Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: Marketing, General Mgt

Do Reviews Really Sell?

By Paul Potratz on Feb 12, 2013

Do dealership reviews really sell cars? Are you confused about the discussions surrounding the importance of reviews? When you read reviews are you reading about the product or about where you are buying the product - Be Honest. This week on Think Tank Tuesday, learn the truth behind all the effort you've given to working on your dealership's reviews.



Want to learn about digital marketing strategies and how we can use them to help you? Then call us at 1-866-240-5492 or email thinktanktuesday@ppadv.com today!

Don't forget to sign up for Fact Finder Friday! We're just 10 days away from a spirited discussion you won't want to miss! Join Paul and his guest, Mark Tewart, author of "How to Be a Sales Superstar", as they deliberate the topic "Death of the Traditional Salesman".

Join us via Google Hangout on February 22, 2013 at 3pm EST!

Get An Invite | Invite A Friend

See you there!

Comments

Paul and I have been discussing this for a few days now on Twitter. The end result is that his opinion is derived from a Google Survey campaign, undefined "Dealer Surveys", and his personal experience and anecdotal stories of buying from Big Box National Retailers. I have nothing against Paul, but I do have something against misleading dealers, intentional or otherwise.

Please read what market research experts have to say about the reliability of Google Surveys for this kind of empirical research here: http://www.mpdailyfix.com/marketing-experts-speak-up-against-googles-consumer-survey-tool/ The abridged version is that the results net a.)Weak Data Presented as Fact, b.) a DIY Method that Leads to Misunderstood Results, and c.)Lack of Segmentation that Hampers Usability. Those are the words of experts in their field, not mine.

I think it is tremendously important that the community recognize that Paul represents an extreme minority position using his own research exclusively to support a position that is contrary to every other study on the topic.

Google's ZMOT, Nielsen Trust Index 2011, About.com Trust Factors July 2012, Harvard Business Review study on YELP ratings Oct 2011, eMarketer study dated Feb 7th 2013 on proliferation of reviews to name a few, and that is just a few. (Unfortunately I can't hyperlink to these well known studies)

Just this weekend at NADA, Automotive News covered industry research authority POLK at a press conference that used DealerRater data to authenticate a 25% greater lift in sales for dealers that average 4 stars as opposed to those that avg 2. Here is the coverage of the story that starts at the 1:47 mark: http://www.autonews.com/article/20130211/VIDEO/302119860/first-shift-plus-side-of-dealer-reviews&cciid=email-autonews-firstshift#axzz2KitivIUp

Mr. Bob Shuman of Shuman Chrysler Dodge Jeep in his own words echoed the findings. He is far from alone. I have had a handful of dealership owners and employees that have reached out to me since Paul began promoting his study with their own personal accounts of sales attributed exclusively to their reviews.

Consumers absolutely use 3rd party reviews of your business to determine where they will shop and buy. The idea that reviews matter less than coffee, carpet or toilet paper is preposterous, your online presence is an extension of your physical presence without distinction. None of those things matter at all if you are eliminated from the consumer's search because you believe the consumer isn't reading your reviews. They are equally who you are to the consumer.

I know my tone probably seems harsh. Please know that I have nothing against Paul personally, but I feel strongly that dealers need to research this on their own, there is plenty of data out there. No offense at all to Paul, but I totally disagree.

Feb 12, 2013

Based on my own personal experience both leveraging consumer reviews to sell cars while employed as the Director of Marketing and eCommerce at Acton Toyota in Massachusetts and then interacting with DealerRater clients while employed as the company's Vice President of Business Development, I can tell you with 100% certainly that yes, consumer reviews do indeed help to sell cars. Just my two cents.

Feb 13, 2013

Comments 1 - 2 of 2

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Paul Potratz's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • 2015 Most Valuable Insight Finalists Announced

    The Most Valuable Insight Competition is designed to reveal and showcase never-before released data and research unique in the automotive industry. The competition was created in the spirit of progress and industry thought leadership. Here are the 2015 DrivingSales Most Valuable Insight Finalists...Read post

  • Navigating SEO: 4 Google Quality Guidelines You're Probably Not Obeying

    Navigating SEO is a DrivingSales.com exclusive series by Timothy Martell, CEO of Wikimotive. Each Friday, Tim breaks down ways dealers can improve their SEO and offers insight into how it will benefit business.   As a website and business owner, you can do whatever you want with your website as long as it's not illegal. But in order to rank on Google and reap the profits associated with organic traffic, you have to abide by their set of quality guidelines.   What are Google's Quality Guidelines, though?   Google's Quality Guidelines are a set of principles the company presents to website owners and administrators to give them a better idea of the qualities that Google looks for in a quality website.   It's in Google's best interest to send users to pages with the most relevant, high quality content that also provide a clean user experience.   Without that, Google's own quality and user experience would be called in question.   So far, however, Google has been the...Read post

  • Craigslist Numbers are Simply Too Good for Dealers to Ignore

    In an atmosphere where dealers are rightfully searching for demonstrable ROI, it's our task to make sure they understand the numbers behind sites like Craigslist, eBay Motors, and posts on social media. We dive into the numbers constantly and if there's one unquestionable trend we've seen, it's that Craigslist results are better now than they've ever been. Is the site getting more popular? Did many dealers stop using it when they started charging for the listings? Are consumers relying more on classifieds today than they have in the past? The answer to all of these questions is, "yes." The site continues to grow. Despite its age and the way that the internet tends to like newer sites and services, Craigslist has remained in the upper echelon of sites like eBay, Amazon, and AutoTrader as maintaining strong numbers regardless of age. When Craigslist started charging $5 per listing, many dealers left. For a while, its free listings meant that many companies were able to "spam" the li...Read post

  • Catch Spring Fever with St. Patrick's Day

    Ok, so I’ll admit it. It’s pretty hard to think about spring with the looming winter season still abundantly here. But you can’t deny the idea of green grass, flowers, and warm weather entices you to think about the spring season ahead. The month of March presents a great opportunity for you to help your customers catch spring fever. This week’s campaign idea is all about promoting your dealership and driving traffic by leveraging St. Patrick’s Day. Get the Luck of the Irish This twist on St. Patrick’s Day marketing is a fun one. All you’ll need is some green construction paper, a pair of scissors, and a marker. Cut out several of four-leaf clovers, then depending on your March goals, write vehicle incentives or service savings on the back of each one. If you decide to promote vehicle incentives, tape the clovers to the windshield of your new vehicle inventory and allow customers to redeem upon purchase. If you decide to promote service savings, tape the clovers to the f...Read post

  • Necessary VDP Elements

    A big first step toward revamping a dealership website for better lead generation often involves cleaning up the VDPs (Vehicle Display Pages). A good strategy is to strip off anything unnecessary and/or distracting, leaving only what the customer needs to get information, build trust and move down the purchase funnel. Below are some VDP elements that can help enhance the customer experience without giving them an opportunity to bail. The first pieces of a VDP are great photos that show off the vehicle's features. This is the most basic of VDP elements. Having actual photos of the vehicle described in the VDP, rather than a stock photo, is always highly preferred. In addition, the VDP should accurately describe everything about the vehicle including MPG, any extras or features, and any other technical specifications a customer might want to know. Showing alternate similar vehicles at slightly varying price points can keep a customer on your site if they like what they see on the VDP, b...Read post

  • Jared Hamilton to Unveil Compelling Research on How to Close Today’s Shoppers

    At this year's Presidents Club Jared Hamilton, Founder and CEO of DrivingSales, will share exclusive insights from DrivingSales’ 1-year, $1 million research project into how dealers can tap into the true emotional drivers behind the behavior of today’s auto shoppers.Read post

  • 4 Reasons Your Dealership Should Hire a Millennial Workforce

    Generation Y has gotten a bad rep over the past few years, however there are some distinct characteristics that should not be overlooked when considering them to be a part of your dealership’s staff. The following characteristics are advantages that could increase your bottom line, so listen up!     All About That Tech   Millennials are tech savvy. They grew up during the birth of the World Wide Web, and they aren’t afraid to use it. Computers, smartphones, tablets. Websites and Apps. If it’s digital, they’re masters at it. As automotive retail becomes fully immersed in digital engagement, it’s more important than ever to have people on your team who know how to use the digital tools to engage with their own generation, the people of older generations who are picking it up, and those who come after them. Whether you’re looking for a marketing professional to ensure your dealership’s name is forefront in online consumers’ minds or a Salesperson who could up...Read post

  • Social Media Will Increase Your Dealership Sales

    Friendemic provides social media and online reputation engagement services for hundreds of clients across the globe. We're fluent in hashtags, put the contagious in viral, and set the standard for social ROI. Friendemic was founded in 2010 by award-winning creatives Brig White, Jason Barber and Brian Rezentkowski and is led by CEO Steve Pearson.Read post