LinkedIn Should Be Part of Your Social Strategy
- I Know The Top 10 Profit Leaks At Your Dealership
- Data Mining & Segmentation Strategies To Identify Buyers
- The Power Of Landing Pages – 10+3 Tips To Drive Conversion
- What Influences Customer Loyalty & How Do We Measure It?
- Set Your Fixed Ops Video Strategy on Fire
- Sell More Cars Using The Service Drive
Lock In Your Attendance – Limited Time Offer
We encourage Marketing Directors to confirm their participation for AutoCon today. Take advantage of the Early Bird pricing for you and your team, which adds further savings to your September conference budget.
AutoCon, AutoConnections, Automotive, Automotive Marketing, Automotive Sales, Automotive SEO, Automotive Social, Car Dealer, Car Dealers, Car Dealership Marketing, Conference, CRM, Dealership Management, Marketing, Sales Management, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, Social Media
Changing The Way Conferences Are Organized
AutoCon 2012 is changing the way that automotive conferences are created, organized, and presented to dealers. We have listened to input from dealers, automotive professionals, and supplier partners to create a format that offers great value.
We are blessed to have the Aria Hotel for AutoCon 2012 because all workshops, exhibit halls, and lab rooms are all together on the 3rd floor of the casino. All meeting areas are clean, comfortable, and fully WiFi accessible for attendees needing to check in on work or their emails. Attendees share all meals together which facilitates discussion, sharing of best practices, and meeting new lifetime friends.
AutoCon 2012 starts off on Wednesday afternoon with Business Assessment Consultations where attendees can ask experts to hand select which courses they should attend to meet their most pressing needs. AutoCon 2012 micro-managers the experience for each attendee to make sure that they receive the maximum benefit from their time out of the office.
During the conference, attendees can select between educational workshops and sponsored workshops. Sponsored workshops are ideal for attendees who are shopping for new products or would like to see the latest product updates from their existing vendor partners. This format should eliminate the unexpected “pitch session” that is offensive to many attendees that were looking for an unbiased presentation.
The AutoCon Lab Sessions allows attendees to follow-up presentations with “hands-on” session in the lab room similar to the Apple “Genius Bar”. The lab format allows for specific questions to be addressed, one-on-one, when confidential matters may be discussed.
Automotive Media Partners, LLC
Exhibit Hall Supplier Coupons – Sponsors and vendors will be providing attendees with credit vouchers, compiled in a spiral bound book of coupons. The coupons will provide significant savings off products and services offered to dealers. Attendees will need to visit the exhibitor’s booth to validate the coupons, and can use the credits after the conference to lock in savings. The coupon book will total over $10,000 in supplier credits. Of course dealers will not need all the services offered in the coupon book but we are confident that their registration and travel costs can easily be covered by the savings they receive from just a handful of vendors showcased at AutoCon 2012.
Audio & Video Recorded Sessions
A common request that I have received from previous FCE events is to provide attendees with the ability to purchase audio and video recordings of the workshops that they could not attend. We have decided to record each workshop session at AutoCon 2012 and detail on gaining access to the full conference educational sessions will be provided at the registration desk when you arrive.
First Class Educators Signature Ingredients
Several aspects contribute to the overall “signature” experience when attending an FCE event. I intend on keeping every single one those popular features (or basic ingredients) and adding new ones each year. FCE events are well known for their intimate learning sessions, networking during cocktail receptions, dynamic conversions over meals, and well-timed breaks. At the end of each day, we reward attendees with a comfortable reception and facilitate building new friendships in the industry.
AutoCon, AutoConnections, Automotive, Automotive Marketing, Automotive Sales, Automotive SEO, Automotive Social, Car Dealers, Car Dealership Marketing, Conference, Dealership Management, Marketing, Sales Management, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, Social Media, Training
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