Posts Tagged Car Dealership 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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Automotive Website Awards (AWA) Book is a Must Have for Car Dealers

The Automotive Website Awards (AWA) reception and celebratory event was held in conjunction with the 2014 NADA Convention in New Orleans.

Regardless of what anyone’s opinion is about the merits of the companies selected by Brian Pasch to receive the awards presented at this event, there is no other reference document, book, guide, website, Top Ten List or any other compilation of information regarding the companies that supply car dealers with eCommerce websites and associated peripherals that comes close to this book… As a reference tool used to see “Who’s Who” as an automotive supplier, the AWA Research Report for Car Dealers is without any competition… Neither is there anything out there that could serve as a reasonable substitute.

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So… With all that said, is this book worth the $50 cost to buy it from PCG Consulting? I have heard it said that actions speak louder than words. I purchased two of these books at the event in New Orleans and I paid full retail of $100. Every car dealer in America who considers Digital Marketing to be a core competency requirement for their business should order and retain this book… Every year.

If you are a Car Dealer then you need to invest the 50 bucks that this book sells for… The Automotive Website Awards #AWA2014 may not always pick the suppliers that I would have chosen, but the research done, which is published in this book, is the most comprehensive review of dealer website suppliers available from any source. Buy this book and review over 50 digital marketing suppliers who have their information listed, dealer customers cited and an assessment of their products and services shown. Learn more at http://ADMPC.com (photo taken at Automotive Media Partners, LLC)

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What Do You Think About Dealertrack Acquiring Dealer.com?

Dealertrack Acquires Dealer.com – What Do Automotive Professionals Think?

The biggest news of automotive M&A came at the end of the year as Dealertrack has agreed to acquire Dealer.com. Following their acquisition of ClickMotive earlier in the year, I’m wondering what the Car Peeps community thinks of the acquisition.
Here’s the release:

Dealertrack and Dealer.com Unite to Transform Automotive Retail

Dealertrack Technologies Announces Agreement to Acquire Dealer.com

Lake Success, N.Y. and Burlington, Vt., December 19, 2013 –  Dealertrack Technologies (Nasdaq: TRAK) and Dealer.com today announced a definitive agreement for Dealertrack to acquire Dealer.com, a leading provider of marketing and operations software and services for the automotive industry. Through the combination, the companies expect to realize their shared vision to transform automotive retail by delivering the most advanced solutions for dealers, OEMs, lenders and car shoppers.
Under the terms of the agreement, Dealertrack will acquire all the equity of Dealer.com for approximately 8.7 million shares of Dealertrack’s common stock and $620 million in cash, subject to customary post-closing adjustments. Dealertrack expects to finance the cash portion of the purchase price through cash on hand and with fully committed debt financing. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to regulatory approval, and the transaction is expected to be accretive to Dealertrack’s standalone multi-year organic growth profile to Dealertrack’s diluted adjusted net income per share.
Established in 1998, Dealer.com is a pioneer in bringing automotive dealerships online. The company has grown to 830 employees across its Burlington, Vermont, headquarters and Manhattan Beach, California, office, and serves approximately 7,000 U.S. dealers with its integrated suite of products. Dealer.com expects to generate annual  revenue in excess of $230 million for  2013, representing year-on-year growth in excess of 25 percent relative to 2012.
Dealertrack places a high value on the culture of creativity and innovation that has been the hallmark of Dealer.com, and plans to establish Dealer.com’s Burlington, Vermont, headquarters as a center of excellence for digital marketing solutions, along with Dealertrack’s Dallas, Texas, office. Based on the strength of Dealer.com’s brand, Dealertrack will retain the Dealer.com name in the marketplace to represent Dealertrack’s advanced and complementary set of digital marketing products and services.
“By joining forces with Dealer.com, we will be able to provide dealers, OEMs, and other industry partners with a deep and broad array of integrated solutions,” said Mark O’Neil, chairman and chief executive officer, Dealertrack. “Dealer.com and its team, whom we’ve long admired and respected, complement our solutions, catapulting our vision of delivering the market leading suite of integrated technologies capable of transforming automotive retailing even further.”
“This is a very exciting opportunity for Dealer.com,” said Rick Gibbs, chief executive officer, Dealer.com. “By combining our strengths with Dealertrack, we will be able to enhance our marketplace offering with an integrated, end-to-end solution that will help bring the automotive retailing industry to a new level of efficiency and performance.”
Gibbs further added, “Dealer.com is proud of the unique culture we, as a company, have nurtured over the years, making this a truly outstanding place to work. We will look to carry this same culture – along with our energy and spirit of innovation – forward as we unite with Dealertrack.”
Upon closing, Gibbs will become Executive Vice President and Group President of Dealertrack’s Digital Marketing solution team.
In connection with the transaction, Evercore acted as financial advisor and O’Melveny & Myers LLP provided legal advice to Dealertrack.  Goldman Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisor and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Professional Corporation, provided legal advice to Dealer.com. J.P. Morgan, B of A Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Wells Fargo are providing Dealertrack’s committed debt financing for the transaction.
Dealertrack will host a conference call to discuss this announcement on December 19, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The conference call will be webcast live on the Internet at ir.dealertrack.com, where a supplementary presentation is also available. In addition, a live audio of the call will be accessible to the public by calling 877-303-6648 (domestic) or 970-315-0443 (international); no access code is necessary. Callers should dial in approximately 10 minutes before the call begins. A replay will be available on the Dealertrack website until March 19, 2014.
About Dealertrack Technologies (www.dealertrack.com)
Dealertrack Technologies’ intuitive and high-value web-based software solutions and services enhance efficiency and profitability for all major segments of the automotive retail industry, including dealers, lenders, OEMs, third-party retailers, agents and aftermarket providers. In addition to the industry’s largest online credit application network, connecting more than 20,000 dealers with more than 1,400 lenders, Dealertrack Technologies delivers the industry’s most comprehensive solution set for automotive retailers, including Dealer Management, InventorySales and F&I,Interactive and Registration and Titling solutions.
About Dealer.com (www.dealer.com)
Dealer.com is the automotive industry’s leading provider of a streamlined and intuitive solution for managing dealership marketing and operations. The company’s platform-based Inventory, Advertising, Website and CRM products allow OEMs, dealer groups, retail and agencies to leverage innovative technology to relevantly connect to their customers. The company’s unique commitment to culture, with a focus on health and wellness, makes it one of the most desirable places to work. 
Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements
Statements in this press release regarding the benefits of the Dealertrack, Dealer.com and all other statements in this release other than the recitation of historical facts are forward-looking statements (as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995). These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements of Dealertrack Technologies to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause such a difference include the performance and acceptance of the Dealertrack, Dealer.com and their solutions, and other risks listed in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 2012 and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. These filings can be found on Dealertrack Technologies’ website at www.dealertrack.com and the SEC’s website atwww.sec.gov. Forward-looking statements included herein speak only as of the date hereof and Dealertrack Technologies disclaims any obligation to revise or update such statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or circumstances.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Use “Hummer Tax Loophole” To Sell More Vehicles In December

Are You Using \”Hummer Tax Loophole\” To Sell More Vehicles In December?

Car Dealer uses “Hummer Tax Loophole” to Educate Commercial Vehicle Buyers and Close More Deals In December

I received the following commercial vehicle buyer targeted explanation of the tax advantages businesses can gain by purchasing one or more new vehicles before December 31st. I received in my overcrowded Gmail inbox, where it caught my attention and I found it to be so compelling that it merited being shared with the ADM Community… The dealer group that sent it to me is the Resnick Automotive Group of Schaumburg, Illinois. I also added several sections with further detail directly from the IRS towards the bottom of this post:

One of the more popular uses of the Section 179 Deduction has been for vehicles. In fact, several years ago the Section 179 deduction was sometimes referred to as the “Hummer Tax Loophole,” because a the time it allowed businesses to buy large SUV’s and write them off. While this particular use (or abuse) of the tax code has been modified with the limits explained below, it is still true that Section 179 can be advantageous in buying vehicles for your business.


You still have an excellent opportunity through 12/31/2013 to minimize your tax liability by purchasing a qualifying Car, Truck  Van or SUV. Plus, under the Tax Relief / Job Creation Act of 2010, qualified small business owners who purchase a qualifying vehicle GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight) of 6000 pounds or more, may even have greater benefits if the vehicle is entirely used for business purposes.

  • Under the IRS ruling, the following  new “trucks” qualify.
  • Consult your accountant/tax advisor for complete details and eligibility.
  • Qualifying Vehicles of 6000 lbs. GVWR

Mercedes-Benz

Lexus

Toyota

Sprinter Van
ML350
GL450/550
GL350 BTC
G550

GX460
LX570

Tundra
4Runner
Sequoia

Additional Savings:
 Special Finance Rates, Factory Incentives and Dealer Year-End Discounts

Additional Section 179 Details Published by the IRS:
Update / IRS Guidelines for Vehicles in 2013

The IRS has not yet released guidance concerning Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation as it relates to vehicles for the year 2013. The guidance will be published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin sometime after April 15th. So be patient, and check back here often for the release date.

There are a number of qualifications for vehicles, all with varying tax treatment. Please refer to page 6 of these Instructions for Form 2106 to read the exact IRS language.

What are the limits on Typical Passenger Vehicles?

For passenger vehicles, trucks, and vans (not meeting the guidelines below), that are used more than 50% in a qualified business use, the total deduction for depreciation including both the Section 179 expense deduction as well as Bonus Depreciation is limited to $11,060 for cars and $11,160 for trucks and vans.

Exceptions include the following vehicles:

  • Ambulance or hearse used specifically in your business;
  • Taxis, transport vans, and other vehicles used to specifically transport people or property for hire;
  • Qualified non-personal use vehicles specifically modified for business (i.e. van without seating behind driver, permanent shelving installed, and exterior painted with company’s name).

Limits for SUVs or Crossover Vehicles with GVWR above 6,000lbs
Certain vehicles (with a gross vehicle weight rating above 6,000 lbs but no more than 14,000 lbs) qualify for expensing up to $25,000 if the vehicle is financed and placed in service prior to December 31 and meet other conditions.

What Vehicles Qualify for the full Section 179 Deduction?

Many vehicles that by their nature are not likely to be used for personal purposes qualify for full Section 179 deduction including the following vehicles:

  1. Heavy “non-SUV” vehicles with a cargo area at least six feet in interior length (this area must not be easily accessible from the passenger area.) To give an example, many pickups with full-sized cargo beds will qualify (although some “extended cab” pickups may have beds that are too small to qualify).
  2. Vehicles that can seat nine-plus passengers behind the driver’s seat (i.e.: Hotel / Airport shuttle vans, etc.).
  3. Vehicles with: (1) a fully-enclosed driver’s compartment / cargo area, (2) no seating at all behind the driver’s seat, and (3) no body section protruding more than 30 inches ahead of the leading edge of the windshield. In other words, a classic cargo van.
Other Considerations
  • Vehicles can be new or used (“new to you” is the key).
  • The vehicle can be financed with certain leases and loans, or bought outright.
  • The vehicle in question must also be used for business at least 50% of the time – and these depreciation limits are reduced by the corresponding % of personal use if the vehicle is used for business less than 100% of the time.
  • Remember, you can only claim Section 179 in the tax year that the vehicle is “placed in service” – meaning when the vehicle is ready and available – even if you’re not using the vehicle. Further, a vehicle first used for personal purposes doesn’t qualify in a later year if its purpose changes to business.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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From the Trenches – When to Break the 3-Minute Rule with Videos

From the Trenches – When to Break the 3-Minute Rule with Videos

 

I’ve been using videos for our dealership since 2009 when I saw a seminar by Jim Ziegler at NADA. I was very impressed and went back to Chicago and bought a video camera. Since then, we’ve put up over 2,700 videos on YouTube.

The best practice of 3 to 5 minutes for a video is well known and has a firm foundation. But it’s not gospel. Let me explain.

In my mind, for dealers, there are basically four kinds of videos that you can make for your dealership and varying lengths that are acceptable for them.

  • Branding videos – very short, maybe 1 minute max.
  • Conversion videos – 2-5 minutes
  • True Walkaround Videos – 3-8 minutes
  • Instructional Videos – whatever is necessary

Branding Videos are basically advertising your store or product and services. Customers have a very low tolerance and acceptance for them because they are “push” marketing similar to TV commercials. Need I say more? These should be very polished and you probably want a professional involved.

Conversion videos are videos created and sent to customers by a salesperson on a specific vehicle because “a video is worth a thousand photos”. It allows the salesperson to introduce him or herself, plug the store, and ask for the appointment. The customer wants to see that car and is willing to watch a little longer.

True Walkaround Videos are not directed at a particular customer. They are intended to be useful to those researching a particular model. Consumers who are researching want to see as much as possible about a particular vehicle so they can compare it to competing models. They will watch the entire video if it provides what they are looking for.

Instructional Videos teach something and the complexity of doing so can cause varying lengths of time. Consumers understand that. Something simple can be taught very quickly but some things take longer just to get through the steps. The consumer will follow along based on their interest.

There are exceptions to every rule. The real key is whether you are providing the entertainment factor or are providing the information that is being sought by the consumer. A customer that is looking for detail will not appreciate it if you skip over those details to keep your video short.

 

Best practices are there to be a guideline, not a rule. Always practice being a consumer and that will tell you when to go beyond best pratices.

Visit with me at AutoCon2012 in September!

 

 

Written by
 Tom Gorham

Editor, From The Trenches

Automotive Digital Marketing

Professional Community

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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Peacheetameleon: New Cobalt Study Shows Car Dealers Must Evolve to Survive

Peacheetameleon: New Cobalt Study Shows Dealers Must Evolve to Survive

When it comes to automotive digital marketing, it’s a jungle out there, and a new Cobalt eBook proves that dealers need to change their spots to survive.

According to new data from Cobalt’s car-buyer intelligence database, car-shoppers visit a minimum of eight dealer websites, with some visiting as many as twenty in a single day. With so much competition, consumer loyalty is clearly an endangered species. What’s a dealer to do to win the sale?

Evolution, baby. To survive, a dealer must take a cue from some common jungle fauna. Enter the Peacheetameleon, a mysteriously powerful new trybrid creature that is one third peacock/one third cheetah/and one third chameleon.

The Anatomy of a Peacheetameleon Dealer Website

  1. The Peacock: Like the most vibrant bird in the jungle, dealers need an eye-catching website to engage and dazzle those who have been desensitized by hours of dizzy web-surfing. Stop them in their tracks with a captivating design that-much like the peacock-shows off your best assets: competitive messaging like largest inventory, awesome specials, or great customer service. Websites with drag and drop capability make it easy and fun to mix up your dealer website with vibrant designs.
  2. The Cheetah: Looks are one thing, but it doesn’t matter how compelling your dealer site is if it takes eons to load. Look for websites that are HTML5 compatible so they can load with lightening speed on any device (tablets, mobiles, desktops, oh my!)
  3. The Chameleon: On a related note, you don’t want to blend into the digital landscape like the chameleon, but you DO want a website that easily adapts to any surroundings. A dealer website that is optimized for tablets, mobiles, and desktops ensures you can provide ideal car-shopping experiences anywhere, a must for today’s on-the-go shopper.

Becoming a Peacheetameleon takes work, but it’s worth it. Additional data demonstrates that today’s car-shoppers are easy pickings for the differentiated dealer. Our new eBook found that 60% of consumers haven’t selected a make and model, and 64% of shoppers visiting your dealer website will purchase within 60 days.

Translation: these shoppers are in-market, undecided, and looking for something that’s going to catch their eye and put their mindless web surfing to rest. All you have to do is be the dealer that stands out from the pack.

To find out more about real car-shopper behavior and how to differentiate your dealer website, download the full eBook ““The Guide to the Modern Car-Shopper: Connecting the Dots from Thei…

Jade Makana is Corporate Storyteller at Cobalt. She is passionate
about bringing brands to life through competitive positioning. Her
first car was a maroon Toyota Corolla named Ruby.

Illustration by Yan Chow, Cobalt Designer

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

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