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

  • High Cost-Per-Click

    In the pay-per-click world, value is derived from how inexpensively a lead can be acquired.  Many times, a low cost-per-click combined with a high conversion rate can indicate a winning formula.  However, sometimes it can seem like a campaign is averaging a high cost-per-click.   There are many factors that affect this cost, but the two easiest to understand and control are competition and quality score. Competition refers to how many other advertisers in a similar industry are bidding on the same keywords.  If an advertiser is experiencing a high cost-per-click on a particular keyword, all other things being equal, it could be an issue of the keyword being very popular among local advertisers.  If a keyword search yields a ton of ads on the SERP (search engine results page), then it is obvious that there are many others bidding on the same terms, driving the cost up.  At this point, the advertiser should consider if it is worth it to pay the high cost-per-click.   If the ROI d...Read post

  • Does Live Chat Generate Leads?

    “Did you know that 95% of the average dealership’s site visitors will defect from their website ?” asks Brad Title, CEO and Co-Founder of Gubagoo. There are many factors that could make your traffic abandon your dealer’s website, one is  the lack of engagement, meaningful information and relevant offers among others. The fact is that capturing the voice of the customer is more difficult with the web, but itcan be done, and reality is that you can’t fix it if you can’t see it. Here are some tools to get you started: Google Analytics: is a free tool from Google, it helps you track your website visitors giving you detailed statistics, where they came from and which links they clicked on. Live Chat: Live chat can allow you to hear from visitors who wouldn’t call you, most people prefer live chat because is convenient (sometimes the customer is at a public place or at work and don’t want to be heard but they can chat from they’re phone, it also provides customer...Read post

  • Your Dealership's Website: Improve, Add To, or Replace?

    It's great to be out of the website business. After a decade of working for dealership website providers, I now have the freedom to tell the story like it really is. There are certain truths about dealership websites that dealers need to know. The first important point is that almost all dealer websites are either underutilized or incapable of being utilized at a high level. Here on DrivingSales the readership is more aware of this than the general dealership body, but even the people reading this article now have a good chance of falling into this category. Most websites should be improved, added to, or replaced. Let's look at the three options, but first let's discuss why this is the case. Universal Problems Here is a brief list off the top of my head of problems that dealers face with their websites. Yours might not have all of these problems, but chances are very strong that you have at least some of these deficiencies. Boilerplate Content - There's very little a website co...Read post

  • Buyer Intent

    Often, dealerships wonder why ad agencies don't buy generic search terms related to their models.  Honda dealers want to know why they aren't showing up for one-word searches such as "Civic" or "used Honda".  The reason is actually quite simple: it all comes down to buyer intent. If an automotive dealer wants to buy one-word search terms, they should realize that they will be capturing visitors that may not be ready to make a purchase just yet.  In most cases, given a limited budget, a better solution is to avoid using these terms and instead focus on purchasing deep funnel long tail terms that signify clear buyer intent.  This is also known as Zero Moment retail. For example, someone looking for a car might search ‘used car’ in Google.  In this case, the shopper doesn’t know what he wants, other than that he wants to buy a used car.  At this point, he is most likely researching what is available rather than settling on a particular vehicle to purchase - he has what is ca...Read post

  • Passive Intent - A Thought Technology I Learned from Warby Parker

    Passive Intent a phrase you wont find anywhere. Because for the most part it's somewhat contradictory. However the intention of being passive seems like an idea that we probably could all get behind.Read post

  • Should Dealers Target Everybody or a Selection of Buyers with their Advertising?

    At first glance, it's an easy question with an instant answer. Car dealers want to target everyone within driving distance with their message. As Ripley said in Aliens, "It's the only way to be sure." Upon closer examination, problems start to pop up. Even if we assume that "everybody" is actually a large portion of the audience (since you can't reach everybody from a literal sense), there are still holes in the strategy. Those who have extremely large marketing budgets could do it, but even then they really shouldn't. Here's why: At any given moment at most 3% of the adult driving population is in or near the market for buying one of your vehicles and that's if you have a very popular brand. For many brands it's under 1%. Reaching all of them requires large mass-media buys and a shotgun approach. Based upon diminishing returns, the second $10,000 can be less effective than the first, the third $10,000 will be less effective than the second... etc. Targeting is getting much, much...Read post

  • Yelp! WTF

    I’m not complaining about this at all. We could use more of these 5 star reviews to actually stick. But, it does make me wonder… Read post

  • Celebrate Summer with All-Star Baseball

    Every year, thousands of Major League Baseball games are played with millions in attendance. These same baseball fans are gearing up for the long awaited All-Star Game coming up July 14th.  Believe it or not, your dealership can leverage these enthusiasts’ excitement to drive sales and service business. How, you ask? With creative, relevant marketing. Check out these three ideas to celebrate summer with All-Star baseball. Get Active Here in Cincinnati, if the Reds combine 11 strikeouts during a home game, LaRosa’s (a local pizzeria) allows every fan with a ticket from that game to redeem it for a free pizza. This is an example of how a local business can get involved with the sport of baseball to promote their brand. Similarly, your dealership could offer discounts for events that transpire during the All-Star Game, such as offering $10 oil changes if a local player hits a home run or a similar promotion that may fit your particular business model.  Create a Contest Everybody l...Read post