by 0 comments · 1 likeson May 23, 2013
Yesterday's announcement about Pinterest's new product pages and feature enhancements has me all excited about this platform. This is clearly a sign of a new direction in web design, eCommerce models and especially mobile content creation and consumption. Bottom line, I love Pinterest and you should too.
So, how do you make it work? Here's 8 Pinterest best practices I could dig up that can help boost your activity within the site and start creating another new channel of engagement with your dealership and your content. Content will remain a heavy theme going forward now that the Penguin 2.0 update has been released.
1. Know your audience: Who is it that you're pinning for. Plan out who your pins are targeted for based on age, gender, income and other lifestyle factors. This is the baseline for how your boards are created.
2. Be original: Shoot your own high quality images. 80% of all the pins within Pinterest are Read Post
by 0 comments · 0 likeson May 22, 2013
Pinterest is making some radical changes with regards to how their products are displayed and all of the information consumers need about them as well. They have clearly proven their image based grid layout is a huge favorite with consumers - page views, time spent on site, sharing and conversions leave everyone elese in the dust.
Now, Pinterest is upping their game even more by prodiving users even more information about the products to make individual pins more effective and useful. What a novel idea - provide more product information! Pins for clothes and furniture and will now include pricing info, availablitiy and even where to buy the items. Other products such as recipes will include more relevant information such as cooking times, ingredients and serviing sizes.
A simple, new icon will indicate when a pinned item now includes deeper product information.
Why is this significant? We've mentioned it before and the same holds true today - this is a huge si Read Post
by 0 comments · 0 likeson May 22, 2013
Understanding tomorrow's car buyers and their behaviors is becoming increasingly easier by simply diving into their activities and habits.
Smartphone adoption is at an incredible penetration level currently with 25% of teens saying they access the Internet mostly from their phones This penetration will continue to grow.
A recent study from Pew Research reveals some very interesting statistics that give a clear vision of today's activity and helps us wrap our head around where consumer behavior is heading.
78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of those own smartphones. That translates into 37% of all teens who have smartphones, up from just 23% in 2011.
One in four teens (23%) have a tablet computer, a level comparable to the general adult population.
Nine in ten (93%) teens have a computer or have access to one at home. Seven in ten (71%) teens with home computer access say the laptop or desktop they use most often is on Read Post
by 1 comments · 2 likeson May 21, 2013
Remember five years ago when it was rare to have a dedicated employee who managed the website? As the environment changed the internal roles also shifted. These roles are continuing to shift and now this person is evolving into a marketing all-star. You're among the minority if you don't have someone managing these efforts now - and finding the right person is a difficult task.
Today's all-star marketer is a rare breed with an extensive skill set and various experiences. Communication skills such as writing and speaking are a must. The social marketing specialist also needs to be a solid leader with infectious enthusiasm to drive the culture and vision needed. I would push the needle even further and rise above the rest they need a solid grasp of technology, be able to manage tech projects and even have enough coding knowledge to be dangerous.
Whether you're looking to broaded your scope or hire the right candidate, here's a great overview of Read Post
by 1 comments · 3 likeson May 20, 2013
Can you beleive it? The DrivingSales Executive Summit turns five this year.
We've seen a natural progression of learning within the industry over the last several years and the DrivingSales Executive Summit has worked hard to contribute to the culture of dealership improvement based upon high level awareness and skills building.
Part of the magic that happens is the early planning and preparation of our breakout speakers. The DrivingSales Executive Summit has quickly emerged as the premier destination for bleeding-edge automotive strategies and a must-attend event for dealership professionals.
This year's Executive Summit will be in Las Vegas, at the Bellagio, on October 13-15, 2013. Speaker applications are now open for:
DrivingSales Executive Summit Speaker/Presentation - We're looking for the most experienced and creative speakers - including top dealer professionals - to present their innovative topics, best practices and top strategies. Applications acc Read Post
by 10 comments · 2 likeson May 17, 2013
Where have all the drivers gone? Something shifted with regards to our driving behaviors during the mid 2000's and we simply started driving less even though the population continued to grow.
So many different factors may have contributed to this decline: economic factors, gas prices, family dynamics, people working from home, and changes in air travel activity. General family dynamics have changed as well - younger people today simply don't need to go as many places as we needed to at that age - their connected lifestyle has changed the entire concept of ownership and the need to physically go somewhere to acquire something is different. Want to buy something? It's simply a click away.
Consider this statistic: Today's 20-something Amercians drive approximately 20% less today that their parents did while they were in their 20's.
The question remains though, what happens when this segment of the population ages, moves out of their parent's houses, Read Post
by 2 comments · 0 likeson May 16, 2013
Another awesome announcement from the Google I/O Developers Conference yesterday was the ability to attach and send money via Gmail using Google Wallet.
Look for this feature to be introduced to all users over the age of 18 during the next few months. This may be met with some intial skepticism from some users but this has the makings for becoming a major force in the online payment ecosystem. Security and trust will obviously be at the core of any debate. Watch this develop quickly as individuals and business explore new opportunities.
Imagine being able to take deposits for a vehicle via email. That's disruptive.
by 3 comments · 2 likeson May 15, 2013
Major news announcement from Google during at the Google I/O developers conference: Conversational Search.
Google's latest improvement to it's search function is available only within Chrome and all it requires is a microphone and uses some of the core commands ("OK Google...") already shared with the public within the Google Glass project. Conversation search is designed for you to ask simple questions and commands in order to find the items your'e interested in seeing.
I can see this changing the way we manage the content within our websites moving forward. Content can be written with specific customers and their unique situations in mind, designed around answering helpful questions. (Makes a lot more sense now seeing as Google has given preferential treatment towards FAQ pages and their helpful, relevant content flush with keyword rich anchor text)
Check out this slick demonstration video! Very cool indeed.
by 0 comments · 0 likeson May 14, 2013
Did you know that Google uses "Long Clicks" to determine the overall quality of a search result? This is a lesser known ranking factor that you need to know and understand.
So, first off what's a "Long Click"
When a user does a Google search and ultimately clicks on a result, the click is classified as either a long click or a short click. It's a very simple concept - a user either stays on the page or they quickly bounce from the page and goes back to the search results page to find another site or search for something else. While Google tips it's hand to the classification, they don't share the time needed to change the class of the click.
Google sees a long click as a positive and a short click as a negative indicator of how effective the website is and how relevant the content is in relation to the keyword phrase used to search for content.
The next logical question should be, "How do I get more long clicks
by 0 comments · 1 likeson May 13, 2013
There's an old adage about people who are rude to their waiter or waitress are simply not nice people. Have you ever experienced that? I have and it's one of the most embarrassing things - for both people involved in the exchange.
Sure, the customer is always right. But does that give you the right to be a jerk while ordering a latte, a sandwich of even worse a big ticket item such as an appliance or - gasp - a car?
Here's a simple experiment: Try acting like the customer service representative the next time you're buying something. You'll be amazed at how quickly they reciprocate.
Then, try being that same person the next time you're dealing with your staff and your own customers.
Maybe the poor customer service is simply a reflection of the person they're waiting on.
by 0 comments · 1 likeson May 9, 2013
The battle between Right Side ads vs. News Feed ads, within Facebook's Exchange retargeting program, rages on and it looks like News Feed is emerging as the victor. In a recent ROI study published by Nanigans, News Feed ads delivered an average increase in ROI of 197%.
The Facebook Exchange retargeting ads are powered by individual web browser cookies rather than the segmented customer data provided by Facebook's internal ad platform. Both Page Post ads and Sponsored stories have been delivering clickthrough rates up to 20 times that of the CTR's for ads appearing in the sidebar.
Their results showed that when News Feed ads were compared to Right Side ads: (Based on 10mm ads served)
The average CTR was 17.1 times higher
The average CPC was 51% lower
ROI was 197% higher
Car dealerships should take notice of this marketing data to better understand both the performance improvement opportunities as well as the Read Post
by 5 comments · 3 likeson May 8, 2013
What type of information should you be looking at within your website analytics? As dealers become more and more aware of the information available within Google analytics, this same question keeps coming up. So, here's a nice starting point regarding the type of reports you should include with your mix. I chose these reports simply because of their high level nature and their ability to create solid awareness of your website performance. Read Post
by 9 comments · 6 likeson May 3, 2013
Many dealers contemplate making the jump from retail to the consulting/vendor world. Unfortuantely those considering the change may not be prepared, have the best guidance - or even worse - know what they're getting themselves into.
So, after speaking with good friend and industry pro Chris Costner I felt his story could be helpful to many within the community.
Chris was the BDC Director at Southern Volkwagen for several years before leaving and joining forces with Jerry Thibeau at Phone Ninjas as the new Vice-President of Training. He worked extremely hard to help build the dealership process and structure relying on industry best practices. He mentioned that part of his successful personal and professional journey were the result of two basic actions:
1. Helping the dealership staff learn new things - he loves helping others improve.
2. Becoming active within Facebook and twitter - he credits this for his new career move.
He describes hi Read Post
by 1 comments · 0 likeson May 2, 2013
I've been waiting for about a year for Google Now to find its way to the iTunes store. Android users have had the pleasure of experiencing this next wave of predictive power and contextual relevancy.
This is simplicity at it's finest. Download Google Now and let it do the rest for you - allowing you to get the info you want, when you want it. Accurate and relevant info is pushed to you based on your preferences and location. It can track your route to work, notifiy of you places of interest around you, help find local restaurants, push sports scores to you in real-time and it also includes voice search as well.
Here's an example of one of the items pushed to me - one of my Amazon book orders showed up in my stream. Ultimate convenience and exactly the type of info I want to see on my phone.
You can also tell Google about the things that you are interested in hearing about. Add info about movies, restaurants, sports teams or your stocks Read Post
by 17 comments · 4 likeson May 2, 2013
Linda Barman, Cars.com CMO, responded to the dealer community with an open and direct account of what has transpired over the past month with regards to the test email campaign.
First off, Linda apologized to the community for their lack of upfront communication with the dealers. She stated their goal is to continuously improve and innovate to create more value for both consumers and dealers. This is part of their core values and admitted that it's often difficult to balance the efforts directed to both segments.
Linda also said they learned a lot from this test - most importantly the need to be more proactive and work with dealers to get more feedback and to share the results as well. (There are more than enough dealers who are willing to help in this capacity, the feedback Cars.com would be extremely valuable)
Lastly, Linda shared the results from their test email campaign from the previous month. She said it was wildly successful; open rates for the Read Post
by 1 comments · 0 likeson Apr 29, 2013
One of your hardest challenges is connecting with prospects and existing customers via their mobile devices. We all struggle with content. We have a hard time understanding their true behavior patterns. And we definitely struggle with understanding intent and needs.
Here's an excellent infographic to help tighten your key elements within your mobile emails. Sizing and appearance is critical; are you aware of how your emails look within both iOS and Android devices? How about your subject lines? All of these items have a significant impact on your emails click through rate. (CTR)
Hopefully you're tracking your churn rates, your open rates and possible CTR's from links within your emails as well.
by 3 comments · 1 likeson Apr 29, 2013
Elise Kephart - "The YouTube Diva" - is getting ready to shake up the retail automotive industry with an daring new process and structure solution for dealership at Sunset Honda. I'm predicting her new dealership solution will be an instant hit and influence the way dealers approach their showroom processes leveraging a proven leader like Elise.
For those of you who don't have Internet access or rely on the newspaper for your industry information, Elise Kephart has positioned herself as one of the leading automotive experts on customer management, lead response processes and personal branding - her efforts are among the best in the business and her performance results are a clear indication that she can deliver the goods.
Elise shared her plans for an entirely new process that her store, Sunset Honda, is introducing next month. Elise is a one-woman all-star team with regards to her ability to set appointments. She is so effective that Read Post
by 2 comments · 2 likeson Apr 28, 2013
Think you know how Google's search engine works? Check out this enlighting infographic on how Google understands you to help provide you with the most accurate and current content everytime you type something into that magical search box.
Of particular interest is how Google's algorithms, and other search engines, are working on becoming smarter with regards to understanding specific questions and intent - the semantic web. Notice the total number of searches answered directly using semantics. This number will continue to grow as the ability for search engines to understand machine readable data increases.
The Knowledge Graph will continue to grow as Google provides a balanced blend of literal search results along with semantic results. Pay attention to this blend and grasp the concept now, this trend will continue faster than you can imagine.
by 2 comments · 0 likeson Apr 27, 2013
Google recently started experimenting with a new Quick Preview feature on mobile search results. This new organizational feature is designed for efficiency - to provide users with more information from a simple tap to either provide a quick glance at a specific page or an entire drop down menu filled with more relevant information and links.
You may have seen this feature during some of your mobile searches. I've seen it a few times and especially like the drop down menu functionality. The preview page is a nice feature in that it can quickly provide greater awareness without having to go all the way into the page. Is it exactly what I want? If so, then I can keep going; you don't feel as if you've committed all the way.
This may force marketers to re-evaluate how their web pages are organized to help provide the most specific information possible and improve mobile CTR's. Mobile searchers don't want to click through several Read Post
by 0 comments · 0 likeson Apr 26, 2013
The amount of overall activity from a business within a specific channel can be a leading indicator of future trends. This infographic shows the activity levels of businesses on social media.
Pay attention to where business are participating, how many business plan to increase their presence and most notably, the amount of interaction companies have within these platforms. The most successful customer service programs can tie their high satisfactaction levels back to an effective social media/customer service program.
Infographic awesomeness credit: Invesp blog
by 4 comments · 1 likeson Apr 25, 2013
Think you've seen a terrible ad? Think again - Hyundai just trumped every horrible ad in existence with this tasteless ad. They claimed that the ad wasn't supposed to make it out to the public. Well, you can guess how that played out. Hyundai's PR team is currently working in disaster mode trying to quiet things down now. Good luck with that.
by 0 comments · 1 likeson Apr 25, 2013
We all know how important it is to be on the first page of the organic results and how key it is to grab the first spot. A recent study from Bing showed that on average the first listing earned over 50% of the clicks while fewer than 1% of searchers click on the 8th spot and lower.
Results shown below the "Answer" result in the 5th position result in a much lower CTR. (See image below)
In a genious move, Bing is testing a revolutionary usability tactic once a user clicks on one of the organic results from a standard search. Bing now displays up to 14 total results if the user clicks their back button to go back to the original search results.
And, lower listings on the results page may also include an expanded description to help provide more helpful choices to the user. Their results are showing that clicks on the lower page results are five to eight times higher than when the original results were displayed. So now, results that may have been relegated&nb Read Post
by 6 comments · 4 likeson Apr 23, 2013
Day two of the DrivingSales Presidents Club was intense. The dealer executives in attendance were prepared for excellence, but I don't think they were fully prepared for what was about to come at them at the stage within the historic Waldorf Astoria.
Raj Sundaram, President of Dealertrack's Dealer Solutions Group, wasted no time highlighting key ares of importance dealers must focus on while having a clear understanding of the granular activities.
It's one thing to have an employee manage the activities but it's a whole different ball game when the organization is on the same page with these activities. Dealers must bring their A-game with regards to merchandising, their SEO efforts and driving more traffic to underutilized elements of their site such as the finance page. Even more opportunities exist by providing greater functionality for consumers to customize their payments with both financing and leasing options; customers Read Post
by 4 comments · 3 likeson Apr 22, 2013
Day 1 of the inaugural DrivingSales Presidents Club event kicked off strong yesterday! Jared Hamilton, Founder of DrivingSales, shared his passionate view of what truly makes up our brands. At the core, our brand strategy is the allocation of assets with a purpose. (This may have been the shortest introduction from Jared ever - but it certainly didn't lack intensity and focus.) Jonathan Ord helped continue that effective mindset by telling the crowd of automotive executives to think effectively by sticking with two simple principles: Read Post
by 0 comments · 2 likeson Apr 20, 2013
The DrivingSales Presidents Club kicks off tomorrow in New York City. In honor of our keynote speaker, Seth Godin, here's five awesome blog posts that everyone should check out. The best thing about these posts is their timeless quality; they're older posts that still ring loud today.
Be sure to follow @drivingsales & #DSPC for live updates and our daily blog recaps
Where do ideas come from? (Nov 2010)
Ideas don't come from watching television
Ideas sometimes come from listening to a lecture
Ideas often come while reading a book
Good ideas come from bad ideas, but only if there are enough of them
Ideas hate conference rooms, particularly conference rooms where there is a history of criticism, personal attacks or boredom
Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide
Ideas often strive to meet expectations. If people expect them to appear, they do
Ideas fear experts, but they adore beginner's mind. A little awareness is a Read Post
by 0 comments · 1 likeson Apr 19, 2013
Most people consider mobile as a device. Mobile is a mindset.
Check out Google's excellent infographic to help you understand how mobile is driving conversions. We keep seeing improved data behind the activities and actions of consumers as a result of their mobile usage.
And yet, while we know it continues to power our daily activites like never before, many business owners simply don't grasp the magnatude of mobile's influence on conversion behavior.
Click image for full size.
by 1 comments · 0 likeson Apr 18, 2013
We're all trying our best (hopefully that's what you're doing) to rank for long tail keywords and drive even more qualified traffic to your website. Fortunately, we don't need to rely on just the first spot to drive the majority of your clicks. And yes, that first spot is still extremely valuable as it earns approximately 40% of the clicks on average. Google's new features like Video Snippets and Author Images can help improve your click throughs rates by including a video thumbnail or your profile avatar next to your organic results. Read Post
by 0 comments · 0 likeson Apr 18, 2013
Has Facebook either lost their mind or are they about to completely rattle the television advertising market with their new video ad unit within the Newsfeed? Facebook will debut the new ad unit this summer, selling the ad inventory to major ad agencies. The ad unit will be a 15 second video that can only be seen up to three times per day. A total of four different ad slots will be available. The ad unit will have a price tag of $1 million dollars. Read Post
by 1 comments · 2 likeson Apr 17, 2013
Every marketer wants to know the secret sauce or magical formula to ensure their content is seen by as many people as possible - without having to buy ads or sponsor a post. So, how do you accomplish this?
Well, it's simple - but its also a horrible answer: Share incredible content. It doesn't matter if you're trying photos, videos, text only, sharing more, commenting more - none of that matters. It has been and will always be based on how good your content is at creating interaction with your social connections. That powers your reach.
Once you dive in deeper you can start roling the dice with regards to emotional content, helpful information, cutting-edge timely news and anything else that creates an opportunity for a memorable and unique connection. Put simply, keep driving interaction in whatever form you can find it in - and do it consistently.
The hard part is knowing what your audience likes - knowing the format and the timing s Read Post
by 0 comments · 1 likeson Apr 16, 2013
Benchmarking is the best way to wrap your head around performance activity and gauge how well your acitivies are delivering. MediaMind broke new ground by releasing it's annual Global Benchmark Report called "Viewability: A New Lens for Engagement." This is a new metric being introduced designed to measure the percentage of ads seen versus the total ads seen. The data is powered by an extensive study of engagement metrics behind 600 billion display ads from 47 countries around the world during 2012. Read Post