Archive for category Social Marketing

ADM Community Ranked 10 of 100 Top Auto Blogs by Independent Source

The dramatically tall Infographic that appears below showcases an independently produced and ranked directory of the Top 100 Automotive Blogs selected for recommendation to visit, subscribe, join and follow in 2013…

When the author (Ron Mays) who assembled and created the infographic that shows this ranking of the “Top 100 Automotive Blogs and Networks for 2013” first contacted Ralph Paglia, we did not know what to expect. Ralph provided Ron Mays with the information he requested. When the list was announced by CouponAudit and the below Infographic published, all of us associated with the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community were pleasantly surprised to see that the ADM Professional Community came in at number 10 out of 100 sites that were selected and ranked.

The infographic that Ron Mays and the CouponAudit team created to display this ranking of auto industry and car business networking UGC sites is available below:

Top 100 Fashion blogs to follow

An infographic by the team at CouponAudit

In above infographic, you can view top 100 Auto Blogs to follow in 2013, which CouponAudit ranked according to quality of posts.

Visit and join the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community at www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com

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Top 15 New Year Resolutions for Marketers Serving Car Dealerships – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Top 15 New Year Resolutions for Marketers Serving Car Dealerships


The Infographic shown below contains the top 15 recommended action items for automotive marketing professionals going into 2013… These were developed by the exceptionally talented marketing professionals at Hubspot and are well worth reviewing with your team and/or simply working them into your daily, weekly and monthly ongoing dealership marketing tasks to be completed as indicated:

16 Smart Resolutions for Better Marketing in 2013

It’s here — the turn of the new year. And you know what that means… This is your chance to reboot and decide what changes you’ll make in 2013.

Are there specific skills you haven’t quite mastered yet?

Do you have a particular goal in mind that you weren’t quite able to hit in 2012?

Of course, these goals could pertain to your personal life, but what about some career and marketing-related goals, too?

Why not improve some critical skills and habits that could advance your marketing career and make you an even stronger contributor to your company’s success?

What marketing resolutions do you want to make?

If you’re not sure where to begin, for starters, HubSpot would love to help! We’re offering our marketing community members a free consultation to chat with a HubSpot expert about 2013 goal planning. (Not too shabby!) It’s worth the investment to take some time to figure out what will be different for you and your marketing in 2013. So consider chatting with us, and take some time to reflect on your challenges and goals by setting some strong marketing resolutions for 2013. Here are 16 great ideas to get you started, chock full of with links to more in-depth tips and resources to help you become a better marketer in 2013 …

“I want to become a stronger, more multifaceted content creator.”

1) I will blog at least twice a week. Did you know that, according to HubSpot’s 2012 Marketing Benchmarketing Report, companies that blog 6-8 times per month generate over 2X more leads than companies that blog just twice a month? Valuable content is the meat that attracts visitors and leads to your company. Making the commitment to an increased blogging frequency should significantly increase your lead flow. Considering adding this to your list of resolutions? Here are 10 ways to never run out of blog ideas again.

2) I will produce at least one video in Q1, and post it on YouTube. Video content can communicate a story or emotion better than almost any other form of content. A lot of marketers have a mental block that keeps them from creating video content due to a lack of technical savvy or resources. Kick those excuses to the curb and use this goal to tell one of your customers’ success stories — it could become the strongest selling tool in your sales reps’ tool belt.

3) I will become an active contributor to social media by posting articles to my company’s social channels. Maintaining an active, helpful social presence is a great tool for growing a reach that can be used to promote your best content. If this is a current weakness of yours, start by making a commitment to sharing others’ content so you can grow that valuable following. Need help planning your social media updates? Check out our free social media publishing schedule template.

4) I will work to enhance my and/or my team’s design skills. This resolution is especially relevant for 2013. A recent HubSpot study found that photos on Facebook generate 53% more Likes than text, and the trend toward visual content is only growing in importance. In 2013, investing in design skill development will be crucial for creating effective content for social media and other marketing channels. Purchase Photoshop for your team, ask a designer to host a short design tutorial, spruce up your PowerPoint skills, and download our 35 free email design templates — or check out these awesome, free design tools — if you’re a marketer on a budget. There are a lot of ways to become a better designer. Take advantage of them!

“I want to better optimize my marketing to drive stronger results.”

5) I will take the time to conduct a website audit in 2013. When’s the last time your website got a checkup? If it’s been a while, there could be plenty of missed optimization opportunities you never even knew existed. Does your website rank for certain terms that you didn’t know about? Conduct an SEO audit. Are there certain pages on your site that aren’t optimized at all — for search and for conversion? A website audit is a great thing to do early in the year so you reap the benefits throughout 2013. Check out our 25 website must-haves for driving traffic, leads, and sales, so you can start the new year off right with an optimized website.

6) I will take the time to educate myself and my team about the basics of SEO. Speaking of search engine optimization, every inbound marketer should know the basics of SEO. Especially with recent Google algorithm changes, there are some ways you can improve your search engine optimization through improved social performance (that’s right — they’re connected), and more! Download our free on-page SEO template, brush up on link-building best practices, and make sure everyone who creates content on your team keeps SEO best practices in the backs of their minds.

7) I will conduct one landing page A/B test per month to optimize my landing pages. When it comes to lead generation and reconversion, the difference between a 15% landing page conversion rate and a 25% conversion rate can be HUGE. Imagine if you could automatically generate more leads without changing your promotion strategy or generating more traffic — but rather just by optimizing your landing pages themselves? By making a habit of testing your landing pages on a regular basis to get more bang for your buck, you may be able to significantly scale your lead generation without having to scale your team! Check out this guide to landing page A/B testing to learn more — or download our complete ebook on A/B testing.

8) I will get into the habit of doing email A/B tests prior to emailing my list. Similar to the point above, optimizing an email before hitting send could increase open or clickthrough rates immensely. Who knows — maybe the first CTA headline you think of won’t resonate with your email list. But how the heck would you know if you didn’t test it first? Make this a normal practice in your marketing, and check out these various types of email tests you can try with your next email…. And while we’re on the subject of email optimization, you’re segmenting your email list too … right?

“I want to become a more data-driven marketer.”

9) I promise to set specific, numerical goals for every project I do. Goal setting is an important habit for every marketer in order to both evaluate and communicate their successes. Starting a new video series? What number of views, shares, website visits, or leads do you need to attract to make this initiative worth it? Make this step number one for all your work moving forward, and check out this free template to help you determine your 2013 marketing goals.

10) I will start tracking my analytics every week — if not every day. This is just plain good housekeeping. By keeping a pulse on how your marketing is performing on a regular basis, you can keep yourself from falling behind. A great way to do this is to use a waterfall chart to track your progress toward an end goal. If you get behind early in the month, you’ll know that you need to go full-steam ahead to fix the problem fast so you can still finish strong. Here are some other reports you should set up with your marketing analytics to keep your marketing — and sales — teams accountable.

11) I will commit to tracking my leads to sales, so I truly know what marketing channels work best.Smarketing” is a beautiful thing. Very easily, we marketers get caught up in measuring success by marketing numbers exclusively, but what works for us might not be what’s best for the business. For example, a marketer at a software company could get 10,000 people to download a flip-book of cute kitty images (Hey, I’d download that!), but it doesn’t mean those 10,000 people are going to be good fits as customers. Using closed-loop marketing analytics and aligning your marketing goals with sales goals to understand if your content is attracting the right people will help you understand what’s best for the business.

12) I will encourage my team to independently measure their work, and report back to me. Measuring progress doesn’t need to live at the management level exclusively. In fact, it may work to your benefit to encourage data-driven habits at every level as a tool to keep your marketing team accountable. Empower your employees by cultivating a data-driven culture. Help your team understand how they can track their progress, and ask them for updates periodically so it’s always top of mind.

I want to become a better overall inbound marketer.”

13) I will pick an organization I love and learn from them. Is there a company out there that you admire because of a particular way they do marketing? For instance, maybe you love Oreo’s content in social media. Or maybe you aspire to be as creative as Disney. Dissect WHY you love that organization, and learn from their marketing choices. Even if that company is in a completely different industry, there will likely still be key, valuable takeaways that can help to inspire your own marketing promotions. Start by checking our list of 10 of the most memorable marketing campaigns in 2012.

14) I will further my own education as a marketer by attending conferences and reading smart content every day. Never be too busy to keep learning. Consider attending a couple of top-notch marketing conferences this year. Print marketing ebooks and read them before bed, or read through an RSS reader of your favorite blogs while you sip coffee in your slippers. (Are you subscribed to this one yet, by the way?) You can always make the time. Find ways to keep your brain active and learning, and do the same for your team. Help them find educational resources they enjoy and can read every day, and set a good example by being a lifelong learner yourself.

15) I will accept feedback from my boss, teammates, customers, and community. A closed mind is a stagnant mind. Always be open to feedback when it’s given to you, and request it regularly even when it’s not. Survey your customers and clients to gut check their happiness. You may learn simple ways to make their lives better that make all the difference, yet takes no additional time from you. And, you’ll be improving the impact of your marketing along the way!

16) I will make a commitment to creating marketing that people love. The true path to successful marketing is making sure all the content you make, information you provide, and emails you send make your target market love you. When you create lovable marketing, it will also get clicked on, shared, downloaded, linked to, and promoted more often by your audience. And if you can build rapport and trust in the marketing stages, you’ll be teeing up a relationship that could lead to a lifelong, happy customer. To learn more about creating marketing that people love, check out our step-by-step ebook on lovable marketing here.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Top 5 Auto Industry Professional Networks Traffic Report for June 2012

Top 5 Auto Industry Pro Network Site Traffic Report for June 2012 – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Top 5 Auto Industry Social Network Traffic Statistics from Compete, Inc. for 12 months ending June 30, 2012…

Unique Visitor Traffic

Ranking by traffic volume and the sites (including subdomains) submitted to Compete, Inc. for monitoring:

  1. www.AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com
  2. www.DrivingSales.com
  3. www.DealerRefresh.com
  4. www.DealerElite.net
  5. www.AutoDealerPeople.com

Total Visitor Traffic

Since these sites are actively trying to get people in the auto industry to come back to them on a regular basis, it is useful to also examine their total number of visits, which would include members returning for multiple visits throughout each month being tracked. Automotive Digital Marketing has a substantial lead in 1st place for most visitors, with DealerELITE and DrivingSales neck and neck for second most visited automotive professional network.

Ranking Results for these same five sites based on total visitors for June 2012 moves DealerElite from 4th (Unique Visitors) to a close 2nd, basically tied with DrivingSales:

  1. www.AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com
  2. www.DealerElite.net
  3. www.DrivingSales.com
  4. www.DealerRefresh.com
  5. www.AutoDealerPeople.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: For years I have compared Compete, Inc. data with Google Analytics measured traffic reports for dozens of websites I have access to, and can attest to the fact that Compete always shows LESS TRAFFIC than actual traffic to a website (in absolute raw numbers). However, the relative comparisons of multiple sites by Compete, Inc. is almost always relatively accurate, with the sites that get more traffic according to Compete, also getting more traffic as shown by Google Analytics. However, it is important to note that all data sources show variations and many industry pundits have criticized Compete, Inc. data collection methodologies, despite validation of these same techniques by Google and Google’s partnership with Compete on many research projects.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Facebook and Twitter Offer Dealers New Ad Targeting Capabilities – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

via Facebook and Twitter Offer Dealers New Ad Targeting Capabilities

For the dominant social networks, the pressure is on. Facebook’s IPO cast a harsh light on its advertising revenue business models, which are not growing as fast as Wall Street had hoped. Twitter, on the other hand, has to prove that it has a business model for driving revenue that scales large enough to keep their doors open.

One way to add value to what is offered to advertisers and thus gain more ad dollars is to ramp up ad targeting, which both companies have done over the past few months. But while Twitter is playing it safe, Facebook is pushing the envelope with new tools, including corporate data base “Match-Back” services that could deliver the exact automotive consumers your dealership is looking for… But, could also bring the web equivalent of junk mail to your Facebook page.

Most Americans are accustomed to the rules of engagement for direct mail, which is very much an offline practice. (Subscribe to a new magazine? Don’t be surprised to see a raft of offers for credit cards in your mailbox.) But Facebook is allowing its big advertisers, including car companies and dealer groups to match the email addresses and phone numbers they’ve collected with Facebook profiles matching that data.

Car Companies, automotive retailers and mass marketed brands will be able to sync their entire CRM databases to their customer’s Facebook profiles. This matching set of Facebook profiles then being used to more efficiently target their customers while they are logged into Facebook, and before they have become that company’s Facebook page “Fan”. This allows car companies and dealers to invest advertising dollars into showing their Facebook Ads to targeted customers immediately, rather than waiting for them to “like” the brands’ content or page.

The move raises a number of privacy questions. When a consumer gives an email address or number to a marketer, there’s the expectation he will get communication from the brand. But what about when it comes to Facebook? “I don’t think anyone who has given an email and phone number to Facebook expected it to be used by Tide to target ads at them,” said Alan Chapell, an attorney who consults with ad-tech companies on privacy policies.

Facebook says it’s giving users two opportunities to opt out. First, a marketer must ask permission from customers to reach them on Facebook. Second, users can opt out by clicking a box on the ads themselves.

Twitter’s gentler approach


Twitter, which described its new targeting option as the biggest change to its ad capabilities since they were first introduced, is taking a more cautious approach. Twitter’s interest targeting includes 350 prepackaged categories, from the broad “pets” or “films” to more niche subcategories like “documentaries” and “Bollywood.”

The categories are not created from the content of tweets themselves, but from user actions on Twitter such as retweets and favorites, and whom users follow. If you follow Anthony Bourdain, for example, that’s a clue that you’re a foodie.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter is intrinsically public and users have no expectation of privacy. Yet Twitter’s approach to targeting is likely to be perceived as less invasive than, say, Google’s mining of search data or Gmail. “We have always been thoughtful and deliberate in how we roll out our advertising products and features,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “This certainly applies to targeting as well.”

From a revenue standpoint, Facebook is under decidedly more pressure to ramp up revenue — fast.

One could also argue that users have higher switching costs since many have spent years accumulating connections, photos and apps. That’s why we predict it will keep pushing the envelope until the scope of its business matches the ubiquity of its user base, and why the ad targeting has only just begun.

Article Source:

AdAge.com

Facebook Infographic Source:

Mashable.com

Twitter Infographic Source:

Guy Kawasaki and Infographic Showcase

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Yes, QR Codes Do Work – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community


See our QR Code in action. Scan the above QR Code to visit our Digital Dealer 13 site.

QR codes are all the rage, but do they work?

According to my Cobalt client, Lezley Pumphrey, BDC Manager of Motor City Buick GMC, the answer is yes. Her dealership started using QR codes in November 2011, directed at the Motor City Buick GMC Gateway page for GMC.

To date, they have seen a total of over 500 visitors from this new marketing method, a nice bump in traffic.

Pumphrey states, “At Motor City Buick GMC, we strongly believe in mobile traffic. Consumers no longer wait for an email response from dealerships. They grab their mobile device, research the dealership, and walk-in. The more mobile presence we can get, the better. We are always looking for ways to increase our QR code and Mobile website traffic.”

Lezley is not the only one seeing more traffic thanks to QR codes. In general, I would say dealers have gotten an average of 50-100 extra visitors per month through QR codes if they actively use them. These numbers aren’t huge, but the traffic is relevant and over time makes an impact. In addition these numbers are only expected to grow as the rise of QR codes continues.

In fact, a June 2012 Econsultancy Survey reports that 1 in 2 auto industry marketers are using QR codes to encourage customers to interact with their brand.

As with any emerging media, the big challenge is how to educate your clients and successfully incorporate QR codes into your in-store processes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Incorporate QR code giveaways at dealership events
  • Add a QR code to the last picture of vehicles details page
  • Incorporate QR codes on newspaper ads, monthly newsletters, direct mailers, etc
  • Add QR codes on vehicle stickers
  • Incorporate a QR code on signage in your service department so that people can scan while they wait
  • Place QR codes on the back of business cards for the sales staff – this way they can see a live view of inventory right away if they need it

Making QR codes a natural part of all your marketing can pay off in unprecedented ways when it comes to closing individual car sales, but you have to put in the time and effort to educate your sales staff and your clients.

Just think: a man may be interested in purchasing a car, but he needs to go home and talk to his wife first. The salesperson should have him scan the QR code for that vehicle in inventory so he can quickly and easily show his wife the car when he gets home. In essence, the dealership controls exactly what this man sees when he scans. This can have compelling aftereffects if the consumer is educated on its purpose. The key is to ensure the sales associate informs the consumer on how to later use the QR code.

Remember, innovation and education go hand in hand. In order to be successful, you need to educate both your staff and your shoppers about how to use these new codes. Start internally at the dealership. Train your staff on how to use QR codes and make sure they are comfortable using them. The same goes for your customers; since QR codes are new to many, it helps to incorporate clear instructions like “Scan this code on your phone to see 327 fresh-on-the-lot vehicles!” You may even want to have a link with a guide on how to scan a QR code. The clearer and easier you make it, the easier it will be to integrate.

Note: Motor City Buick GMC’s QR Codes come from their Cobalt Digital Advertising Packages. They get one QR code per month per package that integrates with their current incentives. They have used these QR codes on mailers, websites, and in the dealership. Learn more about our QR code offering today.

Do you have a great QR story? Share your story below.

By Jessica Terpstra

Cobalt Digital Advertising Analyst II

Original article can be found here.

via Yes, QR Codes Do Work – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Edmunds Releases 2013 Car Shopping Trends Study – Automotive Marketing Professionals

Edmunds 2013 Car Shopping Trends Report

There are many dealers who have strong criticisms regarding Edmunds.com, but regardless of whether you consider Edmunds an asset or a liability to the retail auto industry there is little debate about their unique position within the vehicle buying process for many millions of automotive consumers…

The stark reality for car dealers seeking greater understanding of how car buyers shop online in 2013 is that Edmunds.com has the ability to paint a vivid portrait of today’s online car shopper… Which includes 9 out of 10 new and used vehicle buyers!

About 18 million visitors use the Edmunds.com site every month to shop for their next new or used car, and this gives the Edmunds team an unparalleled insight into the car buyer’s research and shopping process.  For as many years as I can remember, Edmunds has used the online automotive consumer activity to generate extensive research data and analysis to drive the sort of car buying insights that would establish itself as one of the more valuable resources for car companies and dealers to better understand car shopping and the way buyers use automotive information.  Historically, Edmunds has made the analysis and insights available to their business partners and to the public through academic inquiries and media requests.  However, Edmunds has not previously assembled together the complete volume of current time period data and the analysis and insights gleaned in one coherent piece.

By publishing and making available the 2013 Edmunds.com Car Shopping Trends Report, they have provided the auto industry and especially dealers and automotive marketers with a true gem of a document.  The report which ADM Professional Community members can download using the link at the bottom of this blog post, shows the results of extensive data mining within the Edmunds.com’s extensive database to reveal the most relevant car shopping and purchasing trends in America today.  These trends offer direct clues toward ways that the automotive industry can move forward by empowering a more engaging car shopping experience.

Throughout the 2013 Edmunds.com Car Shopping Trends Report, you’ll also find references to a 2011 survey conducted by “Added Value” on behalf of Edmunds.com that asked 2,476 online car shoppers representing the U.S. car shopper population to describe their expectations for their next car purchase.  Edmunds correlated these responses to real-world buying data to see if shopper expectations match reality. In preparing their analysis and conclusions, the Edmunds market research team found many striking consistencies between the two sets of market research data. These surprisingly strong correlations between the two reports suggest that car shoppers have a strong sense of the automotive marketplace and that they know how to set reasonable expectations around price, availability and product performance.


By evaluating this wealth of data provided by the Edmunds team, you will find a story about car shoppers that is often surprising and counter-intuitive to many dealers and automotive professionals.  While at other times, the Edmunds data reinforces critical theories held by car dealers, automotive sales professionals and throughout the auto industry. Some of the key findings in the 2013 Edmunds.com Car Shopping Trends Report include:

  • Two out of every three car shoppers consider themselves highly engaged in the car shopping process, and they turn to a variety of information to help them decide on a new or used car. Time spent on Edmunds.com is up 2 percent from 2011 to 2012. And the most-viewed elements by new car shoppers on Edmunds.com are reviews, pricing information and photos.
  • Mobile access is becoming a powerful tool for car buyers. Traffic to Edmunds.com’s mobile site spikes on the weekends – and especially on Saturdays – when the bulk of car buying takes place.
  • Shoppers are very good at anticipating how much they’ll pay for a new car. New car shoppers told us in 2011 that they plan to spend $30,500, on average, for their next vehicle. In fact the average transaction price for a new car the following year was $30,803.
  • The average age of a new car buyer is about four years older than the average age of a used car buyer.

  • Shoppers are turning to leases now more than ever. And the difference between the average monthly lease payment ($433) and the average monthly finance payment ($468) is greater than at any time since Edmunds.com started keeping records.

  • About 44 percent of all trade-in vehicles last year went toward a new car by the same brand, which is consistent with our 2011 survey that found that 49 percent of shoppers say they “plan to stick with a brand that has worked in the past.”
  • Luxury car owners and shoppers are buying and considering more nonluxury cars. The trend speaks to the improved quality of non-luxury vehicles.

  • Many shoppers say they want just the basics in a new car, but emotions can drive buyers to add options. New car buyers are willing to spend an average of $2,200 – or about seven percent – above base model and trim prices to add more options on their cars. 

The Edmunds.com’s 2013 Car Shopping Trends Report is intended to be a free resource for ADM Professional Community members who are interested in creating a better car buying experience. This is just the first in a series of reports that the Edmunds Research team hopes will shed more light on car shopping behavior.  The team intends these findings to open up a dialogue which will contribute to the ongoing improvements within the automotive retail industry. They also want to encourage ADM Professional Community members to contact Edmunds at any time to discuss more ways that Edmunds.com can help you better understand today’s car shopper.

Here is a link to download a PDF version of the Edmunds.com’s 2013 Car Shopping Trends Report: http://static.ed.edmunds-media.com/unversioned/img/industry-center/… 

Edmunds Points of Contact

For Dealer Inquiries: 855-EDMUNDS
For Press Inquiries: 310-309-4900

Source: http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/car-shopping-trends/

Edmunds Annual New Vehicle Sales Forecast for 2013 and Historical Actual Sales:

via Edmunds 2013 Car Shopping Trends Report – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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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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