To edge out the competition and to increase revenue, more and more service departments are choosing to service other OEM’s.
Negotiation time and the time to complete purchase remains the number one complaint of car shoppers.
According to a recent study that polled recent car buyers, the amount of time it takes to complete a car purchase continues to grind customers' gears.
Over the last several years, third-party sites like CarGurus, Cars.com, and TrueCars have become a popular tool for dealers looking to boost their New and Used sales numbers and the reason is obvious: sites like these are the most-used resources for online car shopping.
When shopping for a car online most New car shoppers start off on third party websites and end up on dealership sites while most Used car shoppers start and end their journey entirely on third party sites.
According to a recent study, shoppers are spending less time in the market for a car than in previous years. The largest decrease of time in the market is Used buyers with over 60% stating that they need rather than want a new vehicle.
Black Friday. Typically regarded as the first day of the Christmas shopping season, stores offer special prices and deals that result in a mad dash of frenzied shoppers the day after Thanksgiving. Some people dread the crowds and traffic, but almost a third of Americans in 2017 braved the mob to shop for Christmas gifts for loved ones or find sweet deals.
People buy from people. Everyone in automotive retail will agree that it is impossible to sell a customer a car without ever talking to them. So how many people do you talk to each week?
Sales is a numbers game. The more people you talk to the more people you will sell.
So, what if you could have a conversation with 40,000 people next week? If you multiply that by your closing rate the numbers are pretty ridiculous, right?
When I talk to car dealers about their digital marketing strategy, a lot of times I hear something along the lines of, “We’ve gotten along just fine doing radio spots, TV ads and direct mail, why do we need digital marketing now?”
They do make a good point. What they’ve been doing was good enough in the past, so it should still be enough… right?
Amazon, Spotify, Lyft, Purple, Dollar Shave Club. You have heard of all these companies and chances are you use at least one of them on a regular basis.
All these products made a major splash when they debuted in the marketplace and many of them have grown into multi-million, or even billion-dollar companies. So, why are all these products so successful?
When you stop to think about it, are they really offering anything new?
So, you’ve decided you want to step up your digital marketing game and bring in some outside help to reach more customers and sell more cars. You’ve seen ads for, and received dozens of emails from companies that claim they can help you do just that, so how do you choose one?
As a car dealer you have more than likely heard about Behavioral and Contextual Targeting when it comes to marketing, but if you’re like a lot of the dealers I have spoken to, you may not be entirely clear on the difference between the two.
Google Analytics is an invaluable source for car dealers as it provides a lot of data and information about visitors to your website. However, sometimes the analytics program can leave you with more questions than answers.
Despite a rocky year with questions in how it handles its data and customer privacy, the Social Media giant is still king and won’t be giving up the crown anytime soon.
A shopper comes into your dealership. They ask one of your sales people the price on a model, the salesperson gives it to them they turn around and walk out the door. Sound familiar?
The thing is, it’s really not the salesperson’s fault. With the world getting smaller and smaller and consumers having more options, car shoppers are visiting fewer dealerships and instead spending most of the buying process online. The convenience this offers them has caused shoppers to want to spend less time talking to sales people and immediately push for the end-game: what is the price?
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles."
-Sun Tzu’s Art of War
Other dealerships in your area may not be your enemies and you’re not exactly at war with them. However, we can all agree that they are your competitors meaning there is a competition, and in every competition, there is a winner and a loser.
In a previous blog post we discussed Convenience as a Pricing Strategy. In that post we talked about how instead of discounting your services you can actually charge premiums by making your dealership more convenient for customers.
One of the most common questions we get from dealers (especially in response to that post), is whether or not they should be using coupons to incentivize customers with cheap oil changes and other services they offer. In the previous post we were not saying that coupons or discounts are a bad thing. Coupons can be extremely effective when used the right way.
Today I want to try and give a little food for thought about your pricing and sales strategy by talking about one of my favorite subjects: pricing psychology. A good understanding of pricing psychology is a powerful tool for dealers because it shows that in the end it’s not the price that drives the customers behavior, it’s the perception of the price. In a sense, every pricing manager is also a perception manager.
You are a successful dealership. You've sold tens of thousands of cars. But, how many have you bought? When I say ‘bought’ I mean how many cars have you bought going through the same processes that your customers go through? Being in the car business affords you the luxury of NOT having to go through what your customer goes through and until you get that experience, you’re more in the dark than you could ever imagine.
Two weeks ago we did a blog post on the importance of managing your online reviews such as ones on your Google My Business Listing. After some feedback and seeing that some dealers were having issues with optimizing their My Business Listing, we thought it would be helpful to walk through some ways to optimize your listing, or if you haven't set one up already (very important), how to do so.
The Law of Marketing: Repeated exposure to the right people yields results.
This hasn't changed. The internet adheres to it. Social Media adheres to it and everything that has not yet been invented will adhere to it.
So how do you consistently get your product in front of the right people? Well, there are really only two choices to guarantee your message is delivered to the people most likely to purchase from you:
Shoppers spend more and more of their time online every year before ever making their way into a dealership. This has made managing your online presence more important than ever before.
In 2017, a total of 22.2 million U.S. adults ditched their cable, satellite or telco TV service. Subscriber-based services like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube are now the primary “TV” sources for an increasing number of households.
At Edifice, we're always looking towards the future, but this week we take a look at the past for a bit of American industry history. Fourth of July is just around the corner and in honor of Independence Day we will be looking at (in our opinion) the 4 most influential cars in American history.
Picking up on our discussion of convenience as a pricing strategy let’s examine the results of the convenience audit we provided and address one of the major issues it most likely revealed.
If you did not complete the audit or read part one, you can find those here:
Most likely your audit revealed long wait times to get into the F&I office, as this is a common complaint among customers.
At Edifice Automotive we not only have tons of experience in digital marketing, we also have years of experience in running dealerships. Several of the executives at Edifice Automotive have over 30 years of experience in the industry. This experience is what equipped and inspired them to create a company that offers solutions that specifically addresses your needs and goals as a dealer. When we partner with dealers, we make it a point to not tell you what you need, but instead to listen to your goals and design a tailored solution for you. We have found that this way of doing business not only helps us build a relationship with our customers, but it also helps them increase their sales and service revenue with the least amount of cost possible. Edifice harnesses the power of Big Data so that you can get more foot traffic to your dealership, an increased sense of trust from potential car buyers, and more monthly sales as a result.
Why would anyone pay $6 for milk at a convenience store, when they could get the same gallon of milk at their local supermarket for less that $3? The answer is in the name: Convenience.
So what does this have to do with you as a car dealer?
Simply put, if you are convenient for your customers, you can make more money.
We’ve seen huge changes in the industry in the last 15 or so years that have forever changed how customers shop for cars, and in turn how dealers should be engaging and selling to them.
Now more than ever it is important to have a Marketing Strategy.
DON’T CLICK AWAY JUST YET.
Interview Dealer Principals, Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Executive General Managers of dealerships. Direct these people to tell you how they started and progressed in the business and you will notice a pattern in most of their stories. Most, if not all, started selling cars. Most grew up in the Variable, Sales, side of the business. I was one of those people. Like those people, I was trapped in a perspective of the business based on my experience. Then I met and went to work for Roger Penske.
First off, a dealership needs to keep an eye on their market share of both new and used cars. This should be done in at least two ways; against similar brand franchised dealers in their market and against all franchised dealers in their market.
Let's say there is a person who lives within a 15 mile radius of your dealership who is going to buy a vehicle sometime over the next six months. Let's also say that this person is considering a brand you carry and let's also say that they are even considering buying from you.
Would you say that it would be to your benefit to have mail, email and perhaps Facebook (or other apps) delivering your message to this person on a consistent basis during the approximately 6 months prior to this person 'pulling the trigger'?
Does demand for your brand dictate your market performance?
Yes and No.
Yes, less demand for your brand means less of that brand sold in relationship to other brands in your market area. That's a given. However, the demand for your brand does not have to limit your individual dealership’s performance.
Your dealership can increase market share even when demand for your brand is down in a couple ways:
The car business is unlike any market in the world. You are in a business where you sell something people want and need. The potential for big success is highly probable, unlike a lot of businesses that have a low probability for success (restaurants for example). That being said, car dealerships will not run themselves and most assuredly can fail. There are many reasons that dealerships fail, but almost all of them can be narrowed down to one issue: a lack of planning and the ability to pivot as the market's demands shift.
Google Analytics doesn’t always recognize where a web visitor came from or the device they used. When that occurs, the analysis says “direct/none” even though the visitor may not have come from a direct source. There are ways to analyze the data anyway, and certainly ways to fix the issue so more data can be reported accurately.
Nearly every Google Analytics report has something that looks like “(direct)/(none) source” and the meaning behind this can be misleading. Visiting Google’s help center to learn what direct/none means or how to fix it might not shed much light on the meaning of this phrase. The help center says that this term refers to “users that typed your URL directly into their browser, or who had bookmarked your site”. In other words, most of the people who get to your site without following a link.
Edifice Automotive stands out from the competition because we have a laser focus on helping dealerships sell more cars. When you partner with us, you can be assured that we have helped dealerships increase their sales by with our Multi-Channel Marketing Solutions. Edifice harnesses the power of Big Data so that you can get more foot traffic to your dealership, an increased sense of trust from potential car buyers, and more monthly sales as a result.
You won’t get these results from a digital marketing agency who works with just any type of client. Edifice knows the business of selling cars.
If you’ve been having a hard time finding new leads, you may actually be sitting on some pre-existing leads that you’ve been overlooking. Have you checked your customer relations management (CRM) data lately? An effective CRM system can increase customer retention by 27%*, and seemingly dead leads can present a surprising amount of opportunity. Reviving dead leads that you already have in your system costs far less than generating completely new ones, and it’s pretty simple and effective using our CRM Revive program.
Are You Focusing Too Much On Attribution and Conversion?
The way that people buy cars today has drastically changed as digital marketing itself keeps evolving. Just a decade ago, auto dealers used to buy leads that were hastily thrown together with only about a 3-5% conversion rate on account of most people filling out entry forms for sweepstakes rather than being interested in buying a car. The lead giant Autobytel sold millions of leads to dealerships around the country, but conversion was poor.
Lead generation efforts today require a little more effort. However, a mistake that dealerships keep making when determining a digital marketing campaign’s success is that too much focus has been placed on attribution and conversion. While these metrics are important, they don’t tell the whole story as to how effective your overall digital marketing strategy has been.
Why Reviving Your Dead CRM Data is Worth It
If you’ve been having a hard time finding new leads, you may actually be sitting on some pre-existing leads that you’ve been overlooking. Chances are that you’ve had several people come to your dealership and seem interested in buying a car, but who then didn’t follow through with a purchase. Those same people may actually be thinking about buying a car now, and you just don’t know it.
When purchasing a new vehicle, buyers visit on average 9.3 websites. Those sites don’t sell YOUR dealership. You need MCM Solutions to make sure YOUR personalized message gets through to prospects at every stage of their buying journey. Contact us today for a custom demo of what MCM Solutions can do for your dealership.
Coming up with a digital marketing strategy can be dizzying. There’s a lot of methods to choose from, like social media, content strategy, pay-per-click, influencer marketing, placement with prominent bloggers and ad networks just to name a few, and new methods seem to be created every other day. But there’s always email marketing, and it’s something that really shouldn’t be overlooked.
Email Marketing Isn’t Dying Anytime Soon
SEM is important as a component of a digital strategy, but should not be the entire strategy. A successful digital strategy includes 1:1 digital marketing, like Edifice’s MCM Solutions. Contact us today for a custom demo of what MCM Solutions can do for your dealership.
Contextual targeting and behavioral targeting are not one and the same. Learn why they are different, and why Big Data makes such a difference when it comes to deciding which type of campaign to implement.
Contextual targeting is ad placement done smartly. Rather than relying on broad demographics, location, and simple browsing history, contextually-targeted ads connect the right message to the right person at the right time. Contextual ad campaigns show the user content similar to what’s on the page that they are currently browsing.
Reach Your Prospects with Adabilities
Adabilities is Edifice Automotive’s powerful digital marketing platform. Dominate your market by targeting prospects that are actively shopping for your products and services. Take a look at this video to get a better idea of what Adabilities can do.
Email marketing is one of the most effective inbound marketing methods. Here’s a few main points to keep in mind when crafting an effective email campaign using data.
Simply put, email marketing is one of the most effective inbound marketing methods- if someone voluntarily gives you their email address and stays on your mailing list, they are a lot more likely to spend with you than someone who simply follows you on social media. So much more likely, actually, that email campaigns with existing customers are 40 times more effective1 than outreach attempts for new customers on social media.
This morning, Jane applied for an auto loan online, and then browsed SUVs on several manufacturers’ sites. Now she’s at a football game – passing the time between quarters by comparing SUV reviews on her smartphone. It’s clear she’s serious about making a purchase.
Meanwhile, Edifice has Geo-Fenced this football game with your ads. Edifice’s Adabilities℠ media platform sees what Jane is shopping for, and delivers her an amazing SUV offer from your dealership right to her phone! She was planning on visiting a competitor on the way home, but now she’s headed YOUR way.
That’s just one more way Edifice Automotive connects the Right Person with the Right Message at the Right Time.
What Makes Edifice Automotive Unique and Effective?
Digital marketers are looking to the future, hoping to expand their enterprise ever further. Just like in any other industry, the ability to grow requires a plan and the right tools for the job. We’ll be focusing on a few key tips that will help you take your marketing strategy one step further.
How are digital marketers making their electronic media a more cost-effective means to advertise their products and services? It’s all about valid data, correct and updated records, immediate results, and- believe it or not- suppression techniques that exclude customers not appropriate for your target lists.
Dominate your market with our People-Based Digital Marketing Solutions. People buy from people. Everyone in automotive retail will agree that it is impossible to sell a customer a car without ever talking to them. So how many people do you talk to each week? We’d like to introduce you to 1, 5, 10, or even thousands of new people in your market to start a conversation about your offers. To better explain our process, we put together a short 2 minute video that shows how we reach these customers on your behalf.
The way that people buy products has been changing drastically over the last 10 years.
In the past, once a consumer developed a need or desire for a product or service they would need to take a trip to a brick and mortar location in order to learn more about the product. From there they would find out more about the product or service through speaking to an associate or inspecting it themself. If they decided that they did indeed want to make a purchase, they would select the specific item that met their needs and proceed to purchase it at the store.
Today, the process has been changed entirely by the internet and the constantly expanding digital marketplace. Due to the vast supply of information constantly at their fingertips, consumers can discover, learn about, and even purchase a good or service from the comfort of their home.
People buy from people. Everyone in automotive retail will agree that it is impossible to sell a customer a car without ever talking to them. So how many people do you talk to each week? We’d like to introduce you to 1, 5, 10, or even 40,000 new people in your market to start a conversation about your offers. To better explain our process, we put together a short 2 minute video that shows how we reach these customers on your behalf.
Welcome to Edifice Automotive’s final week in our series on Google Analytics. Throughout this series, our aim has been to give you a better understanding of some of Google Analytics’ tools, along with good practices you should use in order to get the most accurate data about your website. In the first four parts of the series we have taken several steps to filter out all unwanted spam and irrelevant traffic. If you missed those posts you can find them here. Now that we have made sure your site is only recording relevant traffic, it is time for you to start interpreting your data to assess strengths and weaknesses in your website as well as the impact of your marketing efforts. This can take many forms, but the most important thing to do is recognize patterns in your traffic and how they correlate to specific events.
There are many events or factors that can affect your day-to-day traffic, and in the moment it can be easy to identify what may have caused a drop or spike. If your website goes down or under maintenance you may see a decrease, whereas changes to content or beginning a new marketing campaign may cause an increase in traffic. This is what makes Google Analytics so useful as you can see in real-time the effects your marketing efforts have on your site and the amount of customers and potential customers you reach. However in the long run it is almost impossible to remember all of these individual events and eventually you will only see drops and spikes in traffic with no idea what caused them. This defeats the entire purpose of Google Analytics and will have made all of your efforts to collect clean data be in vain.
Fortunately Analytics has a built-in solution so simple that it almost becomes an afterthought, but its importance to interpreting your data can not be stressed enough. This solution is Annotations, and utilizing it is one of the best habits you as a webmaster can develop.
Welcome back to Part Four in our Google Analytics Series. Over the last several weeks we have learned how to take preventative measures against Ghost and Crawler Spam. If you missed any of the last three posts you can find them here: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. Now that we have addressed the issues of Ghost and Crawler Spam you should start seeing cleaner reports and hopefully getting a more accurate look at how well your website is functioning. While this is good progress, there are still a couple more things that we can do to verify that you are getting the best and most accurate data about your site. This week we will discuss how to filter Internal and International Traffic from your reports.
Anyone who is running a website should be frequently visiting the site to ensure that everything is working properly. Unfortunately every single one of these visits will be reported by Google Analytics. To make matters worse, any time anyone from your company visits the site, their visits will also be recorded. This may not seem like a big deal, but over time this Internal Traffic will start to add up and contaminate your reports.
In addition to traffic too close to home, traffic too far away is also an issue. Blocking Ghosts and Crawlers from your website should have led to decreased traffic from other countries, but if your site is anything like ours, you may still be seeing some overseas traffic. If your company does business internationally this is a good thing and you have nothing to worry about, however, if you only do business domestically, this International Traffic is useless and will skew the rest of your data.
Fortunately there are solutions for both of these issues and they each take only a few minutes to apply.
We’ll start with filtering out all Internal Traffic.
To view Part One: Ghost and Crawler Spam click here.
To view Part Two: Setting Up Views and Blocking Ghost Spam click here.
Welcome back to Part Three in our series on Google Analytics . In the first week, we started off our series by familiarizing ourselves with the differences between Ghost and Crawler Spam and what not to do when trying to deal with them. If you missed the first week you can find it here: Part One. In Part Two we showed you how to set up views and remove Ghost Spam from your Analytics Reporting. If you missed the second week you can find it here: Part Two. This week we will discuss how to block Crawlers from your website. Not all Crawlers are bad, and many serve important functions on the web. For example, search engines such as Google use Crawlers to scan webpages for search terms. There are malicious Crawlers however that scour your website for information such as email addresses to send spam to, or weaknesses in your coding that can be taken advantage of. These are the Crawlers we will be blocking.
In order to solve the problem of Crawlers it is important to remember that they work very differently from Ghost Spam. As we discussed in Part One, the fundamental difference between Ghost and Crawler Spam is that Ghost Spam does not access your website whereas Crawler Spam does. because of this, we can not tell Google Analytics to ignore Crawlers in your reporting as we did for Ghost Spam. Instead we will block their access to the site altogether.
We will do this using the .htaccess file.
To view Part One: Ghost and Crawler Spam click here.
To view Part Three: Blocking Crawler Spam click here.
Welcome back to Edifice Automotive’s series about removing Ghost and Crawler Spam from your Google Analytics. Last week we started off our series with an explanation of the different types of spam and how they work. If you missed that blog post you can find it here.
This week we will show you how to deal with Ghost Spam and remove it from your Google Analytics reporting. Before we do that however, we need to talk about setting up views.
To view Part Two: Setting Up Views and Blocking Ghost Spam click here.
Anyone who runs a website that is being monitored by Google Analytics knows that eventually you must address the issue of spam. Due to a ton of referral spam from social buttons, adult sites, and many other sources, your traffic data can become very skewed and lead you to believe your website is running better or worse than it really is. This spam can also be used as a way for advertising agencies to oversell the success of their marketing efforts as they appear to be generating large amounts of website traffic. Edifice Automotive prides itself in its ability to generate REAL website traffic and we want our customers to see what traffic we are generating for them, as well as be able to differentiate between real and “fake” traffic. To make sure that you are getting what you are paying for, as well as determine if your website is set up to generate the highest amount of conversions, it is important to be reviewing accurate data. The simple answer to this problem is to filter out all the spam, but this is easier said than done. Spam bots are constantly changing and using different approaches to get around spam filters, and Website owners are starting to become overwhelmed by all the filters they are setting up to manage the useless data they are receiving.
It’s getting harder and harder to keep track of every new platform and acronym in the modern marketer’s arsenal. That’s why we put together a glossary of the core terms and technologies we believe every data-driven marketer needs to know to understand all the techno-babble, look smart in meetings and stay on top of this crazy, complex discipline.
Edifice Automotive is proud to announce that it now offers a Conquest Marketing Solution designed specifically for service departments: REACH.
REACH is a multi-channel, turnkey solution that offers the opportunity for dealerships to target their competitor’s customers as well as inactive customers with attractive service offers. Through Edifice’s Decisioning Engine and multi-billion record databases, customers most likely to be seeking service in the dealer’s area are identified. Customers can be selected based on several different qualifiers, including but not limited to the make and model of the car that they drive. Once selected these prospects receive relevant and attractive offers delivered through Mobile, Social and Email Marketing. As with all Edifice campaigns, marketing material is created in-house and made to match regional and manufacturer incentives.
Edifice Automotive, a division of Edifice Group, Inc., has obtained CDK Global Approved Interface Certification for their digital suite of products. These products include the Win Program, Keep Program, Build Program, ReachService Program and ReachSales Program. The key advantage of this certified integration is that it ensures security, privacy and reliability of consistent data through certified interfaces for dealers.
Edifice Automotive, a division of Edifice Group, Inc., has signed an agreement to obtain certified integration for Reynolds and Reynolds DMS for their digital suite of products. These products include the Win Program, Keep Program, Build Program, ReachService Program and ReachSales Program. The key advantage of this certified integration is that it ensures security, privacy and reliability of consistent data through certified interfaces for dealers.