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9 Million Reasons Why VDP Views Are The Metric That Matters – Automotive Marketing

9 Million Reasons Why VDP Views Are The Metric That Matters

Posted by Cobalt

Shaun Kehrberg

by Shaun Kehrberg, Product Marketing Manager, Digital Advertising

VDP Views Decrease Inventory Time On Lot

Just 12+ more VIN views could mean 44% LESS time on your lot

The verdict is in: if they view the highlights, you’ll view the taillights. In other words, the more car shoppers engage with your Vehicle Details Pages (VDPs), the quicker your cars will move off your lot— and that’s a fact.

Based on an eight month study of 9 million VDP’s, 125 million website visits, and 250 million online actions, our automotive consumer research conclusively shows that:

  • VDP views and time spent on VDP’s are 2 of the top 4 online sales predictors

  • VDP’s with 20-30 pageviews spend 29% less time on the lot

  • VDP’s with more than 30 pageviews spend 44% less time on the lot

So how do you best position your automotive digital marketing strategy to be a VIN factory? We’ll address just that in an all-new Cobalt series: The Down & Dirty on Dynamic Inventory Merchandising. In this series, we’ll tell you how to harness the power of multichannel marketing to turn your dealer website into a VDP hot spot.

Stay tuned for Part 1, when we look at the impact of Dynamic Inventory Merchandising in your dealership’s retargeting ads.

Source: Cobalt Business Intelligence VDP Study, 2012

About the Author
Shaun Kehrberg

Shaun Kehrberg is the Product Marketing Manager, Digital Advertising at Cobalt. He is focused on helping dealers understand the power of today’s advertising technology and the collective value of the Cobalt digital marketing experience. Shaun can be reached

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Dataium Automotive Shopper Intensity Report – November 2012 – Automotive Marketing Professionals

Dataium Automotive Shopper Intensity Report

 

November 2012
Automotive Shopper Intensity Report

The Dataium Automotive Shopper Intensity Index (ASI) is a leading indicator of Automotive Retail Sales.

Dataium historical tracking shows that Automotive Retail Sales closely mirror the fluctuations of the ASI. This index serves as an early predictor of the next 30 – 45 days of automotive retail sales.


The report illustrates that the ASI index, a leading predictive indicator of automotive retail sales, reversed course in October, and reflecting seasonal trends, declined 5.78% from September.

Despite two major recalls within the past few months, shopping intensity around the Toyota brand remains at an all-time high, with the ASI ranking five Toyota models: the Camry, RAV4, Tacoma, Tundra and Prius in the top 10 for new vehicles.Moreover, the Toyota Camry gained a spot from last month to
rank highest in ASI of all new vehicles.

Similar to September, October introduced many newcomers to the top ten ASI ranking list, including three luxury imports: Acura’s MDX and RDX along with the BMW 328i. 

 

Additionally, in October, the former top ASI ranked auto for the past three months, the Chevrolet Silverado, experienced the largest declines in intensity of all new vehicles, and consequently, fell off the top ten list.

The Honda CRV, which has been consistently ranked in the top ten for new vehicles since July, moved up a spot in October, to rank fourth.  Furthermore, despite the lack of manufacturer incentives, the CRV has consistently outperformed the compact SUV market since June.

 

Eric Brown, Dataium CEO stated, “Import brands continue to dominate consumer interest and show no sign of weakening. This is reflected in continued expansion of their US based production capacity and consistent release of new models that are attracting new consumers in to the market.”

 

ADM Professional Community Members can download the entire report, including charts and detail by make and model by “right-Clicking” on the following link and selecting “Save File As” or the equivalent: Dataium_Nov_2012_ASI_Report.pdf  

 

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Automotive Avenues Marketing Symposium October 7
Automotive Avenues Marketing Symposium October 7 (Photo credit: ralphpaglia)
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2013 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference (DMSC) Workshop Suggestions from ADM Members

 

 

I wanted to enlist the resources of the ADM community to suggest new workshop topics or keynote speaker topics to enhance the upcoming Digital Marketing Strategies Conference (DMSC).

This will be the third year that DMSC is scheduled just prior to the 2013 NADA Convention in Orlando, Florida from February 5-7th.

This gives dealers the ability to attend two great conferences with one trip out of the dealership.

DMSC is an intimate learning environment that focuses on winning strategies and the processes to create change for the upcoming business year.  With dealership attendance limited to 250 people, the workshops will provide that one-on-one feeling that has made DMSC a top conference destination each year!

A number of top speakers have confirmed their participation at DMSC and with only a few speaking slots remaining, I would like the ADM community to share what is IMPORTANT for their dealership in 2013.

What are the strategies and/or processes you are considering implementing in the year ahead?  How can DMSC help you make the right decisions for 2013?

Confirmed Speakers – Alphabetical Order

First Class Educators (FCE) who hosts DMSC each year, has confirmed the following speakers for the Orlando conference:

  • AJ LeBlanc
  • Ali Amirrezvani
  • Brian Pasch
  • Carlton van Putten
  • Chris Reed
  • Craig Lockerd
  • Dave Page
  • David Kain
  • David Metter
  • Glenn Pasch
  • Jamie Oldershaw
  • Jared Rowe
  • Jerry Thibeau
  • Jim Flint
  • Joe Webb
  • Julio Gonzalez
  • Marc McGurren
  • Patrick Workman
  • Peter Leto
  • Ralph Paglia
  • Shuan Weissman
  • Stan Sher
  • Thomas Gage

So what do you want to know, learn, confirm?  This is your chance, as a member of the ADM community to make your voice heard and impact the direction of an upcoming conference.  Add your feedback in the comments below.

I hope to see many ADM members at DMSC, and you can register for the conference by visiting the official conference website at: http://www.DigitalMarketingStrategies.org.

Ralph Paglia, founder of the ADM community, will be doing a three part workshop series this year at DMSC, which you will not want to miss!

 

via 2013 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference (DMSC) Workshop Suggestions from ADM Members – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Using Your Website As Your Content Hub

Using Your Website As Your Content Hub – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

I have been a proponent of “Hub and Spoke” and “Content Marketing” components within automotive digital marketing strategy for many years and have written, published and created entire teams of people to deliver what is essential a hub and spoke social media marketing strategy.  HOWEVER, I may be in disagreement with several points in this article and the comments made beneath it… Or, at least having a different perspective.

 

Because most dealership websites are provided by Cobalt (an ADP Company), Dealer.com, Clickmotive, KPA/TK, Dominion, or any number of other established providers, in many cases the result of an OEM mandate or endorsement, I do not recommend and have not seen much noteworthy success with using one of these fairly “standardized” dealer website platforms as the dealer’s “Content Hub” of choice.  I believe that a different type of site platform should be put into service by car dealers as a content hub within their “Hub and Spoke” social media marketing strategy, at least the part that is focused on content marketing.

 

As all three of you and many others know, I once created over 600 dealership content hub sites for use in an extensive and for the most part grossly over-reaching “Hub and Spoke” strategy when my team launched the ADP Social Media managed services solution for ADP Dealer Services in 2008… By the end of 2010 we had 660 dealerships on the program, and there was a whole lot of learning during that 2 years development and launch program.

 

Please believe me when I say that even as far back as 2009 there were many people within the ADP Digital Marketing team that wanted and insisted that content for marketing purposes should all be published on the dealer websites supplied by various ADP dealer website solution teams.  Even before the latest changes to Google’s SERP generating algorithms and subsequent updates, we found that trying to take website platforms designed primarily for promoting dealership inventory and not built for frequent content postings, and sharing of that content by all visitors to the site, was simply not very effective.

 

What we found a couple years ago, and what I still find to this day, is that the compromises required by the OEM mandated dealer website providers for the 10,000 of 17,000 or so total number of franchised dealers who are even remotely willing to consider content publishing for marketing purposes, so reduces the effectiveness of a content marketing strategy as to neuter it.  Yet, when we use a website platform that is optimized and designed to be used as a “Content Hub” with application layers syndication to the major social media networks, easily and readily adapted to multiple content sharing and appending apps, such as “If you like this article, you may want to check out these related posts…” type of technologies, along with Google verified authorship compliance, category and tagging features and other more social media 2013 type technologies… THEN the hub and spoke concept simply rocks and drives so much traffic, engagement, marketing communications objectives and SEO benefits to both the hub and the dealer’s eCommerce random access website (RAW – Larry Bruce) when appropriate reference and citations are implemented specific to relevant content posted and distributed from the hub, that we have a WINNING CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY.

 

So what types of platforms make good “Content Hubs”? Well, let’s start with the Ning Network platform that the ADM Professional Community, dealerELITE.net, AutomotiveSocial.comAutomotiveReputation.com and several other Content Hub purposed sites targeted to car business people have been built on by professionals such as myself, Brian Pasch, J.D. Rucker (@0boy), David Kain, Chris Saraceno and several others have done.  Not saying it is perfect, far from it, I have monthly meetings with the development team at Glam Media and they can be quite frustrating, but it does work, as shown by the success of the ADM Professional Community and over 30,000 monthly visitors from SEO alone.

 

Then there is WordPress and all the various “Theme” builds and templates designed to make it function as a great “Content Hub”.  Joomla, Drupal and many other platforms are all far better designed to serve as a content hub than any of the top 5 dealer website platforms that I am familiar with.

 

As for how to manage the schizo appearing strategy of having more than one website… That has been covered so many times I do not feel the need to repeat it in a comment.  But, once again let me state that due to the low costs involved and the increased effectiveness of purpose specific platform selection, along with the marketing reality of not wanting to take a “Buying Today” car shopper and send him/her right back up-funnel and into the research and info gathering mode by thrusting all sorts of content in front of their faces, which may distract them from their initial purchase intent that brought them to the website… ONE WEBSITE IS NOT ENOUGH FOR AN OPTIMIZED AUTOMOTIVE DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY at the dealership level. 

 

A Content Hub strategy requires a site platform optimized for its use as a centralized publishing point and a high frequency of such publishing in order to be as effective as possible.  And… Publishing a steady stream of content, much of which is relevant to customers focused on research and info gathering to a dealer’s eCommerce site may not be in the best interest of that site’s role as a lead, phone call and showroom traffic generator.

 

via Using Your Website As Your Content Hub.

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Google On The Verge Of Anit-Trust Lawsuit – Automotive Marketing Community

Written by Tim Martell of Wikimotive


The United States FTC is looking into the possibility of pursuing an anti-trust case against search engine giant Google.  

Sources close to the FTC say that four FTC commissioners: “have become convinced after more than a year of investigation that Google illegally used its dominance of the search market to hurt its rivals.” A decision to file a law suit against Google could have major implications for the future ofSearch Engine Optimization SEO and the search industry in general.

In 1998 a similar lawsuit was filed against Microsoft alleging that they abused their monopoly position. If Microsoft had lost they may have been forced to split into two parts. They ended up settling for an extremely large sum of money and, although they did not get convicted, they still lost. Many believe the case forced Bill Gates to resign as CEO and the company has never been the same since.

According to sources close to the FTC, it appears likely that they will pursue a case against Google. They won’t have to work very hard either, to come up with a good reason. They’ve been inundated with complaints about how Google is conducting itself. A lot of complaints have to do with Google favoring their own properties in vertical search results, but surprisingly that may not be what the FTC chooses to go after. One source said the FTC commissioners have given weight to… “complaints that Google refuses to share data that would allow advertisers and developers to create software to compare the value they get on Google to advertising spending on Microsoft’s Bing or Yahoo.

In a related issue, the FTC is looking at Google’s handling of valuable patents, which are determined to be essential to smartphones. The agency is trying to determine if they are licensed fairly and whether patent infringement lawsuits are used to hamper innovation.”

If the FTC does decide to go after Google for anti-trust violations you can bet on one outcome with absolute confidence: Google will never be the same. And that will almost certainly mean a massive shake up in the world of SEO and digital marketing in general.

 

via Google On The Verge Of Anit-Trust Lawsuit – Automotive Marketing Community.

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Relevance Drives Car Buyer Attention to Mobile Advertising – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Relevance Drives Car Buyer Attention to Mobile Advertising

Subject Matter Relevance a Key Factor for Driving Increased Car Buyer Attention to Mobile Advertising

Roughly one-third of car buyers using smart phones and tablets say they would be more likely to pay attention to a car dealer’s ad on their device if the ad’s topic was relevant to their online activity, per results [download page] from a Prosper Mobile Insights survey released in July 2012.

 

Closely following is the proportion of automotive consumers saying that fewer ads overall (31.4%) would likely spur greater attention levels. Other factors that would make automotive consumers more likely to pay attention to ads on their devices include them looking funny (28.4%), looking informative (24.2%), and containing animations that catch their eye (23.9%).

 

4 in 10 Automotive Consumer Pay More Attention to Video Ads

Although just 11.5% of car buyers said video makes them more likely to pay attention to an ad, slightly more than 4 in 10 said that are more likely to pay attention to a video advertising from a dealership versus a standard display ad on their device. The most popular reasons given by automotive consumers for paying more attention to video ads are that they are more likely to grab their attention (51.3%), they are more enjoyable than standard ads (34.5%), and that many do not let them click away until at least part of the ad has been viewed (30.4%).

 

Display Ads and Sponsored Stories Most Regularly Noticed

Further data from the Prosper Mobile Insights survey indicates that 11.2% of automotive consumers who are smartphone and tablet owners regularly pay attention to sponsored stories or links on their device, while a further 32.6% at least occasionally do so. A significant proportion of automotive consumers also appear to frequently (8.2%) or occasionally (32.3%) pay attention to display ads (like the AutoCon 2012 ad shown to the right). Interestingly, 64% of respondents said they never notice video ads, slightly higher than the proportion who never notice ads playing before or during a video (60.7%), but less than the 71.3% who never notice pop-up ads.

 

According to survey results released in February 2012 by Google, 88% of automotive consumers who are smartphone internet users say they rarely notice ads through a variety of contact points on their device.

 

Other Findings:

  • Female automotive consumers who are smartphone and tablet owners are 9% more likely than their male counterparts to say they never notice pop-up ads on their devices (74.3% vs. 68.1%).
  • Female automotive consumers are more likely to pay attention to an ad if it is relevant (35.7% vs. 31.3%), looks funny (32.7% vs. 23.8%), or has animations that catch their eye (25.1% vs. 22.5%). Men are more likely to be pay attention to ads that contain video (13.1% vs. 9.9%).
  • When asked which web-based activities they perform using only their mobile device (instead of any other internet-capable device), 51.1% of respondents said they check email only on their mobile. A high proportion also said they search the internet (45.3%), access Facebook (42.3%), and instant message (34.4%) only on their mobile device. Overall, about 7 in 10 respondents indicated that they performed at least one of the identified activities only on their device.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Lon Safko, Author of Extreme Digital Marketing, Keynote Speaker at AutoCon 2012

Lon Safko, Author of Extreme Digital Marketing, Keynote Speaker at AutoCon 2012

Gilbert, AZ – Lon Safko, one of the marketing world’s most successful entrepreneurs and best-selling author and social media strategist, will deliver a keynote address on September 6th at the AutoCon 2012 conference.  Lon will also host a panel workshop discussion on September 7th.  Lon is the founder of 14 successful companies, including Paper Models, Inc., which developed Three-Dimensional Internet Advertising and Virtual-Electronic-Retailing “V-E-Tailing” for business, promotions, and education, for which Lon holds three patents. He also privately coaches Fortune 1,000 companies on harnessing innovative thinking and social media strategies to create higher productivity and profits.  His latest of seven best-selling books, “The Social Media Bible,” unlocks the mysteries of the hottest new Internet wave, Social Media, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for business. This book is transforming corporate, government, and non-profit marketing strategies and how they use these new media to reach their desired audiences with powerful messages and efficiency and is now in its second edition, which hit #1 on Amazon in both Business & Marketing categories.  Lon is a sought-after professional speaker, wowing audiences in a hundred cities nationwide with his insights into innovation, creativity, and how to be a successful entrepreneur / intrapreneur in this global digital age. His presentations are described as “informative and entertaining, packed with useful information.” And the U.S. Postal Service called Lon “inspiring and motivational.”  To see Lon Safko speak at the AutoCon 2012 Conference, please visit http://www.autocon2012.com

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Google Local: Thoughts 1 Month After Launch – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Google Local: Thoughts 1 Month After Launch

 

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.

In Closing…

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.

via Google Local: Thoughts 1 Month After Launch – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Marketing Directors Choose AutoCon Over Other Fall Conferences

Marketing Directors Choose AutoCon Over Other Fall Conferences – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

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


Only you can know what workshops best interest you today, but here are a few workshop examples that would be ideal for Marketing Directors:

  • 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.

General Manager Registration For AutoCon

via Marketing Directors Choose AutoCon Over Other Fall Conferences – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Key Ingredients for the Ideal Dealer Centric Conference – Automotive Marketing

Key Ingredients for the Ideal Dealer Centric Conference

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.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

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