Why Should Your Automotive Dealership Be Advertising Online?

I actually read on an automotive forum that a dealer did not want to have a web site and that he felt that Internet customers weren’t worth dealing with because there wasn’t any profit for the dealership. I thought that is was laughable because most customers are starting online to find the dealership they want to do business with. Customers are using the Internet to narrow down make, model and dealerships before even contacting a dealer. The average car shopper is only visiting 1.4 dealerships before making a purchase decision. Based on this information I believe the importance of having on an online presence is growing.76% of all new vehicle buyers use the Internet at some point in their shopping process. By maximizing your presence and effectiveness online to stuff the purchase funnel with these shoppers, you will engage more customers online, by phone and in your store. Ensuring that your store will be one of those 1.4 stores visited.It is crucial that the message you deliver online be the same message you are delivering at your dealership and through your traditional media. There is nothing like going to McDonald’s after seeing a TV commercial for 2 Filet-O-Fish for $3 and the store has $1.00 cheeseburger merchandise everywhere.Another crucial area to capture qualified shoppers to effectively and efficiently increase your market share is through search engines. 90% of Internet users are using search engines. Search Engine Marketing is one of the methods to increase the amount of new visitors to your site – you only pay when someone clicks on the link. It is important to include current special offers in the ad copy and again stay consistent with your offline creative. Your message is delivered only when someone enters a search term qualifying them as a potential prospect, this a very targeted form of online advertising.A tool that is being used to drive used car and certified car traffic is Search Engine Intuitive Marketing (SEIM) or direct to inventory searches. By building updated keywords and ads based on your inventory, you can deliver customers directly to the pre-owned vehicle they are searching for. Cutting all waste to drive searchers looking for your vehicles to your inventory opposed to them finding used vehicles at Autotrader.com and other sites like that.Display advertising with behavioral targeting has been highly successful for many automotive dealers and manufacturers. The key here is to buy highly targeted display advertising to reach customers during the consideration phase of the buying cycle. 90% of online shoppers visit a third party automotive site and using behavioral targeted ads to target these shoppers on automotive and non-automotive sites (where shoppers are spending most of their time online). We have seen success stories where websites have seen increases of traffic in one month of over 175% using behavioral targeting.As you can see it is crucial to be focused with your online advertising to capture in-market consumers, providing them with specials and all the information they need during their car shopping.

Automotive Marketing – The Value of Good Prospecting

The world economy has been very uncooperative for businessmen, especially automotive dealers who are struggling with the crunch as nearly everyone else in business is. People are simply harder to convince they need to get a car or a new one to replace what they might have had for years.Indeed, buying any sort of vehicle these days is no longer a simple matter. The economic downtrend generally noted in most countries has made people more conscious about their expenses. More than anything, it has taught them to weigh their priorities and cultivate the discipline to stay committed to these priorities. Still, at the end of the day, automotive marketing people still have to continue with their job even if it means finding every possible avenue that leads to increased productivity.Of course, everyone who plans to sell needs people to sell to. Prospecting is, thus, a very important step to for those who want to actually post sales and not just plan them. Whatever type of vehicle one is trying to sell, it is important to come up with an actual list of leads who just may turn into customers. When you market any type of product there is, time is always of the essence. And when you start wasting it with the wrong leads, goals may not be achieved. And what is there to do if not achieve sales goals when in business?The value of leads is very important and even crucial to the success of any automotive marketer. The leads cannot just be any other list- it has to come with all the information that could provide a lead within a lead – that is, tidbits of information regarding the prospect’s automotive history, from his last date of vehicle purchase to the model or models he has bought. A list of prospects must also include hints about the person’s credit score or standing so as to give the marketer a good basis for judging whether or not the prospect may turn out to be not just a customer but a responsible one.Good prospecting does many things for a marketer, but above all, it allows one to plan ahead. And when the market gets as tough as it is right now, being able to plan ahead is going to be every automotive marketer’s edge over the others who opt to be more spontaneous in their approach.

Automotive Advertising Agencies Should Attend the 2010 NADA Convention to Listen and Learn

Automotive advertising agencies have been forced to take on additional responsibilities in today’s troubled economy. As the President of national network of independent affiliated automotive advertising agencies and the host of an auto industry social networking resource portal I recently promoted the 2010 NADA Convention on my blog talk radio show as a real world venue similar to the online resources that I rely on to listen and learn and contribute to so I can presume to teach.I consider the NADA convention as a must attend event for automotive advertising agencies, auto dealers, auto industry vendors and decision makers that regularly tune in to listen and learn from the auto industry experts regularly featured on various online resources. The NADA Convention is the real world version of online social networking communities focused on sharing best practices for the auto industry and a perfect platform to make new friends and connect with old ones in both the real and the virtual world.The NADA Convention is a means to stay ahead of the competition by learning about the new Internet technologies and applications being introduced by the vendors and speakers that will be featured at the convention. The 2010 NADA Convention is being held in Orlando, Florida this February 12th. through February 15th., 2010 at the Orlando Convention Center. Additional information on the convention is available at their site — NADA.Org — and their online pre-registration savings of $50 -$75 has been extended to January 27th., 2010. I strongly advise anyone seeking to survive in today’s consolidating auto industry to register before the deadline to take advantage of the discount with the confidence that your investment of your time and money will provide a R.O.I. that can’t be duplicated by any online auto industry-centric venue; including my own.My affiliated agencies are connected by a proprietary online communication/distribution system I developed in December of 2001. I designed the operating system that links this national network of independent businesses as a means to leverage the resources of the participating automotive advertising agencies, production partners and select vendors to allow them to compete with national automotive advertising agencies. The resulting savings in fixed and semi-variable expenses coupled with access to a wide variety of production and creative resources for the member agencies was made possible through their use of several online technologies that were developed to support the growing World Wide Web.I reference this history as evidence that I have practiced what I now preach. These same technologies must be applied to the internal processes of auto dealerships to allow them to survive in a consolidating auto industry. The combination of the resulting efficiencies realized in technology enhanced selling systems in brick and mortar auto dealerships integrated with their online showrooms, and the newly developing applications being applied by automotive advertising agencies to promote their auto dealer clients on the Internet, is the key to profitability today and survival tomorrow.The NADA Convention allows auto industry vendors to present new cutting edge applications to auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies who are anxious to gain an advantage over the competition. More importantly, in a consolidating auto industry auto dealers must sell more for less to satisfy budget conscious and better educated online car buyers and the technology being applied to sell vehicles on the Internet Super Highway is the way to do it in a scalable and cost effective manner!The blog talk radio station featured on my portal is another example of how a new technology platform can enhance the reach and performance of an automotive advertising agency in today’s Internet driven marketplace. I use various blog talk radio shows as an online communication system for my network to share best practices and new vendor applications with site visitors surfing the web to get the inside story on the auto industry. In addition, my shows attract new vendors anxious to tell their story to the decision makers who follow me on the World Wide Web which allows me to review cutting edge automotive advertising applications before competing agencies know that they exist.Several vendor clients of mine were discovered during their online reviews and most of them will be represented at the NADA Convention. Why? Because the NADA Convention is the perfect real world venue to launch new products and services and this year is no exception.Automotive advertising agencies know that they must apply cutting edge automotive advertising technologies to their online marketing plans that integrate with proven selling processes in their auto dealer clients’ real and virtual world showrooms but they don’t know where to find them. Online automotive advertising focused social networking sites provide an excellent filter to find the newest and the best but the NADA Convention is the place to see them all in one place and one time in an environment where the decision makers from both the automotive advertising agency and the vendor can sit across the table and work out the best deal for both. After all, what are friends for!