Archive for May, 2013

Which Used Cars Are Trending Demand Exceeds Supply?

Used-vehicle shoppers are feeling pretty sporty this month, judging by Kelley Blue Book’s Hot Used-Car Report.

Sports cars and high-performance models led the month-over-month jumps in shopping activity growth so far in May with two particular used vehicles standing out the most.

Interest in the 2009 Volkswagen GLI soared a whopping 171.9 percent higher month-over-month. Shopping activity connected to the 2010 Mazda Miata MX-5 increased by a healthy margin, too, rising 43.5 percent.

KBB indicated the share of research toward sports cars increased 9.4 percent among total used retail traffic. Research into high-performance models wasn’t far off that pace as interest in those vehicles rose 6.5 percent in April, marking the second consecutive monthly increase.

“It is no surprise that performance-oriented vehicles have been increasing in popularity for the past couple of months,” said Arthur Henry, manager of market intelligence and market analyst at KBB.

“As the days get longer, people have more daylight time to have fun in their vehicles. We have been seeing more interest for import performance vehicles than domestic models. It appears shoppers are choosing vehicles that are better known for handling than power,” Henry went on to say.

The remainder of the Top 10 used models within the Hot Used-Car Report contained a couple other examples of vehicles that can hold their own in terms of sporty styling or performance. The rest of the used vehicles most researched at KBB included:

—2010 Infiniti G: up 17.0 percent
—2011 Honda CR-V: up 15.1 percent
—2007 Jeep Wrangler: up 15.1 percent
—2010 Nissan Maxima: up 13.7 percent
—2011 Honda Pilot: up 12.9 percent
—2011 BMW 3 Series: up 10.5 percent
—2010 Nissan Altima: up 9.3 percent
—2010 Honda Civic: up 6.1 percent

And for dealers who are scratching their heads over why some certain models continue to remain in inventory with summer dead ahead, perhaps the list provided by KBB of vehicles that sustained the largest drops in shopper activity this month might provide some clarity.

That list included a mix of both import and domestic units, as follows:

—2009 Nissan Altima: down 7.5 percent
—2007 Scion tC: down 13.5 percent
—2009 Honda Fit: down 14.6 percent
—2010 Chevrolet Cobalt: down 16.1 percent
—2009 Hyundai Accent: down 17.5 percent
—2009 Lexus IS: down 18.4 percent
—2009 Chevrolet Equinox: down 24.4 percent
—2009 Saturn Outlook: down 27.5 percent
—2011 Mitsubishi Galant: down 28.0 percent
—2009 Infiniti M: down 30.7 percent

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Social Media Marketing Metrics That Matter

9 Social Marketing Metrics That Actually Matter

BY SCOTT GERBER3 days agoThumbs-up

Even the most social-savvy business owners can get caught up in the numbers game: counting and recounting likes, followers, fans, retweets, shares. Not to say those numbers don’t correlate to how well your business connects with customers online, but 100 shares doesn’t necessarily mean 100 sales — and it certainly doesn’t measure the potential value of those 100 shares.

For example, were any of the 100 fans sharing that post actually influencers? Did the fans in question sign up for your list, or share and forget? Are your likes and follows actually impacting your sales? Many business owners wouldn’t know how to start answering those questions.

SEE ALSO: 25 Most-Followed Users on Instagram

To find out which social metrics are really worth monitoring, we asked a panel of successful young entrepreneurs to share which numbers they’re tracking right now on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. Here’s what they had to say.

1. Facebook Engagement

We came up with a metric that we call “Facebook Engagement Ratio,” which is the number of people talking about us, divided by the number of likes. We believe this is a more accurate measure of engagement than just counting likes. And we track it on a weekly basis, compared to our competitors.

Kit Hickey, Ministry of Supply

2. Not Just Vanity Metrics

Early on at Contently, we observed our content marketing clients struggle with not only how to measure results, but also knowing what they should track in the first place. So we built a social content analytics tool that tracks three scores: reach, engagement and influence. Each score is a mashup of various metrics. Reach comes from pageviews and social impressions, essentially asking, “Who was exposed to your content?” Engagement is total minutes spent with your content, generated by active time on page and pages per visit: “Who actually consumed your content?” Influence is “Who took an action because of your content?”; i.e., shares and subscribers. This way, we create a funnel for measuring both social and longform content, boiling it down to insights that actually map a brand’s goals.

Shane Snow, Contently

3. Metrics vs. Influencers

Metrics and thought leaders are two different ends of the spectrum. When you’re looking at metrics and data, you’re looking at the whole or segments of it. When you’re looking at influential thought leaders, you’re looking at building relationships with individuals. Keep the two ideas separate — woo your influencers by building real relationships. Then use metrics to see how you’re doing with the masses.

Laura Roeder, LKR Social Media

4. Virality vs. Likes

Measuring social metrics by “counting likes” on a single Facebook post doesn’t work. You must measure by“virality.”. A post that gets 17,000 likes (the number of unique people who see your post) may only get 0.1% virality (the percentage of people who create a story from your post, out of the number of unique people who see your post), while another that receives 10,000 likes, but gets 9.97% virality — this is a far better post. To go viral, you must connect with your fans’ passion and excite them. This is the toughest challenge of all.

– Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net

5. Repeat Engagment


For us, the real social media win is when someone becomes a fan and then stays one over time — someone who consistently shares, likes and tweets our content. What we measure is basically our number of super fans.

Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

6. The Stories That Metrics Don’t Show

We measure our social media marketing in stories. How many stories can we tell others as a result of what we did online? Did an influencer retweet one of our tweets this month, which resulted in X amount of sales/followers/traffic? Did our social media monitoring tool discover someone using our products who wasn’t even aware that it was our product? Is that same person now a fan of ours? Did he buy more stuff after he rediscovered our brand? Did our social media community teach us something that we didn’t know about our own brand this month? All of these questions can bring out a story that shows why social media metrics don’t always tell the full story of how you’re doing online.

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

7. Conversions are all that matter

There is only one number that matters and that is how many conversions you are getting. Whether you have 100,000 fans or 100, what really matters is how many of those people you can make customers. Business is not a popularity contest, and in many cases having lots of attention and hype can detract from your brand and distract both your customers and team.

Matt Wilson, Under30Media

8. Content Distribution

Rather than measure whether we are reaching the “right” thought leaders, we focus on scaling our social media to reach both small and large influencers alike. Our goal is to build relationships, so we try to spread relevant content that we think will match us with a person’s specific interests. It truly is a one-to-one model, extremely time-intensive and difficult to build. When we do achieve that goal, that person is able to trust us as a source of interesting and insightful content, so ideally, he starts spreading the word and the cycle continues.

Patrick Curtis, WallStreetOasis.com

9. Unique Relationships With Followers

Relationships rule all when it comes to social influence. Social marketing strategies focused solely on increasing likes or follows don’t say much for a brand as a whole. Instead, brands should be focusing their attention on developing unique one-on-one relationships with every single follower — especially the thought leaders in their sectors.

Heather Huhman, Come Recommended

Image via iStockphoto, zakokor

Scott%2520gerber-572SCOTT GERBER

Scott Gerber is the founder ofYoung Entrepreneur Council,an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recenty launched …more

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Competitive Advantage: Professional Networking for Car Dealers

Competitive Advantage: Professional Networking for Car Dealers

Professional Networking as a Competitive Advantage for Car Dealers

About a month ago I had the honor and privilege of speaking at the Automotive Leadership Roundtable in Miami Beach, Florida. As each of the previous ALR events have been, the venue was superb and the dealers who attended were among the nation’s most successful and each of them true leaders within our industry.  

One of my favorite General Managers, Mr.Richard Bustillo of Rick Case Honda was a featured speaker at this year’s Automotive Leadership Roundtable and tells me that one of the most productive uses of his time is the contacts and networking connections he makes at this premier industry event.

“April 11, 2013 — DAVIE, Florida – Richard Bustillo, General Manager of Rick Case Honda, the World’s Largest Full Line Honda Dealership, will be leading a panel discussion at the Automotive Leadership Roundtable (ALR) on Monday, April 15, 2013, at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach, Florida. This is the second consecutive year Mr. Bustillo was selected to speak at ALR, an annual conference of leading automotive management executives.”

Another more recently acquired friend of mine who is a dealer, Neil Amaral had accepted my nomination to attend the ALR event as one of the top independent car dealers in America. His “Amaral Auto Sales” dealership in New Jersey puts many franchised points to shame in all measurements of dealership operating criteria, including units sold, customer satisfaction and retention.. During and shortly after the ALR event, Neil opened my eyes up to an opportunity for car dealers that translates into sales and profits which I am sure too many dealers fail to take advantage of… The power or networking in the Auto Industry.  

Although I am going to use an example specific to Amaral Motors, it is merely one of many examples I have witnessed or participated in over the years… Profiting from a network of professional contacts.  Previous to this year’s ALR event I had several conversations with Mike Timmons and Ken Potter at TrueCar regarding a Used Car Affinity Sales Program for TrueCar dealers.While at ALR I took the opportunity to Introduce Neil Amaral to both Mike and Ken from TrueCar. Before the end of the event, they had worked out a deal for Amaral Motors to be an exclusive TrueCar Used Vehicle Center for their area of New Jersey.  As Neil pointed out when he thanked me, had he not listened to my description of the ALR event and trusted me as part of his professional network, he would not have secured his deal for the TrueCar Used Car Program at Amaral Motors.

As difficult as it may seem at first glance to be able to predict such “six degrees of separation” type of connections, it is actually a lot simpler than most dealers realize. Let me explain, because of social and professional networks online, today’s automotive professional and his or her networks of business connections are more readily available and visible than ever before.  Take a look at my profile onLinkedIn.com/in/RPaglia and you will see that there are over 200 auto industry professionals who have written recommendations of some sort… It does not take a clairvoyant to predict the potential for referrals and introductions.

Neil Amaral is a lot like several very successful dealers and General Managers I have known over the years, he sees the opportunity to leverage relationships for the benefit of his dealership’s marketing, sales and operational efficiencies, then focuses on developing those relationships.  In many cases, the dealers who are the most effective at getting more value than other dealers spending similar amounts of money on the same auto industry suppliers are the ones who focus on their relationships with key people working or running those supplier companies and business, while creating the desire within that supplier organization to deliver above and beyond what the dealership is actually paying for.

This begs the question… Do the dealers who focus on developing relationships with key marketing resources, thought leaders and suppliers get more for their dollar than the dealers who maintain arm’s length relationships and focus on negotiating price points? Do dealers who belong to online networks and professional communities such as the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community establish relationship networks on a more efficient basis than those dealers who do not become active members of such networks?


There are many professional managers who believe in the “Purchasing Department” approach of grinding for the lowest cost deal… But it appears that in recent years there are also a growing number of highly successful dealers who have become advanced “relationship management practitioners” from the marketing supply side perspective…  

…Are you one of those dealers?

 

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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