Increase Web Site Traffic

Since my firm, Impact Marketing & Consulting Group, began consulting in the e-business realm of our industry, much has changed. Technology has grown, while best practices have evolved. The hottest lead providers have also traded places depending on factors that include how long a particular dealership has been with a given provider. Needless to say, selling cars over the Internet is an ever-evolving animal where change is the only constant, except for one truth. And that truth is the leads that will close with the highest percentage will most likely come from your dealership’s web site. To draw an important parallel, I was watching CNBC’s Business of Innovation, and the panel of business leaders was asked a question dealing with using technology to become better, in essence, more effective. One member of the panel eloquently stated that sector leadership is driven by what you do with technology, not simply what technology you install. The underlying observation from my vantage point, looking at a sector that often lacks motivation for innovation, is that creative utilization of technology isn’t easy. In fact, it’s quite hard! But by creative thinking you will create value for your dealership. Let’s apply this concept to the truth discussed above. There are multiple ways to develop Internet leads. If you hold beliefs similar to mine, you know that if you could have one third-party lead or one lead from your web site, you would choose the latter. And the data supports your inclination. But here’s where this gets tough – is it easier to call your lead provider and increase the number of third-party leads you...

You’re Naked, Now What?

Okay, so you are not literally naked. I am referring to the current state of any business or organization in today’s very transparent environment. There are no more secrets.  Remember WikiLeaks; very classified documents and conversations made public for the world to see.  Again, this was top secret stuff and it got out there. We used to hear the slogan, “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas,” but now we know anything happening there will be on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook within minutes…if not seconds.  If you don’t believe it, just ask Prince Harry! As an auto retailer, you need to be very aware of how your business is perceived online.  That covers a broad spectrum of items from posts on social media sites, customer reviews, and tweets mentioning your name, to videos on various video content networks like YouTube. We have all read the articles about customers who choose not to purchase vehicles from a dealership because of something seen on an employee’s Facebook page that the prospect thought was indecent behavior.  The dealer knew nothing of this until the potential customer brought it to his attention and said she was buying the vehicle from the dealer across town.  Unfortunately, the large majority of dealers will never discover why a prospect purchased elsewhere. Whether we like it or not everything is more transparent in the business world today. Again, there are no secrets, and we are naked for the world to see.  So, let me ask the question, “If you have to be publicly exposed, wouldn’t you at the very least want to look your BEST?” I strongly...

And Another NADA Convention is in The History Books

I just returned from the 2013 NADA Convention held in Orlando and have to say that it was a great trip. Lots to meet, see, hear and experience. The Exposition floor was packed with vendors offering new and updated products and services, and many of the stalwarts were there to promote their services and some upgrades too. Vendors again leveraged celebrities to attract attention to their booth. I have to admit I enjoyed having my photo taken with NASCAR legend Richard Petty, and briefly glanced (ha) at one of the Playboy Playmates signing autographed pictures for attendees whose wives were a bit more liberal thinking than mine. The convention was professionally managed and well organized. I especially liked the NADA app for my smartphone which allowed me to locate virtually anything inside the convention. Very cool! As I always gather information for my training courses and articles for Dealer Magazine I enjoyed speaking with several dozen dealer owners and vendors during the event and posed two basic questions to them to gauge how the auto industry is addressing new market issues and challenges. The first question I asked was, “How successful do you feel dealers are managing social media?” The reaction from virtually every dealer and vendor was immediate laughter or they replied, “they’re not”. It was pretty clear from their reaction and/or their comments that they felt dealers for the most part had no real grasp of what they were doing and, more importantly how effective (or destructive) any of their efforts were on social media channels. I was hit with a feeling of déjà vu. I remember...