Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: None

By Michael Sweigart on Oct 6, 2008

This is the first of a series of posts about what to do, what to buy, how to prosper (as best we all can) in a slowing economy. Feel free to add comments and contribute any other ideas and strategies, so that we can all help each other in these tough times. Here are some thoughts in n particular order:

Buy more results-oriented and track able opportunities

  • Internet Pay Per Click Advertising: Typically this is Google adwords but also includes Yahoo and MSN “paid” advertising. The reason why this is on the top of the list is because month after month our clients view their website results and state that the lowest “cost per opportunity” comes from the Internet. Plus, you pay per click. If they do not click you do not pay. Simple enough. With the right words, ad, and destination or landing page, this can add up quickly to a success story. Alternatively, if purchased the wrong way, this can end up eating up an incredible amount of budget very quickly. This is a very trackable expense. You set a budget and will know how many people saw your ad, clicked on it, visited your site, and took an action such as a phone call or email. Sometimes, you do have to sift through some deceiving reports on things such as “web events” and understand that a visit to a credit app does not mean that a credit app was filled out.
 
  • Search Optimization Services: Again, back on the Internet focus, but there is a reason this will be a recurring theme. Most customers are online and if a good automotive search optimization expert can help you get top results online, they usually last a good amount of time. Over the long run, this will help your business even when you need to trim costs and cut expenses. If done right, it becomes the “gift that keeps on giving”. This is typically an ongoing effort but not one you can ignore since it takes time to build good results and they should be maintained once established. This can be a great return on investment.
 
  • eMail blasts: These can be inexpensive ways to replace your expensive direct mail marketing. For under a nickel a piece, you can send out offers to people in your DMA that match your criteria including household income, demographics, age, sex, etc. Plus the turnaround time is quick and the results are trackable. Take the dollars spent divide by the clicks/visits/calls and there you have your cost per conversion. For the cost of a full or half page newspaper ad, just imagine how many people you could target that perfectly match your desired audience.

Buy less non-trackable “feel good” opportunities

  • Advertising on specific media just because you listen/read/view them: OK, we all have certain patterns, habits, and tendencies to watch, view, listen to or read certain media. It is just human nature. However, just because you do it, that does not mean that everyone is just like you. There are still dealer principals out there that will buy a certain radio station because that is what they listen to on the way to work and they feel other people are just like them. It is human nature (take it from a psych major) to want to assume the world is filled with people that share your viewpoint. However, if you put some accountability in place to track the conversions, the truth comes out. It may make you “feel good” that you hear your spot every afternoon on the way home, but you may not be getting the best bang for your buck.
     
  • Buying media just because you always have: This ties in with the previous idea of acting based on old habits. “I’ve been buying the “Big City Post” ever since my Dad taught me to sell cars.” Well, the Big City Post is down to 20,000 readers and you are paying out the wazoo to buy an ad still. In the words of Bob Newhart, STOP IT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYLMTvxOaeE Again, just because you always have and because the other dealer is buying it, doesn’t make it right.
     
  • Buying opportunities because they are such a good “deal”. What is a good deal any more? With the bottom dropping out of the economy it is time to renegotiate all of your traditional advertising to start and your online as well. You may think they are a good deal, but if you track your calls or emails from each source and figure out a conversaion ratio, you will know which is the best and which needs to be cut. Sometimes you end up in a “contract” but even those can be renegotiated if you ask. Most media outlets are in the same situation so they are losing ad revenue and would rather get something than nothing…

Part 2 will focus on:

Get more Accountability in place

  • Call tracking Services
  • CRM and Lead Management
  • Internet tracking
Make Offers
  • New Vendors
  • Existing media that you have or have not tried 

Testing, testing, testing: New Concepts, marketing ideas, and advertising:

  • New Media ideas, concepts, and methods
  • New Marketing ideas such as new strategies on this blog

 

Comments

Hey I like this guy!

Feb 5, 2013

Comments 1 - 1 of 1

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Michael Sweigart's Recent Posts

  • With the slow Economy, sluggish car sales, gas prices going up and down, what is a dealer to do? Do you need a hatchet or a scalpel to fix things? Wi...Read post

  • This is the first of a series of posts about what to do, what to buy, how to prosper (as best we all can) in a slowing economy. Feel free to add com...Read post

Related Posts

  • What's Your Chat Follow-Up Process?

    Live chat success does not happen on its own. Success happens when live chat is flawlessly incorporated into your dealership’s daily processes. And one of those daily processes is lead follow-up. As soon as a chat lead hits your CRM, you need to have a team promptly following up with that shopper. You can have the most amazing chats in the world, however if your staff is not properly following up with your online shoppers, it won’t matter if you had a good or a bad chat - the result will be the same - you won’t see the sales. Therefore, the moment you sign up for chat, you need to have a plan for effective chat lead follow-up.   Questions You Need to Ask to Plan a Successful Chat Follow-Up System at Your Dealership: Who is going to be following up on the leads? Are you going to use round robin or some other form of fair lead distribution among your staff? How many employees do you need to effectively follow up on all chat leads in a timely manner? Does y...Read post

  • Effective Communication: Stop Playing the Telephone Game

    Most of us are familiar with the telephone game. For those that haven’t played, the game is very simple. A group of people stands in a line. A simple sentence, starting with the first person, is whispered into the next person’s ear one by one until the message reaches the end of the line. Typically, the sentence that is revealed by the person at the end of the line is significantly different than the one that was started with. Just as in the game, this phenomenon of simple miscommunication exists in the workplace. Once you realize just how easily spoken communications can be changed inadvertently, the importance of effectively communicating is reinforced. Car dealerships are particularly prone to this given the complexity of many of the activities occurring. If a salesperson misunderstands the sales manager when working a deal with a customer, it can alter the rapport and general experience for that customer significantly. When a service advisor communicates with a customer inef...Read post

  • Stop Using Public Relations as Advertising

    Throughout history, public relations professionals have assisted companies in gaining exposure and getting the right message to the right audience at the right time. In the past, PR agencies relied on connections with journalists, media contacts and industry publications to relay relevant company news. With the arrival of social media, and digital marketing, PR agencies have had to evolve with the times. It has become a content-driven world, with a whole lot more opportunities to place content. While it is now easier for PR agencies to spread a company’s message, the amount of information news outlets and other publishing platforms receive is quite overwhelming. As such, it is now more important than ever to get your messaging right, so it does not get lost in the noise, or, even worse, turn the audience away.  A good public relations agency knows which types of messages are appropriate and most effective for each type of content. Public relations firms are now frequently retaine...Read post

  • We're Not Worthy: 33 Breakout Speakers at the DrivingSales Executive Summit

    Take one look at this stacked lineup of breakout speakers for the 2014 DrivingSales Executive Summit, and you';ll fall to your knees and exclaim "we're not worthy!". If you're still not decided on whether or not to attend #DSES2014, here are 33 reasons why you don't want to pass up this opportunity.Read post

  • Announcing DSES 2014 Innovation Cup Finalists

    We at DrivingSales are happy to announce this year's finalists for the DSES 2014 Innovation Cup. The Innovation Cup is designed to recognize the most innovative dealership solutions of 2014 and this year will not disappoint. We received more applications than ever before making the contest even more competitive, and the level of innovation has never been higher.Read post

  • DrivingSales 2014 Innovation Cup Award: Finalists Announced

    Innovation Cup recognizes the most innovative dealership solutions of 2014; finalists CarWars, DMEautomotive, Gubagoo, LotLinx and Pearl Technologies to present their solutions at the 2014 DrivingSales Executive Summit   Salt Lake City, UT – September 16, 2014  - DrivingSales today announced that five finalists have been selected for the fifth annual DrivingSales Innovation Cup Award, which recognizes the most innovative dealership solutions of 2014. The finalists will compete onstage for the Innovation Cup Award at the 2014 DrivingSales Executive Summit (DSES), which will be held Sunday, October 12th through Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at the Bellagio Las Vegas.     The DSES, which had record attendance in 2013 and has sold out every year since inception, is unique in the industry because auto dealers determine the speakers and agenda, as well as the finalist and winners of the Innovation Cup Award.     The 2014 Innovation Cup Award finalists are (alphabetically): Gubag...Read post

  • Gubagoo’s New TalkSmart Drives ‘Smart’, High-Converting Phone Leads

    TalkSmart integrates advanced telephony into Gubagoo’s analytics-driven website chat and communications platform   West Palm Beach, FL – September 16, 2014  – Gubagoo Inc.’s new TalkSmartsm is designed to drive ‘smart,’ high-converting phone leads. Integrated into Gubagoo’s analytics-driven website chat and communications platform, TalkSmart closes the loop on customer communications via dealership websites. TalkSmart caters to the large percentage of consumers who say that talking to a live person is still their top communications preference, while also helping dealerships ensure that they never miss a car sale because they have missed a call (research shows that at least 20% of a dealership’s call go unanswered).   “In the rush to make websites function at their best, it is important that dealers don’t forget about the oldest kind of chat – the good old-fashioned phone call.  TalkSmart is designed to help transform a dealership website from a ‘dead-zo...Read post

  • IFMG and DealerStrong in Action: the Special Finance SuperGroup Meeting in Las Vegas - September 8, 2014

    Last week our Director of Sales, Russ DeVries, participated in one of DealerStrong's semi-annual SuperGroup Meetings. Scheduled to coincide with the Industry Summit at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, the SF SuperGroup includes dealer principals and senior management from some of the highest volume SF stores in the country. Here's a quick recap.Read post