There’s a disturbing trend I’m seeing in the automotive industry when I visit websites. Perhaps it’s been like this for a while and I simply took my eye off the chat ball. When I see chat windows that instantly prompt for the customer’s contact information, it makes me cry a little inside.
This isn’t what chat is supposed to be about. I’d love to have that debate with anyone. Chat is an alternative means of instant information. In other words, it’s more akin to phone calls than to anything else. If you believe in having a barrier of entry for your customers to chat, then you should have your receptionist answer the phone with, “Thank you for calling XYZ Motors. Can I have your name, phone number, and email address, please? No? Okay, thank you for calling.”
Presence is 50% of the game when it comes to social media. You have to be in front of people, accessible, and able to bring to them the other half of the social media equation: message.
A message without a presence brings to mind the old saying about a tree falling in an empty forest. If a Facebook post goes out and nobody saw it in their news feed, did it really get posted at all? Of course, having a presence is great but if the message isn’t powerful, engaging, and resonating, it won’t do your dealership any good.
In this podcast through AutoSuccess, I talk about the ways that dealerships can improve their presence and focus on what really matters: driving more business and keeping customers as happy as they can be.
Through two decades in the automotive industry (I think it might be three, technically, but I’m in denial), I can count on one hand the number of conferences I’ve truly supported. I speak at many events and attend a dozen a year, but I don’t truly support them. Some, like NADA (where I am right now writing this post) and SXSW (where I’ll be next month) are big enough that they simply don’t need my endorsement. Most could use any support they can get to expose them, but I often hold back.
The Super Bowl has concluded for yet another year and for those of us within the automotive industry it sure was interesting to see the various automotive commercials that Toyota, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Audi, and Lincoln created. As we grabbed for more nachos while football took a break and the anticipated Super Bowl intermissions commenced. This year there was a strong winner, a motor company that made great strides to appeal to their demographic and put the driver first. The winner hands down for this year’s automotive Super Bowl commercial goes to… the Chrysler Group.
Over at Automotive Digital Marketing, there’s been a long discussion started by Jim Ziegler about Carfax and its place in the automotive community. I haven’t chimed in because, quite frankly, I’m not needed there. The discussion is self-perpetuating and there’s no shortage of opinions.
We don’t get to post often enough about the automotive industry here simply because it’s more of a general social media blog, but this itself is newsworthy enough. The Internet Sales 20 Group is being held in Chicago from October 23-25 and promises to be a game-changer in the automotive arena. As a result, KPA is not only sponsoring but offering seven scholarships to help dealers attend.
Nissan pushes forward in the social networking arena with more and more innovative ideas. In promoting their new 2013 Altima, they’ve reached out through Facebook with live chats, contests, and interactive events that bring the drivers and the engineers closer together. Once again, Nissan pushes the envelope by tapping in to your inner inventor.
The “Innovation Garage” is Nissan’s newest foray into bringing drivers into the fold. They are actively requesting anyone who’s ever thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” to bring their A-game and put their best, most innovative ideas to the test. Simply visit their site, NissanInnovationGarage.com, login with Facebook Connect, and submit your greatest idea to be voted on by a jury of your peers.
What do you get out of it? Glad you asked. The winner will receive a 2013 Altima, a $50,000 grant to begin making that phenomenal idea a reality, the opportunity to put that idea out on Kickstarter, and of course, bragging rights. What are you waiting for? Go submit an idea and get started on the dream.
The “Daily Deals” model has been a rocky road of late for companies like Groupon and Living Social, but Dealers United has shown tremendous success in it’s “Deal of the Month” offerings to car dealers. This month’s deal, a website and SEO offer with KPA, is now in its final week.
This deal is exceptional in many ways. As car dealers become accustomed to challenges they face with their website vendors, having one with a proven track-record and measurable search engine success is at the top of mind for the most web-savvy and aggressive dealerships.
In the end, it comes down to 3 things:
When KPA purchased TK Carsites last year, one component that had been challenging to get used to was the long-term commitment that is inherent with most website offerings. The high-quality vendors all have one-year or longer contracts, while the low-quality website vendors hook dealers into ineffective website platforms with month-to-month offerings. As part of Dealers United’s charter, their deals must be month-to-month and must utilize the services of the company who has the best product on the market. This created a catch-22.
KPA demonstrated the commitment to quality necessary to win the Dealers United offer, then accepted the challenge of doing so without a long-term contract. This in itself is enough to compel dealers who really want to get ahead to switch providers to a true partner in their online marketing efforts. KPA is making the commitment to quality while not requiring Dealers United members to make a commitment in term. That alone makes the deal exceptional, but it goes further…
With 40% off the website platform and 53% off the optional SEO attached to the deal, Dealers United has delivered to their members something that has never and will never be offered again.
The Elite SEO product alone is normally priced at $2499 per month, but the Dealers United deal offers Elite SEO and a website for less than that. This is normally not possible; KPA Elite SEO is the highest level available from any vendor in the automotive industry and requires a tremendous amount of constant improvement to work effectively and keep ahead of changes in Google and Bing. The only reason it can be offered is because of the bargaining clout that Dealers United and its 4000 members hold in the industry.
KPA’s prowess in SEO is unquestioned – a Google search for “Automotive SEO” demonstrates who truly understands how to optimize websites in the industry.
Website platforms are much more subjective. Everyone claims to have the best. Everyone claims to have the best lead conversion, the easiest interface, and the most robust functionality. Who is correct? What is real?
KPA Connect was designed with search, social, and conversion as the cornerstones of the platform. It is one that is fluid – there’s no need to upgrade or replace it when improvements are made. The platform grows based upon changes in the industry, keeping dealers on the cutting edge of marketing in the automotive industry.
Flexibility is a key to any website platform and looking at Lebanon Ford, Holiday Automotive, and other KPA website clients shows how much flexibility the platform allows.
Between the month-to-month aspect, the tremendous discount, and the power of the KPA Connect platform, dealers who want the competitive advantage required for success in today’s competitive digital marketing environment must take advantage of this deal before it ends on August 31st. To do otherwise would be a mistake.
Google Plus is a year old. Businesses are finding more reasons to use Google+ and focus on their business pages. There are search benefits. There are local benefits. There are growing social benefits. Where are the businesses?
Perhaps I’m being premature, but scanning through a couple dozen random Google+ car dealer pages revealed that very few are posting anything at all. Out of over 20, there were two that were actually active. This is a huge mistake for any business, particularly those who are localize. If you have a home town and you rely on maps and reviews to help your business, you must be on Google+ now and put the type of effort into it that you put into Facebook.
Here’s my rant: