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VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 1

JANUARY 2017

TODD CROSSLEY

Millennials & Your Dealership Reaching the

HISPANIC CONSUMER INTERVIEW:

Millennials in Automotive

5

WAYS

TO GET MILLENNIALS INTO THE

SERVICE DRIVE

The

Millennial

Edition

BONUS:

Marketing to Millennials

VOL 01

ISSUE 01

SPRING 2017


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THE MD TEAM FROM

Modern Dealership – A Publication Written by Dealers for Dealers

Welcome to Modern Dealership’s inaugural issue! We’re happy you’re here. And since you’re here, chances are, you’re a lot like us and you just want to read something relevant to your business and get a few helpful insights and tips along the way. That’s why we created this publication. It’s for every professional in the automotive industry who’s been searching for helpful information, it’s for every dealer principal who just wants to know what’s working for everyone else, and it’s for those of you who know things are changing and want to stay up to date with the trends, tools, and technology that will help you grow as a modern dealership. When our team set out to create Modern Dealership, we had a vision of including all the things we love in one, easy-to-access publication. Sure, there are plenty of magazines out there, but we had our sights set on creating the ultimate resource for industry professionals—and that’s what you’ll find in every issue. We’ve created a digital magazine that includes up-todate insights, real-life stories about the changing marketplace, and proactive solutions to help you build better relationships with today’s savvy, fast-paced consumers.

Written by dealers for dealers.

You’ll find content from real, in-the-trenches industry professionals like yourself, and you’ll get an inside view of their challenges and their successes. Learn how they’re utilizing the latest technology to reach more customers, build better relationships, and unify their teams. Some dealerships may be stuck in the good ol’ days, but not you. And not us. Together, we’re creating even better days. Together, we’re working to build thriving modern dealerships!

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Enjoy your first issue as we share all we’ve learned about millennial consumers and the many ways they’re impacting the automotive marketplace. Welcome to Modern Dealership, a magazine written by dealers for dealers. Welcome to your magazine. From, The MD Team

MODERNDEALERSHIP


OF CONTENTS TABLE

18 1. MODERN SALES

06

06

Hispanic Consumers: They’re Buying if You’re Connecting

2. MODERN FIXED OPS

10

5 Ways to Get Millennials into the Service Drive

3. THE GENERATION

FEATURE ARTICLE: TODD CROSSLEY

10

14

That’s Changing it All

4. TODD CROSSLEY:

18

Millennials & Your Dealership

5. MILLENNIALS HAVE SPOKEN:

30

22

Authenticity Wins

6. SHOP TALK:

26

Millennials About Millennials

7. MODERN OPERATIONS

30

5 Ways to Inspire & Retain Millennial Employees at Your Dealership

34

8. MODERN COMMUNICATIONS 34 Marketing to Millennials: When Billboards Won’t Cut It

M O D E R N D E A L E R S H I P. C O M

5


Fun Fact:

1/3

Fun Fact:

Younger Hispanic consumers use

2 SCREENS

MODERN

SALES

more often than any other consumer group.

Fun Fact: Between the years 2012 and 2015, Hispanic consumers accounted for

25%

of the spending growth for new cars and trucks.

Hispanic Consumers: They’re Buying if You’re Connecting

Go ahead and erase any preconceptions you may have about Hispanic consumers, because it’s a pretty good guess their shopping habits and preferences have changed just as drastically as the overall U.S. demographic landscape during the past several years. In fact, major market shifts have marketers across the board scrambling to increase their investments in Hispanic ad categories to better reach a growing number of consumers.

Investing in a Growing Demographic Marketers don’t like to find themselves behind the curveball, yet many are playing a game of catch-up, because until now, they haven’t individ-

6

of the U.S. Hispanic population is under the age of 18.

MODERNDEALERSHIP

ualized their plans to include the increasingly diverse cultural make-up of the U.S. marketplace. It’s easy to find brands that have focused on serving a one-size-fits-all demographic, however, the modern marketplace demands a more thoughtful analysis and revised marketing approaches, and many brands have already gained ground in this arena. Visionary brands such as Dish Network (Dish Latino), Budweiser, and Honda have been able to successfully appeal to a wide variety of audiences in the Hispanic marketplace, targeting consumers with on-trend marketing, music, and aspirational messaging that strives for authentic connections

with consumers. With an eye for a mainstream approach that is inclusive across a wide Hispanic market, these brands have figured out the secrets to reaching those with varying cultural and economic differences, while still maintaining their unique brand identities. As millennials grow into their buying power across all social and cultural demographics, it’s more important than ever to take a closer look at Hispanic consumers. Growth in this particular market continues to boom, and according to Target Latino, more than 80% of the growth that’s expected in the 18- to 29-year-old range in the next few years will be attributed to Hispanic millennials. Approximately 22.7 million Hispanic Americans fall


Every year—from now until the year 2028—

Fun Fact: There are

26 Million

904,000

HISPANIC INDIVIDUALS will turn 18, making it the fastest growing segment of consumers.

Hispanic consumers on Facebook,

12 Million on Twitter, and

Fun Fact:

41%

9 onMillion Instagram.

of all Hispanic traffic to auto manufacturer websites comes from mobile vs. only from total U.S. traffic.

30%

into the millennial category, a highly desirable target market for forward-thinking companies that are looking to succeed in a diverse marketplace. For the automotive market, specifically, dealerships have seen staggering increases in new car purchases amongst Hispanic shoppers, and over the next 10 years, it’s expected Hispanic new sales growth will grow at a rate three times faster than the total market. While these numbers may seem surprising, it only makes sense the automotive industry would see an increase in sales that matches the quickly growing populations across the country. Additionally, the lower average age of Hispanic consumers, as well as

As millennials grow into their buying power across all social and cultural demographics, it’s more important than ever to take a closer look at Hispanic consumers. increasing disposable incomes, attribute to a rise in auto sales. This presents a great opportunity for dealerships that are willing to focus on their marketing to ensure they reach more diverse audiences in authentic and appealing ways. If you’re working on building a strong platform that reaches this important— and thriving—market, your success will depend on truly getting to know your audience, building relationships, and offering unique and individualized experiences that reflect the importance of heritage and culture. http://www.latinpost.com/articles/70709/20150807/study-english-dominant-millennial-latinos-watch-live-spanish-language-tv-hispanicmillennial-projects-latest-survey.htm

http://actioncardapp.com/2016/02/11/11-branding-stats-crazier-than-miley/ http://www.latinpost.com/articles/122882/20160812/latino-spending-power-reaches-all-time-high-surpasses-non-latino-groups.htm http://corporate.univision.com/2015/03/mobile-is-the-gateway-to-auto-information-for-hispanics/ http://www.millennialmarketing.com/2015/12/engaging-hispanic-millennials-in-four-steps/

M O D E R N D E A L E R S H I P. C O M

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5 ways

to connect with

Hispanic Consumers

Be culturally relevant. Language is a tool you can use to market to your consumers, but keep in mind not every Hispanic shopper wants—or even prefers—to speak Spanish when doing business. It all comes down to knowing your target market and giving them what they need!

Engage & retain more service customers (no real humans required)

Get online & get social. Hispanic consumers are highly influential on social media, so focus on your dealership’s social presence to reach these shoppers.

Be consistent. According to Univision, Hispanic shoppers have a lower awareness of vehicle brands overall, so there’s plenty of room for dealerships to formulate more consistent brand identities that resonate with Hispanic consumers. By offering consistent and relevant brand messaging, you’ll be more recognizable over time to shoppers who want to connect and build relationships.

Focus on mobile. Hispanic millennials are super-consumers when it comes to mobile transactions. From purchasing to researching to streaming video, they lead the market over other consumer groups, so mobile is key in reaching them.

Celebrate heritage & culture. Even for the youngest shoppers, maintaining a sense of heritage is very important. With over 20 Latin American countries and individuals from all over the world making up the growing consumer base of the U.S., businesses should get to know their shoppers to build lasting relationships.

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FIXED OPS MODERN

5 WAYS TO G E T

MILLENNIALS

INTO THE

SERVICE

DRIVE MILLENNIALS HAVE A TREMENDOUS EFFECT ON THE MARKETPLACE Businesses are changing rapidly to keep up and meet millennial needs. The automotive industry has been working to innovate both its products and its processes to win over this younger generation of consumers and offer the technology, efficiency, and transparency they demand in a changing marketplace.

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MODERN FIXED OPS

For service departments, specifically, the changes are extremely pronounced, because millennials are accustomed to self-service, high-tech solutions, and fast turn-around times. This generation isn’t just changing the way things are done in the general marketplace; they are changing the way dealerships solve customer service and maintenance needs, as well as the ways in which they build relationships with potential future shoppers.

TECH RULES THE WORLD Millennials are constantly connected, and they expect the businesses they interact with to be just as in tune with technology as they are. Whether it’s via smartphone, tablet, or desktop, they’re unlikely to be far from technology at any given time— which allows them to connect with anyone around the world in a split second, get answers to their questions immediately, and get product feedback simply by visiting their favorite social platforms. And dealerships are paying attention to millennial preferences, because by 2017, they’re expected to make up the largest online audience, as well as have more buying power, than any generation before them.

WHY MILLENNIALS HESITATE

1

STICKER SHOCK

In general, this generation is surprised at the cost of vehicle maintenance and insurance. It’s not so much the idea of purchasing a vehicle that’s daunting; rather, it’s all the other things that become worrisome.

What you can do:



Work to educate consumers regarding the impact great car care can have on the longevity of a vehicle. While it may seem expensive upfront, diligent maintenance can extend the life of a vehicle, effectively saving money over time.

2

COMMUNICATION ISSUES Smartphones have given consumers access to information 24/7, and your service department can’t afford to miss out on communication opportunities. A recent CallSource survey found that, while there’s recently been a 15% increase in many dealerships surveyed, most feel like they aren’t managing incoming calls correctly.

What you can do: Invest in an innovative communication and collaboration platform that will ensure your entire dealership is interacting seamlessly to offer the best customer experiences. Be sure you’re answering every call, every time—and you’ll never miss an opportunity.

M O D E R N D E A L E R S H I P. C O M

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MODERN FIXED OPS

BRINGING THEM IN FOR SERVICE Reports about millennial car shoppers indicated this generation was hesitant to purchase vehicles, but we’re learning many of these consumers are interested in buying. While many millennials lean on ride sharing and innovative transportation solutions, there are plenty who are interested in purchasing their own cars. Their reluctance lies in returning to dealerships for routine maintenance and service, but there are several things your dealership can do to get these customers to stick with you even after their initial purchases. Your dealership has an opportunity to appeal to the largest generation in the U.S., a generation that continues to grow and thrive. Millennials are not only inspiring change; they are driving change–and businesses that get to know them, work with them, and earn their trust will thrive. These consumers are smart, and they look at things a little differently. They’re looking for dealerships that can openly share information, give honest input, and pay attention to their needs. When you convince millennial consumers your dealership is different than all the rest–and when you show them you’re embracing the changes this generation is bringing–you’ll win business for your service department and for your dealership as a whole.

3

LACK OF TRUST

Millennials are often doubtful when businesses claim they need to pay for additional services, parts, or maintenance— and much of this can be attributed to their self-reliance and their tendency to do their own research. Relying on someone else’s word—or the word of a dealership—is simply outside their nature, and it takes time to build this trust.

What you can do:



Work from Day 1 to educate buyers about the importance of ongoing maintenance and begin building trust. Remind your customers about any free perks you offer, such as free diagnostics or battery tests, windshield wiper installations, or tire rotations. These go a long way toward showing your dealership isn’t just out to make a buck.

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4

AFRAID OF ADD-ONS

While millennials are expected to have about $200 billion of spending power beginning in 2017, they’re still wary of being caught off-guard with additional unexpected fees. If they go in for an oil change, they don’t want a surprise transmission flush and alignment to go along with it, so they hesitate to take their vehicles to the dealership.

What you can do:



Continue to work on the trust-building aspect of your relationships by offering transparency in your communication. If you do an oil change and notice additional repairs or maintenance are needed, offer a detailed printout of your suggestions, accompanied with pricing, so customers can make informed decisions regarding their next steps. By presenting information in a low-pressure, informative way, you’ll earn trust and future business.


MODERN FIXED OPS

5

RELY ON ONLINE REVIEWS

Consumers today, especially younger generations, are turning to online social sources to look for advice, get feedback and product reviews, and make decisions. This means they’re online discussing your dealership and your service department before they ever drive onto your lot. In fact, a recent study confirms 93% of millennial shoppers generally read online reviews before purchasing products, with 97% confirming they trust anonymous online consumer reviews.

What you can do:



Establish an online presence for your dealership and interact regularly with consumers on social platforms. Not only will you build relationships that lead to more sales, but you’ll also be included in conversations that will help boost your brand. Don’t forget to pay attention to online review sites like Amazon and Yelp, and be prepared to respond to consumer feedback to show your dealership’s positive, proactive personality.

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THE

GENERATION THAT’S CHANGING IT ALL Every generation does things differently. From shopping to careers to family life, younger generations are forging their own paths and writing their own rules. For dealerships, this means taking a closer look at what’s fueling their buying behavior and learning how to forge strong relationships that bridge generational gaps.

Meet the Millennials

This generation has been the recipient of quite a bit of hype recently, and it's not without cause. With 75.4 million millennials in the U.S., it's no surprise this group is causing a stir and forcing businesses to take note, adjusting their marketing and business plans along the way to meet the needs of these shoppers. Millennials are doing most of their shopping online, moving at a faster pace, expecting information upfront, and resisting haggling over prices. And these are some of the traits that make millennials game-changers for dealerships. Traditional dealership models tend to be time consuming, require shoppers to complete the entire purchasing process in-house, and involve at least some amount of haggling. Millennials are turning the tables and asking for change— and successful dealerships are meeting them in the middle with compromises like online credit applications, real-time inventory and pricing updates on their websites, and stateof-the-art communication platforms that streamline crossdepartmental interactions.

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Millennials are a generation unlike the rest.

Their diverse needs and preferences make it difficult for marketers to pin down exactly what they want, but we do know this: millennials want convenience and access to information—and they lean heavily on technology to get those things. They thrive in low-pressure environments where they have all the information they need to make decisions with the click of a button. For many dealerships, this requires a change in philosophy and sales approach, placing a greater focus on building relationships and empowering shoppers to find exactly the vehicles that are right for them. To top it all off, millennials simply aren't “into” cars like the generations that came before them. In general, these consumers want to spend their extra cash on experiences and the latest technology, accounting for large jumps in spending at companies like Uber, as well as smartphone providers. Since millennials often see public transportation as a more suitable option to fit their lifestyles, many dealerships are feeling the effects of a generation that's all about ride sharing, trading, and renting. Even though car ownership may not be a top priority with this generation, there are still some great ways your dealership can reach millennials:

Update your technology. And make sure

it's working and compatible across devices and platforms. Millennials are looking for businesses that offer a great overall experience—and they'll run if your technology is out of date or slows them down.

Personalize their experiences. Millennials want to know you're paying attention to their needs, and you'll reach them more effectively by sharing with them, interacting, and getting to know exactly what they're looking for in a dealership experience.

Do good. Millennial consumers are not

only interested in what you're selling; they're also interested in how you're interacting with your community and the ways you're giving back. They're drawn toward businesses that support causes they care about, so take time out to give back—and this generation will notice you.

M O D E R N D E A L E R S H I P. C O M

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Millennial customers are an important part of your dealership's customer base. They have money to spend— and they are willing to spend it on the products and services that truly matter to them. By reaching out and getting to know the details regarding when and why they buy, you'll gain valuable insights that will help your dealership grow alongside this generation.

Collaborate and listen. When you are open to

consumer insights and opinions, you'll make shoppers feel more included in your brand. Today's shoppers want to be more involved with the brands they purchase, and they want to know companies are listening and taking their suggestions to heart.

Socialize and share. You're probably already

working on beefing up your social media platform, but if you're not, it's time to get started. These shoppers are social. They're sharing, reviewing, and rating products online—and when your dealership is present and accounted for, you'll be part of the conversations, earning trust and brand recognition along the way. Millennials make up an extremely large and diverse consumer group, presenting both a challenge and an opportunity for modern dealerships. Sure, it will take some work to get to know these shoppers and learn exactly what they're looking for when they step onto your showroom floor. But once you’ve gained these insights you'll have unlocked the key to a consumer group that has $200 billion of spending power annually. 16

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Because the Numbers Don't Lie

NADA BOOTH 1261


M O D E R N D E A L E R S H I P. C O M

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GARY CROSSLEY FORD

TODD CROSSLEY

Millennials & Your

When it comes to millennials, there’s no shortage of opinions. Common stereotypes used to describe this generation include everything from “lazy” to “entitled” to “narcissistic,” and the list goes on. With a pile of negative opinions stacking up against them, it’s easy to see why employers might be hesitant to hire these newcomers to the job market, but that’s not the case for Todd Crossley, President of Gary Crossley Ford. In fact,

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he’s seeking out millennial professionals for his dealership, saying that, “Millennials are an intelligent generation, they don’t mind working hard if they get what they want from it, and they become very tied to what they are doing.” To Todd Crossley, millennials are an untapped powerhouse in today’s market. He’s noted their eagerness to learn and their enthusiasm for growing their careers, and he’s taking


Just ask Todd Crossley; he’ll tell you Gary Crossley Ford is thriving with a strong team of multi-generational professionals who all work closely together and share their ideas, innovate, and drive toward a strong future where every employee is valued for their commitment and contributions to the dealership.

r Dealership

A Valuable Generation According to Crossley, millennials grew up at the perfect time, because they were able to witness several things that have shaped their world views, and in turn, the ways in which they react to each other, to businesses, and to marketplace trends.

full advantage of the positive aspects this generation is bringing to his dealership. Crossley is no stranger to the automotive industry and the hard work it takes to achieve success and thrive in a competitive market. He grew up in the automotive world, beginning his career cleaning cars at a dealership in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2011, he became full owner of his dealership after buying out his father, which

gave him an entirely different perspective of the business. Armed with new insights regarding in-depth dealership operations, he began to see how younger generations could truly make a difference in keeping the automotive industry alive and thriving. Not only can millennials bring new viewpoints and knowledge, they also have the unique ability to connect with younger consumers in a way that no one else can.

To start, this generation has seen a fairly major economic collapse; they saw the generation before them slowly crumble in front of their eyes. Once Gen X graduated college, millennials watched them move back home with their parents as they struggled to find work. Essentially, the parents of millennials struggled with money and fell on hard times, and this was enough to scare millennials into being more responsible with their money and their lives in general. Millennials know they do not want to repeat the experiences of the previous generation. Additionally, millennials have grown up in a truly global world, with a greater awareness of global issues, as well as a feeling of responsibility for maintaining and restoring the environment. They’re part of the first truly digital generation, and they’re accustomed to seamless communication across a variety of platforms.

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All the things that make millennials unique may not seem to affect businesses—and dealerships, specifically— until employers take a look at the impact this generation can have on the workforce. As young professionals, millennials are looking for careers that help them make a difference, learn and advance quickly, and earn increasing levels of responsibility. Todd Crossley is leaning into the positive aspects of millennial employees and putting them to work to help him stay connected, build relationships with younger shoppers, and implement creative strategies throughout his dealership. He already knows the stereotypes generated about this generation are misconceptions, nothing more than quick judgements reached by a few who don’t understand where these younger consumers and professionals are coming from. Instead of buying into those notions, he’s leveraging the positive momentum generated by this generation’s eagerness—and it’s benefitting his dealership greatly. Are Millennials Entitled? Entitlement seems to be the number one complaint about this generation, but Crossley says, “It’s a misconception.” He goes on to explain the sense people get about millennials is actually related to their need for instant gratification, which is ingrained in them from birth. They were born in the age of

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MODERNDEALERSHIP

technology, an age in which things have always been available at the touch of a button or the flip of a switch, and this has taught millennials to expect near-instant responses. So, instead of a sense of entitlement, it’s potentially a case of expecting things to be extremely efficient. And in the dealership world, improved efficiency leads to happier customers. Millennials Demand Transparency Along with their need for instant gratification is a need for transparency. Todd Crossley says, “Millennials are born with built-in bullshit filters. They grew up with 500 channels. They grew up with the internet and with every kind of marketing, so their systems have developed the ability to sort out all the crap.” The filter Todd talks about is part of every aspect of their lives, so when they go to work or start a new job, they can sense when colleagues or bosses aren’t being upfront. And you can be sure a lack of transparency immediately leaves them disengaged and causes their work to suffer—in the end, sending them right back to look for another job. “That’s why,” says Crossley, “at our dealership, transparency is highly regarded, allowing millennials to thrive.”


Right now, we’re only a couple years away from millennials making up the majority of the workforce, and that means it’s important for employers to take time out to understand what makes them tick, as well as realize the positive impact they can make when it comes to reaching younger customers and leveraging the power of new technology.

Dubbed “data dumpers” by Crossley, millennials are constantly bombarded with information from every direction and have developed the ability to quickly discern what is important and what is not. When they determine information is unimportant, they immediately dump it, completely erasing it from their memories. This, again, is a result of having access to an excess of media, online platforms, and being continuously plugged in. This generation is constantly bombarded with information, and they’ve become accustomed to sifting through it all and filtering out only what’s important. With a population of over 75 million, millennials make up the largest generation in the United States, and Todd Crossley believes they have the ability to change the world for the better. He says, “This is the first generation that genuinely doesn’t care; they don’t care who you marry, they don’t care what color you are, or where you grew up. They care about who you are as a person.”


Millennials Have Spoken:

Authenticity Wins

Millennials have spoken, and they are looking for businesses that know them and recognize their needs within a changing marketplace. They’re not buying into marketing that speaks to them or even through them; instead, they are on the lookout for businesses that can relate to them and form relationships with them throughout their buying journeys. In fact, businesses that are not extending themselves and making efforts to connect with millennials in a meaningful way run the risk of rankling a generation with a lot of buying power. We all know the marketplace is changing, and businesses have come to a fork in the road. Right now, dealerships everywhere have the opportunity to go down the path they’ve always taken, or they can venture into new territory and look at innovative ways of doing business and meeting the needs of today’s increasingly digital and mobile consumers. Successful dealerships are finding the more they reach out and interact with shoppers before they step onto the car lot, the better their chances are of impacting sales.

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Today’s shoppers are hungry for connections. They want to build relationships with the businesses they choose, and businesses that are willing to engage with them in return will benefit the most. There has been a monumental shift in, not only in the way people are buying, but also in who’s buying. Millennials are a generation full of digitallysavvy consumers who know what they want—and in addition, they’ll call the bluff of businesses who appear inauthentic, unwilling to connect, or that waste their time. In essence, today’s young shoppers are looking for a trifecta of perks, and this presents an exciting opportunity for your dealership to shine because you’re able to offer exactly what they are seeking in the marketplace: •Ways to save time. •Ways to save money. •Ways to connect authentically. Authenticity Wins Your dealership is in the perfect position to offer the things millennial shoppers are looking for. You have the tools, technology, and professionals on hand to provide timeand money-saving options for customers, and that’s an important step. For younger generations, however, perhaps the most essential element you can offer is authenticity in their transactions.

When you are able to offer insightful interactions and engagement, you’ll gain the trust and business of younger shoppers. Millennial consumers are especially in tune with online opinions, feedback, and research, and they are accustomed to picking out authentic brands and products from a seemingly endless mix of online offerings.

Today’s shoppers are hungry for connections.


By building your dealership’s online presence and interacting with consumers on various online platforms, you’ll gain a reputation for being a business that’s interested in what shoppers are talking about, engaged in their conversations, and willing to help answer their questions. Because of their online presence, millennials hold quite a bit of sway over shopper opinions. They are influencers, loyal brand advocates, and even content generators—and this means you'll want to gain their favor and get them to speak up for you online as well. By offering meaningful insights and helpful industry information, in addition to sharing how your dealership stands out in the community and works to help others, you'll go a long way toward motivating millennial consumers. Forget About Selling Just for a minute. Every dealership knows there's a bottom line, however, today's consumers want relationships with you, and when you're building your online presence and reputation, you'll need to steer clear of pushing sales. You'll get your best, most loyal customers

when you focus on engaging and interacting. Every business can sell and push ads, but you'll stand out from the crowd by offering consumers something they can't get elsewhere—genuine connections, thought leadership, and a breadth of knowledge that will ultimately guide them to your showroom floor. Millennials are a powerful economic force, and they're bringing a lot to the table for the automotive market. By 2017, their spending power is expected to exceed $200 billion per year, and that's only going to increase as they mature in their careers. A generation with significant influence, as well as a tendency to stay loyal to the brands that have earned their trust, millennials are quickly moving toward their prime spending years and deserve the attention of businesses seeking growth. By boosting your online presence and focusing on building relationships with millennial consumers, your dealership will form powerful connections that will lead to a healthier bottom line.

Authenticity wins.

Forget about selling.

M O D E R N D E A L E R S H I P. C O M

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MILLEN WHO ARE THE

7

8 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Beyond that the 2017 Honda Civic hatchback will be, quite clearly, a hatchback, its name is particularly fitting. Honda last offered a hatchback version of the compact Civic in the U.S. in 2003, when the sporty Civic Si variant was available only as a two-door wedge—albeit one that was imported from Europe and had little in common with contemporary U.S.-market Civic sedans and coupes. For the last non-Si Civic hatchback sold stateside, you’ll need to stretch your memory back to 2000, the final year for the sixth-generation Civic. Before then, every previous generation of the Civic had offered a hatchback body style.

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84% of millennials confirm they would choose a job for its communication policy over a perks package Millennials are expected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025 85% of millennials own smartphones that they use for shopping and staying connected Millennial consumers are expected to account for 40% of all new vehicle buyers by 2020

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SHOP TALK:

Millennials -aboutMillennials

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There’s probably no one who knows millennial shoppers better than millennial employees, so the team went out of our way to talk to a couple of the best and brightest in the industry. Priscilla Novo, Internet Director of Sales & Digital Marketing at Brickell Motors in Miami, Florida, has been in the automotive industry for about 4 years; and Ben Burton, General Sales Manager of Kia of Meridian, Mississippi, has been at home in the industry for around 16 years. We wanted to know what they had to say about selling to younger generations, finding their places in the workforce, and how they’re utilizing the latest technology to forge their way to success. Here’s what they had to say.


As a millennial, do you face any stereotypes in the automotive- industry? If so, how have you overcome them?

Yes, I do think those stereotypes exist, and it was hard to face them in the beginning, but I conducted myself in a manner that soon gained the respect of my peers, and I overcame those stereotypes with hard work.

I don’t really consider myself a millennial. I started working at age 12 for my dad at his trucking company, so I’ve always had a strong work ethic. I started in this industry at 18, so I had to work harder to prove to everyone I wasn’t a young, dumb kid. I’m diligent, detail-oriented, and passionate about what I do, so I let my work speak for itself when it comes to stereotypes about my age.

Was it hard for you to assimilate yourself in the workplace as a millennial because of stereotypes or preconceived notions?

It was easy for me because of my strong, hard work ethic, but the hard part for me was managing a team of millennials. It was hard to get them to overcome those challenges.

Do you feel being a millennial has helped you or hindered you at all in your career? If so, how?

Being a millennial has helped me, because it makes it easy to identify with other millennials. I know exactly what they want and how they are, and that makes it easy to provide the best customer experience possible.

I think it has its pros and cons, just like any generation. Since I was brought up in the business in the old ways, I’m a little new to digital marketing, but I’m young enough to have integrated my life with technology, so I can follow and grasp the changes easily and quickly. As for the attitudes, some people assume because I’m young that I’m lazy, entitled, or not knowledgeable. That can cause friction, but at the same time, their lower initial expectations of me are very easily exceeded.

How does being a millennial help you deal with millennial customers in the dealership?

It makes it easier to understand what they want and cater to them specifically. Being a millennial helps me know exactly what they are looking for and provide them with a more personal experience.

I don’t think so. I have encountered the “he’s young; he must not know what he’s doing” attitude. I’m from the old-school car biz where you earn respect and acknowledgement, so I let my work and my numbers speak for me. When you’re making everyone a lot of money, it’s not hard to assimilate.

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I understand their interests and what appeals to them. I am a geek and love technology and how it makes my life easier, which is very synonymous with millennials overall.

millennials and draw them in to your dealership?

No, not at all. Millennials come in totally prepared, having read reviews and done their research online. You just have to know the best way to appeal to them once they’re on the lot. Not at all. The KIA brand itself is a draw to millennials with its style and technological advancements. And we are heavily committed to our community, which I feel is important to the millennial generation. Is it easy to tell millennial customers apart from the rest of the crowd? What makes them stand out? Absolutely! They are well-informed, have done their research at home, and know exactly what it is they want, which can make them a little demanding. Yes. They tend to be more tech-savvy and have done internet research. They know more details about the car and are more concerned with the features and benefits available. In the old car business, we called them “clip-boarders.” They came in with a clipboard full of notes and comparisons. They also tend to be less likely to worry over or even read the fine print.

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Do you think it’s harder to sell to millennials? If so, why?

It’s definitely easier to sell to millennials, being a millennial myself, but it seems like older generations tend to have some trouble dealing with the everyday mindset of millennials. Not necessarily harder. They pose their own challenges, as opposed to other generations. They sometimes believe their researched information is more correct, and we’ve found that when things like features and benefits are pitched to them as a package, they tend to find them more appealing.

Do you think you identify yourself as a typical millennial, or do you think you don’t fit under that generational label?

To me, the personality traits associated with millennials are too general. I identify as a millennial because I’m very tech-savvy, but I’m not lazy, spoiled, or unorganized, which is how many people see millennials.

No. I came into this business in 2000, before the bulk of this generation was born. I have a very stereotypically considered millennial, but I do have a lot of similar experiences and a very digitally- and technologically-immersed lifestyle.


that belong to each generation, or does it all depend on how you were raised growing up?

Both. How you are raised in your home environment plays a huge part in how you grow up, but you can’t control anything outside your home environment. Kids today have more available to them than previous generations, causing them to grow up faster than ever before.

I think it’s dependent on upbringing: nurture not nature. Technology has done a lot to contribute to the attitude of this generation, but I have family and friends my age, and even younger, who were raised in a similar fashion and also don’t behave as typical millennials.

From your perspective, do you see millennials as an opportunity for dealerships, or are they doing more harm than good to the auto industry?

I see millennials as an opportunity. It’s all in how you market yourself to the customer. You have to market yourself as a brand and not just market the specific car you are selling at the time. I view them as untapped opportunity. As employees, they are more aware of technology and able to more readily access information they need. As customers, every dealership has plenty of room for growth digitally. Millennials represent an entire demographic that has not yet been tapped. There’s plenty of opportunity there.


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EASY WAYS TO INSPIRE AND RETAIN MILLENNIAL EMPLOYEES AT YOUR DEALERSHIP


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Every day, more millennials are immersing themselves in their careers, and there are several reasons you should be looking to fill positions at your dealership with this generation of professionals. While millennials may have erroneously been saddled with bad reputations when it comes to their work habits, there are numerous advantages to hiring them—and ensuring you retain them—in your workforce. In addition to the fact that they are tech-savvy and able to quickly adapt to the latest tools and trends implemented in your dealership, they’re also able to relate to younger shoppers. On top of that, they are dedicated workers who want to find jobs where they can have increasing responsibility and make a difference.

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Reaching and retaining millennial professionals will help your dealership succeed as a new generation of consumers shops for and purchases vehicles. By bringing these pros into your dealership, you'll ensure you reach more shoppers in a variety of ways. Reaching Millennial Consumers Millennial consumers are expected to account for 40% of all new-vehicle buyers by 2020. With this in mind, it's likely millennial customers will gravitate toward and listen to your millennial sales pros. Because of their closeness in age and ability to relate to each other and share technology, your millennial staff members will be able to make connections and earn the trust of millennial customers more easily. Adopting Trends & Technology Millennial employees will lead the charge when it comes to encouraging others to give new tools and tech a chance throughout the dealership. 85% of millennials now own a smartphone, and they rely on apps more than any other generation. This alone reveals the

mobile and tech-savvy nature of millennials. You can leverage their knowledge and enthusiasm, and others throughout the dealership will follow suit and utilize valuable tools to boost interaction with customers. Millennial Dedication & Drive Millennial professionals are driven to perform and do their best in careers where they feel they are valued and where they can make a difference. Expected to account for 75% of the workforce by 2025, this group of professionals is full of innovators who want employers to maximize their skills. Dealerships that lean into their drive and create opportunities that allow them to grow in their careers will reap the most from these young professionals.

The Professionals Dealerships Want Wise dealerships looking toward the future and toward innovation to reach modern consumers will seek out millennial professionals. However, in order to attract top talent and retain them, many dealerships will need to rethink a few things. Millennial professionals will bring many benefits to your dealership, so start inspiring them and capturing their attention.

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INSPIRE MILLENNIALS: 5 EASY WAYS

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CONSIDER WORK HOURS

For millennials, a positive work-life balance is one of the most important perks you can offer. Consider creative scheduling to show you appreciate their priorities.

LOOK AT PAY

Millennials are interested in stable incomes, rather than commission-based pay. They prefer being able to know exactly what they’ll bring home, a trend that already has some dealers rethinking their pay structures.

ENCOURAGE THEM TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE This generation is purpose-driven, and they want the companies they work for to give back. Dealerships that are focused on community, environmental responsibilities, and charitable programs will stand out to today’s top millennial talent.

CREATE OPPORTUNITIES

Millennials want to learn and grow quickly in their careers. They’re willing to invest time in training and working hard, and they’re attracted to businesses that offer opportunities for growth, mentoring, and leadership.

OFFER TRANSPARENCY

For this generation, great communication tops many other perks you could offer. Millennials are on the lookout for companies that are working to create open, collaborative environments, and they’ll choose the ones that align with their needs. Many dealerships are falling into the employee turnover trap by dragging their feet and delaying change, but as more millennials join their professional ranks, it will be important to take a closer look at ways they can meet in the middle and offer the flexibility young professionals are looking for in their careers. Dealerships that welcome millennials, leverage their unique talents, and lean into the energy they bring to the workforce will be able to create stronger relationships with today's consumers and get ahead of the competition. By looking for the strengths this generation brings to your dealership and by being a proponent of their work, you'll not only maintain your top talent, you'll gain loyal employees who will work hard to ensure your dealership succeeds.

Expected to account for 75% of the workforce by 2025, this group of professionals is full of innovators who want employers to maximize their skills.

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Marketing to Millennials: When Billboards Won’t Cut It

Marketing to the next generation of auto buyers means so much more than a billboard advertisement, magazine, or newspaper ad. It’s even more than an email campaign. Today, it takes a Tweet, a post, a selfie, a video clip, and more. It’s imperative whatever medium is deployed is quick, efficient, and creative to ensure dealerships hit their mark with millennial consumers. It boils down to truly understanding this unique audience. Millennials are best described as those who reached young adulthood around the year 2000. Around that same time, the internet also began to experience rapid growth and usage, so it should come as no surprise that online platforms and social media outlets have become the essential go-to when it comes to engaging these younger, modern consumers. It is crucial for seasoned automotive marketers to take a step back and realize how significantly automotive marketing has changed—and must continue to change—to ensure engagement with the millennial audience is compelling, authentic, trustworthy, and credible. This audience relies heavily on social media peer-to-peer recommendations, along with ratings and reputation-monitoring sites, which means dealerships that earn their trust will also earn their online advocacy.

Millennials & Your Dealership How do millennials affect you? When you nurture and cultivate this growing demographic, you’ll ensure longterm growth for your dealership. To do this, however, there are some key considerations.

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As more people turn to social media for information, insights, and product research, businesses are learning it’s important to foster brand engagement and create an interactive customer experience on a variety of platforms. Currently, approximately 90% of young adults ages 18 to 29 utilize social media, and when dealerships utilize platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach their audiences, they increase their reach, especially to younger audiences who access social media multiple times each day. Maximizing these powerful outlets by sharing valuable content and building relationships with online influencers can dramatically impact the way young consumers view your brand, your vehicles, and your reputation.

Vehicle Ownership

It’s challenging to consider the changing transportation trends of younger generations. Millennials don’t have the same affinity or reliance upon vehicle ownership as previous generations, instead relying more heavily on public transportation, ride-sharing alternatives, and other in-the-moment solutions. The popularity of smartphones and the tendency for most millennials to be digitally connected mean this consumer group can interact instantly to satisfy personal wants and needs—including calling on transportation

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when it’s needed. On the lookout for ways to save money on car payments, fuel costs, maintenance, parking, and more, many millennials now view the purchase of a vehicle as unnecessary. For professionals in the automotive industry, this means it’s now necessary to market and sell differently. They must show millennial shoppers there are still plenty of practical reasons and benefits to consider vehicle ownership.

Experiential Preferences

Today’s younger consumers prefer to allocate their finances toward life experiences, rather than spend their money on acquiring material possessions. They value the ability to dine out frequently, travel, and participate in hobbies and outside interests, a growing trend that explains the popularity of services like Uber and Lyft. This differs from previous generations who often measured success with

big-ticket items, such as homes and new vehicles. Millennials are looking toward experiences to find purpose and meaning—both in life and in the workplace. For dealerships, this means changing your marketing and meeting these shoppers where they are in their journeys. By getting to know your shoppers and providing the solutions that meet their needs, dealerships will succeed in a changing marketplace. Keep in mind, the automotive market has been focusing on change and innovation for years; these are the things that drive prospects into showrooms every day! The challenge for today’s marketers is to tap into the millennial mindset and get to know exactly what younger consumers are looking for and then leverage the power of social media to generate excitement, enthusiasm, and interest in vehicle ownership. You can capture the millennial market, but it will take more than billboards!

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Social Media


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January 2017, Volume 1. Issue 1