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Dealership

INNOVATION

GUIDE

A DrivingSales Publication • 1st Quarter, 2014

Quar terly Ranking of Dealership Vendors and Best Practices

SUPERCHARGING Your Digital Marketing Spend with a Digital Retailing Strategy

Amit Maheshwari - Page 22

RETARGETING THE NEXT GENERATION Jeremy Anspach - Page 18

WHAT EVERY MANAGER SHOULD KNOW Max Katsarelas - Page 36

WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY Josh Knutson - Page 40

Visit DrivingSales.com to view nearly 12,000 verified dealer ratings of over 800 vendors in 28 categories.


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Dealership

INNOVATION

GUIDE

A DrivingSales Publication

Quar terly Ranking of Dealership Vendors and Best Prac tices

Dealership Executives, Dealer Executives, We hope 2013 was a fantastic year for you and your store. As we look on the horizon to 2014, it looks to be another promising year for the industry. You have already begun to implement your business strategy and executing on your marketing strategy for 2014. We heard from worldrenowned brands such as the Disney Institute at our 5th annual DrivingSales Executive Summit addressing the importance of building your brand value. We know conveying your brand value to customers and standing out from your competitors will continue to be more crucial to driving traffic to your store.

Meet the Team Jared Hamilton Founder, DrivingSales Inc. @jaredhamiltonDS Kevin Root President, COO kevin.root@drivingsales.com

But, as we step into 2014, we don’t need to hear more stories of why your brand value is essential. It’s time to execute on your brand value and a large part of that is looking at the new era of marketing that has emerged. “Modern” marketers are now managing a customer life cycle measuring almost everything along the way. As an industry, we need to go beyond just measuring and metrics and do a deep dive into a full range of digital marketing analytics such as: optimization, modeling, visualization, forecasting, attribution, etc. Clearly it takes a certain skillset to excel in today’s marketing world, which is why having a dedicated Marketing Manager handle all marketing efforts is ideal. This person knows your brand and your customers, and allowing them to focus solely on the full landscape of marketing channels makes sense.

Jeff Pease Art Director jeff.pease@drivingsales.com

Last year we implemented a new event, DrivingSales Presidents Club, with the intent to create an intimate environment for industry leaders to study the three foundational assets that affect your business: your capital, your brand, and your people. This year Gary Vaynerchuk will be keynoting our 2nd annual Presidents Club. Gary Vaynerchuk is a self-trained entrepreneur and marketing trailblazer who will share in-depth case studies of the world’s biggest brands and how they used digital marketing and social media to build their brand. I’m excited for Gary Vaynerchuk to share his digital marketing knowledge and expertise with us!

Larry Schlagheck Director of Advertising larry@drivingsales.com @larryschlagheck

Today’s marketing field looks dramatically different and it’s time for us to embrace modern marketing. The solutions are out there if we are open to them, which will dramatically impact your bottom line and build your brand.

Mike Jeffs Media Manager mike.jeffs@drivingsales.com @mikejeffs3

Tommy Bay Media Designer tommy.bay@drivingsales.com @tommybay

Here’s to a stellar 2014 and let’s take control of our brand by investing in modern marketing.

Jared Hamilton Founder, DrivingSales, LLC

Dealership Innovation Guide

DrivingSales, LLC • 1st Quarter - 2014 • 3


Thanks to our Sponsors!

NADA UNIVERSITY

MAGAZINE CREDITS About This Guide Dealership Innovation Guide is published quarterly by DrivingSales, LLC. To subscribe, visit DealershipInnovationGuide.com. Printed in the United States of America. Copyright © DrivingSales, LLC 2013. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without publisher’s written permission. Dealership Innovation Guide and DrivingSales, LLC assume no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs.

4 • 1st Quarter - 2014 • DrivingSales, LLC

Letters To The Editor Dealership Innovation Guide and DrivingSales, LLC welcome Letters to the Editor. If you have questions about the guide, or would like to make a comment, or voice an opinion about the guide, DrivingSales, LLC, or the industry in general, please feel free to write us. Please send letters to mike.jeffs@drivingsales.com. Include a telephone number and email address. Letters may be edited for clarity or space. Because of the high volume of mail we receive, we cannot respond to all letters. Dealership Innovation Guide


Table of Contents FEATURES 14

How do we Take our People to the Next Level Courtney Cole

18

22

SUPERCHARGING YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING Amit Maheshwari

Retargeting the Next Generation: Driving Consideration at your Dealership

18

Jeremy Anspach

28

The Importance of Creating an SEO and Social Media Plan that Works Together Erika Simms

30

Optimizing Sales: The Neuroscience of Selling Trust Women-Drivers.com

36

06

Max Katsarelas

On DrivingSales.com, dealers can rate their vendors. All reviews are verified to be legitimate and posted for you

What Every Manager Should Know

40

to learn who the best vendors are –

Wearable Technology Accelerates into the Auto Industry Josh Knutson

directly from your peers.

44

Moneyball For Dealers: Buy the Traffic that Wins! Len Short

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Over 16,000 unbiased vendor ratings submitted by verified dealers.

CATEGORIES 8

Call Management Chat CRM/Sales Department Dealership Management Systems (DMS)

9

Fixed Ops Solutions Internet Lead Management (ILM)

1 0 Internet Trainers Inventory Pricing Mobile Sites New Car Leads

1 1 Owner Marketing Reputation Management

1 2 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) SEM - PPC Used Car Advertising Websites 6 • 1st Quarter - 2014 • DrivingSales, LLC

Dealership Innovation Guide


Dealership Innovation Guide

DrivingSales, LLC • 1st Quarter - 2014 • 7


Call Management Solutions that track inbound calls through designated tracking phone numbers so that you can manage your marketing spend and increase ROI.

Company CAR-Research XRM

Product

Call Tracking / Ad Sourcing Solution

Score Rating Rec 44.59

95%

2.07

100%

CallSource CallTracking

28.69

DealerSocket

0.79

Century Interactive

Call Tracking from Century Interactive Dealer Socket Call Management

100% 100%

Chat Products These solutions allow you to meet, greet and converse with customers who visit your website, as well as set appointments, generate leads and provide better customer service.

Company

Product

Score Rating Rec

ActivEngage

ActivEngage Chat

31.40

Dealer e Process

Dealer e Process Live Chat

1.30

ContactAtOnce! LLC

CarChat24

ContactAtOnce! Chat Connect

CarChat24 - 24/7 Fully Staffed Chat

Client~ConneXion Chat~ConneXion

146.06

99%

18.30

100%

0.35

100% 100% 100%

CRM-Sales Department These are Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems that track all your walk-in, phone and Internet customers through the complete sales funnel and owner life-cycle. They allow for advanced customer segmentation and marketing and track your sales activities by employee to make your team more effective at attracting customers and managing relationships.

Company

Product

Score Rating Rec

Dominion Dealer Solutions

Dominion CRM

92.19

CAR-Research XRM

CAR-Research XRM

11.33

DealerSocket ELEAD1ONE

VinSolutions

DealerSocket CRM ELEAD CRM

VinSolutions MotoSnap™ CRM

110.25

96%

30.11

99%

0.27

97% 98%

89%

Dealership Management Systems (DMS) Dealership Management Systems connect all your dealership departments with accounting and maintain your dealership data in one central place. These ratings are for the DMS systems themselves, NOT the solutions that plug into the DMS systems such as a Desking or CRM solution.

Company

Auto/Mate Dealership Systems Dealertrack Technologies

Reynolds and Reynolds

ADAM Systems

ADP Dealer Services 8 • 1st Quarter - 2014 • DrivingSales, LLC

Product AMPS

Dealertrack Dealer Managment System

Reynolds ERA DMS

ADAM Systems - DMS

ADP Drive Dealer Management Systems

Score Rating Rec 168.60 65.62

92%

75%

36.65

43%

16.08

67%

18.16

90%

Dealership Innovation Guide


Fixed Ops Solutions Products and/or services designed specifically for Fixed Operations.

Company

Product

Score Rating Rec

CIMA Systems

CIMA Car Care Service Menus

104.98

DealerSocket

DealerSocket Service

42.62

ELEAD1ONE AutoPilot

CIMA Systems CAR-Research XRM

CIMA CarView

Service Drive Control Manager

709.40

98%

47.66

100%

100% 100%

100%

0.99

Internet Lead Management (ILM) These Internet Lead Management solutions are built exclusively to handle incoming Internet leads and manage your Internet sales process. Many full-service CRM systems include Internet Lead Management features, but the ILM systems listed below are stand alone utilities built exclusively for managing Internet Leads.

Company

Dominion Dealer Solutions

ELEAD1ONE

Product

Score Rating Rec

Dominion ILM

ELEAD ILM

228.90

98%

DealerSocket ILM

14.07

VinSolutions

VinSolutions MotoSnapTM ILM

0.22

CAR-Research XRM

Internet Lead Manager

100%

51.25

DealerSocket

99%

97%

9.31

100%

A Show Is Where

The Rubber Meets The Road of Contact At Once! customers* credited chat with bringing more online shoppers into their dealerships.

autodealerchat.com/survey

Download the Dealership Survey report and discover other digital marketing trends. *Results based on responses from more than 1,000 survey participants.

Dealership Innovation Guide

DrivingSales, LLC • 1st Quarter - 2014 • 9


Internet Trainers Consultants and trainers who focus on bringing online success to dealerships. General Dealership Consultants, Sales Trainers, and Fixed Operations Consultants belong in their own categories.

Company

Product

Score Rating Rec

Phone Ninjas

Phone Ninjas

122.81

DealerKnows Consulting

Joe Webb

7.91

PCG Digital Marketing

eXtéresAUTO

Infinite Prospects, Inc.

Brian Pasch

eXtéresEDU - Dealer Training Training from Infinite Prospects

513.60

100%

31.41

100%

1.71

100% 100% 100%

Inventory Pricing With market volatility and transparency increasing online, knowing how to price your inventory is a science critical to increasing your store’s profitability. These Inventory Pricing tools collect various forms of market data to help define the optimum pricing for your inventory to maximize both Gross and Turn.

Company

Product

Score Rating Rec

ACE Tech

LotPro

22.76

ADP Dealer Services

ADP’s AutoCheck Express

2.04

vAuto

VinSolutions

FirstLook

Pricing & Merchandising Tools

MotoSnap™ Market Pricing Analysis

FirstLook -- 360 Market Pricing

272.93

100%

2.04

50%

1.39

100%

92%

50%

Sales and Service Events Outside companies that are hired to come into the dealership to staff short term sales and service events. Usually, these solutions also provide direct mail marketing leading up to the event.

Company Product Score Rating Rec J&L Marketing

J&L Marketing

Naked Lime Marketing

J&L Sales Events

J&L Customer Pay Service Clinics Targeted Marketing

125.40

100%

0.13

100%

42.82

98%

New Car Leads These providers collect and aggregate leads from their web properties and from partner sites, then distribute these hot leads to dealers. Currently this category is for both finance and vehicle leads.

Company

Product

Score Rating Rec

Autobytel Inc.

Autobytel New Car Leads

78.40

88%

TrueCar

TrueCar New Car Leads

16.10

63%

Dealix

AutoTrader

Dealix New Car Leads New Car Advertising

Cars.com NewLeadsPlus

564.96 52.80

7.18

89%

71%

60%

*Category scores are computed per category and are not comparable across the board. For questions about Vendor Ratings, please email to bart.wilson@drivingsales.com 10 • 1st Quarter - 2014 • DrivingSales, LLC

Dealership Innovation Guide


VDP Activity Equals ROI VDP Activity is the Truest Sales Indicator

VDP activity is the highest sales predictor

Get more VDP insight from Cobalt at DrivingSales Executive Summit. 800.909.8244 www.cobalt.com © ADP Dealer Services, Inc. All rights reserved

Owner Marketing These targeted solutions help you mine and segment your customer database, and then market to them successfully. These solutions can market to your customers through email/direct mail/phone and other means.

Company J&L Marketing

Product bLinked

Score Rating Rec 112.33

100%

2.98

100%

ELEAD1ONE GoldDigger

34.30

CAR-Research XRM

1.50

CIMA Systems

Complete Virtual BDC Owner Marketing

OneCommand OneCommand

1.17

99% 96% 100%

Reputation Management These products and services help a dealership manage its reputation. They may assist with review collection, monitoring, resolution, and promotion of online reviews.

Company DealerRater.com eXtéresAuto

Product

DealerRater Certified Dealer Program Online Reputation Management

Score Rating Rec 276.33

97% 100%

32.01

Slipstream Creative

Reputation Management

18.42

Dominion Dealer Solutions

Dominion Prime

1.63

DealerSocket

Dealership Innovation Guide

DealerSocket CSI / MarketPlace Social

2.41

100% 100% 100% DrivingSales, LLC • 1st Quarter - 2014 • 11


SEM - PPC Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) solutions help you determine how to invest in and execute a display or paid ad campaign on the major search engines for greatest ROI.

Company

Product

Score Rating Rec

Dealer e Process

Dealer e Process Digital Marketing

74.22

Dynamic Web Solutions

Pay Per Click Advertising

11.36

Local Search Group

PCG Digital Marketing L2T Media

Search Engine Advertising

PPC Management Service PPC

310.27

100%

14.56

100%

11.36

100% 100% 100%

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) solutions work to optimize your websites so that they show up higher in the search engine rankings. These services generally include both on-page and off-page optimization. This category also includes Website Conversion Tools.

Company

Product

Score Rating Rec

L2T Media

Digital Marketing

35.01

Dealer Apex

Organix SEO

9.48

eXtéresAUTO

PCG Digital Marketing Dealer e Process

eXtéresAUTO - SEO

SEO & Strategic Internet Marketing Power PageRank SEO

152.61

88%

28.69

100%

9.48

100% 100% 100%

Used Car Advertising These consumer-facing websites allow you to display your inventory to in-market consumers. They make huge media buys to attract customers to your inventory, and to increase your walk-in, phone and web leads.

Company

Product

Score Rating Rec

Dealix UsedCars.com 747.57 89% Cars.com

Cars.com Online Advertising

227.82

90%

AutoTrader.com

Used Car Advertising

39.85

33%

Cargigi Inc.

Cargigi inteliPhoto

11.95

100%

All Auto Network

Inventory Management Applications

11.95

100%

Websites Website solution providers create full-service websites built to be the main hub of your dealership’s online presence. These sites are central to your dealership’s marketing, branding and customer service. Micro Sites and Mobile Sites are rated in their own categories.

Company

Product

Score Rating Rec

Dealer e Process

Dealer eProcess Dealer Website

25.52

DealerFire

DealerFire Custom Websites

5.40

Dominion Dealer Solutions

DealerOn

Dealer.com 12 • 1st Quarter - 2014 • DrivingSales, LLC

Dominion Websites

DealerOn - Flex Sites Dealer.com Core

143.11

98%

13.92

95%

2.66

100% 100%

75%

Dealership Innovation Guide


How Vendor Ratings Work

Vendor Ranking

The DrivingSales Vendor Ratings site is the first formal mechanism for dealers to rate and review their vendors in a comprehensive, real-time vendor directory. It empowers dealers by allowing them to learn about all the solutions available and to view actual customer feedback, both good and bad, about how each solution actually performs.

In each product category the vendor solutions are ranked in real-time as each new dealer rating is submitted. The vendor products are ranked based on a weighted Bayesian Algorithm. This is a standard mathematical calculation that looks at the number of stars the reviewer gave as well as the statistically valid sample size needed, relative to the competitive set, to create a ranking based on the statistical accuracy of the results. Sometimes a company with 3 stars will rate above a company with 4 stars if mathematically the first company has a higher probability of success based on the submitted reviews.

Rules • •

Only dealership employees can post ratings and reviews. Reviewers are verified to ensure they are valid and eligible to leave reviews. Dealership employees can only rate and review the products they have experience using. The ratings are a chance to hear from actual customers with live experience using the solutions in their stores. Each reviewer must answer three questions to complete their rating: 1. How many stars does the solution deserve? 2. Would you recommend the solution to a friend? 3. Why would or wouldn’t you recommend the solution? All three components of the review, along with the job title of the reviewer, are posted live to DrivingSales. com for all to reference when selecting new vendors.

Safeguards •

DrivingSales.com protects the anonymity of each dealer employee who leaves a rating and review. However, DrivingSales requires valid name and contact information for each reviewer so that each reviewer can be validated. Each review is passed through a variety of technological checkpoints to ensure vendors are not gaming the system. Furthermore, DrivingSales staff calls to verify a large percentage of the reviews.

We encourage all dealers to rate and review their vendors by visiting DrivingSales.com/Ratings

Dealer Satisfaction Awards The DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Awards recognize those solutions with the highest vendor ratings. For each category within the vendor ratings there are three award winners, the “Highest Rated” vendor and two “Top Rated” vendors. These awards reflect products and providers with a proven record of success and excellence in serving their dealer clients. The Dealer Satisfaction Award trophies are presented annually. Learn more at DealerSatisfactionAwards.com

Rankings Only dealership employees are allowed to rate their vendors on DrivingSales.com and all submitted ratings are verified. The vendors are then scored and ranked using a weighted Bayesian Algorithm (shown below). Sometimes a company with 3 stars will rate above a company with 4 stars if mathematically the first company has a higher probability of success based on the submitted reviews.

w = (m*v 2 )*r+(v 2 *m)*c

The Vendor Ratings in this issue are based on the aggregate of all dealer ratings submitted from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013. *Category scores are computed per category and are not comparable across the board. For questions about Vendor Ratings, please contact bart.wilson@drivingsales.com

View detailed vendor reviews written by verified dealers at DrivingSales.com/Ratings

Dealership Innovation Guide

DrivingSales, LLC • 1st Quarter - 2014 • 13


How do we

Take Our People to the Next Level? 14 • 1st Quarter - 2014 • DrivingSales, LLC

Dealership Innovation Guide


W

e have great people, but how do we get them to see the possibilities? How do we get them to dream to take things to the next level? If we are selling 200 vehicles a month, how do we get to 250? Maybe you are selling 350 units per month and want to get to 400 per month? How do we get to the higher gross? Maybe our grosses are $2,500 per month and we think we can get them to $3,000 per month? Is it possible? Do our people believe it’s possible? Have you ever heard the comment, “Well, it’s different here at ABC Chevrolet. You can’t do that at XYZ Honda. That might be possible in California, but you can’t do that here in Tennessee. Things are different because our town is small. You can’t do that here because–blah, blah, blah?” How do we get our people to embrace change? Ever have that feeling of three steps forward and four steps back? Or do you ever have that feeling of, “Why are my people fighting me on this change? Don’t they see this is going to not only benefit the store, but also benefit their pocketbook!” In my opinion, there are approximately six different ways to grow our people. However, we must remember — it’s a marathon and not a sprint. There will be days of frustration, but a focus on constant improvement will produce huge results.

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One of the most effective ways to get people on board and excited is to find a store that is fantastic in a certain area and take your people to visit the store. It totally opens their eyes when they see their peers doing great things. Furthermore, they now have a contact that they can communicate with in the future. The biggest benefit to this experience is that it becomes their idea and not just the Dealer or General Manager’s idea. Let’s say you are doing 150 used vehicles per month and you have a Dealer friend that will let you visit his/her store that is doing 300 used per month. For a day, you take your used vehicle manager, assistant manager, and GSM to visit this store. Your managers get ideas on how to more effectively purchase online inventory, how to sell “As/IS” as a niche, and some lower tier banks that will buy additional deals. Now, how excited are your people? Compare this approach to you coming back from a 20 Group Meeting and saying, “We need to do x, y, and z to increase our sales. Which one is more effective? It is not even

close. Anytime, you can “show your people” the way, it seems to give quicker results with a whole lot more buy in! A second approach is to look at our industry as a Professional industry. After all, most successful dealerships have many employees making “professional wages.” So what do Doctors, Dentists, and Lawyers all have to do on a yearly basis? They are required to get so many hours of Continuous Professional Education credits. How do they do that? They attend seminars and classes within their industry. How does that translate to the car business? How about taking key employees in our organization and making them attend continuous education opportunities. What are those opportunities? They are endless and could be any of the following: DrivingSales Executive Summit, Digital Dealer, 20 Group Mgmt. Groups, F&I Convention, Special Finance Convention, NADA, Zieglar Super Systems, AutoCon, Rental Car Summit, etc…

Not only do they need to attend, but they should come back with a report on what they learned and how and when they plan to implement. Implementation is the key to taking the store to the next level. This should also include dates that one intends to make the implementation and a follow up meeting to make sure it occurs. There is always the excuse that we cannot afford to have our employees out of the store. If we want to keep having the same results that we have been having with no improvement, then yes, we cannot afford to educate them. However, if we want huge improvement with our employees taking the lead, then we have to get them out of the store so they can bring back ideas to elevate the store’s performance. Furthermore, one should pay as many bills as possible with a credit card so we should always have points available for travel—thus reducing any cost of continuing education. A third way to elevate our people is to continuously educate ourselves and then to bring back that info and meet with key

Grand Hyatt New York City April 16, 2014

Your Capital • Your Brand • Your People EXCLUSIVE E VE N T F OR DE A L E R P R I N CI P A L S An intimate group of Dealership Principals and General Managers will be gathering to study the three foundational assets that affect your business: your capital, your brand, and your people. Gary Vaynerchuk, will be keynoting the gathering along with other top minds discussing things like economic pressures on your store, leadership effectiveness, and dealership acquisitions. RSVP at DrivingSalesPresidentsClub.com/registration to reserve your seat today. 16 • 1st Quarter - 2014 • DrivingSales, LLC

Dealership Innovation Guide


employees to get things implemented. 20 Group Meetings can produce fantastic results. The key is to bring the information back to the store, get the key employees bought into change, and then push to make the change. Another excellent way to help our people grow is to read the various trade magazines. Once a month, one should have a “Day of Learning” and read Dealer Magazine, Wards Dealer Business, Auto Dealer Monthly, Automotive News, AutoSuccess, F&I Magazine, etc… The key is to take notes, highlight articles, pass the information to our team, and then implement, implement, implement. Spend a day away from the store, collect the information, and then educate. This is an excellent example of working on our business. We should also learn from other industries. There are mastermind groups composed of people from an assortment of industries, and many times we can learn as much from them with ideas to apply to their industry as we do by hanging around people in our own industry. Need an idea on database management? What do people in the real estate industry do? What about people in the restaurant industry? Sometimes these people use social media in ways that we have never dreamed. What about people in the marketing industry? How are they using newsletters? How about chat? How should we apply this info into the automotive industry? Finally, there are the soft skills—things that constantly need attention. How is our team’s time management? Can they conduct a meeting that starts and stops at appropriate times? Does it stay focused on the task at hand? How well do we interview applicants? How well do we manage our people? Do we need some people to read a good time management book or attend a management seminar?

it will pay off big time and other times, it is flat going to be a bad idea. However, that should not stop us from trying new ideas. Promote a culture of change. I recently watched the first half of the Ohio State vs. Wisconsin football game. The announcers said at that point in the game — the first half of the 5th game of the season — Urban Meyer (Head Coach of OSU) had already gone for it on 4th down 12 times this year and had been successful on 10 of those tries. The truly successful winners are not afraid of risk, and they know how to manage it. How is this any different than implementing change in a dealership? We have to be ready to stick our nose out and occasionally get bloodied, but keep coming back for more. By the way, OSU went for it on 4th down a few more times during that game and won by a narrow margin. In essence, how do we get our people to say, “We are taking this to the next level, and we are leading the charge?” To summarize, here is a list of ideas: •

Send them to a different store for a day

Have them attend a convention or seminar

Attend 20 Group Meetings and share the info with your staff

Read and share the trade magazine info

Get involved with people from other industries, and educate on the soft skills

This makes it so much easier to jump into adding a BDC, increasing the number of Special Finance deals, coming up with an innovating marketing idea, adding a Rental Car Department, increasing our dollars per deal, getting more hours per RO, etc… This business is a constant work in progress. The better we make our people – the easier and more rewarding our job will be. Let’s do it!

About The Author: Courtney Cole attended Indiana University where she excelled in sports and earned a degree in Accounting and Finance. Courtney is currently a part of the sixth generation owners of Hare Chevrolet; she Co-Owns the dealership with her Sister Monica. Located in Noblesville, Indiana, Hare Chevrolet is now the oldest transportation company in America. The company originally started as a carriage and wagon company in 1847. Courtney and Monica purchased Hare Chevrolet in 2008, and it is currently the largest GM Store in Indiana and is ranked in the Top 30 of Chevy Stores in the United States.

Getting our people to the next level is a constant work in progress. Many times it takes an enormous amount of energy and guts to try something new. If we are going to lead our people, we have to be able to take risk and realize that sometimes we are going to be right and Dealership Innovation Guide

DrivingSales, LLC • 1st Quarter - 2014 • 17


RETARGETING the Next Generation: Driving Consideration at your Dealership I

t should be no surprise how many consumers use the Internet as research tool well before they arrive at a dealer showroom. In fact, in a 2013 study, J.D. Power revealed consumers do an exhaustive search on many types of sites as part of their investigation. This path to purchase is cyclical, as consumers investigate various makes and models during this process. Google claims that only 63 percent of consumers shopping online have a predetermined brand in mind at the beginning of their premarket research, and only 20 percent of shoppers end up purchasing the brand of vehicle they started with. The good news for the consumer is they have an endless supply of resources available they can rely on

18 • 1st Quarter - 2014 • DrivingSales, LLC

to educate themselves on all of the available options of any given vehicle brand or model. According to J.D. Power, 99 percent of consumers visit a manufacturer’s site as part of their path toward the purchase of a new or used vehicle, 83 percent (up 14 percent year over year) visit a dealer site, and 80 percent visit a third-party vehicle listing site while in-market. When you think about this behavior systematically it makes a lot of sense. The manufacturer sites are a great source of vehicle pricing and trim level information, third-party listing sites aggregate multiple makes and models, which is helpful for cross shopping, and dealer sites are the key to actual available inventory in a specific area and act as the gateway between online research and actual showroom buying. Combined, all of these consumer

touch points are equally valuable and relevant as a consumer moves from premarket to in-market to in-store buyer. In many cases, this highly informed buyer has made an initial decision well before they arrive at your store. Consumers are using an arsenal of technology to gather information on this path to purchase. Thirty-four percent of tech-enabled consumers use mobile phones and tablets to their advantage to access information at home, work and even on your dealer’s lot. J.D. Power’s data suggests this behavior is on the rise. Another study from Yahoo! indicates that mobile devices are being used heavily in the automotive industry for on-lot searches, which makes sense considering an active consumer is highly motivated to find any and all Dealership Innovation Guide


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DrivingSales, LLC • 1st Quarter - 2014 • 19


available vehicles within an area that is convenient to their current location. Knowing that your dealership can potentially be just one data point of many in this multi-screen, multi-site information gathering ecosystem, how do you inject yourself into the discussion and drive increased consideration for your available vehicles? The answer is retargeting. While retargeting is not a new technology, for the automotive industry it is an up and coming technology that will change the way cars are sold. At a time when shoppers may be moving from one brand to another as they cross-shop multiple brands and dealerships, retargeting can be a dealer’s most effective tool, as it continually reminds a consumer of their available vehicles, specific options and features. The concept of retargeting is well understood by most progressive dealers, however, this strategy also has some much more sophisticated, lesser-known variations that point to the future of marketing your vehicles to prospective customers.

At the highest level, all forms of retargeting are initiated by a single click. The process begins with a shopper that has been previously engaged by you or a competitor during the online research phase. From there, these advanced retargeting methods can be broken down into five distinct categories: •

Vehicle-Specific Site Retargeting

Vehicle-Specific Search Retargeting

Look Alike Retargeting

Contextual Retargeting

Mobile Retargeting

Vehicle-Specific Site Retargeting Traditionally, Site Retargeting is used to remind consumers of the dealership or the brand of vehicle they had previously viewed. Vehicle Specific Site Retargeting tactics segment visitors based upon their specific vehicle browsing history within a dealer’s website and serve

After an extensive research and vetting process, we chose ELEAD1ONE as our all-inclusive CRM system to manage all 12 dealerships. ELEAD1ONE has superior software actually developed by 'car guys', first-class training processes and 24/7 support. By outsourcing our customer phone interaction to ELEAD Virtual BDC, we have seen a steady rise in the number of sales and service appointments, better follow up and a true advantage over the competition. We are thrilled with ELEAD1ONE and their entire team of automotive retail experts!

retargeted ads specifically reflecting that history. For example, a visitor that lands on a Vehicle Details Page showing a Volkswagen GTI with Autobahn Package can be provided with retargeted ads that show the exact GTI and associated trim level previously viewed. Conversely, a visitor that simply visits a dealer’s homepage, parts, or service page can be retargeted with corresponding ad content. This type of segmentation precisely mirrors what a visitor had originally looked at on a dealer’s site, thus delivering hyperrelevant retargeted ad content that can be viewed by the consumer immediately after the browsing experience and even days or weeks later. VehicleSpecific Site Retargeting can deliver a 10-times lower cost-per-acquisition than tactics targeting consumers that haven’t yet interacted with your site. It’s the latest technology and most efficient place to start boosting your showroom opportunities.

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The 2011, 2012 and 2013 Dealers’ Choice Diamond Award Winner for CRM Category as awarded by Auto Dealer Monthly

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© Data Software Services, L.L.C. 2014

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Vehicle-Specific Search Retargeting Vehicle-Specific Search Retargeting relies on consumer search engine activity related to a specific vehicle brand, model, trim level, or even available options to show the desired vehicle. For example, when someone conducts a search for a “BMW X5 with third row seating,” a dealer’s corresponding keywords can directly trigger retargeted display ads showing highly relevant, vehicle-specific models that are currently available on the lot — in this case, an“X5 with third row seating.” Because the consumer has indicated their in-market preference by conducting the search in the first place, this tends to be a very effective approach in generating subsequent sales opportunities beyond what you can capture with site retargeting alone. Providing a consumer with a relevant ad that features the exact vehicle he or she is searching for can help dealers connect with shoppers who may or may not be aware of their dealership. In addition, Vehicle-Specific Search Retargeting can be five times more effective than other acquisition tactics.

Look Alike Retargeting Look Alike Retargeting doesn’t necessarily involve direct retargeting to a previous website visitor. It’s a fairly complex technique that involves leveraging existing data such as customer mailing or email lists, and coordinating that information with third-party online cookie data to match a physical location with an online IP address. This process is conducted through a privacy-compliant, secure environment. This retargeting can leverage your proprietary database of current customers as a filter to reach “look-a-like” consumers not already buying from you, or to retarget existing but lapsed customers ready to tradein on their next vehicle purchase. For example, off-lease customers can be retargeted in combination with your customary email marketing efforts. This is yet another tool to remain front and center with consumers where you have existing or previous relationships. Dealership Innovation Guide

Contextual Retargeting

them an audience large enough for this retargeting ad channel to be effective.

Contextual Retargeting is another progressive approach that is very similar to site retargeting, however, it is differentiated by the sites in which the consumer is first tagged. Editorial content (blog content for example) is a great way to capture consumer interest in a specific vehicle or brand while they are in high-funnel research mode. This content is everywhere in the digital arena, whether it be a manufacturer’s online content, a third-party automotive site, or a blog. Most website owners collect and store cookie data relative to the unique preferences of their site visitor’s browsing history. As an advanced marketer, you can utilize the data these sites collect about their own visitors to profile and identify target consumers and tag them for future advertising — that’s Contextual Retargeting. Studies have shown that consumers who visit an independent, brand-neutral website who were then retargeted with relevant advertising became more qualified prospects, demonstrating a higher likelihood to convert. Just like Search Retargeting, Contextual Retargeting proactively puts you top of mind with consumers actively researching vehicles who may have no previous knowledge of your dealership.

Retargeting Improves Acquisition 

Mobile Retargeting Smartphone and tablet usage is exploding as consumers shift away from the traditional desktop environment, and most marketers recognize the existing limitations when it comes to advertising on mobile. Cookies do not exist in the mobile world, thus limiting the ability to use a device’s browsing history to track and target individuals based on their prior behavior. Facebook is an immerging player in the mobile retargeting game as they offer a product they call website and mobile app custom audiences. It requires the advertiser to affix tracking software to their websites, and from there a consumer who has previously visited your tagged website can be retargeted with mobile ads within the Facebook mobile app. Facebook claims that 78 percent of its 128 million daily users are on mobile devices, giving

Implemented effectively, the above retargeting techniques can significantly improve customer acquisition rates and drive incremental profit margins, while at the same time showing a positive return on investment. These advanced retargeting techniques point to the future of digital marketing and are based on a foundation of delivering relevance. When done effectively, the retargeted banner ads you deliver across multiple devices become less about advertising and more about creating a dialogue with your prospective buyer. This ongoing conversation between you and your customer keeps your business in consideration, by injecting them with relevant information as they digitally navigate all potential options.

About The Author: Jeremy Anspach is the Co-Founder and CEO of PureCars®. Born and raised in Detroit, he views the auto industry as a perfect metaphor for opportunity. His entire career has been devoted to improving the way consumers and dealers interact. Guided by the relentless mission to provide more relevant information to improve the car buying experience.. PureCars has successfully helped thousands of dealers across the country including some of the biggest and most progressive dealer groups.

DrivingSales, LLC • 1st Quarter - 2014 • 21


Super charging Your Digital Marketing T

he automotive industry has made great progress in recent years in terms of adapting to consumer demand for more streamlined online to in-store automotive purchasing experience, both at the OEM and individual dealer level. And for good reason. In the past decade, the average number of unique dealer visits has declined, while Internet shopping continues to grow. According to J.D. Power and Associates, in 2005, consumers visited 4.1 dealers before purchasing a vehicle. Five years later that number had dropped to 1.3, and it is likely even lower in 2013.

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Dealership Innovation Guide


Dealership Innovation Guide

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Prospective buyers are now kicking the tires on their computers, tablets and increasingly on their smartphones instead of on your lot. In fact, over the last three months, almost 20 percent of credit applications that originated from Digital Retailing tools included on a dealers’ website were completed on a mobile device. In addition, users are spending an average of seven minutes calculating a vehicle specific monthly payment on a website when a dealercontrolled first pencil tool is available. And those numbers are on the rise.

payments, calculating a trade-in offer and apply for financing. With Digital Retailing you will be able to move beyond generating basic website leads and start generating qualified deals from your website. Take a close look at this Digital Retailing model and how it can help maximize your website deal origination:

Look familiar? It should, because with a solid Digital Retailing strategy, you can mirror your in-store process online and drive more finance-ready and tradein ready deals to your dealership.

First, through your online marketing, a visitor lands on your website — when they arrive they are prompted with the opportunity to search your dealership’s inventory based on flexible parameters like: make, model, trim level. But what’s unique about a digital retailing workflow is visitors can search by monthly payment and that is important, because most shoppers shop based on affordability.

a time investment online, that they will save more time at the dealership.

Consumer demand for an intuitive, engaging and streamlined shopping experience has arrived and the expectation is when a consumer makes

This data tells us that today consumers not only spend more time shopping online, but they want to do more online. Is your dealership doing everything it can do to better engage with your online shoppers? Many dealers think they are moving in the right direction and as more dealers have shifted a growing portion of their marketing budget to digital, many dealers are still scratching their heads as to why more of their website leads are not converting to sales. The simple answer here is while you should certainly invest more online, you need to make sure you have the right mix of technology on your website driving the sales process to ensure you are closing the increased volume of traffic to your site you are investing heavily in. So how do dealers bridge the gap? Well, first let’s talk about the difference between Digital Marketing and Digital Retailing. Digital Marketing is the complete online mix of advertising and technology you use to drive online shoppers to your dealership’s Inventory listings on your dealership’s website. However, your Digital Marketing efforts are only half of a successful online marketing strategy, you need a dealer-controlled process that can takeover once a consumer lands on your dealership’s website. Your dealership’s website needs a proven process that can convert more of your website visitors into sales. Your site needs Digital Retailing. Digital Retailing helps your buyers go deeper into the sales funnel online — from finding inventory, calculating 24 • 1st Quarter - 2014 • DrivingSales, LLC

Next, a visitor is given the ability to drill down further and calculate an accurate dealer-controlled monthly loan or lease payment using real rates, residuals and incentives based on the specific vehicle they have selected from your inventory. Then, a visitor has the option to get a dealer-controlled trade-in offer that is both vehicle and dealer-specific. And finally, your visitor can choose to get pre-qualified or apply for financing on the specific vehicle they have selected.

Progressive dealers who embrace Digital Retailing, such as Driver’s Village in New York, enable their prospective customers to “pencil the deal” by presenting a clear picture of incentives and interest rates, pre-qualifying for loan approval, and getting their trade evaluation. So rather than taking the M.S.R.P. and dividing by number of payments, they have a realistic monthly payment number in hand before ever stepping onto a dealer lot. That helps separate the shoppers from the qualified buyers. From there, it is an easy step for the sales and F&I personnel to complete the transaction in-store for deal finalization and vehicle delivery. The consumer feels empowered by an enhanced online/in-store shopping and purchase experience. You enjoy a higher conversion rate from both your own and third party site leads. And best Dealership Innovation Guide


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of all, you will be able to supercharge your online spend across the board, like Lou Bregou did for Driver’s Village.

Driver’s Village Turns the Digital Retailing Corner Lou Bregou saw the writing on the wall. With computers, smartphones and tablets always within reach and changing the way consumers access information, it wouldn’t be long before vehicle buyers demanded more than just inventory and pricing on his websites. They would want to complete more of the vehicle purchase steps online. Lou followed his gut and implemented a digital retailing strategy on his dealership’s 10 websites, along with a solid back-end sales process. As Lou predicted, Driver’s Village buyers immediately adopted both the strategy and the added website tools. Consumers didn’t just go online to search for vehicles or look for a simple price. They were calculating payments, getting an exact trade-in value and receiving financing approval, often performing these functions together as part of their shopping process. Many shaved the in-person part of the deal down to only 30 minutes. The tools also benefited Lou’s operations. He’s seeing closing ratios for digital retailing leads hitting 26 percent. That’s double the closing ratio

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of the group’s standard website leads, and three times that of third-party leads.

A decade ago, dealers were discussing if displaying inventory and pricing online was prudent. Today, up to 90 percent of shopping starts online. Now, the question has become how much of the buying process can be completed on dealer websites. Early movers such as Lou are validating the value of digital retailing, and hundreds of other dealers across the country are testing and often turning the corner with a digital retailing strategy. Initial results are encouraging in terms of meaningful ROI and sales conversions. Just check out the following year-to-date stats derived from the Dealertrack Digital Retailing Suite: •

Thirty-four percent of unique visitors who view payments and open a finance form submit a full finance lead – buyers get comfortable with the online ‘First Pencil’ so it’s natural for them to apply for financing. When they apply for financing, they automatically become a real deal. Now when the buyer visits a dealer’s showroom, they have a good understanding of the vehicle they want to purchase, as well as a grasp of what they can afford and have been approved for. Driver’s Village has noticed that the online financing tool moves shoppers closer to purchase because it delivers real approval from the comfort and privacy of a buyer’s home. While credit applications generated from a dealer’s website have historically been filled out by sub-prime customers, there is an increasing trend for prime buyers to apply for financing online as well. Lou explains, “We come back with real approval, so it takes away the fear for someone with low credit scores that they will come into the shop and not get financing. We also have people with good credit scores filling out credit apps and they like that they don’t have to give a sales person their salary and credit score. For them, our online process feels more secure.”

Over six million monthly dealercontrolled payment requests on dealer and listing sites – A digital retailing payment tool is not a generic calculator. It’s an online ‘First Pencil’ that allows shoppers to conveniently interact with real loan/lease rates and combine them with current incentives, all while understanding financing and affordability options that suit their needs. The dealer controls the financing process and reserve settings, while giving shoppers real numbers.

Digital retailing leads have over a 25 percent lead-to-sales conversion ratio. That rate jumps to 43 percent when buyers complete all three steps (payment, trade-in, finance) – Digital retailing draws buyers further into the sales funnel, dramatically increasing closing ratio. Driver’s Village is averaging a closing ratio of 26 percent. Compare that to eight to 10 percent for OEM leads, six to eight percent for thirdparty leads and 12-13 percent for standard website leads.

Twenty-eight percent of unique trade-in visitors who opened the trade-in form completed a full appraisal to receive a specific dealer offer – the digital retailing trade-in tool includes a Dealership Innovation Guide


comprehensive condition report that lends transparency to the process. In multiple surveys, buyers have expressed a strong preference for obtaining dealer trade-in offers without having to visit the dealership. This preference is reflected in the fact that the trade-in form conversion rates for a detailed condition report and appraisal on a dealer’s website are reasonably high. Initial metrics point to a six to eight percent tradein lead-to-sales conversion ratio, which will only increase as dealers enhance their processes to handle these qualified deals differently than they have been handling standard Internet leads. While the consumer gets the experience they are looking for, the dealer receives a highly qualified source for inventory and another channel for new potential customers. Technology is only one piece of the puzzle. BDC and used vehicle process

Dealership Innovation Guide

enhancements, along with salesperson training, are a necessity for high close rates. Your online and in-store process needs to be united. For example, Driver’s Village scores digital retailing leads so steps completed online are not duplicated at the showroom, and distributes them to trained salespersons to drive conversion and a superior customer experience. The team continuously measures and finetunes their workflows to ensure they are adapting to consumer behavior. It’s exciting to see dealers starting to embrace and benefit from the digital retailing philosophy, tools and processes. But for Lou, this is just the start. He tells me often, “The millennial buyer will push us to think beyond inventory, appraisals and approvals online.”

About The Author: Amit Maheshwari is responsible for Dealertrack’s corporate strategy development and planning processes and oversees a Dealertrack-wide OEM relationship management group. Most recently, Amit lead the company’s digital retailing business, which provides consumer facing solutions to dealers, portals and manufacturers with the goal of improving the online sales process and delivering qualified consumer leads to dealers. Prior to this, Amit was responsible for Dealertrack’s automotive data businesses including ALG and Chrome Systems. Amit holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University in Wisconsin and a Masters in Business Administration from Columbia University in New York.

DrivingSales, LLC • 1st Quarter - 2014 • 27


The Importance of

CREATING an

SEO and Social Plan that

Works

TOGETHER

Search engine developers nationwide have been working hard to ascertain that search engines provide the best, most trusted, valuable, content possible. Today, search engines ultimately focus on quality content with the best authority and relevance. Due to this SEO evolution, it’s important to allow your SEO and online marketing strategy to support each other to stay competitive in the marketplace. So, how do you combine the SEO and Social Media? Use link building, post promotion, strong content, and engagement:

1. SEO Link Building and Promoted Posts As we know the goal of SEO is to provide bigger, better traffic to your site. But how is that done? By providing strong content and linking from it. The easiest way to pair SEO and Social Media in this case is to use social media promotions, such as Facebook Promoted Posts, to get content out there, therefore creating many more high-quality links.

Y

ou know that both SEO and Social Media are integral to online marketing strategy, but did you know that using the two together leads to a powerful collaboration that will benefit both 28 • 1st Quarter - 2014 • DrivingSales, LLC

concepts? A successful strategy pairing SEO and Social Media can impact your dealership’s promotion, content creation, and brand management.

When promoting content on Facebook, you are able to reach a larger, focused demographic, just by paying $5 to $25. Facebook allows you to research the demographic, select the right demographic for your content, and then Dealership Innovation Guide


post it, share it, and link back to it. This is a prime example of using social media with the power of SEO link building. Keep in mind the following points when you begin using Social Media to promote your SEO. •

Your content must be good to make progress with this method. People will not link to content that isn’t interesting or pertinent. To continue link building, you must engage with readers. That means you need to respond to comments in a timely manner.

Content is the bread and butter of your SEO and Social Plan. Content creates the SEO that Social Media thrives off of. So how do you create more effective content?

2. Creating Strong Relevant Content SEO can tell you where you need to direct your content. SEO has proven analytics that can show any manager or writer which direction they need to take their content in. Consider the following points when writing content: •

Which audience are you focusing on?

Dealership Innovation Guide

Which content has had successful link-building in the past?

Which content has had the most shares and audience engagement in the past?

What is your SEO plan for the next few months?

Is there any complementary content that you can provide to shadow the content you will be releasing?

Understanding the above points will allow you to strategically create content and then create a plan for when and how it will be released, engaged with, and promoted. To bring your plan home, consider your engagement. Engagement centers on your relationship and communication with influencers. Who are influencers? Bloggers, site owners, and readers. Working with these influences can help with link building.

3. Engagement One or two really strong links posted by someone outside of your company can improve your SEO ranking. Additionally, a strong link often sends high-quality leads back to your website. Take the time to build a relationship with influencers. First and foremost, respond quickly and personally to any communication

they offer. Comment back to any questions they may have and supply further information as necessary. A warm relationship will go miles, creating a credible relationship that you both can nurture. Support your influencer’s content as well—share their content, retweet their post, and respond to their posts as well. This will increase your brand perception as well! That’s it! To create a SEO and Social Plan all you need is to promote to increase link building, create valuable, authentic content, and increase your engagement. These three simple actions have the power to increase your online marketing insurmountably.

About The Author: Erika Simms is a Social Media Advisor for KPA’s Internet Marketing product line. Erika grew up in the automobile industry at her father’s Toyota dealership and has been working in the industry for 7 years, with 3 years of Digital Marketing experience.

DrivingSales, LLC • 1st Quarter - 2014 • 29


OPTIMIZING SALES:

The Neuroscience of Selling Trust

3

Mindful Ways to Maximize Women Browsers into Buyers

A

s a car dealer, you’ve been thoroughly trained on all steps of a sale from greeting through negotiation and final sale. And, you apply these steps well. But, it’s a good bet that even armed with all of your knowledge and experience there have been more than a few times when you found yourself wondering, “What happened? I thought everything was going well and yet the prospect walked out the door.” Here, you will learn unusual but highly effective tips to help you focus on signals that you might otherwise miss – signals that could be the difference between clinching a deal and having the potential buyer walk out the door. Women-Drivers.com reveals that women

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car buyers visit 1.9 dealerships before purchasing. That means that while 5 out of 10 women who walk in are going to buy a car from you; and five are going to leave - and 89 percent of those who do leave will not return to your dealership. Do you track the number of browsers that visit your dealership? If you did, you might see there is a whole lot of business walking out the door. Knowing how the unconscious can undermine effective communication enables you to pay attention, better read a buyer and increase sales potential. Here, we concentrate on your interactions with women buyers in particular. But, the same principles of observation, awareness and being

“in the moment” apply in every sales situation with all customers.

Your Brain on Auto Pilot Have you ever said something or acted on something and then asked yourself, “What was I thinking?” Let’s face it, all of us have found ourselves acting first and thinking second at various times. When this lapse of ‘conscious consideration’ happens during the car buying process, it means that you could be missing something vital.

Dealership Innovation Guide


Dealership Innovation Guide

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(A) 41.4% (B) 51.5% (C) 61.5% (D) 71.6% 4. What percent of women ‘buyers’ would recommend their salesperson? (A) 61.5% (B) 71.5% (C) 81.7% (D) 91.6% According to Women-Drivers.com, the answers are:: 1. (D); 2. (D); 3. (D); 4. (D)

Let’s take a closer look. The brain has three essential components:

internalized prejudices rather than being present to happening right now.

The Neocortex, smart and conscience, produces language, reason, and analysis.

The Limbic part stores memories and reactions and records and produces emotion.

With women going to 1.9 dealerships before buying, read on to understand 3 key developments you can employ to maximize your sales opportunity well beyond a 50-50% chance.

The Reptilian part is unconscious, designed to create fight or flight when survival is at stake, and can be quite irrational, allowing one to jump to unwarranted conclusions.

Clear Intentions International® is a company that provides executive NeuroEmotional Coaching and works with sales professionals in the US, Israel, and Germany. “The common challenges that sales people have are fear of rejection, poor time management and lack of confidence – or, in some cases, the sense of deserving to be successful. Even though it’s 2013 and we have all this technology and are highly sophisticated, our emotions still rule our decisions. Sales people think the deal closed and in a nano-second something happens and they derail it,” says founder and President Dr. Barbara Schwarck, PCC. When you stop paying real attention to your sales interaction and, instead, operate on auto pilot or assume or just jump to conclusions, your limbic brain takes over meaning are you acting on instinct, history and 32 • 1st Quarter - 2014 • DrivingSales, LLC

1. Get to Know Women Car Buyers Better Here’s a quick test to help you understand why some women have a difficult time relating to their sales advisor. 1. When “browsing for a car’’ what percent of women feel the salesperson was directing real or, valued, communication toward them? (A) less than 60% (B) 75.0% (C) 79.3% (D) 82.1% 2. When “buying a car’’ what percent of women feel the salesperson was directing real or, valued, communication toward them? (A) less than 60% (B) 67.9% (C) 84.3% (D) 90.7% 3. What percent of women ‘browsers’ would recommend their salesperson?

These few answers show that women experience browsing and buying very differently. Women give their salespeople much higher scores when buying. Clearly, there is room for seller improvement. Consider to what extend you might be responsible for these perceptions. Do you interact or pay attention to her the same if you think he is “just looking or browsing”? Do you pull out all the stops, however, when you (think) she is buying?

2. What a Woman Really is Communicating When She Says, “I’m Just Looking?” While the woman may, in fact, be “just looking” there is also the possibility that she’s not ready to talk, she’s got other things on her mind, she is distracted by having to pick up her kids, or any other myriad of possibilities. Maybe what seems as a standoffish response is not disinterest, but fear or nerves. As a sales advisor, you know not to take certain statements at face value. She probably wouldn’t be in the dealership in the first place unless she is on the way to buying a vehicle. And, that vehicle is going to be bought from you or someone else. So, let’s make that person you. Since trust in the sales person is the single most important criterion on which a woman makes a car buying decision, you need to work on gaining that trust. That ‘standard’ response could also mean she is checking you out to see how well you will listen or attend to her, after all, a woman who Dealership Innovation Guide


develops trust in the sales person most likely will buy there. Further as the four following sales scenarios show, without trust, a sale will not occur.

to put the buyer in a different vehicle, however, with no connection to the salesperson or vehicle, this will almost always result in no sale.

Scenario One: The woman buyer likes and trusts the salesperson and likes the car.

Scenario Four: The woman buyer does not like or trust the salesperson, but loves the car.

Outcome: Buyer purchases and returns as a loyal customer.

Outcome: If the salesperson had connected with the buyer, the sale would have been made, but, a buyer who does not like or trust a salesperson will almost always go to another dealership offering the same vehicle and look for the connection with the other salesperson.

Scenario Two: The woman buyer likes and trusts the salesperson but is unsure of the car. Outcome: The buyer may stay and purchase a vehicle from the salesperson based on the connection that they made. The buyer, though tending to feel bad about the amount of time the salesperson has spent; most likely will opt to look elsewhere at other brands and dealerships, hoping for a similar sales experience. Scenario Three: The woman buyer does not like or trust the salesperson and is unsure of the vehicle. Outcome: Had the salesperson and buyer connected there was a chance

3. Avoid the Pitfalls of Over Confidence, Reliance on Intuition and Dependence on Your Experience. “I’ve been selling cars for years and am an expert.” “And, I know women.” If either of these statements describes you, then this section is just for you. You may be over confident, rely on intuition and on your experience just a tad too much. The way you behave

or that ‘little cute thing you say’ may actually undermine a woman’s trust in you. In addition to trust, below are the factors that are most important to a woman in the sales transaction. This graph tells an important story: with the exception of price and knowledge, these criteria are all about whether the woman relates to you or not. The sales advisor who is trustworthy, respectful, knowledgeable and respectful is the one who gets the sale. But, if you allow your brain’s intuitive center to lead the way, and don’t tone down those instincts that create boundaries and cause you to misread the situation, the mutuality necessary to reach trust won’t be achieved. There are three important pitfalls that you can learn to avoid by being in the moment and evaluating what is in front of you: •

Don’t let confidence get the best of you

Avoid relying on your intuition

Don’t let experience be your only guide

These add up over 100% as women can choose multiple responses. Source: Women-Drivers.com Dealership Innovation Guide

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While confidence is a good and necessary attribute, over-confidence has just the opposite effect. Nobel Prize winning cartographer of the human mind Daniel Kahneman says, “Confidence is a completely unreliable guide to decision making. Yet we tend to trust it implicitly, in ourselves and in others.” Remember the limbic system – the brain part that controls emotion and records history? Fully 28.2% of women already feel apprehensive and another 21% feel confused and intimidated when they are buying a car. It’s possible that your overconfidence will exacerbate her existing discomfort. Achieve balance. Be optimistic that success, as defined by selling a car, is achievable with every prospect. A positive and optimistic attitude is likely to be relayed to the consumer. But, at the same time, don’t let over confidence get the best of you and keep you from seeing what is happening in front of your eyes. While instinct and gut feelings have their place, the more modern approach is to minimize reliance on the “myth” of intuition. Intuition can be useful, but it should not be used as a replacement for observation and reasoning. You

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have to learn when to trust your intuition and when to be wary of it.

her’ and approach each and every interaction as a learning opportunity.

Here’s a graphic example of how your intuition can trick you. When a woman smiles during a car sale, what do you think? If you answered, “I think that she is happy and things are going well,” you are just as likely to be right as wrong! Surprising isn’t it. But, studies have shown that many people smile insincerely and 90% of people smile when they are frustrated. Also, women often try to placate others and may smile politely but ingenuously before walking out the door. If you mistake a smile for satisfaction, when it was actually frustration or even insincerity, you might miss the sign that the buyer is going to walk away and, thus, the opportunity, to get the interaction back on track.

Let go of your ego, let go of your instincts and be open. Listen and you may hear what you haven’t heard before. Look and you may have a clearer vision of what the buyer is really wanting from you. Think and you may have a revelation that gets you to “yes” in new and more satisfying ways. Develop a new sales mentality by using the thinking, rather than the intuitive, part of your brain.

Your experience is your best asset; don’t let it also be your downfall. Be wary of letting your prior success mislead you. Just like confidence, experience and ego can be important assets. But, use these assets to be smart, wise and mature and able to self-correct when off base. Rather than relying on what you know, the next time you engage in a sale, think about what you don’t know. Try to keep an open mind, learn about the buyer by asking and ‘getting

About The Author: Women-Drivers.com is a marketplace connecting women buyers to trusted Certified Women-Drivers Friendly™ Car Dealers and encourages extraordinary commercial experiences and lasting relationships between these two groups. Women-Drivers.com is a producer of highly engaging Facebook women+family content and publishes a platform of integration services that build social communities for car dealers. The Company provides innovative web-based marketing solutions that build trust and transparency, resulting in greater sales and servicing from women. Follow on Twitter @womendrivers.

Dealership Innovation Guide


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The all new DrivingSales University now offers online industry certification courses. Now you can be among the first to earn DSU Digital Marketing Certification that includes the coveted OMCP* designation - a certification valued across industries that recognizes you’re an Online Marketing Certified Professional.

Visit DrivingSalesUniversity.com or call us at (877) 943-8371 to learn more *OMCP is Online Marketing Certified Professional certification. See DrivingSalesUniversity.com or omcp.org for details.


What Every Y MANAGER Should Know

ou are not good at making decisions. In fact, you are really, really bad at it. So am I, so are car shoppers and so is pretty much every human on this planet. It is why Skittles has six different flavors and Kleenex offers no less than seven different types of tissues. See, we love choices, but making decisions is hard and can take a terribly long time. Car shopping is a process that can drag on for months and it is probably one of the harder decisions someone has to make in their lifetime, along with which house to buy, how many kids to have, or what to get for dinner, Chili’s or TGIF Fridays. When someone decides they are going to buy a used car or truck, they consider several different makes and models. As they shop, they talk to

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friends, research online and the number of cars they consider buying grows. This was proven by two separate studies by MAX Systems and Mojo Motors. The MAX Systems study looked at the shopping activity of two shoppers. Shopper A was originally looking at Acura, Kia and Toyota, but soon discovered Acura is too expensive and started searching for Buick, Dodge and Chrysler instead. Shopper B followed a similar path, determining which cars were in their budget based on the market’s prices. Ultimately, makes and models were taken out of consideration and others were later added. The Mojo Motors study took it one step further by looking at thousands of users to determine a buyer’s consideration sets. We asked, “If someone really wants an Accord, would they consider buying an Optima instead?” To find this data, we took the car a user “followed” on Mojo Motors and studied the other cars they viewed as well. Before we could answer the question, we had to make sure the MAX Systems study was correct. We found that users do, in fact, compare multiple makes and models at once and their consideration sets keep growing until, finally, they decide to buy a car. If dealerships want to address the massive consideration set of buyers,

Honda Accord

they need to make sure their inventory matches this activity. Thus, the right inventory can aid a shopper’s decision. For example, we found if someone is shopping for the wildly popular used Honda Accord, they are also extremely likely to consider buying a Honda Civic, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima. Makes sense, right? Below you’ll see the consideration sets of shoppers looking at the ten most popular used vehicles on Mojo Motors. All of this data is dandy, sure, but is it really helpful to know that a quarter of people who buy a Corolla, also spend a considerable time looking at the Camry, too? Absolutely! If you got yourself an all-star team of salespeople, they might be able to pull out an extra couple of sales a month if your inventory has cars within a shopper’s consideration set. “Oh, you’re not loving this Altima as much as you thought? Well, how about test driving this Accord?” Consider beefing up your used inventory of small and midsize cars to help convert leads into buyers. For

Honda Accord

23%

Nissan Altima

Hyundai Sonata

Honda Civic

18%

Nissan Altima

RAM 1500

11%

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Ford F-150

Toyota Tundra

Dealership Innovation Guide

6%

7%

19%

Nissan Altima

21%

17%

Nissan Altima

17%

Toyota Corolla

12%

Honda Accord

Toyota Camry

25%

21%

19%

Honda Civic

24%

Honda Accord

17%

Toyota Corolla Honda Civic

14%

Toyota Camry

Nissan Maxima 14%

Toyota Corolla

17%

24%

Honda Accord Honda Civic

17%

Nissan Altima

14%

Nissan Altima

3%

Honda Civic

11%

Chevrolet Camaro

Toyota Camry

3%

Jeep Liberty

Toyota Tacoma 2%

3%

13%

6%

Dodge 5% Charger

10%

Toyota Prius

Jeep Wrangler Ford F-250

Honda Civic

23%

11%

Ford F-150

10%

It all starts with understanding the way people shop. If you do not know the way people are shopping for cars online, find someone who recently purchased a car or plans to purchase a car soon and watch them explore

Toyota Camry Toyota Camry

19%

Clearly, your inventory needs to be optimized for shoppers, but are you making sure your website is optimized as well? Your website will attract people to your store and, hopefully, submit a lead so your sales team is ready to make the experience even easier for shoppers.

Toyota Camry

Honda Civic Toyota Camry

When it comes to the “niche” vehicles, like the Wrangler or Mustang, it will be a challenge to get a shopper into another vehicle. That is exactly why they are “niche” vehicles. A large pre-owned inventory that gives shoppers plenty of choices makes more sense on those midsize or small cars like the Civic, Camry or Altima.

Honda Accord

21%

Toyota Corolla

20%

other, more niche vehicles, the percentages are a bit different.

Ford Mustang Toyota Corolla

Toyota RAV4

5%

9%

Dodge

Challenger

Infinity G35

3%

DrivingSales, LLC • 1st Quarter - 2014 • 37

4%


different dealer websites. You will get to see all the little decisions shoppers have to make, or do not make. Usability testing is critical and if you are not testing your website, who is? Someone at your dealership is probably already studying your inventory. Why not have someone study our website? When your website is broken or slow, shoppers do not tell you—they bounce to a different website to look at your inventory or give up entirely and look at your competitors. Then, there is the whole issue of something called the “Wikipedia Effect.” If your website is littered with colorful call-to-action buttons or vendor widgets—you are distracting the shopper. When shoppers get distracted, they click on something and keep clicking and clicking, losing focus. Remember, your website is a direct reflection of your store and the first impression you will make on a potential customer. Websites should help shoppers make decisions and more importantly, be something you are proud to show off, the same way you are proud to show off awards or positive customer reviews. The Vehicle Description Page should be designed to convey the information shoppers want fast, so they do not have to make too many decisions. So what is the most important information for shoppers? 1. Price 2. Pictures 3. Trim/Vehicle data 4. Vehicle history reports That is what shoppers want most— plain and simple. During user tests, I have seen shoppers ask for reviews on cars and dealerships, too—but price is paramount. If the price looks right, shoppers look at pictures and the vehicle information. If information is missing, they often try to find it using Google. Then, shoppers will take a look at the vehicle history report. Yes, despite the controversy around Carfax, shoppers still want to see it. 38 • 1st Quarter - 2014 • DrivingSales, LLC

If your store is like AutoNation Toyota Pinellas Park or Tricounty Lexus, you are probably seeing about 70 percent of shoppers simply walking into your store while only 30 percent send a lead. Your conversion on those leads might be grossly understated because of poor data or photographs. Just think about how much time your team is wasting answering questions about cars and trim because the data is wrong or the pictures are blurry. Take the time to make sure your data and photographs are great! I cannot stress enough how quality photos and vehicle data will contribute to higher quality leads and better conversion. Attention to the details, like the photos of a car and data you provide, will also create a better customer experience. Shoppers will know what to expect when they drive to your store and your sales team will not look like the “bad guy” when they make a mistake on the details. If they send an email lead, do not respond with multiple auto emails. It sounds ridiculous to tell you not to send a bunch of emails at once, but dealerships do it. In fact, your store might do it and you don’t even know. In conducting multiple mystery shop reports on various websites, I have seen it all: Received three auto responses after sending one lead, email signatures that do not match the email they were sent from, asked to give feedback on a sales person I never spoke to and I have seen typos so bad I thought it was bring your child to work day at the dealership.

is not the time. Someone has taken action on a specific car, save the cross selling for the dealership or if the vehicle they want is not available. You can also mention how popular that vehicle is to drive some urgency. The end goal, besides selling someone a car, is getting them in your store. This is where your team can do their best work. If you are like most dealerships, 62 percent of test-drives lead to a sale within a week. Everything you do, from your emails and website, to your inventory should be optimized and driving people to your store. Once they are there, give them choices and make it easier for them to make a decision.

About The Author:

Max Katsarelas is the Marketing Manager at Mojo Motors where he runs the brand’s social communities, marketing strategy and customer experience. He was born in Detroit which explains why he’s fallen deeply in love with automotive industry. While attending Michigan State University, he worked on the Buick re-branding efforts. He is also a contributor for Dealer Communications covering online car shopping trends. He can be reached by email at max@ mojomotors.com.

Ultimately, the same optimization you have made on your inventory and website should be done on all emails your store sends, so test them all. 33 percent of dealers never respond to email leads. Do not miss the opportunity to sell a car and be especially careful about the email templates you are using. Some templates are bulky and hard to read, making it difficult for the shopper to find answers to their questions. Some template emails even advertise other cars! I know you want to advertise your inventory, but this Dealership Innovation Guide


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Accelerates Into The Auto Industry

W

earable technology has accelerated onto the market in 2013 and is gaining major traction going into 2014. The vast amount of information at consumers’ fingertips has evolved the automotive experience and has greatly influenced the ways in which automobiles are sold. Wearable technology will alter our automotive experience in new ways from all perspectives and will completely change the vehicle shopping experience as we know it.

Visually Speaking Visual content is king. Video content has taken huge leaps in 2013 surging massive amounts of usage from 6 billion hours of YouTube videos watched each month to distinct app creation like Vine and Snapchat, which are aggressively biting the heels of the big boys like Facebook and Twitter.

augmented reality into their strategies. Product manuals for instance are now virtualized allowing the person to simply hold their mobile device over a certain area of the car and then receive a virtual explanation/interpretation of what the part or instrument does. This technology will be adapted into things like Google Glass allowing a consumer to virtually experience a vehicle by simply looking at it. Automakers and dealers will create new virtual marketing campaigns in which the consumer will be able to “experience” the vehicle without ever needing to take a test drive. This type of experience marketing will play into consumers’ devices and technologies to allow them to interact with vehicles in ways never before seen. Automakers will begin rolling out interactive campaigns that will draw consumers into the dealership and provide enhanced structures for selling. No longer will a sales associate have

People are feeding their need for information by looking to visual outlets. Wearable technologies will feed this need by creating in-depth visual interactions with everything from advertisements to products themselves. Multiple companies including Audi have already begun implementing 40 • 1st Quarter - 2014 • DrivingSales, LLC

Dealership Innovation Guide


Dealership Innovation Guide

DrivingSales, LLC • 1st Quarter - 2014 • 41


1-800-376-5918 info@carxrm.com www.carxrm.com

to rely on a paper manual to show off the features and relay information, rather they will be interacting right along side the consumer making that transition of “wanting a vehicle” to “feeling like they own it” become much more transparent. This virtual interaction will also create a new realm of competition between automakers. Showrooming and webrooming are one of the largest battles dealers had to face in 2013 and will continue to be in 2014. However, manufactures will begin adding competitive tactics into these visual marketing plans in order to help consumers see the differences between vehicles more clearly. The vast amount of research consumers are doing prepurchase will also play into this. Specific customer information will be utilized from the consumers’ personal devices, in-store to create more interactive automotive experiences. Consumer data will be utilized from their mobile device/wearable technology to enhance their in-store experience. Technology will give dealerships the consumers search data and online preferences immediately when they walk into the store. Dealerships will then be able to set up various strategic campaigns in order to drive favorable interactions from consumers. This sort of in-depth marketing will drive the consumer to be more attracted to the product and thus be less likely to showroom.

Top Rated CRM 4 years in a row! 42 • 1st Quarter - 2014 • DrivingSales, LLC

Dealership Innovation Guide


Mobile Device Utilization Mobile devices contain massive amounts of computing power and are the perfect bases to connect vast amounts of wearable technology. The other major component here is that our mobile devices posses all of our personal data. Linking wearable technology to our devices will allow them to communicate between one another and apps linked to the technology will then be used to accomplish the clothing’s goal. Utilization of Bluetooth and Wifi will allow us to “physically” connect to the digital world and the technology network will become much larger and much more progressive with huge pushes in seamless connectivity between our lives and our devices.

The Salesman Becomes Digital The ability of sales men and women to capture and look up information will greatly enhance the auto shopping experience. Devices like smart watches and Google Glass will allow employees to look up mass amounts of information increasing efficiency and saving customers valuable time. The days of going through inventory lists and trying to learn every new used vehicle are gone. The salesperson will simply use voice commands or scan the vehicle visually, and all the information will immediately be in front of them. Wearable technology will integrate with the dealerships and it will be interesting to see the level the automakers will play in this process. While many dealerships have already adapted the use of tablets into their selling processes, the added connectivity consumers will have with their vehicles and their personal devices through the use of wearable technology will cause the automakers themselves to get their hands in the process.

Time Flies Dealers will soon have to learn to adapt to the shear speed at which consumers will be able to find information. The Internet has already transformed customers into highly knowledgeable, as soon as possible people and this Dealership Innovation Guide

trend is going to accelerate like never before. More devices and technologies will give customers the upper hand with the only element we cannot control…time. Customers will now be able to scan a vehicle, look up the features and price check all surrounding dealerships with a few blinks of their eye. This “need it now” factor will continue to grow and will cause dealerships to carefully utilize every minute they have with a consumer.

They Know Us Better Than We Know Ourselves Our phones and tablets are constantly collecting data and wearable tech is no different. Everything from glasses to wristbands to clothing will learn our patterns and preferences and then use that data to recommend certain products. This data will soon become very valuable to automakers and marketers drastically changing the way in which vehicles are advertised. Concepts including “pay-per-gaze” and “pay-peremotion” are already being dubbed as the next big thing. In the future, advertisers may be charged based on the number of looks and advertisement gets or the type of emotion evoked by a commercial or print ad. This will all be tracked using wearable technology. Scanning the human eye will give advertisers and companies insights into how the public views their product like never before. This valuable information will then also be utilized in-store to suggest products to customers as they enter or even generate certain ad campaigns and content based on the vehicles relation to customer preferences and reactions. Creating a specific experience to the customer will become much more digitalized. While building rapport and learning what makes the customer tick is one of the best parts of selling cars, the salesman will soon be armed with a lot of this information before hand. However, this is also a two-sided street. Arming the salesman with as much information as possible may seem like a benefit, but it also poses a problem. The shear amount and level of detailed information will all need to be deciphered and analyzed in order to become helpful.

Knowing what a consumer has looked at previously is only useful until a point. The consumers still have preferences and situations in which the salesman will still have to decipher no matter how much information he or she has. While a TV commercial for a new vehicle may excite a consumer and get many video views, this does not mean the consumer is going to purchase the vehicle. An advertisement for the latest Lamborghini may really entice, but the likelihood of a 40-year-old single father with four kids and two jobs purchasing that vehicle are very slim. Too much data can also be a burden, so deciphering this data and information captured from wearable technologies will become an industry in itself. Information is power, but the turning point will be who can utilize this power to their best advantage. Emerging technologies will continue to advance the industry and dealerships will continually have to keep up with consumers. Technology doesn’t sleep and its adaptation into our lives is constantly growing. Vehicles will connect to consumers like never before and sales and advertising campaigns will turn new leafs. But one thing is for sure, the industry is headed for some exciting times and 2014 will be a year for the books so buckle up and get ready! 1 YouTube Viewship Statistics: http://www. youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html

About The Author: Josh Knutson is the Marketing Specialist at AutoMotionTV. Driving the increasing importance of mobile into the automotive sector, Josh handles multiple marketing aspects of the companies mobile dealership app platform. His industry background includes working for multiple dealerships in Minnesota and most recently acting as the Community Manager for the Ford Motor Company’s, Ford Food Truck Challenge Tour. He has a strong passion for everything automotive and dedication to ignite excitement in the industry. Contact him at joshk@automotionweb.com. DrivingSales, LLC • 1st Quarter - 2014 • 43


MONEYBALL for Dealers

Buy the Traffic that Wins!

A

t the 2012 DrivingSales Executive Summit, keynote Billy Beane, Oakland A’s general manager and author of Moneyball, had dealers on their feet cheering. Why? Because Beane’s innovative, numbers (not hype) driven methodology had built the best baseball team in the nation - two seasons in a row. The parallels were clear. Today’s competitive dealer faces inflated marketing expenses and shrinking ROIs. And the break-out players are looking for a better way -- especially when it comes to driving traffic and conversion. Just like in Moneyball, the question a smart dealer needs to ask is: “Should I be paying for players, or should I pay for runs?” In the dealership marketing ecosystem, marquis players like Google AdWords will always have value, but racking up ‘runs,’ for a dealer means driving inventory shoppers and deep-linking to Vehicle Detail Page views. It’s what ultimately wins the game … and at a much lower cost. At LotLinx, we recently studied 55 nationally representative dealers to test this theory, analyzing how Adwords stacks up against a newlyemerging search tactic: increasing volume thru securing inventory exposure across hundreds of 3rd party ‘shopping search’ sites, and driving up engagement by deep-linking to dealership VDP pages.

inventory search is now the #1 online shopping activity. It’s the key step buyers take before choosing a dealer to purchase from, and those shopping searches are primarily happening at 3rd party automotive vertical-search sites that function much like Travelocity or Kayak do in the travel space: attracting the vast majority of consumers when they’re down-funnel and actively hunting real, specific inventory to buy.

the 130+ inventory-listing sites that were tested reach the lion’s share (85%) of auto shoppers each month. Here is what we found:

Inventory Syndication Drives FAR More Shoppers

In our test, we compared the quality and volume of online interactions from highperforming Google Adwords campaigns against syndicating inventory across dozens of auto vertical (or classified search) sites that enable “deep” or direct linking back to dealership websites.

The chart below clearly reveals that while a hefty Google AdWords spend delivers dealerships traffic, an inventory presence at auto search sites drives far more true shoppers. The average dealer reported that while AdWords delivered 50% more monthly visitors (albeit at a much higher cost-per), a deep link inventory syndication strategy drove 120% more shoppers a month. “Shoppers” are defined here as people that navigated to the dealership site via a specific inventory listing, or went on to search inventory at the dealer’s site, i.e. viewed a VDP (vehicle detail page) - the surest signal that they’re ready to pull the trigger.

In the study, run in November 2013, Google Analytics data was used for monthly keyword spends, and all comparative site metrics including visitors, bounce, conversion, VDP page views, time on site, return visits and cross-shopping. Dealerships’ live inventory was syndicated at 130+ popular auto search sites. To determine key metrics like volume of VDP views, the test necessarily excluded AutoTrader and Cars.com, which don’t allow shoppers to click through to dealer sites or their VDPs. However,

One hundred percent of visitors delivered via inventory postings at auto vertical sites were identified as real shoppers, while only 30% of AdWords-delivered visitors were. So, 2 in 3 Google ad-clickers are doing something other than shopping specific vehicles (i.e., seeking service, contact or general vehicle info.) And note that competitive keyword campaigns (where dealers spend 2/3 of their PPC dollars duking it out with OEMs, third-party sites and other dealers over terms like ‘Honda-Accord-Los

Why run this test? Since Google Adwords was born in 2000, dealerships have spent literally billions of dollars seeking to drive direct-to-site traffic. Today, search engine marketing (SEM) represents 55% of their total digital spend. But the auto Internet landscape, consumer behavior and the shopping funnel have profoundly changed over the past decade and 44 • 1st Quarter - 2014 • DrivingSales, LLC

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Cost-per-Shopper (CPS) and Cost-perVDP-View (CVV). In our head-to-head comparison, inventory syndication at 130+ automotive shopping-search sites drove twice as many shoppers to dealership websites than Adwords – at an overall cost of 8X less a month – 6X less per VDP view - and 19X less per shopper. That’s Moneyball!

Angeles’) deliver traffic with the lowest percentage (29%) of shoppers, and the lowest VDP views per visit. This striking visitor/active shopper Adwords divide provides fresh evidence that car shoppers typically turn to Google in “discovery” (1-6 months out from purchase) mode. Google’s own study shows that by far the #1 thing car shoppers use Google for (51% reporting) is “to obtain general info,” while only 19% use it to research where to buy.

driving one via inventory syndication at shopping search sites was a low $3.17.

Deep Link – Half the Bounce Rate of Adwords

This new data also shows that the overwhelming majority of site visitors (94%) generated by an inventory syndication strategy represent consumers that never hit the dealership website before – while Google Adwords’ campaigns drove a lesser, 81% new traffic. Inventory exposure across “shopping search” sites drives both more – and more new – customers for dealers.

Other data that provides insight into how a deep link inventory strategy delivers more relevant, inventory-seeking shoppers to a dealerships’ website than other referral traffic like Google Adwords is a comparison of bounce rates. Traffic generated by the inventory strategy had a low bounce rate of 24.7%, while traffic generated via online referral methods like Google Adwords has a much higher 40.45% bounce rate. With a bounce rate nearly twice as high for referral methods like Adwords, it’s clear that a significant percentage of PPC ads served up for consumers busy keyword searching may get them to click, but the destination it took them to was not what they were looking for at all. Another reason why dealerships need to wean themselves from cost-per-click metrics and start zeroing in on metrics like cost-pershopper and other engagement analyses.

Deep-Linked VDP Views Are Gold & Cost 6X More with AdWords

Cost-Per-Shopper 19X Lower through Deep-Link Inventory Syndication

Prior research from Cobalt shows that VDP views trounce all other behavioral metrics in identifying the very lowestfunnel shoppers and looming sales. And while AdWords campaigns (in aggregate) delivered more VDP views/ month/dealership than an inventory syndication strategy (900 vs. 609), the cost was dramatically higher – SIX times higher. The cost to drive a VDP view via AdWords was $18.55, while

And the cost differential for a dealership to generate a true shopper (i.e., one actively searching a dealer’s inventory) was even more extreme: $73 via AdWords campaigns vs. only $3.95 through broad inventory syndication. So, while dealerships (and their agencies) have been narrowly focused on costper-click metrics, touting the couple of dollars it costs to drive a visitor, this new data indicates that key, new metrics that should be added to all AdWords (and digital marketing) reports are

Inventory Syndication Drives More New-to-theDealership Consumers

46 • 1st Quarter - 2014 • DrivingSales, LLC

Billy Beane shattered traditional baseball thinking that big payrolls equal wins. His unconventional strategy of scrutinizing the NUMBERS, and the RIGHT numbers, took one of the once-worst American League teams, with one of the lowest payrolls, to three AL Division titles. And, while dealerships may still not be spending enough (or wisely) with AdWords, this research shows that they also need to take a hard look at an emerging, low-cost run-producer: a strategy of aggressively exposing inventory at dozens of search sites where 85% of car shoppers are finding the real vehicle listings that drive them to the lot. This is the biggest, most logical, consumer-behavior-based – and yet still un-seized – opportunity for dealerships. Figuring out how to drive the most VDP-views, most affordably, is poised to be the story of the 2014 Dealer Marketing Season: the ‘Moneyball’ in 2014…and beyond. 1. Dataium report, “Rethinking Online Media Attribution,” 2012 2. Dealership inventory syndication to these 130+ sites was performed by LotLinx, for a fixed monthly fee. 3. An average percentage, or aggregated total, combining branded and competitive keyword campaign results and spend. 4. Google/Compete “Auto Shopper Behavior Study,” 2011 5. An average percentage, or aggregated total, combining branded and competitive keyword campaign results and spend. 6. Cobalt Business Intelligence’s VDP Study, 2012

About The Author:

Len Short is founder of LotLinx, the auto industry’s first deeplinking technology platform that connects over 6.5 million consumers searching vehicle inventory online every month directly to the dealership websites where that inventory resides. A veteran of the digital space, Short has led innovative marketing strategies as EVP of AOL, Charles Schwab and as the founding CMO of RED. Dealership Innovation Guide


YOUR CUSTOMERS

ARE MOBILE. IS YOUR MARKETING?

On average, adults spend 141 minutes a day using mobile devices1. As mobile usage continues to increase, it’s vital that your marketing keeps pace. Because, without a comprehensive mobile marketing strategy, you risk losing valuable customers and revenue – and lagging behind the competition With Cars.com, getting your dealership seen on mobile is automatic. Your Cars.com listing travels everywhere your customers do$QG&DUVFRPRNjHUVPRELOHSURGXFWVWKDWDUH VSHFLnjFDOO\GHVLJQHGWRHQKDQFH\RXUVDOHV Learn more at dealers.cars.com 1

eMarketer, 2013

Š2014 Classified Ventures, LLC ™. All rights reserved.


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Dealership Innovation Guide Q1 2014