Mark Andrews, director of marketing for Walser Automotive Group, which owns 23 stores in Minnesota and Kansas, says his philosophy is “digital first” when it comes to marketing spend. More specifically, Andrews said, “We let the competition outspend us, and then we win with our database.” Under Andrews’ direction, the company has moved most of its marketing to digital channels, and its data-driven approach has led to a consistent annual increase in sales, despite industry trends.
Last month, AutoSuccess began an exciting new journey — one that will allow us to take our mission of serving automotive sales professionals to the next level.
After 16 years as a solo publication, AutoSuccess has joined the Babcox Media family, giving us greatly increased access to resources and expertise. With the tools now available to us through this merger, we’ll be able to bring even more ideas, strategies, educational opportunities and content to our audience.
I recently encountered a pervasive condition that even I have suffered from at times. The reality is that the disease was always there — I just didn’t have a name for it.
So here is the scene: I am at the airport, normal day, waiting in line to get on the plane. We are all in our designated categories waiting patiently to board. The horn sounds, the flight attendant starts the boarding process and we all start the slow move to the jet bridge like a pack of lemmings.
And then it happens.
I spend quite a bit of time in the industry providing lead management tips and advice to help dealers sell more cars, and arguably the most important advice I give pertains to communicating with customers. Let’s face it: Good communication can make a sale; bad communication can break it.
Communicating with consumers, however, is more challenging than ever. First, dealership visits are down while time spent online researching vehicle purchases is up. Beyond that, industry data shows that nearly half of all car buyers do not buy the vehicle they originally intended; roughly 43 percent of new car buyers defect to used cars and nearly 20 percent of used car purchasers defect to new cars.
Hello, AutoSuccess readers!
Since this is this first time you’re seeing my face, I feel I should properly introduce myself. I’m Sean Donohue, and I am a group publisher for Babcox Media, a media company that is aligned heavily in the automotive aftermarket, heavy-duty fleet equipment and powersports industries. And now, thanks to our new partnership, I’m also the liaison between Babcox Media and AutoSuccess.
To say that I am excited to be joined by the AutoSuccess team is an understatement. We feel this partnership is a perfect fit and we look forward to continuing to bring you relevant market information that will fuel your business while improving your profitability.
Every year, advertisers and marketers try to choose one defining medium of the year, and 2017 is, no doubt, the year of the video. Digital video can enhance your content marketing and drive prospects to your dealership — if you do it right. From OEMs down to the local dealership, automotive marketers are integrating video into the selling process. So, where do you begin?
YouTube is the second largest search engine behind only Google (who purchased YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion). More than 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and all the major OEMs are contributing to this content. Take a look at your brands’ official YouTube channel and you will find national commercials, in-depth vehicle reviews and other valuable video content.
I don’t mean to squeeze more juice from an already tired cliché, but time is money in used car reconditioning. Get used inventory spiffed up and to the sales line in three days, consistently, and that’s the sound of money.
For years I have been promoting Time-to-Market (TTM) workflow as the measurement of exceptional reconditioning results. That’s still true, but we’ve discovered an even better way to talk about how to make recon operations more profitable: Average Days in Recon, or ADR.
Marketing and advertising may be classified technically as an expense, but rather than thinking of your efforts as a cost of doing business, what if you considered those efforts an asset to growing your business?
Let me explain. Today’s customer demands a quick, easy and enjoyable purchasing experience from any retailer, including your dealership. Your marketing strategy must be designed to fulfill those expectations as well as to address your unique business needs over the long haul
Why do I call this the Texas Three-Step? Simply because I’m from Texas and it sounds cool. Oh, and it’s a three-step marketing process.
It always seems that the more personal a marketing plan is, the more effective it is. Engagement is the premise behind this monster. Let’s begin with what you’ll need:
First, you need a CRM and a customer base. Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you have both in place. If not, try a newspaper ad. You’ll begin this campaign as you would an email blast. Let’s use these parameters as an example: customers who own a 2006-2014 Ford F-150. First, we’re going to download these customers into a .csv file. Hold on to this file — you’ll need it in all three steps.
Dealerships have always geared their online efforts towards moving inventory, not fixed operations. Why is it that the departments typically producing more than 50 percent of the operating profits have such a poor online representation?
The answers vary from dealer to dealer, but one thing is for certain: You probably already have the tools available to vastly improve your service department’s digital presence and your bottom line — and one of those powerful tools is live chat.