Posts Tagged Suppliers

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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Car Dealer Website Live Chat vs. Contact Form: What Is The Difference?

Live Chat vs. Contact Form: is there really a difference?

The difference between a contact form and live chat is that chat is, well, LIVE. Much more than a virtual answering service for your phones, a good chat operator can guide visitors through the website (including inventory), set appointments, provide Edmunds.com data about vehicles or CarFax reports up to twenty-four hours a day (with participating dealers and select live chat providers), and much more. The live chat operator becomes a car shopper’s ‘concierge in the cloud’.

Read the rest of the article at the source via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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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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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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Josh Vajda Advises Car Dealers on How to Communicate with Mobile Customers

via How to Communicate with Mobile Customers – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

How to Communicate with Mobile Customers

It’s becoming more common for customers to shop, communicate and conduct daily business using their mobile devices.

If you are selling cars in a dealership, I’m guessing you’ve received many responses from customers with the signature “sent from my iPhone/4G-LTE smartphone/mobile device.” When you see this type of response, do you attempt to communicate as you normally would?

 

Almost all of the e-mail templates and responses I have seen were created for customers who are sitting at their computers. Many salespeople have been trained to reply to an Internet lead with a fairly long, personalized response that includes links to several pieces of inventory, reasons for buying from this dealership and one or two questions designed to engage. This type of e-mail is great if your customer is sitting at the computer. But if you send that same response to a mobile customer, they’re probably not going to engage.

 

So what’s the best way to communicate with a mobile customer? Here are a few tips:

 

1)    Get to the point. Mobile customers don’t think or respond the same way, and don’t have the same level of patience as when they’re sitting at home on their computers. A mobile customer is probably going to be distracted; multi-tasking, bouncing from checking e-mail to Facebook, to Twitter, to attending to their daily life. For this reason, keep your e-mails to no more than a couple sentences and you’ll be more likely to engage that customer in a conversation.

 

2)    Choose attachments and links carefully. If you’re used to sending a brochure about your dealership, an embedded video, or showcasing a particular vehicle with hundreds of photos, think twice before sending memory-heavy attachments to the mobile customer. Mobile users aren’t likely to open an attachment that’s difficult to view on a small screen or takes a long time to download. Instead, send a link to a video or send one good photo of the car that they inquired about.

 

3)    Be Patient. On mobile devices, many people respond one line at a time, as if in a chat. Going back and forth one line at a time may become frustrating to you. But remember, this is not about you, it’s about the customer and their needs. You may reach a point where you think that one phone call could replace all this, and ask the customer to just call you, or you may try calling them. Or you may be tempted to write, “if you set an appointment to come in and take a test drive, all your questions will be answered.” Yet, just as we’ve been taught to earn the right to ask for the sale in the traditional sales process, you must earn the right to ask your mobile customers. When you’re communicating via mobile, it may take a lot longer, moving one small step at a time. Trying to skip ahead in the process could disconnect them from the conversation.

 

What tips do you have for communicating with mobile customers?

via How to Communicate with Mobile Customers – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

English: Washington, DC, April 27, 2010 -- FEM...

English: Washington, DC, April 27, 2010 — FEMA launched web pages that now work on mobile devices and residents now have the option of getting FEMA assistance information on their mobile phones. The address is http://m.fema.gov. FEMA/Bill Koplitz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

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Do New Car Photos Really Make a Difference from Stock Photos? – Automotive Marketing Professionals

Do New Car Photos Really Make a Difference from Stock Photos?

ADM Forum Question Posted by Kim Essenmacher

I have to ask this question because each seminar, webinar and research study that I have read is stating this to be the case. It increases VDP’s, time on the site and in turn increases sales.  Here is a study from KBB:

Shoppers Want Actual New Vehicle Photos, Not Stock Photography on Dealer Web Sites

According to a new study conducted by Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research among in-market car buyers, 90 percent of vehicle shoppers would prefer to view actual photos of new vehicles currently on the dealer’s lot than view stock photography of a vehicle they are interested in buying.

When it comes to purchasing a used vehicle, viewing photos of the exact vehicle, its options, condition and mileage help a potential buyer make a purchase decision. But, when it comes to buying a new vehicle, in-market shoppers say they want to have that same luxury; seeing photos of the exact vehicle on a dealer’s lot before driving to the dealership. Today, most dealerships use stock photography of new vehicles provided by the manufacturer to showcase current model-year vehicles.

Recent market research shows nearly 70 percent of today’s new vehicle shoppers are turning to the Internet for new vehicle research. Nearly half of these shoppers visit at least one dealership Web site during the research process, making the information found on the dealer’s Web site crucial in garnering a new customer. In fact, 74 percent of vehicle shoppers say they are more likely to visit a dealership if they are able to view a picture of an actual vehicle currently available on the lot, rather than stock photography. What’s more, 53 percent would be more likely to buy that particular vehicle from a dealership offering actual photos of in-stock vehicles.

CDMdata Inc., a Kelley Blue Book Company, offers products and services that aid dealers in easily marketing both their new and used vehicles online with photos. CDMdata’s DigitalLot® Solution is a device that collects vehicle information by scanning the VIN, takes multiple photos of the actual vehicle and then uploads all of the information to the dealer’s Web site (and up to 150 retail Web sites) with the simple push of a button. The DigitalLot Solution can take up to 32 photos of each vehicle, and the in-depth VIN explosion allows consumers to instantly and accurately view all of the detailed information about their prospective new or used vehicle. For dealers who prefer to have someone else doing the book-in work, CDM Dealer Services provides a company representative to come to the dealer’s lot to upload the information and photography for them.

“The online automotive shopping and buying process must continue to evolve, and the DigitalLot Solution is a critical tool to help dealers improve their relationships and build more trust with online shoppers,” said Mike Romano, chief operating officer for CDMdata, Inc. and vice president of dealer strategy for Kelley Blue Book. “Whether using the solution for new or used vehicles, the DigitalLot quickly and easily automates the process of uploading dealers’ online inventory, allowing them to ultimately sell more cars faster.”

About Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com)

Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com is America’s most used and trusted vehicle pricing, values and information resource. The top-rated Web site provides the most up-to-date pricing and values for thousands of new and used vehicles, including the New Car Blue Book® Value, which reveals what people actually are paying for new cars. Since 1926, car buyers and sellers have relied upon Kelley Blue Book for authoritative and unbiased information to make well-informed automotive decisions. The company also reports vehicle prices and values via products and services, including the famous Blue Book® Official Guide and software products. Kbb.com has been rated the No. 1 automotive information site by Nielsen//NetRatings and the most visited auto site by J.D. Power and Associates eight years in a row. No other medium reaches more in-market vehicle shoppers than kbb.com; nearly one in every three American car buyers perform their research on kbb.com.

SOURCE: Kelley Blue Book

CONTACT: Robyn Eckard, +1-949-268-3049, reckard@kbb.com, or Joanna
McNally, +1-949-268-3079, jmcnally@kbb.com, both of Kelley Blue Book

Web site: http://www.kbb.com/

 

However, the largest dealer group in our state doesn’t use custom photos. My GM is afraid that if customers see new car photos that the customer won’t think that they can custom order a vehicle and we will lose sales!

I told my GM if he is worried about losing custom photos, we could put in the comments “Call if you don’t see what you are looking for?”

Also, how do we know that new car photos wouldn’t help increase the largest dealer group’s sales?

 

I am still trying to figure out which is the best way to go?

Any thoughts and additional research is appreciated.

************************************************************

Ralph Paglia Replies to Forum Question Posted by Kim Essenmacher: 

this is a similar question to “should we put our inventory online”, which was quite the debate up until about ten years ago… There is no question about the effectiveness of actual vehicle photos versus stock images. all the research shows anywhere from double to 4 times the lead volume on inventory with photos versus stock images when half the inventory has one and the other half is the other.

Honestly, this is one of those irritating issues that is a qualified for me on whether or not I want to work with a dealer or group… If they have not yet progressed to the point where the acknowledge that actual vehicle photos work better than stock catalog images, then they probably haven’t switched to broadband from dial-up yet.

Now, with that said there are alwys the economic considerations… let me explain. If you sell a brand of new vehicles where demand dramatically outstrips supply and your biggest problem is how much to mark up new vehicles above MSRP, then do not bother incurring the expense of taking inventory photos. heck, for that matter, save electricity and don’t turn on the lot lights at night!

I have done the “actual vehicle photos” comparison at several stores. This is where we run a 3 month test by taking actual photos of all new vehicels that have a stock number ending in an even digit and do not take photos for new vehicles with stock numbers that end in odd digits.  Having done this “test” at at least 6 dealerships over time, rarely do we get to the end because the cars with actual photos get all the leads and phone calls.  Then, when people start showing up on the showroom with the VDP printed out and in their hands, the whole thing turns into a big joke… Sort of “No shit Sherlock” actuial photos work better than catalog images… Again, the only debate os about the expense and the work flow.

Actual photos of new vehicles make almost as big a difference in lead volume as they do for used cars… Ever try advertising used cars with stock photos? It rates a Twitter “EpicFail hash tag.

Real photos generate more leads than catalog images. Can you tell which one of the following images is real… and which one is Memorex?

The new 2013 Chevrolet Avalanche LT Black Diamond and 2013 Chevrolet Avalanche LT Black Diamond inventory images above are from the same dealership and for two different vehicles of exact same model and trim… Also, consider that “Real videos” generate more leads than “Real Photos” alone… Real Photos generate more leads than “Stock Images”… get the drift?

However, before incurring the expense of implementing real photos of new vehcile inventory, there is a genuinely valid question that should be sincerely and realistically answered first: “Does your sales department effectively convert leads into showroom visits and sales?” Because, if the dealership is deficient in handling customer inquiries, and does a poor job of converting leads into sales, and/or does a poor job of converting traffic to the showroom into sales… Then don’t waste time and money on inventory photos. You have more serious problems to deal with.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Deutsch: Audi Autohaus in Dresden

Deutsch: Audi Autohaus in Dresden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Schedule an ELEAD1ONE Demo at NADA 2013 in Orlando – Proud Sponsor of the ADM Professional Community

Schedule an ELEAD1ONE Demo at NADA 2013 in Orlando – Proud Sponsor of the ADM Professional Community

 

Going to NADA 2013? Schedule an ELEAD1ONE Demo Today!

NADA 2013 – Schedule a Demo to Learn More About ELEAD1ONE’s Exciting New Products and Enhancements!

ELEAD Virtual BDC 


NADA Virtual BDC photo NADA 2013 Schedule a Demo Today!

ELEAD1ONE 500-seat, automotive-only Virtual BDC offers dealers the exact outbound and inbound call package needed to increase profits. Our professional phone specialists are experts in appointment generation, follow up and maximizing customer relations. Visit our website for more information on Virtual BDC.

ELEAD CRM – Automotive CRM


NADA CRM photo NADA 2013 Schedule a Demo Today!

ELEAD CRM is the fastest and most stable automotive CRM solution proven to attract, manage and retain more customers. Performance-driven lead management and sales automation solution maximizes every sales and service opportunity. Visit our website for more information on ELEAD CRM.

 ELEAD Digital – Digital Marketing


 NADA Digital photo NADA 2013 Schedule a Demo Today!

ELEAD Digital provides dealers a more cost effective and results-driven approach to monitor web presence, marketing efforts and social media.  The ELEAD1ONE full function websites and digital strategies produce much higher lead and conversation rates.  Visit our website for more information on ELEAD Digital.

AutoPilot – Service Marketing


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Autopilot provides full execution and fulfillment of all email, direct mail, text and live call service marketing. Strategically automated service marketing campaigns designed to increase customer retention and generate maximum fixed operation profits. Visit our website for more information on AutoPilot.

 GoldDigger and Perfect Prospect – Data Mining


 NADA Data photo NADA 2013 Schedule a Demo Today!

ELEAD1ONE blends our state-of-the-art Virtual BDC with best-in-class data mining technology to deliver more ready-to-buy sales and service customers to car dealerships every day. Provides the greatest return on marketing investments. Visit our website for more information on GoldDigger and Perfect Prospect.


Learn Why ELEAD1ONE is the Best Solution Proven to Sell More Cars and Maximize Lifetime Customer Profitability!

  • 30 + Years Experience
  • Over 700 Employees Nationwide
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  • 4,000 + Dealer Clients and 60,000 + Users

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

 

NADA Convention 2011 in San Francisco
NADA Convention 2011 in San Francisco (Photo credit: DigitalRalph)
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Dealer Website Best Practice: “Talk To The Dealer” – Marketing Professionals

Dealer Website Best Practice: “Talk To The Dealer”

Does Your Dealership Have a “Talk to the Dealer” Website Page?

Recently I was contacted by Darin Wade, the owner of the new Power Ford of New Mexico in Albuquerque to assist in the development of a BDC and Digital Marketing Strategy.  One of the key differentiators that Darin had already implemented, which I became aware of during my visit was a feature installed on his website that is titled “Talk To The Dealer”. 

Here is a screenshot of what it looks like:

Here is where it gets interesting… As I was meeting with Darin and John Fachko, his GSM, I submitted the form from this page and asked Darin if he received it… Nope.  However, I did receive an automated response telling me that my inquiry had been assigned to a Power Ford salesperson…

Huh? I thought I was “Talking to the Dealer”?

We contacted the Power Ford website provider and rerouted the form submission to Darin’s personal email and his cell phone email. As they were instructed when the page was requested…

Every hear the acronym “QA”? It is an acronym for “Quality Assurance” testing, a process that technology providers are supposed to implement after a change is made to verify that it works as intended. 

This is a great example of a well designed and thought out tactic which could have easily been determined to be a failure had too many customers submitted the form and then received an automated response from Power Ford’s Contact Management system informing them of the salesperson who has been assigned to their “Talk to the Dealer” inquiry… This would have been perceived by most customers as being what a Twitter user would describe as an “#EpicFail”. The “Quality Assurance” process from the dealership’s website supplier SHOULD have uncovered this point of failure, but it is also incumbent on the dealership to verify the quality of the work being delivered by their suppliers… Which we did, within 15 days of the new website being launched.

Lesson Learned? Periodically validate each and every online lead form and customer inquiry tool. Ensure that you know each customer inquiry is being routed to the right place.  I recommend that dealers submit a test lead via each every Call to Action online form offered to website visitors each month and then evaluate any automated responses for optimum messaging and how appropriate they are relative to the nature of the customer’s inquiry, as indicated by the location and intended use of the online form.

BTW Bonus… Take a close look at the “Copy and Paste” from the Power Ford “Map & Location” page I posted below.  Then, use the comment form to tell me what you think is the most interesting element. If you look closely, you will see something that I believe every dealer website should provide, but which I have never before seen on a dealer’s website…

Be the first ADM Member to tell me what it is (using the comment form below) and I will pay for your registration to attend AutoCon 2013, an $895 value.

Power Ford
1101 Montano NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107
 505-766-6600 FREE  
Send Address to Mobile Device

Departments – Click to display

  • New Sales
     855-347-7202 
  • Used Sales
     855-347-7202 
  • Finance
     855-347-7202 
  • Service
     855-348-1314 
  • Parts
     855-348-1315 

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Downtown Albuquerque, NM, just after sunset. F...

Downtown Albuquerque, NM, just after sunset. Features the Compass Bank building (purple), the Bank of America building, the Wells Fargo building, and the New Courthouse, plus a Carl’s Jr. restaurant. Cropped a little black sky off the top in Photoshop, but the colors are as the G9 took them. This is easily my #2 Most Viewed Pic. It reached 300 Views on Dec. 23, 2007. It is also my #3 Most Interesting Pic. Congratulations! On 4 Feb 2008, it reached 500 Views! On March 6, 600! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Google Declares Web Metrics Obsolete: Strategic Change in Dealer Website Analytics – Automotive Digital Marketing

Google Declares Existing Dealer Website Metrics Obsolete: Announces Strategic Change in Site Tracking Analytics

Google Analytics Certified Partner Conference

Google Analytics Certified Partner Conference

The 2012 Google Analytics Summit theme was; “Next Generation Measurement” Considering the bombshell Google dropped on day one, the theme title couldn’t have been more appropriate. Google Analytics is set to make a seismic change to its very core, shifting from sessions to users.  “Sessions don’t spend money,” as Google Analytics Principal Engineer Sagnik Nandy put it, “users do.”  For too many years, dealer website reporting systems have looked at visits in a vacuum, focusing on single visitor sessions in a short-sighted attempt to understand customer behavior and falling out of touch with today’s automotive consumer who jumps from one web device to another, desktop to mobile, mobile to tablet, and reaches dozens of touch points before purchasing a vehicle or getting one serviced.

With the release of “Universal Analytics”, Google is set to redefine automotive marketing’s relationship with web data to accurately capture customer behavior across every device, every visit, and every action – even when new and used vehicle shoppers go offline. Gone are the days of looking at Internet sales leads and service appointment requests as the primary goal; showroom traffic and sales are what matters, and that’s exactly what this next generation of dealer website measurement targets.

Win Moments That Matter

Win Moments That Matter

With Google’s new Universal Analytics, visitors are given a clean and simple User ID that replaces the current mountainous number of tracking cookies packed with reams of confusing variables and micro formatted data. This unique User ID is like a customer number in your DMS, but it is stored on Google’s end, and is identifiable across any number of devices and locations. So if your customer first visits your dealership’s website on her home desktop after receiving a promotional email, then returns a week later on her iPhone, but waits a month before seeing a display ad from your store’s online advertising and finally converting by pulling turn-by-turn directions from work to the dealership on her work laptop, all of those interactions will be attributed to a single visitor. And that initial, month-old email will be given credit, along with the last-touch display ad, and any other touch points in the sales process.

Dealer Website Business Objectives

Dealer Website Business Objectives

For businesses with the right technology, User IDs will be sent directly to your CRM software. When customers walk in after visiting virtually, you will be able to log every visit and view them in Google Analytics. You now track all customer points of contact – online and offline – and finally get the complete picture of a customer’s journey from seeing an article your dealership published, researching your make and models, to purchasing on your showroom. A reporting trail that provides the insights and metrics for car dealers to learn which marketing channels actually bring you sales… While ignoring those that generate leads to nowhere!

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Marketing and Advertising Channel Attribution Gets More Accurate

Google’s Universal Analytics includes a new attribution modeling tool that uses a data-driven model to assign value to touch points in the sales process. Every interaction is now weighted according to its frequency and position in the purchase process, instead of always being given equal credit. And a more complete picture of every sale can now be more accurately configured with cost data that users upload directly into Google Analytics and update daily. Track the effectiveness of your dealership’s entire ad spend to realize the true profit on every sale – all without leaving Google Analytics and wrestling with dozens of media and advertising reports.

Google Analytics no longer begins with a single online session only to end with a disconnected form submission that depends on an email address that blocks messages from your dealership as spam. It begins the moment a customer first engages with your dealership’s websites, blogs and online assets. And it never stops… Welcome to the new marketing reality of Universal Analytics from Google.

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About the Author: 

Matthew Kolodziej is the Director of Analytics at String Automotive Solutions, which is the only Google Analytics Certified Partner supplying dealership websites in the automotive space.

About String Automotive Solutions:

www.StringAutomotive.com  –  877-227-8525  –  Auburndale, MA  –  http://twitter.com/stringauto 

String Automotive provides North America’s most innovative auto dealers with highly effective and uniquely customer focused dealership websites. Based in Massachusetts and having been many car dealer’s “best kept secret” for automotive digital marketing over the past 7 years, String has developed a reputation for being focused on driving dealership sales and profits.

String Automotive creates custom websites designed for your dealership

We don’t do templates, and we don’t follow the industry. We look outside the automotive industry and take inspiration from empirical data, experiments and enterprises that are on the cutting edge of web design and technology.

Yet, your dealership is distinctive and your website should differentiate you at first glance.

Your dealership is focused on attracting and retaining customers. Your showroom is spotless. Your sales force is attentive and informative. And your customer care representatives are courteous and knowledgeable. In other words, you ensure that your customers have a great experience at your dealership and that they would recommend your dealership to others.

Before visiting your showroom, most of your customers visit your website and interact with your business – often without your knowledge. They form an opinion of you and get a first impression. Your website should be elegant and easy to use, yet rich with informative content. We study our designs carefully and constantly improve them by observing car shoppers using them in blind tests. We observe in study after study, year after year, what impresses visitors and what turns them off.

Most dealer website are busy, confusing and designed to compete with their competitors’ websites. Our clients don’t compete with or follow their competitors, and they don’t mimic the next door neighbor’s website that is designed to scream messages at visitors and keep them on the site as long as they can. Our clients play a different game. Click here and we’ll explain…

What is a Google Analytics Certified Partner?

A Google Analytics Certified Partner, or GACP, is an accredited web analysis and optimization expert. Google awards the partnership only after a rigorous application and interview process, and few companies make the grade. String Automotive is the only GACP web provider geared specifically to car dealers.

Why is Google Analytics Important?

Google Analytics provides unbiased, actionable insights into how users reach your site, how they engage with it, and who they are.

GA takes the guesswork out of search engine exposure, third-party lead provider effectiveness, and accurate lead attribution. With Analytics, you know exactly how much traffic comes from organic and paid search and your third-party referrers, as well as which traffic sources are actually generating leads.

Analytics also unlocks valuable information on where your customers live, the devices they use to navigate your site, and which pages receive the most visits. This just scratches the surface of the data that Google Analytics delivers. Let String Automotive be your guide on deep dives into the data to help grow and evolve your business.

Image representing Google Analytics as depicte...

Image via CrunchBase

What Google Analytics Services Does String Automotive Provide?

String Automotive provides best-in-class Google Analytics deployment with advanced technical implementation and easily digestible reports. GA tracking code is automatically inserted into every dynamically generated webpage, complete with custom variables to track more granular data, and event tracking to monitor conversions.

We provide management with direct access to GA site profiles, along with custom reports and advanced segments tailored to present you with exactly the KPIs you want to track most. And our Analytics experts are available to help you parse and examine data that requires a deeper dive.

Drawing upon our past partnership with Google as a Google Website Optimizer Authorized Consultant, String Automotive has also been awarded the Content Experiments Specialization.

In 2012, Analytics absorbed Google Website Optimizer, enhanced its features, and renamed it Google Analytics Content Experiments. Its core function of conversion rate optimization remains the same in Content Experiments, which means that String Automotive is also the only web provider for car dealers with a proven track record of Google-partnered conversion optimization. We test and improve our page designs constantly to maximize conversions and bring you more leads.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community 

Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Comm...

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