Issuu on Google+

January 2011

Quarterly ranking of dealership vendors & best practice guide

MARC McGURREN

2010 DEALER SATISFACTION AWARDS

of the Jerry Durrant

Auto Group

talks about staying FOCUSED in your digital

What is your vendor’s CSI?

NEW CAR LEADS • ILM • CALL MANAGEMENT • DMS • SEM/PPC • USED CAR ADVERTISING • WEBSITES CRM • SEO • CHAT • AND MORE...

marketing plan

In this issue: Understanding Social Media Marketing Dealer Principals Need to Inspect Their Digital Investments Selling at Every Interactive Touchpoint The Importance of Service Marketing on the Dealer Website

p.24 p.32 p.28 p.40

DrivingSales.com is a Vendor Rating

and Best Practice community for Dealers and Dealership Managers to connect and collaborate on dealership strategies.

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“NADA U is an absolute game-changer in today’s extraordinarily tight environment.”

Where Legends Begin

As the economy rebounds, let NADA U rev up your dealership. Make more money. Avoid legal headaches. Why NADA U? n real-world, road-tested solutions

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Resource Toolbox Management Guides, Membership Benefits & So Much More

n practical applications and proven best-practices n interactive online, expert-led, and customized courses But the proof is in the numbers. Dealers who joined 20 Group improved their bottom line an average 134%* — this during the deepest recession in decades. *Dealers who joined 20 Group in the first quarter of 2010 averaged a 134% improvement in profitability through October YTD.

NADA U: We Build Champions. Add it up and NADA U’s game-changing advantage is clear. Sign in, and start your championship season today. www.NADAuniversity.com

NADA University 8400 Westpark Drive McLean, VA 22102 800.557.6232 www.NADAuniversity.com NADAuniversity@nada.org

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I am personally very pumped up about 2011 and I hope your dealership team is too. It’s going to be a fantastic year filled with opportunities! There is no doubt the past 24 months have been some of the roughest that our industry has ever seen, but the crisis is over and the industry is rebuilding. Credit is loosening, the economic indicators are rising but most importantly I am seeing some stores digging in and doing some really amazing things. I believe that its at the ground level where the seeds are planted and the magic happens, and I can tell you there are some awesome things starting to sprout up! As you know, I spend much of my time traveling and working with dealerships so I see a very broad view of what is working and what isn’t within the industry. There are three trends, three commonalities that I see the aggressive and ultra successful stores doing right now to really grow. Put these things on your to-do list to maximize 2011. 1. Assess your dealership org chart The world has evolved, consumer-buying behavior is different and the skills needed to connect with these buyers have changed. This has altered the necessary job roles and responsibilities that your team must have to be successful. Things like content writing and the depth of an Internet manager’s marketing role are prime examples. Don’t be afraid to create new positions and certainly alter some old ones. Be sure your pay plans follow the change in job responsibility or the results wont stick. 2. Track the right benchmarks Just as many job roles need altering, so do the key benchmarks that you should be watching on your daily and weekly docs. Its not all about gross, volume and a closing rate anymore. Watch your Google analytics, site conversion rate, your keyword ranking reports and social media engagement. One of the most important benchmarks your store should be watching is its online reputation: it’s more powerful than CSI and has dramatic impact on your sales. 3. Invest in education With all the constant change in the marketplace, and competition for fewer car deals being so tough, training your staff becomes an even bigger part of your success. Lack of education in your team can quickly turn into failure to keep up in today’s market. How good are you doing at educating your team? We at DrivingSales will be right there with you this year, growing, building and staying 100% focused on delivering the information your dealership needs to be more profitable. Our publication will print quarterly this year, delivering best practices and an up-to-date ranking of dealership vendors based on the vendor ratings submitted at DrivingSales.com. Our website at DrivingSales.com continues to grow as the number one place for dealers to find the best practices and operational strategies they need to grow their dealership. In addition, the Vendor Ratings continue to help dealers invest in the best technologies. Be sure to keep October open, as you will not want to miss the 2011 DrivingSales Executive Summit in Vegas. Last year was a huge success! Ask your peers that attended and they will tell you it was the best dealer event of the year! I look forward to seeing you all at industry events where we can shake hands and exchange dealership stories! 2011 is going to be a fantastic year!

LETTER FROM THE FOUNDER: Jared Hamilton, Founder/CEO of DrivingSales.com, welcomes you to another year with the Dealership Innovation Guide! Dig in and enjoy, and don’t forget to share your thoughts online at drivingsales.com!

“Two heads are always better than one. We’ve got the whole industry talking...”

Jared Hamilton Founder DrivingSales.com www.DrivingSales.com

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2011

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It’s Like a 20 GROUP for

VendorRatings 6 VendorRatings Why Vendor Ratings New Car Leads THE WINNERS: 6 Why Vendor Ratings Websites The7 dealers have Dealership Websites Database/Owner Marketing spoken! Coverage 8 3rd Party Leads SEM - PPC of the 2010 Dealer 8 Online Classifieds/Vehicle Listing Services 10 Used Car Advertising Satisfaction Awards 10 Customer Relationship Management 10 Systems Internet (CRM) Trainers starts on page 7 10 Dealership Management Systems 11(DMS) Call Management 12 CRM 11 Internet Lead Management (ILM) 12 Inventory Pricing 12 Inventory Pricing 13 ILM 12 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 13 DMS 14 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 15 Chat

THOUSANDS!

7 8 8 9

BestPractices 14 Narrowing the Great Digital ExpertArticles Divide 18 The Proper Model for Advanced Dealership Marketing

Vendor Ratings Dealer Discussions Expert Blogs “How to” Videos Strategy Sharing Peer Networking

16 the Back to the Basics: Market 22 Six Technologies that will Transform Retail Automotive How Not to Let Shiny Objects Tarnish Your Digital Marketing Plan COVER STORY: 23 New Social Media Strategy Transforms Dick Hannah HondaHave Too Many Exits But not Enough Doors? Marc McGurren, 20 Does Your Website 26 Why Management 22 Innovation: What Does it Really Mean? winner ofVelocity the 2010 28 Link Building Tips Dealer Strategy 24 Understanding Social Media Marketing GET CONNECTED competition 30 Selection, Hiring and Orientation28 for your Internet Department Selling at Every Interactive Touchpoint (presented 34 Why yourlast Service Department is30 Costing you Car Deals Five Must-Have Digital Categories That Will Change Significantly for October in Las 36 Microsites, Blogs, Social Media, Oh My!Dealers in 2011 Vegas), writes about 32 Dealer Principals Need to Inspect Their Digital Investments 39 Winning Online the importance of 40 and Social Media Marketing: a party34 not a Does pinchHours-per-Repair-Order Indicate Health in Your Fixed focus sticking Operations 37 Seven Process Must Execute to the basics forPoints: Your Store35 The Psychology of Social Media Marketing DrivingSales.com 44 ISM Pay Plans digital marketing 36 Two Decades of CSI, But the Future Belongs to Online Reputation success 46 Internet Departments are on the Management Decline

2009

40 “I feel your pain.” The Importance of Service Marketing on the Dealer

DrivingSales.com www.DrivingSales.com

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Website 44 I am Art Vandelay

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VendorRatings Why Vendor Ratings? 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. The DrivingSales Vendor Ratings system is like a real time Consumer Reports* protecting dealers’ interests and helping them make more informed investments.

Vendor Ratings Rules & Safe Guards:

DrivingSales.com maintains and enforces a strict set of rules to ensure dealerships have accurate, honest and up-to-the-moment information. 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 insure vendors are not gaming the system. Furthermore, DrivingSales staff calls to verify a large percentage of the reviews. Vendor Ranking: 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. We encourage all dealers to rate and review their vendors by visiting www.drivingsales.com/ratings *DrivingSales.com is in no way affiliated with Consumer Reports. 6

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Vendor Rating Awards The DrivingSales Vendor Ratings Awards recognize those solutions with a proven record of success and excellence in serving their dealer clients. There are three award winners in each category, the “Highest Rated” vendor and two “Top Rated” vendors. Actual awards are presented annually.

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. The Vendor Rating Awards are based solely on the aggregate of all dealer ratings submitted from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010.

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

Dealix

Dealix New Car Leads

Autobytel Inc.

Autobytel New Car Leads

Score Rating

Recommended

67.3

85%

5.8

77%

Cars.com NewLeadsPlus 3.9

68%

AutoUSA

AutoUSA New Car Leads

3.2

88%

ZAG

Zag Sales Strategy

1.2

68%

Black Book Online Division

Activator

.3

90%

Kelley Blue Book

KBB New Car Leads

.3

50%

Dealercentric Solutions

Get Preapproved in Seconds

.1

100%

www.DrivingSales.com

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VendorRatings Websites These full service websites are built to be the main hub of your dealership’s online presence and are central to your dealerships marketing, branding and customer service. Note: MicroSites and MobileSites are rated in their own categories on DrivingSales.com.

Company

Product

Score Rating

Dealer eProcess

Dealer eProcess Dealer Websites 28.0

Recommended 100%

Dealer.com SmartSites

16.4

83%

Cobalt

15.7

67%

Cobalt Websites

Nexteppe Websites

10.9

100%

Dealerskins

Dealer Web Solutions

1.9

65%

POTRATZ

Custom Auto Websites

1.9

90%

TK Carsites

Dealer Websites

1.5

61%

WorldDealer, Inc.

Ultra 7.0 Websites

1.0

100%

DealerFire

DealerFire Custom Websites

.9

100%

VinSolutions

VinSolutions Dealer Websites

.8

95%

Reynolds and Reynolds

Dealer Websites (WebMakerX 2.0)

.4

57%

XIGroup

Franchise and Independent Websites .3

75%

eBizAutos

Dealer Websites

62%

.3

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

Product

Score Rating

Recommended

CallSource CallTracking 2.6

92%

Who’sCalling Who’sCalling

2.0

67%

Callbright

Inbound Lead Tracker

1.0

87%

eLEAD

eLEAD Call Center

.3

100%

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SEM - PPC These solutions help your determine how to invest and execute a Pay Per Click campaign on the major search engines for greatest ROI. Company

Product

Score Rating

POTRATZ

Search and Behavioral for Web

2.3

100%

PCG Digital Marketing

PPC Management Service

1.6

100%

Dealer.com

TotalControl DOMINATOR

.9

90%

.1

77%

ReachLocal-Automotive Division ReachLocal Digital Marketing

Recommended

Only dealership employees are allowed to rate their vendors on DrivingSales.com, all submitted ratings are verified. The vendors are then scored and ranked using a weighted Bayesian Algorithm. 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. The Vendor Ratings Awards are based solely on the aggregate of all dealer ratings submitted from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010.

www.DrivingSales.com

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VendorRatings Used Car Advertising These consumer facing websites allow you to list your inventory to the public who frequent these sites looking for a vehicle to buy. These websites make huge media buys attracting customers to your inventory to increase your walk-in, phone and web leads. Company

Product

Score Rating

Recommended

AutoTrader

AutoTrader.com 58.9

72%

Cars.com

Cars.com Online Advertising

15.1

86%

Digital Compass Marketing

Automotive Advertising Network 11.3

100%

Dealix

UsedCars.com 4.6

90%

Dealer Specialties

www.dealerspecialties.com

1.2

78%

Liquid Motors Inc.

Inventory Data Distribution

.2

100%

Autobytel Inc.

Autobytel Used Cars

.2

90%

AutoUSA

AutoUSA Inventory Listing Network

.2

100%

Automotive.com

Used Car Classifieds

.1

75%

Internet Trainers Consultants and trainers who focus on bringing online success to dealerships belong in this category. General Dealership Consultants, Sales Trainers and Fixed Operations Consultants belong in their own categories. If you dont see you Internet Trainer listed, please add them here. Company

Product

PCG Digital Marketing

Brian Pasch

8.4

100%

Dealers Technology

Rafi Hamid - Auto Consulting

1.3

100%

eXteresAuto

eXteresAUTO - Dealer Training

.6

100%

DealerKnows Consulting

Joe Webb

.4

100%

KainAutomotive.com

David Kain

.1

100%

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Score Rating

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Recommended

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Database/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

Product

CIMA Systems

Complete Virtual BDC

Score Rating

Recommended

12.1

98%

@utoRevenue @utoRevenue

8.8

93%

Cobalt

2.1

83%

Cobalt Owner Marketing

Only dealership employees are allowed to rate their vendors on DrivingSales.com, all submitted ratings are verified. The vendors are then scored and ranked using a weighted Bayesian Algorithm. 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. The Vendor Ratings Awards are based solely on the aggregate of all dealer ratings submitted from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010.

www.DrivingSales.com

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VendorRatings Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Variable Ops: these are 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

Recommended

Autobase

Autobase CRM

294.2

94%

CAR-Research

CAR-Research XRM

26.9

97%

DealerSocket

DealerSocket CRM

18.8

87%

VinSolutions

VinSlutions MotoSnap CRM

13.1

92%

Reynolds and Reynolds

Contact Management

12.2

46%

ADP Inc., Dealer Services

ADP CRM

7.4

43%

eLead

eLead CRM

6.0

77%

The Higher Gear

Higher Gear CRM

1.4

50%

iMagicLab

Dealer CRM

1.2

81%

Inventory Pricing With the market volatility and transparency increasing online, knowing how to price your inventory is a science proven to increase 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

vAuto

vAuto - Pricing, Appraising Tools 23.2

Recommended

eCarList TrueTarget 8.9 DealerTrack

DealerTrack AAX

FirstLook VinSolutions

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100% 100%

1.6

83%

FirstLook - 360º Market Pricing

.8

100%

MotoSnap Market Pricing

.7

81%

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Gross per Unit Increase (%) 50 40

Lift on PO Inventory ($)

Additional Monthly Sales

1000 46%

800

30

600

20

400

10

200 Without With DealActivator DealActivator

DealActivator results at Gwinnet Place Ford

80 $1K

70+

60 40 20 Without With DealActivator DealActivator

DealActivator results at College Hills Honda

Without With DealActivator DealActivator DealActivator results at Resnick Auto Group

“Our dealership recently sent a single mailer to a mere segment of the customers flagged by our NEW Autobase DealActivator. From it alone, we’ve sold 71 vehicles ... and counting.” Kirt Cahill, CFO, East Coast Honda

866.572.0644 www.autobase.net facebook.com/autobase twitter.com/autobasecrm

Internet Lead Management (ILM) These Internet Lead Management solutions are built exclusively to handle the 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

Product

Score Rating

VinSolutions

VinSolutions MotoSnap ILM

AVV

Recommended

2.2

92%

Web Control

.6

64%

ADP Dealer Services

NetTrak Lead Manager

.5

52%

Dealer.com

Control Center

.3

79%

iMagicLab

Internet Lead Management Tool

.3

64%

Only dealership employees are allowed to rate their vendors on DrivingSales.com, all submitted ratings are verified. The vendors are then scored and ranked using a weighted Bayesian Algorithm. 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. The Vendor Ratings Awards are based solely on the aggregate of all dealer ratings submitted from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010.

www.DrivingSales.com

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VendorRatings 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

Product

Score Rating

Recommended

Reynolds and Reynolds

Reynolds ERA DMS

48.8

57%

ADP Dealer Services

ADP DMS

26.1

45%

DealerTrack

DealerTrack Dealer Mgt System

3.5

70%

AutoSoft DMS

AutoSoft DMS

1.6

92%

Reynolds and Reynolds

Reynolds POWER DMS

.9

45%

Auto/Mate Dealership Systems

Auto/Mate DMS

.3

100%

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) These companies will help get your website optimized so that it shows up higher in the search engine rankings. These services generally include both on-page and off-page optimization. Company

Product

Score Rating

Recommended

eXteresAuto

eXteresAUTO - SEO

20.8

99%

PCG Digital Marketing

PCG Strategic Digital Marketing

13.8

98%

Dealer.com ManagedSEO 1.8

92%

Cobalt PowerSearch .9

81%

TK Carsites

TK SEO

.4

100%

Dealer eProcess

Power PageRank SEO

.4

100%

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Chat These solutions allow you to meet, greet and converse with all the customers who visit your website to set appointments, create leads and provide better customer service. Company

Product

Score Rating

ContactAtOnce! LLC

ContactAtOnce! IM/Chat

41.3

92%

Activengage

Activengage Chat

21.4

100%

CarChat24

CarChat24 - 24/7 Fully Staffed

9.9

90%

Dealer eProcess

PRO-ACTIVE Live Chat

8.5

94%

Client-ConneXion Chat-ConneXion

Recommended

1.7

100%

Only dealership employees are allowed to rate their vendors on DrivingSales.com, all submitted ratings are verified. The vendors are then scored and ranked using a weighted Bayesian Algorithm. 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. The Vendor Ratings Awards are based solely on the aggregate of all dealer ratings submitted from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010.

www.DrivingSales.com

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Marc McGurren Jerry Durant Auto Group Internet Director

Back to the Basics: How not to let shiny objects tarnish your digital marketing plan. by Marc McGurren

I

received a call from a fellow car dealer the other dealerships fall somewhere in, or between, one of these day who wanted to bounce ideas off me about five stages: his digital marketing plan. He asked what I 1. Elementary – You just got a website. You still thought about Yelp, and if he should spend any have a Motorola Razr because you are afraid to time on it? Should he create his own Facebook embrace these crazy things called smart phones. page or use the auto group’s? He also informed me You answer leads out of Microsoft Outlook or that there are vendors out there who are kind enough to Gmail. (Actually hotmail, because you don’t even charge him $1100/month to manage his business listknow what Gmail is.) You’ve only heard of 3 or ings across the web (Google, Yahoo, Insider Pages, etc). less of the aforementioned acronyms. You don’t Finally, he asked me about online reputation managebelieve this Internet thing is a big deal, nor do you ment and what the process at our dealership looks like. have any idea if you’re selling any cars with it. Or All of this set me to thinking about how we, as innovaon it. Or through it. tors and leaders of our dealerships, are bombarded with “solutions” for our digital marketing spaghetti bowl. 2. Middle School – You have had a website for quite sometime and you might add specials to your site when it’s convenient for you. You actually have an ILM (Internet lead management tool), but it is most likely the one the OEM requires you to have, and you can’t see the benefit in having to pay any more for ILM than you already are. You have the young salesperson you just hired answering the leads since he or she is “computer savvy.” You have upgraded your Razr to a newer, color screen, flip phone that allows you to actually text your kids and friends. Percentage of total dealership vehicle sales tracked through the Internet Department/BDC: 6-10%. What I’ve found is that “shiny objects” are everywhere, and most have a crazy acronym of some sort: ILM, CRM, ORM, IRM, FB, SEO, SEM, DMS, PPC, VDPs, SERPS, BDC, CRC, CRS, Tweets, Deets, etc., etc., etc. One glance at the 475+ vendors rated on www. drivingsales.com can make a person’s head spin. So, what’s someone who is in charge of a dealership’s digital marketing plan to do? Where do we start? How do we lead and continue to innovate? How can we be the best at what we do? I’m glad you asked. The answer to each depends on what digital marketing stage your dealership is in. Most

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3. High school – You still use the required OEM websites, but have embraced adding video and specials, and you’re even using an outside company to take pictures of your used cars. You’re sending your inventory to the major players like Cars.com and AutoTrader. You have a separate ILM (and possibly CRM) installed throughout the dealership. You own a Blackberry, Android, or iPhone but still don’t know what all the buttons do. Percentage of total sales coming directly through digital marketing strategies: 11-19%. 4. College – You’re maximizing the OEM site as much as possible, or maybe you’ve transitioned to a different website provider all together. You

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I can have all the technology that money can buy, but I still have to come back to the basics, back to ‘blocking and tackling.’ I still have to do the proper steps to make the sale. I still have to follow up. I still have to offer exceptional service so the customers keep coming back. And then I have to do that process over and over again.

are intimately involved in the digital space of your dealership. You work on your Online Reputation Management, search engine optimization, and possibly search engine marketing. You also have an entire CRM/ILM installed throughout the dealership and are “pretty good” at using it. You love your iPhone4 or EVO. You dominate page one on Google when your dealership’s name is searched. Percentage of total sales coming from your digital marketing plan: 20-34%. 5. PhD. – You’re crushing your competition in SEO, SEM, and Online Reputation Management. Your website is one that people envy due to its performance. Your CRM/ILM is ingrained in your selling process and couldn’t thrive without it. You take your own pictures and describe your used cars better than anyone in your market. You’re a true innovator and continue to find ways to push the envelope. Percentage of your total vehicle sales coming from your digital marketing strategy: 35+%.

latest digital trends. But at the end of the day, our job still is to sell and fix cars. I can have all the technology that money can buy, but I still have to come back to the basics, back to “blocking and tackling.” I still have to take the proper steps to make the sale. I still have to follow up. I still have to offer exceptional service so the customers keep coming back. And then I have to do that process over and over again. So the question becomes: where and how do I find those “shiny objects” that have value, and how do I know which ones are tarnished? What solutions can take me from where I am today, to where I want to be tomorrow? First, own it. Someone in the dealership has to own the process of e-commerce and everything it entails. This person has to be passionate about digital marketing for the auto industry. Most likely, if you are reading this article, that person is you.

Then, map out where you want to go, since now you have someone who “owns” the idea and understands how important this Internet-thing really is. But how do you figure out where you want to go? (Google Maps sure Most of us fall into one of the aforementioned stages, or won’t tell you how to get there.) Start with taking an somewhere in-between, but one thing that I love about honest look at your current operations. Take personalithe car business is that I am never stuck in the same ties and favoritisms out of it and take a hard look at the place. I can change my destiny, and all it takes is the first entire situation. of the month to get that process started. The same could be said for your digital marketing strategy. If you’re in I firmly believe that you can’t fix what you don’t know is Elementary or Middle School, don’t fret. You aren’t broken. Your first step to mapping out your trek across stuck there. You can move the needle tomorrow. It just the digital education spectrum is to examine how you’re doing now. The pieces of your digital marketing puzzle takes some time and dedication. to evaluate include, but aren’t limited to: All of us are on a continual learning curve, and if you 1. How is your website performing? Conversion rates? have a PhD. today, you could be irrelevant tomorrow Time on site? Pages-per-visit? New vs. returnunless you have proper training and keep up with the www.DrivingSales.com

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ing customers? And how are they finding you (e.g., Google search words)? • This is how you will be able to get more customers to visit your lot as well as call or email your dealership. 2. How many leads are you getting? From where? What is your closing rate on all of your leads? Website(s)? Cars.com? AutoTrader? Third-Party Lead Providers (Dealix, AutoUsa, Autobytel, etc.)? • This is how you can tell who to hire and who to fire for your lead providers.

vary from manufacturer, but it is great base line. 5. How many leads is each of your salespeople getting? What is each person’s closing ratio? Who is burning through their opportunities (i.e., the dealer’s money)? • The old rule of thumb was 100 leads per salesperson, per month, but I believe this should now be 70-85 leads per month, per salesperson. • The national average on closing rates on Internet leads is 8%. I don’t like being average and therefore shoot for 12-13%.

3. What are you spending right now on your websites and your Finally, once you understand where entire digital marketing plan? you’re at, you’re ready to map out • Make sure you check the next step, which is to sit down your parts statement and write it out. Map out what from the manufacturer. changes you want to make, who That’s where costs on will be responsible for implementing digital marketing from those changes, and when they will be the OEMs usually get made. Without a written plan – I dumped. When I stepped guarantee that your chances for sucinto my role as Internet cess will be hindered. Director, I found out we were spending 40% more Once your plan of action for various than we actually thought operations is written out – JUST DO IT! Make your digital marketing we were. (OUCH!) plan a priority. Make it your focal 4. What are you spending per point when looking at your daylead, per provider? What is to-day operations. Are you, as the your cost-per-sale? What is person leading the charge in digital your gross profit per sale? What marketing for your dealership, movis it broken up for the front ing the needle forward consistently and back? every day? Is what you are doing making a difference or just making • This will show your deal- noise while tarnishing your desired er that you can, in fact, end result? Are the tools that you make $2000/copy on have chosen to use helping you – or new cars! just shiny objects that looks pretty? • Also, a good base line I hate to say it, but many of our to start from is having a tools are tarnished. More importantcost-per-lead of around ly, they can tarnish our entire digi$20 and a cost-per-sale tal marketing plan by distracting us around $200. This will from what’s really most effective and www.DrivingSales.com

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important, causing us to take our eye off the proverbial ball. My plea to dealers today is to get the basics right before spending time with any shiny tools that are available. I’m not anti-vendor or anti-shiny object; I’m anti-take-your-eye-off-the-ballbecause-of-said-shiny-object. Know this: I am in your seat every day. I receive the same calls and see the exact same advertisements for the latest and greatest tools. I feel your pain, frustration, and concern about leading your team from elementary school to a PhD. in the automotive digital space. Your dealership is where it’s at because of the choices you—and those who came before you—have made. You can’t change the past, but you can affect the future… starting tomorrow. Don’t get sucked into shiny-object syndrome. Why? Because that is exactly what your competitor wants you to do. Be the best at the basics and the rest will follow.

To discuss this article and to view comments by others, please visit DrivingSales.com/innovation ______________________________ Marc McGurren is the Internet Director for the Jerry Durant Auto Group located in Weatherford, TX.  He is a graduate of Angelo State University (BBA, 2001), Dallas Theological Seminary (MA/BS, 2003), and the NADA Dealer Academy (2010). He is currently pursuing his MBA at the University of North Texas. Most recently, Marc was awarded the Driving Sales Innovation Cup at this years Driving Sales Executive Summit for his mobile platform for engaging after hours customers at the point of sale.

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Gary Sanders Stevinson Lexus of Lakewood Internet Director

Does Your Website Have Too Many Exits But Not Enough Doors? by Gary Sanders

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oday, customers have many avenues online when it comes to search. By updating your dealership website with the addition of micro sites (separate, often smaller sites that supplement your main site), you can open doors for more visits and better conversion.

Stevinson Lexus, Denver Lexus Dealer, Denver Lexus, Lexus Denver, Lexus Colorado.

My goal is to gain traffic from search terms like: Used Cars Denver Colorado, Used Lexus Denver, Used Lexus Cars For Sale Denver, Used Lexus RX 350 Denver, Denver Used Toyota Sequoia, BMW 3 Series For Sale Over the last two years, I have requested over 200 addi- Denver, Used Honda Accord For Sale Denver, Etc… tional pages to be added to our website, www.stevinsonlexusoflakewood.com. I have manually added content to these new pages that have little search authority, Getting Started from ‘accessories’ and ‘parts’ to used car terms and When selecting a URL name for your micro site, you Lexus model library pages. are going to find the most obvious sites, like UsedCars. According to our Google Analytics’ “top landing com, are taken. A term like “used cars” is so competitive pages,” our dealership Home Page is our top landing that a micro site is unlikely to show up on Google page page. But, by adding the additional pages, we were able one anyway. Look at the two site names I selected; try to increase visits to our site. to grab a more regional term or major city the dealer For example, with the addition of our “Lexus Extra serves. You may find you can snag a .org or .net site, Care Warranty” page, from 8/1 – 11/30 of this year, (i.e., www.UsedCarsSaltLakeCity.org). Don’t assume we achieved over 100 landing page visits. I also added that they are taken. You may be surprised to find that links back to it in a Free Press Release and added the many are still available. page to our Blog. Some of the keywords that landed a visit to that page include: Lexus platinum extended warranty, Lexus extended warranty, Lexus platinum extended warranty, Lexus vehicle service agreements.

A helpful tool for finding out how many times a phrase is searched is Google Adwords Keyword Tool. This tool can help you decided whether or not it makes sense to purchase an available URL. Frequently, I have found *Note what is missing from the key words that that if the .com is available, there is a reason; the term landed a visit: Our dealer name - Stevinson Lexus of is not a high volume search term. Lakewood. Example for “Used Cars Denver Colorado” Manage your site: support it with Micro Sites

This term has a broad search of 1600 times a month, and This year, the addition of micro sites to support our an exact phrase 480 times a month. As a comparison, main dealer URL is slowly showing progress. I use the the term “Used Cars” is broadly searched 6,120,000 term ‘slowly’ because I did not add them with the inten- times a month and searched as an exact phrase 823,000 tion of taking over Carguru, Autotrader, Everycarlisted times a month. Nevertheless, because Google rewards exact matching URLs, I am happy with our site showor UsedCars.com; I just wanted them in the game. ing up in the exact 480 searches. As an Internet Manager of a Lexus Dealer near Denver, Colorado, our two micro sites (www.DenverUsedCar. org and www.UsedCarsDenverColorado.com) have Where to Host your site? generated more exposure for us in Google searches. If you are a beginner (or not) when it comes to webMeanwhile, our Cobalt site continues to be strong sites, I would recommend WordPress.org (not the free for searches that include: Stevinson Lexus of Lakewood, WordPress.com). It is user-friendly and offers templates 20

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you can install. But before that happens, you will need to buy your site name. On http://wordpress.org/hosting/ I am using the Blue Host tool. Blue Host allows you to search and purchase domains for $10.00 and offers a quick install into Word Press. Tools I got my start with micro sites through the PCG Automotive Advertising Network. This tool uses a simple script to create pages or post on any WordPress site (works with Blogger and Typepad too). I have also done an A/B test using our Dealer.com Craigslist tool. I added the HTML code as a post, but had better search results with the PCG AAN tool.

not get a click from the follow terms: shop Denver used Subaru Forester with manual, Denver used Subaru Forester with manual, Denver used Subaru Forester, Denver used Subaru. So what are the micro site search results for the term “shop Denver used Subaru Forester with manual?” As of 12/1/2010, this was ranked second (#2) on page one: Denver Used 2010 Subaru Forester For Sale VIN# JF2SH6AC8AG709265... Denver Used Cars. Stevinson Lexus of Lakewood ... 2010 Subaru Forester

Summary It is very difficult to know how a customer was sourced if that customer did not submit a lead or make a phone call. Every store has “floor” consultants selling used cars that are logged as a “Fresh Up”. As much as an Internet Sales/Manager would like to see every deal go though their department, they have a duty and responsibility to the store. And when this happens, it’s because of the pages, posts, micro sites and exposure you have added for your dealership.

Internet Sales Mangers are silently 2.5X Manual. Posted by admin on rewarded November 4, 2010 Leave a comment (0) Go to comments Internet Managers already market your cars with good photos and comwww.denverusedcar.org/used-suba- ments and drive online traffic to the ru-forester-denver/ phones and to the floor. For these PCG Tool: http://www.denverusedreasons I will continue to build our car.org/used-cadillac-srx-for-saleCobalt site, create links, add posts denver/ Additional Search Terms and support pages on our micro Craigslist Dealer.com Tool: http:// Another search strategy is to add sites. Support your site, support your www.usedcarsdenvercolorado.com/ pages for each model of the primary micro sites, support your media outused-cadillac-srx-for-sale-denver/ make you sell. This, along with micro lets and you will be rewarded. site support, can also add clicks to your website. (Searches completed on Tracking 12/1/2010) Google Analytics tracks any given Search “Used 2009 Lexus ES 350 keyword that results in a click to a for sale Denver” website. What I have found with our Our micro site is #3 & #4 and keywords for our micro sites is that main site #5 & #6 the searches are broader and most of the terms only produce one or two Some may ask ‘who is going to search clicks from each term. Though it may that way?’ I’d say ‘good question.’ So, only be a few clicks, your main dealer what if someone excludes the year? site may not be showing up in search “Used Lexus ES 350 for sale Denver” for the same terms thus making your - I have a page for that… micro site efforts worthwhile. Main site #2 micro site #3 & #4 To support this, I located the keywords in Google Analytics that Now some may ask ‘who is going to resulted in a click: “shop Denver search that way?’ I’d say ‘good quesused Subaru Forester with manual.” tion.’ So, what if someone changes Although it is not a competitive models? term (or phrase), it did result in a “Used Lexus ES 330 for sale Denver” click to www.DenverUsedCar.org. - I have a page for that… Comparing this term in our main Cobalt site Analytics, YTD we did Main site #3 www.DrivingSales.com

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To discuss this article and to view comments by others, please visit DrivingSales.com/innovation ______________________________ Gary Sanders is the Internet Director for Stevinson Lexus of Lakewood. Responsible for website updates, New and Pre-Owned online inventory adjustments and marketing, Blog contributor. He is also managesdealers Facebook, Twitter, Micro Sites accounts and Project Manager in a wide variety of dealership operations and events.

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Daniel Boismier Suburban Collection Internet Director

Innovation: What does it really mean? by Dan Boismier

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any think of innovation as introducing something new. Innovation comes from the Latin innovationem, stemming from the Latin innovatus, “to renew or change”. Innovation can therefore be seen as the process that renews something that exists and not, as is commonly assumed, the introduction of something new. The central meaning of innovation thus relates to renewal. For this renewal to take place, it is necessary for people to change the way they make decisions. They must choose to do things differently, to make choices outside of their norm.

through the door for the first time. Both are trust builders. Both are referrals from customers. They understand this, but what they need is help transitioning this to the expanded battlefield, the online battlefield. You want to beat your competition? Beat them by managing your store’s reputation online. When customers search for you, what do they see? Are you happy with it? Is it helping you sell more cars? It wouldn’t be a surprise if the OEMs start including some type of online user generated content in their CSI programs. After all, what long-term impact does a good OEM CSI have compared to an online testimonial of your store’s service (which remains visible for an extended period of time)? The greatest need for innovation in today’s dealership is Remember, innovation is not a new technology but not technology, or a better CRM tool; it is people. It renewing a skill that already exist. is a need to renew or empower the skill set that exists on the floor, starting with the sales manager and leading to every salesperson. Technology will not bridge this ‘innovation gap,’ but engaging our sales managers in a challenge that expands the scope of their skills will. We have all heard the chorus that profitability in today’s marketplace is driven by loyalty. But how do we make that anthem make sense to people whose profits are generally pegged to a 30-day cycle? Dealers, owners: this is for you! We are presented with profitability pressures from every direction. Admittedly, it is hard to see the forest from the trees when entrenched in the day-to-day battle. Most of the people running our showrooms have tremendous skills; however, their skills have been limited to a very specific environment. Today’s battlefield is expanding, and therefore, so must our sales managers. How do we do this?

Give them the spotlight. Get their attention (o.k. I know there are a lot of jokes What sales manager doesn’t want the spotlight (speakhere). ing to the majority)? They are the ones who often have Speak in a language they understand. Ask them why the charisma, the flare, and the connection to customtheir salespeople have handwritten notes from their ers. But why do we limit that connection to just the customers on their cubicles? Ask them if a customer people who walk in our doors? Today’s innovating who comes to them on a referral is an easier transaction dealer understands the reach and impact of video and (maybe with more profit?) than a customer who walks seeks to empower their team to use it. Important! You 22

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would not accept “I don’t know how” when doing a meet and greet in the showroom. Do not let “I don’t know how” stop you from doing it online because of technology (that is the easy part). Do you have a welcome message on your website that is updated each month? Do you have video about your specials? Do you have video about what your certified program provides? Every store has someone who can upload a video if the sales manager can’t. But usually it is the sales managers, the one’s with the personality and enthusiasm that can engage a customer on a deeper more personal level, one that builds familiarity and even a beginning relationship. Remember, innovation is not a new technology but renewing a skill that already exist. Use their natural voice. There is a great paradox that exists in many automotive sales organizations today. We expect our teams to sell more, but we limit the amount of contacts they can have to potential customers. Most sales managers have “sales meetings,” and tell

their troops what the marketing message is for that week. Often times we hear “tell everyone you know,” yet we limit their ability to do so. Social networking isn’t new. Your sales professionals have been doing it for many years. Your sales managers are the champions of your message; you need to empower them and their troops in spreading that good news. Sadly, many stores do not empower, but still expect increased sales. This is the paradox we create for our sales teams when we limit their access to social media. We all know the movie “Field of Dreams” and the famous quote “if you build it, they will come.” Well, with your sales team, if you sell it, they will promote it! They are always selling. It is imperative that we let our Sales Managers use social media to promote and engage. Are we letting them ask everyone at their store to tell everyone they know? That is the true exponential effect that dealers have yet to leverage in social media. Some say that they don’t want their

salespeople on Facebook and Twitter, that it is a waste of time. That’s right, it’s a waste of time talking to family, friends, people who know them, like them, and trust them and, oh, who may need a car one day! Most sales managers are wired to engage, to talk about themselves, and talk to others. Word to the wise: There is a way to do this that makes it productive. Remember, the innovation is not a new technology, but renewing a skill that already exist. Innovation, it’s more about using what you already have in a more productive way than finding the latest and greatest thing that is out there. Change does not happen overnight and it does not happen without vision. However, the good news is that most of us already have the people in place to make it happen!

To discuss this article and to view comments by others, please visit DrivingSales.com/innovation ______________________________ Daniel Boismier is the Internet Director for The Suburban Collection, Michigan’s largest automotive group and the nation’s 13th largest.  He is an experienced automotive professional with an in-depth understanding of the Automotive Retail, Digital Marketing, Social Marketing, Process Training and Technology Evaluation. www.DrivingSales.com

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Understanding Social Media Marketing

Timothy P Martell Marlboro Nissan Digital Marketing Director, President - Wikimotive

by Timothy Martell

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ocial Media Marketing: What is it? Most online newspaper. Most are free or very low cost to people think they know. But ask ten peomaintain. ple and you will probably get ten different answers. You know it’s important. Your Internet Manager is telling you it’s an impor- Now BE Social tant component of your marketing strategy, but no one seems to be able to tell you the how and the why or how So now you have a basic understanding of the important types of Social Media. How do we make the best use of to go about putting a pen to it, right? them in the dealership? Time to put the questions and myths to rest. Social Media Marketing has many components, each of which can be used for different purposes – and this is Blog it! what helps creates the confusion. Let’s start by catego- Let’s start with the blog. If you don’t have one, this rizing the common social media tools. should be your first step into the world of Social Media. The Social Network – This is what most of us The reason to start here is because you can both initiate think of when we talk about social media, but it is your social presence in a forum that is very forgiving and really just one of its formats. Let’s face it, right now utilize your blog as a valuable SEO tool. Facebook is the 800 lb. gorilla in the room when it Your blog should be used as a promotional tool and comes to social networks. But also included in the include content about product releases, industry-related “Social Network” category are MySpace, LinkedIn, issues, and dealer events. That’s not to say you shouldn’t Twitter and FourSquare. blend in some human-interest pieces, but people know Social Bookmarking – Social bookmarking sites when they come to a dealership’s blog that the dealer like Digg.com, Delicious and StumbleUpon func- has home court advantage and they expect to be served tion as places for people to post links to a blog, an YOUR content. article or online content that they find interesting. Your blog is the perfect place to cut your teeth on Social Social Profile Sites – Social Profile sites are places to Media. The only way to fail is by failing to contribute. post limited but informative content about a person, You should write a daily blog post. If you cannot conplace or thing. They are different from press releases tribute daily, shoot for 3 days a week. However, if you because they generally offer some internal method of cannot post at least one article/week you should wait sharing the posted content within a community or until you have the resources to make this a reality. through onsite tools that enable sharing directly to social bookmarking sites. They can include classified postings on sites like Backpage, brochure postings Build Profiles! on ScribD, PowerPoints posted on SlideShare, or Social profiles are a great way to increase your POD profiles created on Mixx. score by enabling you to create multiple profiles (on sites Blogs – This is your online voice. A place to write such as Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, etc.) for your about anything and everything, and a powerful dealership across the web, contributing to enhanced tool for both Social Media and SEO. Blogs allow SEO. You can post links, pictures, videos, and other you to post content and share pictures, videos, and media containing relevant information about your concepts. It’s a chance to publish your own personal dealership, which in turn can increase your dealership’s indexing in search.

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A simple way to see this for yourself is to Google one of my company’s names: Wikimotive. Notice each of the Google results listings: • Wikimotive.net - Me • Wikipedia - Not me • Twitter - me • Facebook - me • LinkedIn - me

social networks. This is due not just to a lack of education, but a lack of expert individuals who truly understand how to market using a social network.

math with me here first: Marlboro Nissan had 13,512 people who like their page at the time of this posting. The average FB user has 130 friends. That means on any given

“The only way to fail is by failing to contribute.”

• slideshare.net - me • onlineprnews - me • flickr.com - me

The secret to success here is actually a very simple concept that most • placeblogger.com - me insist upon ignoring: fun. It is counter intuitive for a dealer to pay an With the exception of my actual employee to talk about or quote website, all of these are social profiles! some obscure line from the latest You can use platforms like these to National Lampoon movie or ask how protect and promote your dealer’s many people saw the previous night’s American Idol - or who they voted brand. for! After all, how does that generate revenue for the company? Social Bookmarking Social Bookmarking can greatly enhance your SEO strategy. You can bookmark every piece of content you create on the web. For example, that blog post you just submitted? Digg it! Submit it to Delicious and StumbleUpon. You just created 3 links back to your blog post! Other users can “StumbleUpon” the article you submitted, “Digg it” themselves or “StumbleUpon” your story. Each time that happens, more links are created back to your content! The Social Network Social Networks can be incredibly influential and extremely powerful dealership marketing tools. Unfortunately, 99% of dealers are destroying any chance they have at effectively marketing their brand because of the way they misuse these

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day, Marlboro Nissan has the power to influence 1,756,560 people. That is brand awareness and that is why Marlboro Nissan made an incremental $400,000 gross profit from just Facebook alone in 2010.

What about those out-of-market people? Let me ask you a question. Do you have any friends or relatives who live in another state? Do any of your friends have friends of relatives The answer is subliminal brand that live in another state? Remember, awareness. Remember, these are reg- we live in a global economy today. ular folks. They don’t work for a Here are a few examples of really car dealership. They certainly didn’t strange connections that led to some Tivo or DVR their favorite shows of Marlboro Nissan’s sales in 2010: and fast forward past all the commercials so they could get their dose Karen of Westford, MA bought a of advertising on Facebook. Nissan Altima as a result of our Facebook page. She was not initially Let me be blunt - NO ONE cares a fan of Marlboro Nissan’s Facebook about your 0% or the $199/mo lease page, but her brother, who lives or that extra special, extra rare, extra in Indiana, was a fan and told her clean, extra low mile whatever you about a contest we were running on just took in. So don’t write about it our page. She won the contest and on your Facebook wall. If you do, purchased a car because of a fan that you are guaranteed to fail. lived half way across the country You need fans! Thousands upon from our store. thousands of fans! You need all the Sanjay, who lives in Marlboro, MA fans you can get. The best part is has always bought Hondas from a that it doesn’t even matter where the dealer in Framingham, MA. But his fans are, just that they like you and brother, Sandeep, who lives in India, visit your page regularly. I know you is a fan of Marlboro Nissan’s page. want to know why an out-of-market He told his brother about how much Facebook ‘like’ is valuable. We’ll fun our page was and that he should get to that in a minute. Do a little

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CAR-RESEARCH XRM...Handing You The Key To Your Dealership’s Success

Visit us at Booth 4285N at NADA 2011. CAR-RESEARCH XRM offers over 50 applications that are bundled into six solutions and services:

Finally, An Integrated Single-Source Solution That Exceeds Traditional CRM’s CAR-RESEARCH XRM is a Total Lifecycle Management Solution that gives you the ability to touch customers anytime and anywhere, using any communication technology in a single easy-to-use platform. Our solution hands you the key to your dealership’s success while eliminating the need for numerous vendors.

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like our page. He did and is now a regular contributor to the page. Turns out that Sanjay lives right behind the Home Depot that is directly across the street from Marlboro Nissan, but had never considered Nissans until he found our page, read our blog, and discovered that the Nissan Altima had been rated #1 by consumer reports for the last 2 years. I could write ten pages of similar stories and those are just the ones we know of. The point here is that influencers can live around the corner or on the other side of the world. If they want to make the conscious choice to get involved with your brand, welcome and reward them, regardless of their location.

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Bring it all together By now you should be putting the pieces together. Consider the power you have to market (for free) your brand with these tools: You write a blog post about a new product. You bookmark that post on Digg, Delicious, and StumbleUpon. You let your Facebook fans know that you just wrote a new blog. That post automatically gets submitted to your Twitter account... In Marlboro Nissan’s case that post could reach 1.8 million Facebook users, 20 million Twitter users, 12 million Stumblers, countless Digg and Delicious users, the 2-3 thousand monthly blog readers... the list goes on. All from just one post! Now do that 7 days a week. That is digital marketing domination and that is how to use Social Media in your dealership.

To discuss this article and to view comments by others, please visit DrivingSales.com/innovation ______________________________ Timothy Martell is a 19 year veteran of the automotive industry and the Digital Marketing Director for the Albrecht Auto Group As a thought leader in all facets of online marketing, Timothy has succeeded time and again at identifying game changing trends and applying strategies to maximize ROI for his stores. Success with SEO and Social Media has lead to the creation of Tim’s own digital marketing company, Wikimotive.

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Dennis Galbraith Revenue-Guru.com Owner

Selling at Every Interactive Touchpoint by Dennis Galbraith

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early 20% of the used vehicles listed for Today, much of the sales process begins online. sale online have no photos. Most vehicles Consumers bounce back and forth across various have no video demonstration, and many automotive sites, and then contact the store by phone, have vehicle descriptions that are noth- email, chat, or walking in. Most sales are closed and ing more than a list delivered at the store, although of features. Fewer than one in four there are experiments with home or “The thing holding office sales and delivery. used vehicles for sale online are well merchandised, and very few give any many sales people back Through the Listening, Matchindication of why a shopper should and the beginning of the choose to buy from that store. In is the inability to accept Making, Demonstration process, this looks talking to dealers across the counthat every interactive a lot like the path shoppers take try, the most common explanation when shopping for other prodfor not dedicating more resources touchpoint human or ucts online. Shoppers learn how to to online content generation is that online from ecommerce sites, selling takes priority over advertistechnological - is part of shop like Amazon.com and BestBuy. ing. Understanding that these are com, which they use more frethe sales process.” sales activities will help your team quently than they buy cars. All consistently put its efforts into the major ecommerce sites use Search activities that best sell cars. Results Pages (SRPs) and Details Pages. They operate much the same way as auto dealer sites and listings sites, like AutoTrader.com and Cars.com. Ecommerce sites most certainly sell, many billions of dollars worth, in a manner that involves no direct human contact. All the interactions occur with websites. In the auto business, the shopper can’t or shouldn’t complete the shopping process without human interaction. Nonetheless, the online interactive touch points are a vital part of the sales process. Most shoppers never interact with humans at the dealership until they engage information about the store or its inventory online. The thing holding many managers and sales people back is the inability to accept every interactive touch point – human or technological – as part of the sales process. Advertising is shouting. Selling is listening and The Internet did not change what selling is, but it radi- responding. Websites have ears; they listen to shoppers cally changed where the sales process takes place. When and respond to their clicks. The sales messages you send I began selling cars in 1979, the sales process took in response to those clicks are pre-determined, but they place entirely at the store. We listened to the shopper, are part of the sales process nonetheless. Photos, videos, matched them up with the right product, demonstrated and text about your vehicles and your store are not the product, closed the deal, and delivered it. Better produced for advertising; they are for selling. You don’t sales people than me kept file cards on their customers have to shove your vehicle information down shopper’s throats – they ask to see it. When they do, it needs to and kept in touch with them.

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sell the vehicle well enough to get the shopper to contact the store.

emails, and chats are produced by your website is important. The conversion ratio – total store contacts The concept that selling occurs at divided by the number of site visievery interactive touch point deliv- tors – is a key performance metric. ers multiple impacts on auto dealer However, the amount of walk-in marketing: traffic generated by your website may 1. The interaction between the be more than all the phone calls, shopper and your website is emails, and chats combined. selling. Your site should be Shortcuts, like avatars designed to designed to maximize the shop- increase the number of traceable per’s preference for your inven- leads, may have negative consequenctory and your store. es. If your website pushes people who

It’s Like a 20 GROUP for

THOUSANDS!

VendorRatings

2. The interaction between the were going to walk into the store to shopper andVendor your inventory 6 Why Ratings on first perform a traceable act, then listings sites like Cars.com and your conversion metric is improved, 7 Dealership Websites AutoTrader.com is selling. You but your sales are not. The objective 8 3rd PartyaLeads pay to receive high number of the website is to maximize the totalServices amount of store traffic with of Search Results Pages (SRPs)Listing 8 Online Classifieds/Vehicle and Vehicle Details Pages the highest percentage of ready-to10 Customer Systems (CRM) Lead metrics buy shoppers possible. (VDPs). WhetherRelationship or not thoseManagement indicate some of the quantity of store VDPs10 convert into Management phone calls, Systems Dealership (DMS) emails, chats, and walk-ins traffic, but with no accounting for 11 Internet Lead Management (ILM) depends on how you sell the quality. If your website does every12on Inventory PricingSeller’s thing it can to meet the information vehicle those sites. notes,12 photos, and videos are needs Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your shoppers, then more of for maximizing preference for them will approach your store with a more ready-to-buy disposition. the vehicle and your store.

BestPractices

3. The background and quality of your photos can say as much about your store as they do the To discuss this article and to view featured vehicle. Is your store 14 Narrowing the Great Digital Divide comments by others, please visit more like Nordstrom or The DrivingSales.com/innovation The Proper Model for Advanced Dealership Marketing Dollar18 Store?

22 Six thatvidwill Transform the Retail Automotive Market ______________________________ 4. The tone of Technologies voice in your eos can greatMedia deal about 23say Newa Social Strategy Transforms Dick Hannah Honda your store, especially to the 26 Why Velocity Management Dennis Galbraith is the author 25% of shoppers who are priof Sales Integration and owner of Link Building Tips marily28 auditory learners. RevenueGuru.com. Through the 1990’s

30notes Selection, Hiring Orientationheforowned your Dennis InternetGalbraith Department Marketing 5. Seller’s cannot be a and rehash Services and taught marketing at the of vehicle features. They Department must 34 Why your Service isgraduate Costing you Car Deals and undergraduate level. He sell the benefits of your vehicles ranMy! the automotive internet division of 36 Microsites, Blogs, Social Media, Oh and explain why your store is J.D. Power and Associates until 2006, 39 Winning the right place to Online buy. then managed over $300,000,000 in advertising 40 Social Media Marketing: a party not a pinch products as Cars.com›s 6. The reputation of your store Vice President of Advertising Products online37can foster or Points: diminish Seven Process Your Store Must Execute and Training. Dennis is widely known preference for your store. for his passionate speeches and video. 44 ISM Pay Plans He now works nationally delivering 46 Internet Departments are on the marketing, Decline consulting, and analytical

Don’t underestimate the results. Knowing how many phone calls,

Vendor Ratings Dealer Discussions Expert Blogs “How to” Videos Strategy Sharing Peer Networking

GET CONNECTED

DrivingSales.com

2009

services to dealers and vendors.

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Eric Miltsch Internet Director Auction Direct USA

Five Must-Have Digital Categories That Will Change Significantly for Dealers in 2011 by Eric Miltsch

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hat an incredible year. Technology improvements, significant search adjustments and a deluge of progressive marketing concepts have helped remove the late adopter label for a large portion of the retail automotive community.

will grow stronger as their own social influence (Klout score) rank drives the position of this content to users. More consolidation between search and review sites will happen, creating greater utility under one roof vs. the scattered fragments of sites that currently provide these services. Imagine a search result page functioning more like a cross between Facebook fan pages, Google Place The tide is turning faster than ever. New strategies Pages and Shopkick. embraced within the retail segment are helping improve the car buying process and consumer experience. Consumer benefit: Access to accurate, fast, and relevant Dealers are becoming more pro-active; they’re listening product and service reviews; retail shopping experiences and making a true difference. Dealers are well posi- become easier, enjoyable, and more profitable. tioned for the anticipated retail recovery and consumers will continue to benefit. After all the advances, it’s time to look ahead. 2011 Deep Localization is sure to deliver a fresh buffet of new strategies and technology solutions. Here are a few favorite items that I’m banking on to help consumers and dealers. Plus, a couple of them are pretty cool as well.

The importance of Google Place Pages will move beyond just its placement among the organic results. Greater functionality within the pages, additional rich content and, of course, the integration/inclusion of locationbased services will push the real-time needle further. The nearly instant validation of the location-based Search. Still Supreme. social experience became evident with Foursquare’s image and comment update. Note the buzz surroundSearch strategies will always be a top priority. This seg- ing the other picture-sharing applications: Instagram ment, however, continues to zig and zag faster than a and Picplz made a quick rush to integrate with the leadfirst-time Dodge Viper driver on wet pavement. Traders ers. Look for consolidation within this segment later in on Wall St. say the best time to sell your stock is when the third and fourth quarters of 2011. a taxi driver tells you to buy it. More people than ever know how to use Google’s search playbook. Google Google Place Pages, Facebook Deals, Groupon, knows this and they’re responding. Initial responses LivingSocial, Foursquare and Gowalla will continue include the organic page layout changes, Google Places to attract millions of new users. Early and experienced priority placement, Google instant and instant pre- users will continue to experiment with niche platforms views. Other early changes included items such as the such as CarZar, Foodspotting, GetGlue, Philo, Tri-Out possible death of Page Rank due to the lack of index and Untapped - each contributing never-before-seen updates in the second half of 2010. Look for greater branding and marketing opportunities among their emphasis on design and usability to help improve the respective market segments. consumer experience and dealer conversion. Consumer benefit: Rich content will find us faster, rather than us just searching for text, based on the location and tags within our social profiles; greater efficiency and more Real-time Recommendations and Reviews enjoyable consumption methods. Google and Bing are already experimenting with realtime recommendation algorithms. The consumer voice 30

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Server Speed. Significantly More. Keep an eye out for more focus on site speed. Google and others finally say they’re paying attention to this factor – time for us to do so as well. The real-time expectation applies to page content too. Google is going to spoil consumers with instant suggestions, instant previews, real-time social results - users will expect the website to behave in the same manner. Part of their solution is a server module (called mod_pagespeed) which checks various speed levels, optimizes client-server roundtrips, and even optimizes caching. Bottom line: content will appear even faster for consumers. Several resources can help monitor and improve your own site’s performance: • Googler Page Speed • YSlow • Gomez • Load Impact • Pingdom Consumer benefit: Online guests will find exactly what they want faster. Don’t bring a 10 year-old, four-cylinder engine to the race. You’ll lose. Social Mobility This is a double-whammy; combine the sophistication of the social user with the increasing size of the mobile smart phone segment. Estimates continue to expect the mobile market to surpass the desktop market within five years. • Over 200 million active users access Facebook through their mobile devices. • Mobile Facebook users are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users.

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• More than 200 mobile opera- encers your business needs to connect tors in 60 countries are work- with and get to keep coming back. ing to deploy and promote The earliest adopters will greatly Facebook mobile products. increase their ability to connect and • Mobile users may help drive engage consumers at points on the overall usage based on their buying spectrum that have never ability to influence their social been captured. sphere. Consumer benefit: Consumers combining the best features to create a real-time, geo-targeted socially mobile When comparing feature phone experience. Finding, purchasing, and usage vs. smart phone usage, users interacting how they prefer - not how were twice as likely to engage with brands determine. shopping/retail category applications. Additional consideration must Forward-thinking dealers who were be given to mobile’s cousin, the fortunate enough to create strong tablet revolution. More than a dozen content destination sites, develop tablets will have been reviewed at this effective social spheres, and cultivate year’s Consumer Electronics Show firm search engine foundations are and may even be available by the positioned for an incredible 2011. time you read this - all designed to Dealers still contemplating the validconnect more data, improve acces- ity of an integrated digital scope consibility and change consumer experi- sisting of search, location, social and ences. back-end technology are exposing themselves for competitive defeat. Intelligently designed tablet application development will produce revo- Here’s to a successful 2011. Now go lutionary consumer experiences in the play with this stuff and make great same vein as magazine readers such things. as Pulse and Flipboard. Automotive shopping sites will begin to identify The customers will love it. efficient methods of researching realtime retail and wholesale inventory, selecting more specific items and To discuss this article and to view eventually eCommerce solutions. 82% of U.S adults are active cell phone users and 43% have access to apps – two-thirds on smart phones. This equates to an app access-rate of about 35% of the entire population, with a lower use-rate at two thirds this number, or about 25% overall. While it may seem funny that only two thirds of smart phone users actually use any applications at all, this is a significant number of people who are changing the way that they engage with mobile technology. 65% of mobile shoppers were influenced by the reviews they read on their phones. These are also the influ-

comments by others, please visit DrivingSales.com/innovation

______________________________ Eric Miltsch creates and manages the successful online experiences for Auction Direct USA; one of the fastest growing dealer groups in the country and named the #1 Independent Retailer in the US for 2010, by Auto Dealer Monthly & AutoTrader.com. Eric is also Co-creator of CarZar, the 1st location-based, social automotive app. He lives in upstate NY with wife and two boys.

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Brian Pasch PCG Digital Marketing Founder and CEO

Dealer Principals Need To Inspect Their Digital Investments by Brian Pasch

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et’s face it; the automotive industry is the data that dealers should be reviewing each month experiencing a dramatic shift in how deal- that pertained to their most important digital marketers communicate and advertise their busi- ing asset: their website. ness to consumers. Dealer principals can It was surprising that although inspect and hold their dealers say they want more leads staff accountable for almost every “A wide gap exists from the Internet, most had never dealership operation and investinspected their website traffic. ment -- except one. between the haves and the None of the dealers in the room A wide gap exists between the haves ever A/B tested different webhave-nots when it comes had and the have-nots when it comes site page designs to increase traffic, to the education dealers need to leads, or time on site. All lacked to dealer education...” keep up with the latest trends in the confidence to understand the digital marketing and social media. powerful marketing data provide Dealers have not leveraged the available educational by Google Analytics. opportunities to improve their knowledge, vocabulary, and to create processes that they understand and can I also presented a spreadsheet, which outlined how inspect. They just don’t know enough to ask the right to measure and track their Internet Reputation questions or to outline a workflow process for digital Management (IRM) processes. The spreadsheet outlined the importance of consumer reviews and where to marketing and social media. look for the positive and negative commentary that is As a result, dealers have delegated their Internet posted online about their dealership. Marketing and Social Media engagement with little ability to review, inspect, or mentor this area of respon- I asked their eCommerce Directors to commit to have sibility. For some dealers their excuse is that they didn’t these Excel reports on the Dealer Principal’s desk each grow up with the Internet. For others, their excuse is month. They agreed. that Google and Social Media is changing too fast. In the workshop, we reviewed how to read these It is time to call for a full ban on Dealer Principals mak- spreadsheets and analyze the data. By the end of the ing excuses for their inability to inspect the significant workshop, there was a measurable mood lift in the audiinvestments of their digital marketing and social media ence. These spreadsheets provided a bridge for dealers efforts. Dealers need to lead their store in all areas of to understand, measure, and inspect various aspects of their digital marketing and social media investments operations. without being an expert. If dealers plan to flourish in the years ahead, they better be able to add their years of experience to the new com- All dealers acknowledge the importance of these new munication channels that are emerging. Dealers cannot reports. All committed to holding their internal staff afford to be held captive by vendors or employees who and vendors accountable for measured growth and leverage their knowledge against the dealer to protect improvement in the data summarized each month. This group of dealers took a major step in engaging with their jobs. their digital marketing efforts, which will enable them I recently conducted a series of seminars for a Chevrolet 20 Group in Dallas and, as part of this workshop, I presented a series of Excel spreadsheets to dealers and their eCommerce Directors. These spreadsheets summarized (Continued on page 43)

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Denim Simkins Fixed Ops Expert

Does Hours-per-Repair Order Indicate Health in Your Fixed Operations? by Denim Simkins

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e know how to run the report, and we even know where our hours-perrepair order metrics should be, but does a high hour-per-repair-order (hours-per-RO) indicate a healthy service and parts operation? I recently traveled to a dealership and, before I could set my bag down, a dealer came to me with a gleaming grin. “Look, the tools that you have given our store have really helped our hours-per-RO,” he said. I quickly responded with “well, that is why I’m here. I wish I could take credit for that, but I have been looking at your numbers and, yes, your team’s hours-per-RO have reached the goal, but they have done it the wrong way.” Immediately, I received the “I’m confused” look from the dealer and he responded with, “I get this report every day and today the numbers were circled because he achieved the goal.” The truth of the matter is that they did achieve the goal; however, selling additional service items did not do it. An investigation of the numbers revealed a lot of major mechanical repairs. The weather had turned cold in this area, apparently causing a large percentage of transmission and axle failures along with major diesel repairs - “repairs” being the key word here. Major mechanical repairs are a significant portion (although on the decline) of a dealership’s business, and a critical one at that. So we need to do a great job making sure the repair work is fixed right the first time. Typically, however, a dealership is going to see this business anyway, because the dealership is the professional in this category of labor work.

“The bottom line: a high hours-per-RO does not determine health in the store.” vice or the transmission service, and these items usually keep a retail profit margin. All the “competitive” items are listed on your price board in the service drive, such as lube oil and filters, tire rotations, alignments, etc. These items typically are priced very competitively and have a low profit margin. So, getting back to my dealer. He didn’t realize that all RO hours are not created equal. I showed him that repair labor hours that come in the door are infrequent and typically the customer blames the dealership for the repair that needs to be done. Then I showed him that the competitive labor hours sold have a very low gross profit margin. Naturally, he drew the conclusion “we need to sell more maintenance labor hours.” “Now we’re cooking with gas,” I said.

The bottom line: a high hours-per-RO does not determine health in your store. When I come across a store with an extremely high hours-per-repair order, I can usually tell the manager is only focused in on hoursper-RO, that the store is performing very few add on maintenance items, and that their customers are not regular loyal customers. The customers simply use the So, to determine “how” hours-per-RO come about, it dealer because they have to, and the advisors are only is important to dig into the numbers. The first thing good at selling what is needed for repair. to look at is a sample of about 100 to 150 customer pay repair orders. Look for what type of repair was It goes something like this: I review an RO on a high completed. Was it a repair labor hour? Was it a main- mileage, older model truck that js in for an ABS light tenance labor hour? Or was it a competitive labor item? “Repairs” are items such as alternators, 4x4 repair, and transmissions. “Maintenance” items are typically the items we instruct our advisors to sell in the service drive, (Continued on page 43) such as mileage-based services like the 30,000-mile ser34

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The Psychology of Social Media Marketing

Arnold Tijerina Director of Community and Dealer Services DrivingSales.com

by Arnold Tijerina

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any dealers are still just beginning to venture into the social media space. There are many platforms to choose from nowadays but two or three stand out from the crowd due to sheer volume of users. Simply existing in the social media stratosphere is not enough. In fact, doing it wrong can actually hurt your dealership. The goal of any social media marketing campaign should be to engage your customers. In addition to that, you should want to see your social media marketing efforts not only embraced by your customers but also shared by them. Getting your customers to share your marketing with their friends is invaluable. We all know that word-of-mouth advertising and creating that evangelist for your product is gold. People won’t always trust you, but they will trust their friends. Engagement and content sharing benefits you in other ways as well. Search engines are increasingly paying attention to not only what’s being said, but who’s saying it. Google is analyzing ways in which to place a “value” on the person sharing and integrating that into their algorithms. The more engagement and external sharing that takes place, the more relevance that social media sites (and search engines) are placing on that content.

there’s a financial benefit involved. When you have contests, they’re self-motivated because they want to “win”. When they see funny content (no matter who provides it), people like to laugh and want their friends to laugh with them. If you have the best service, they’ll share because their friends will be grateful and an obligation will be created. When they drive around in the car they bought from you with your dealership’s license plate frame, they’re sharing because you’ve forced them to. These are only some of the reasons people share. Creating powerful content – whether it’s 140 characters on Twitter, posting a funny YouTube video, or writing a ½ page blog article – becomes a little easier when you can identify WHY people share. None of this is foolproof and every dealership, just like every business, has their own personality, as do their fans and followers. Discovering your personality is the first step, and the easiest. Discovering your fans’ is the most difficult.

Post content that you would want to see. You are a consumer also. Mix up the “type” of content you send into the world and see what responses and engagement you get. Pay attention and you’ll start seeing trends. Almost every social media service offers metrics for you to gauge what content is effective and what content is not. Once you can identify the types of content your audience engages you with and/or shares with others cater to that. Don’t give them the content YOU want, give them the Viral marketing is not easy and there is no magic for- content THEY want. mula to achieve it but companies would kill for it. I’m sure there are many people trying to figure out how to As tempting as it may be to tell everyone about this achieve this because, if they can, they might as well start week’s ad cars that you don’t want to sell to them anyprinting money. ways, don’t do it. Posting your inventory to Twitter or on your Facebook page is asking people to ignore What motivates people to not only engage with you you. Look at the messages you’ve been sending. Does it but share your content? People share and engage for sound like a broken record? (Buy a car. Buy a car. Buy many reasons. Passing along a coupon or promotion to a car.) their friends who use it and benefit from it makes them feel good and generous. Letting their friends know that Discovering and playing to people’s motivations works. a recall exists on their vehicle makes them useful and You do it every weekend when you give spiffs to your feel smart. Your “raving fans” want to help you succeed. Your customers will share your message because you asked them to, and many people find saying “No” (Continued on page 43) difficult. When you offer them an incentive for referrals, www.DrivingSales.com

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Two Decades of CSI

But the Future Belongs to Online Reputation Managment by Bethany Johnson I) From CSI to Online Reviews:

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Bethany Johnson Internet Manager RBM of Atlanta - North

Randy Powell GM RBM of Atlanta - North

he CSI Era kicked in during the 1980s, now intensely public across the review sites and search when consumers were used to being man- engines, providing an instant, transparent, online winhandled at dealerships. Its rise is attributed dow into how dealers actually treat their sales and serto the new competivice customers. tion that arose when are online reviews and the Hondas and Toyotas entered “While a CSI focus never So, Reputation Management “the new the US market, making satisfying moved cars for us, our CSI”? They function differently customers more critical to OEMs enough not to be literally equated. and sales success. So began two Reputation Management CSI formally gauges (through set decades of OEMs surveying cusa set universe of dealer tomers to calculate the Customer campaign has had questions) customers, whereas, with online Satisfaction Index, and then divreviews, customers sound off about amazing results.” vying out the carrots and sticks: if, when, and what they want. CSI whether inventory allocation, the has been an OEM tool, while the green light to expand, bigger holdfocus on a positive online dealer review presence has back payments, bonuses, etc. (thus far) been exclusively a dealership initiative. With much at stake, CSI brought decades of dealer manipulation: from free fill-ups when a customer The massive difference: impact. The sheer reach and brought back the old paper surveys for the dealer to impact of online reviews on a dealership’s business mail (guaranteeing positive results), altering unhappy means the emphasis is shifting (and should shift) to customers’ contact info so they can’t be reached, send- online review monitoring and management. You can ing gifts as bribes for positive surveys, etc. (although, feel the CSI Era being diminished; this was quite literrecently, OEMs have been trying to prevent the system- ally evident to us back in January 2010 when Mercedesgaming; we’ve heard Nissan dealers aren’t even allowing Benz ended their dealership CSI incentives. And you dealers to tell people someone will be contacting them). can feel CSI-like mechanisms moving online and in a consumer-facing direction: i.e., Edmunds recently CSI has been an important tool for OEMs, though announced they will unveil a new dealer rating system often a headache for dealers. But the fact is, because it’s based on consumer surveys, aiming to get at more essentially a private, backdoor conversation between the relevant info (than the CSI surveys) about a buyer’s two, it doesn’t help dealers that satisfy customers (…or dealership and online shopping experience. OEMs) to actually sell cars. When has a customer ever marched in and said, “May I please review your CSI scores?” And when you present your evidence manual, II) Our Online Reputation Management Process: when has it ever impressed your customers as a valuable, authentic source? Yet, back in the pre-digital day, The Online Reputation Management (ORM) processes simple “thank-you” cards from real customers had some we’ve put in place at out store underscore aspects of the shifting CSI/ORM equation for us. Elsewhere (in case impact, if miniscule visibility. studies) we’ve explained the unique, initially quite terWe, of course, now live in the Internet Age with online rifying, story of our dealership: how we were a brandreview and social media platforms exploding. The new Mercedes store that opened doors the exact month breed of feedback that CSI was designed to capture is the recession kicked in, and how we came out of the

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gate with an 85% digital plan that was intensely focused on getting us “found online.” By early 2009, we digested the extraordinary impact that online reviews were having on our potential customers and their major competitive opportunity, given the often glaring disconnect between the good customer service Mercedes dealers provide, and their less positive online reputations. So, we undertook (with our partner, eXtéresAUTO), a systematic review monitoring, gathering and management process, which distinctly migrated the focus (and internal incentives) from CSI to ORM. What We Did/Do: • As GM and ISM, we firmly laid down the law. Everyone in the store knew we were serious about this review campaign. • Sales/service team incentives neatly reflected the new priorities: we simply replaced CSI survey bonuses with rewards-per-positive review.

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• Implemented eXtéresAUTO’s back-office tool that tracks online reviews/posts about our dealership daily (at review, complaint, and social media sites), so we could immediately respond to unhappy customers. • Top management personally calls to make it right, following up via email (linking to sites where posts were made, making it easy for customers to retract/ post new reviews). • For each positive CSI survey, we follow up politely requesting a review. For every visibly/verbally satisfied customer (sold or unsold) we ask for a review, following up via email templates. CSI surveys are an important springboard in our Reputation Management. • Email templates are customized for sales and service, making it easy for customer to post, by including links to several review sites. • Templates are loaded on EVERY sales/service reps’ computer and can be customized and deployed to a customer in 3 clicks. (Template comes from DrivingSales DEALERSHIP INNOVATION GUIDE | J A N 2 0 11

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sales/service person who the customer built rapport with.) • Rotate review site links to target certain sites/saturate reviews across all sites, so our positive reviews blanket firstpage search results. • Target sites with in-market car shoppers and traction with our local searchers: Google Places, Yahoo Local, Edmunds, Insider Pages, Kudzu (for us), etc. • Establish online pages for each salesperson to showcase their reviews (we use DealerRater), and train them to use positive reviews to convert prospects. • Include reviews in all outgoing email signatures, at website, and in marketing. • Insist everybody focus on great customer service. Identify anyone that is less than happy before they leave the dealership – by asking. We don’t get or aim for all 5-star reviews, and don’t think online researchers believe that anyway. While we’re shaping our online reputation by encouraging happy customers to post, we’re also educating those customers that the best place to provide feedback is online, where they’re helping so many other people understand their experience. That process counterbalances the traditional online realities: only the very upset or very digitally savvy post reviews. We don’t try to remove negative reviews, we don’t “load anyone’s lips” or suggest what to post, we don’t reward customers, etc. We adhere to an authentic process, simply asking our real customers to share their thoughts online, from the anonymity of their home.

While a CSI focus never moved cars for us, our Reputation Management campaign has had amazing results, too diverse to fully detail here. It’s become a serious (ever-growing)

Review-driven customers close 15 points higher than any other leads

More than one-third of our reviewgenerated customers ask for the salesperson (who they read about online) sales and service driver (with a major by name impact on calls, leads, walk-ins and closing ratios); it’s transforming our store “culture,” with everyone focused IV) The New Google Places: on customer service. We “funded the party” (incentivizing staff to generate As most dealers know, in late October happy customers/positive reviews), Google Places rolled out a major and, like a feedback loop, salespeople change in the way local search results are more focused on pleasing cus- are displayed. The most profound tomers – which generates more posi- change? A business’ online reviews tive online feedback – which leads to are now exploded all over first-page more conquest, word-of-mouth and results. Not only is a business’ total repeat business. Our positive review number of reviews and overall rating presence is a key reason we’re gaining prominently presented at the live market share, and a key reason we “Place Page” link, but links to individual websites a company has been survived and are thriving. reviewed at are prominent. Gone are the days when consumers had to Key Results from Online Reputation go to individual review sites to hunt down what others were saying… Management: your aggregated “online reputation” Major factor in our increasing mar- is intensely visible right on the first ket share over establishing our four, page. well-established competitors Our past and present hard work Jumped from 13 reviews, to 220-plus on the review front has been given with a near-5-star rating exponentially more visibility and power in this layout. With common 1000%-plus growth in review-site searches like “Mercedes - dealerships generated calls

III) The Effect of Our Campaign:

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If the purpose of CSI was to create a mechanism for OEMs to gauge how dealers were treating customers, online review monitoring can do that, but Online Reputation Management DOES A WHOLE LOT MORE: dramatically improving sales, customer retention, employee engagement/retention, closing rates and the whole “brand” experience. ORM is not precisely “the new CSI,” but given our online present and future, it’s even more important.

– Atlanta,” we visually “fly out” as the dealership with the best online reputation, while our competitors’ complacency is equally accentuated. Google Places pushes searchers to a business’ Place Page, and makes the grabbing of phone numbers that much easier. So with our great display and our 220-plus near-5-star reviews (vs. our competitors’ much smaller volume of reviews averaging 2.5/3.5), it makes sense searchers would try us…and give us the call. While we only have one month of tracked data at writing, that’s how it’s playing out. We’ve seen a near-instantaneous 35% increase in phone calls from our 800 numbers at Google and the review sites since Google Places. The huge new visibility of reviews at Google is just another reason for dealerships to prioritize Online Reputation Management, and it makes the CSI-Online Review visibility and impact disconnect that much more glaring.

are shifting their focus (smartly, given the sales impact) to Reputation Management. But negative dealership reputations impact an OEM’s brand and sales success every bit as much. Consider a luxury make like ours: Mercedes-Benz spends many millions to market/carefully craft that 5-star brand image, but our research shows Mercedes shoppers too often find dealerships with a handful of reviews with 2.5 star ratings and too many jarring negative reviews that dramatically disrupt any seamless, positive brand experience.

We think automakers should, and in the future will, get more involved in dealership Online Reputation Management. For one, a company like eXtéresAUTO could monitor an entire dealer body’s online reviews/ social media posts, so OEMs could have a comparative, online window into national/regional/zone dealership reviews (even drilling down to individual reviews across the Web), to measure candid, real feedback from their customers. And OEMs could put in place incentives (with V) CSI, ORM, OEMs and the some of the money they spend on Future: the dozens of companies they hire While online reviews and CSI mea- to compile CSI surveys) to support sure, in essence, quite similar things, dealers in embracing the tools and OEMs have been narrowly focused training that would improve their on CSI, while dealerships like ours shared online brands.

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To discuss this article and to view comments by others, please visit DrivingSales.com/innovation ______________________________ Randy Powell is GM of RBM of AtlantaNorth and serves on MBUSA’s Regional Dealer Advisory Board. He began his career as an apprentice mechanic in 1976 when he realized he could get paid to do what remains his passion fix cars. Since 1977, he has worked for Mercedes-Benz dealerships in many technical and management positions, including shop foreman, Fixed Operations Manager and GM. Randy holds BIS and MSM degrees from the University of South Florida, as well as several automotive certifications.    As Internet Sales Manager at RBM of Atlanta-North, Bethany Johnson administers to the dealership’s everexpanding Internet sales clientele base. She combines an eleven-year automotive background with an MBA from Mercer University, and has been named “Top Producer in North American Internet Sales” for VW, as well as “Salesperson of the Year” at Porsche in 2006. An Atlanta native, she resides in Suwannee, GA with her husband and son, and in her spare time, enjoys the outdoors, horseback and bike riding, and spending time with her family.

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TJ Houghton Corporate Director McNatt Auto Group

“I feel your pain.” The Importance of Service Marketing on the Dealer Website. by T.J. Houghton It started simple enough...

“Toyota Service (insert your competitors town)” you can show up and draw web traffic. And depending on et some service and parts specials posted what your customer finds when they get to your site, on our new website. Nothing too com- can and will schedule an appointment online on the plicated. Just offer something to our web spot! You know the kind of stuff you like when you customers that may help them choose us surf for something. Ease of use, information that’s easy for service or parts. It turned out to be to find, deals... anything but SIMPLE. I will explain later, but now that our specials/coupons are complete, the service and parts pages are our second most visited pages on our website excluding the home page. I know our customers are Parts and Service Managers not even looking at our reading our site because we now receive online appoint- own website! ments where they actually request the coupon special. I learned a new term the other day from a good factory friend of mine when she and I were discussing web marketing ideas: Repurposing. It’s a nice word, I want you to know that I do feel your pain. and a very polite way of saying I stole something from another website and now I’m using it. It came up when If you are a Dealer or GM and you think your website is I was showing her some coupons on my website that I a monthly expense created personally by Al Gore when found on another dealer’s website. I noticed the URL he invented the Internet, you probably aren’t going to for the coupons had the dealer number in it and copied get much out of this. You probably leave it up to other the URL and replaced their dealer number with ours people in your store to keep up with it and your idea of and BAM!, instant dealer personalized coupons. I was marketing your website is to post your commercial on able to do the same thing with incentives too. I had the home page. said something like, “I’ve still got my internet training wheels on, but I’m getting there.” She said that she thought we were miles ahead of the norm and she was If you dig in, you’ll be the better for it. still just trying to get service managers to put specials on Don’t be a dinosaur! You remember what happened to the website. I decided to put that to the test. T-Rex, right? It wasn’t too long ago any good Dealer/ A week later, I went to our parts and service managers GM had to be a traditional marketing expert. It was all and asked them for input on marketing ideas for their about reach and frequency. And, oh yeah, make sure departments. A couple of hours later the parts manto put your web address on all of your ads. That’s not ager came be-boppin’ into my office with a print out enough anymore. If you think that this may be you, it’s from another dealers website with some coupons that past time to learn something new. If you dig in, you’ll were identical to the ones that I had “Repurposed “ and be the better for it, but sadly you will then no doubt were currently listed on our site! I really wanted to kill find that your people know less about your website than them, but I didn’t. I said thank you for bringing me you. That’s some of that pain I was telling you about. stuff that we already had on our website. I asked him if Did you know that approximately 90% of your cus- they had even looked at our site and the response was a tomers go to the web before they visit your brick and sad “NO.” I wanted to build on what we had. I wanted mortar? Loosely connecting the dots I figure a guy can to get feedback and input on how we could grow and build a website in such a way that when a customer what was working on our own site and what we could Google’s: “Toyota Service (insert your town)” or even try to make it better! And I have guys that are so busy playing solitaire on their PC they can’t even look at our

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own site. It’s my own fault; I should have done a better job of leading. I let a little time pass and I decided to climb back on the horse and try again. Back to the parts guy I go… “Hey buddy, have any ideas for specials I can put up for you on the website?” I said, with a big ol’ grin. He said that he would think about it and get back with me. When he came by my office to let me know about his specials, he made sure that I knew that he had gone to our own website first to see what was there. He said that he wanted to “think outside of the box this time.” You know what I got? Beam style wiper blades for an Avalon for $37.38. “Frank,” (his name is Frank and has not been changed to protect the innocent) “tell me what a beam style wiper blade is?” He replied, “It’s the oldest part that I have.” I really really wanted to kill him again, but I remembered when I first started fooling with the web and I thought marketing our site was just putting our commercial on our home page and making sure the URL was on all of our traditional advertising. I took a deep breath and decided that maybe this would be a better time to teach and lead. (I told you, I FEEL YOUR PAIN.)

drive. Maybe there was something we could do that would appeal to more of our customers. I asked other than the service department, who do you sell parts to? He said that we get a lot of do it yourself’ers. Then his eyes got big and as he was leaving he said that he needed to look something up and would be right back. On his return he brought me four do it yourself specials. Replacement wiper blades for all models, non synthetic oil change kit, synthetic oil change kit, air filters/cabin air filters for all models. Now we’re cooking! Your website provider should help you in your marketing efforts. Here is another possible pain point. You need a website provider that will help you do stuff like this so it looks good. I called my website and said that I was going to try and build coupons for parts and was in need of a little advice. What I got was “send me what you need and we will be happy to build them for you. We will build them on a template so you can change expiration dates, prices etc. Here are the links if you would like to take a look.” http://www.jimmcnatttoyota.com/ parts/parts-mcspecials-and-coupons/

I told him thanks and I wondered how many Avalon’s come across the http://www.jimmcnatttoyota.com/ deals/service-mcspecials/

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We have five different franchises and we are putting coupons up for all of them! I called my website provider and let them know of our success and that I wanted to do it for everyone. I said, this one falls under the NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED axiom. They really don’t mind and I feel like I have a real partner when it comes to our sites. It’s a learning process and I still have my training wheels on. Now my parts manager has training wheels too and that is nice. :)

To discuss this article and to view comments by others, please visit DrivingSales.com/innovation ______________________________ My name is T.J. Houghton and I am the Corporate Director at Jim McNatt Auto Group headquartered in Denton, TX.  I began my career in the car business in August 1991. I worked my way up from sales person to business manager, to general sales manager and then to general manager during my 14 year tenure at Leadership Ford in Dallas Texas. I began my career here with Jim McNatt in November 2005 as General Sales Manager and then Corporate Director in May of 2009

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Visit vauto at NaDa booth #800S

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percent increase in gross profit 2009 to 2010

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percent increase in CPO sales 2009 to 2010

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solution to master the market Brian Benstock and Paragon owner Edith Singer started using vAuto in 2007 and immediately saw positive results. But this year was their best yet. How’d they do it? “We moved beyond just managing our inventory, and started being more efficient, more empowered in negotiations and more visible to the market. Our record numbers are the result.” With vAuto, Brian and Edith are now Market Masters. You can become a Market

Master, too. Visit www.vAuto.com/bb or call 877-828-8614 to learn how.

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Dealer Principals Need To Inspect Their Digital Investments

Does Hours-per-Repair Order Indicate Health in Your Fixed Operations?

by Brian Pasch

by Denim Simkins (Continued from page 34)

to add their years of business experience to the mix.

and then also an oil change. It looks like the dealership was expert at fixing the ABS light, quickly did an oil change and then sent the car out the door. When looking for additional notes or advisements on the RO, I usually don’t see any. So, I look at the numbers to generate a metric I call ‘maintenance penetration’, designed to provide the service manager with an indication of overall health and the strength of the selling process. To do this, I take the number of maintenance services sold or performed divided by the number of customer pay RO’s, and generate a percentage.

Dealer Principals; make a commitment to personal education in 2011. When you do, knowledge will come and phrases like “That Internet”, “That Social Media”, and “That Website” will be removed from your vocabulary as you speak from a place of authority to your employees.

To discuss this article and to view comments by others, please visit DrivingSales.com/innovation ______________________________ Brian Pasch is a 20 year veteran of the direct marketing industry. His career has spanned both management and technology roles. He is known for his expertise in consumer data warehousing models as well as search engine optimization. In 2005, Pasch created PCG Digital Marketing (PCG). PCG’s fast growth has been attributed to their innovative Digital Marketing and SEO strategies. Brian Pasch is an avid writer and blogger and his commentary on SEO and Digital Marketing can be easily found on the Internet. www.DrivingSales.com

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by Arnold Tijerina (Continued from page 35)

(Continued from page 32)

Dealers and eCommerce Directors have to work closer together to achieve a common understanding of their advertising partners, vendors, and the tools that are at their disposal to grow their business in the years ahead. It all comes down to education. Investing in training for your dealership in 2011 could not come at a more important time.

The Psychology of Social Media Marketing

My recommendation to dealers is to take that percentage (whatever the number is) increase it by half, and make that the future goal. Once that is achieved, half it again and shoot for that. It’s a moving number because this is an area in our service business that needs so much improvement that we just need to keep working on making this our primary source of revenue in the service and parts department.

To discuss this article and to view comments by others, please visit DrivingSales.com/innovation ______________________________ Denim has been a fixed ops director for large multi store groups for over 10 years. Today he consults numerous dealerships on boosting fixed ops profitability. Denim lives in the Salt Lake City area with his wife and two children.

salespeople. Why not use that same psychology with your customers? The one thing I can guarantee you is that there is one thing that will almost always motivate your customers to share with their friends and as many people that will listen. That motivation is anger. Make them angry and you will see engagement. They may not be engaging with you, but they’ll sure be engaging ABOUT you. Give your customers the content they want and motivation to share and you’ll be well on your way to having a successful social media marketing campaign.

To discuss this article and to view comments by others, please visit DrivingSales.com/innovation ______________________________ Arnold Tijerina is the Director of Community and Dealer Services for DrivingSales and has over eight years’ experience in the automotive industry. As Internet Director for large multi-brand auto groups in Southern California he assisted one in being named one of the top eCRM dealers by AutoSuccess Magazine in 2008, has held sales training and promoted an industry-leading sales trainer, Grant Cardone, and been a Senior Account Rep for HomeNet Automotive. Arnold is an active and respected member of the online automotive community and known for his expertise in social media having handled social media marketing for some of our industry’s largest conferences and events.

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I am Art Vandelay.

Volker “V.J.” Jaeckel Internet Sales Director Jim Ellis Audi and Volkswagen of Marietta, GA

by Volker “V.J.” Jaeckel

“I

am Art Vandelay. I am an architect.” I am pretty sure that you are familiar with this quote by George Costanza introducing himself during a Seinfeld episode. I am here to say the same: “I am VJ, and I am an architect as well.”

structure onto stilts (similar to how Katrina victims now rebuild their homes)? For your Internet store, how stable is the terrain and existing foundation in terms of processes? How long are you covering a follow up? How well were adjustments made after the financial turmoil two years ago?

Even so, I am not wearing a blue hard-hat during my daily tasks at my dealerships, not sitting in front of a huge tilted drawing table with a ruler in the left hand and a pencil in my right, and I’m certainly not saying, “Did you see the new addition to the Guggenheim? Yep. And it didn’t take very long either.” – But still, I am an architect. I’ll show how creating and building a house is very similar to building a successful Dealer Internet Operation.

Utilities, Infrastructure, Materials – In what state are the utilities, infrastructure and materials available? Do you have to dig new sewer lines? Are you near the local school bus route? Is there a grocery store nearby? And for your Internet store: what are you working with? Do you have dedicated Internet sales people? BDC or is the Sales Manager passing out leads? Did we have a high turnover in the Internet dept?

This is really the messy groundwork you have to observe Let’s get started – you have been pre-approved for a and handle first. An attempt to just jump in and start loan to build a house or, in this case, you made the cut to “dig,” or, in your case, “do it,” usually lead to failure. during a job interview and have been asked to create a Let’s continue with our process to form a more vivid blueprint and Internet organization. How do you make picture. and follow a plan that will lead to a successful realization of this major task? Here are some of the steps you might want to consider. Design / Blueprint your home Similar to an architect deciding how many bedrooms and baths you want and where to locate your kitchen, Location for your new home you will need to figure out which approach you’ll take Climate – similar to figuring out if you want to build on SEM and how much money you want to spend, your home’s terrace with a Southern exposure (and get combined with the mix of organic search, 3rd party grilled in the summer months laying out to get a tan) leads, Social Media outlets, etc. or, more likely, a Southwestern exposure, you’ll need to find out what business climate, in regards to your How many rooms will your house have? Or… how direct competition in town, is awaiting you. What is many pages are at your main URL? Do you use the your competition already doing? Where are they in website provider’s suggested number count on pages or the search rankings? What website provider(s) are they do you plan additional pages (like I love to do)? Instead using? Are they more aggressive or passive in regards to of just having three categories on your new car page like monthly specials, 3rd party leads and offline marketing? “new car inventory,” “new car sales staff” and “new car locator,” consider adding each new model to this page. What are they doing with online marketing? In my case, that was one of the first tasks I did for two Foundation – we all agree a home built on sand or reasons: swampy ground won’t make you happy in the long run. Depending on the existing conditions of your 1) SEO on steroids. By having each model as a separate location, you have to make some decisions about how page showing in your main, URL (i.e. 2011 Audi A4; to construct your foundation. Do you add a basement 2012 Audi A7, etc.) you create content that is loved or settle with concrete slab? Concrete slab or raise the by the search engines. Your website will get more den44

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sity; get content that is “richer and deeper” as I call it. Make sure your additional vehicle pages will have unique URL’s that are easy to read, like “http://www.jimellisaudimarietta.com/2011-audi-a3-sportback4-door.htm” (this particular URL generated 100 additional hits in its first three weeks). It further helps to have inbound links moving traffic to this page instead of the generic dealer page when trying to guide traffic to one designated vehicle. For example, when writing on my external dealership blog about the A3, I create backlinks. If somebody wants more information on the model while reading my blog, they just click the link and they’ll be guided to a dealer URL/ page (search engines love this stuff). 2) The ability to be found often occurs after approximately 60 to 90 days because of “depth” of the content you provided on your vehicle page. Use this method when new models are on the horizon. I did it for the new 2012 Audi A7. This allowed me to gain more than 500 page views on my dealer URL/page, increase duration and form submissions for “more information” on the Audi A7 (which will be out in Fall of 2011). When Googling “2012 Audi A7 Atlanta,” we show up in Position 1, Position 2, Position 3 and Position 9 (Facebook). Have the property surveyed Make as analysis of the property to find out how ‘the land lies,” by finding out from all your vendors what they are planning in the future for products and assistance. Have them recount what they have done for your dealership so far. Look at the numbers from your AutoTrader folks and Cars.com reps with their keyword “impressions” and “directions to location” print-outs. Consider carefully what the conversion and closing ratio are. You’ll likely discover certain providers who don’t (as www.DrivingSales.com

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it appears) do anything. Make it clear that you want, in a time frame of 60 to 90 days, to have a clear picture of where the dealership will be and what to expect. The same applies when looking for the right General contractor. You need to have a strong partner when taking on a website provider. During the dealer trainings I have conducted in the past years, I heard almost every time, “Your website stinks,” or “XYZ is not doing anything for me on the website.” Polite as I am (I am playing it soft now), I acknowledged the issues and brought the matters back to HQ. I let our back-end folks know that something needed to happen to help the customer – and I WAS WRONG IN DOING SO!!!

easy to blame the web-design and provider for low traffic. I did not. Instead I started out with point 1 and 2 mentioned above, and in less than 70 days I added 2000+ more hits to our website stats – all with the same website provider and without whining “poor me.” Even our secondary website for our VW franchise added hits and is ranking for 6 out of 10 search terms on Google Page 1 with just minor tweaking and without calling the provider names. Get your building permits

When you take on your new career, make sure that your principal (GM, President, etc) is buying fully into your vision. If they don’t have your I should have said right there “what back, you will struggle from the getexactly is it you want us to do for go. When you believe that your sugyou,” and I can almost predict that gested strategy is the right one, stick 100% of the time the answer would with it and propose it to your boss. have been “we need more leads!” But When you see hesitation more than this is not the issue of the website twice and a lack of follow through, provider. Example: You hired a con- leave and build your home sometractor and told him you wanted the where else. No “yes, but…” please! entry door in a particular area (your You need to go on with your vision. website, website name, URL), you want it in red (your corporate identity embedded in the website design), Decide how much sweat equity you’ll and you want a dead-bolt lock and put into your new house three windows integrated (pages, Who will be on your team and venflash, credit app, etc). Done! The dor roster? Do you enjoy painting? door is installed, works fine, looking Cut out the painters and DIY. If you good. Now, two months later, you know Dreamweaver and Photoshop, call the contractor and yell into the then create your banners and spephone “You suck…nobody comes cials yourself. If you are an “SEO/ through my door. It is your fault!” SEM” sleeper cell, then do it yourWhat?! How is that the fault of self. Line out exactly what kind of the contractor? Now that I’m in work you are comfortable with and the dealer’s shoes, I recognize that you can combine it with your workI am responsible to get “found” by load. When you are a selling Internet having SEO/SEM in-house or out- Manager, I understand that it is sourced. I am responsible to have sometimes very difficult to get a grip interesting content on my site. And on the tasks. Especially in the beginI am responsible to weave a net of ning of the months when you want inbound and outbound links com- to put up all specials on the page, ing to and from my website. When want to hit the fast start bonus and I started out here at my current the Sales Manager asks you to send position, it would have been really out an email blast twice a week (oh boy… don’t do it). Otherwise, learn DrivingSales DEALERSHIP INNOVATION GUIDE | J A N 2 0 11

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to delegate – it will save you from to use these Social Networks effec- reporting “dirty tricks” to the OEMinsanity. tively is a discussion for another time. compliance board and dismantled their would-be “black hat SEO pracAfter the roof and the siding are in tices” from the get-go. place, installation of HVAC, plumbNo house is built without a solid ing and electrical is next. For our foundation to stay on purposes here: look at your lead supI love new house smell… almost as My choice: Concrete slab, thick and pliers. How many leads are received, much as new car smell. sturdy. For my dealership it means how many close, what is the ROI? that I need to take care of first things What is the competition buying? I guess furniture is next. The same Let me explain: A group that I had should count for your Internet operafirst: worked for had the motto, “more is tions. I encourage you to be proactive • SEO is your concrete mix that better” (Not!). I discovered the same and not just wait for vendor reps will allow you to build a solid leads came in twice through vendor to show up. Attend dealer-specific foundation. A, B and C. Knowing that my com- venues like DrivingSales Executive • Make sure your Meta Tags are petition bought B and C leads, I took Summit, NADA Conference or the showing a good title that tells a look at the leads’ arrival times. I Digital Dealer Conference. These discovered lead provider A (the more events are great melting pots of who and where you are. expensive provider) was, on average, knowledge, best practices and will • The description needs to have a nine minutes earlier in the CRM benefit you in the long run. The venconvincing short copy of your than provider B and C. Decision: B dor booths present will most likely site/page content and should and C out. I instructed my Internet show you what is hip right now and let everybody know what they team to pick up the phone immedi- what will be the next “big thing” in will find when clicking the link ately when a provider A lead came the future. Just don’t forget – you are Make it your first goal to spread out in or to submit an email in less a homeowner now and you decide the SEO seeds if you want to have than 3 minutes, which gave me an what comes into your house. gratification in your search engine advantage of 6 minutes towards the I hope to see you around when competition. Results: Closing Rate results in the future. increase of 4% for lead source A and you’re “furniture” shopping, and if cutting 3rd party lead expenses by an you need a Handy Man, look me up! average of $3K/mo. Foundation is poured, now what? Time to set up the framework and walls - securely braced with the roof trusses in place. Also, when it almost looks like a house (a see-through one), we are not ready to jump into the jet-bathtub yet. For you, it should be the phase when you establish your Internet team’s rules on responses, response time, how - and for how long - you will be following up (You Buy or You Die). Furthermore, look into URL names that are available and that could help you in fulfilling your SEO domination dreams in the future. Buy them and put them on hold for a later phase – like the landscaping. You need to look into available usernames on Social Networks you’d like to participate in. Facebook and YouTube are a must. Twitter is a great vehicle to attract and guide traffic to desired pages. You may also secure Flickr (photo sharing). How 46

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Now we are getting somewhere, don’t you think? Next up are the drywall, ceiling, interior doors, caulk, paint, fixtures and yes – the jet-tub as well. It means for you: Weekly maintenance of your website, processes and reporting. Your team needs to be instructed to send out weekly mystery inquiries to the competition and the price findings will be discussed with your sales managers to secure your competitive advantage. Check your competition’s website every week. Because of my weekly routine, I was able to discover my competition’s unethical and non-compliant SEO tactics on their OEM site launched just two days prior. I was able to react fast enough,

To discuss this article and to view comments by others, please visit DrivingSales.com/innovation ______________________________ VJ came to the US from Germany just nine years ago and decided to use his German accent to sell German cars. It paid off big time. During his career, he was “scooped” up numerous times by dealer groups, helping them to become Internet Sales powerhouses. His success even put him on the cover of Digital Dealer Magazine. During his time as Cobalt’s Digital Marketing Ambassador, he trained thousands of dealers and decided in 2010 to put his knowledge and passion back to work in a dealer group. Also in 2010, VJ was listed in sulia.com’s Top-100 Automotive Experts in the US.

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- Andy Scott never had a better agency in my lifetime as a car dealer.” Scott Family of Dealerships have “I www.DrivingSales.com DrivingSales DEALERSHIP INNOVATION GUIDE | J A N 2 0 11 DIG 2011 Jan.indd 47

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The New Dealer.com Platform

Empowering Connections “Dealer.com's search marketing package, TotalControl DOMINATOR™ (TCD), connects us to our customers by making sure our dealership gets seen by the right customer at the right time. Anything from our Google search, pre-owned inventory searches to even branding our dealership, TCD really put us ahead of our competition and increased our sales significantly.” Jeremy Beaver e-Commerce Director, Del Grande Dealer Group

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Capitol Subaru (Del Grande Dealer Group) Increase in search marketing lead volume by 40% while using TotalControl DOMINATOR™

To learn more, visit Dealer.com or call us at 888.785.5418 Come by and see us at NADA Booth #4516N and see for yourself why Dealer.com is Empowering Connections.

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Dealership Innovation Guide - Q1 2011