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

  • FordDirect Certifies Interactive 360

    Drive360®CRM from Interactive 360 is now a certified CRM system for Ford and Lincoln Dealers. PRLog - Jul. 24, 2014 - Interactive 360 announces that they have completed the FordDirect certification process for their Drive360® CRM and have become an approved CRM vendor for Ford and Lincoln dealerships. Due to the integration of Drive360® CRM (http://interactive360.com/packages/drive360-crm) with FordDirect, Ford and Lincoln dealers currently utilizing the CRM system now receive FordDirect referrals directly into their CRM. Interactive 360 (http://www.interactive360.com)has become one of the fastest growing marketing and technology companies in the industry today. Due to the vision of CEO, Rick McLey, Interactive 360 has brought the car business an evolved CRM system that combines robust performance with ease of use and the opportunity to manage customer relationships on the go – right from a mobile device. Using the Drive360® CRM mobile app, a salesperson can easily ente...Read post

  • Spark Additional Revenue with Reputation Management

    It’s no secret that auto buyers are turning to online resources before making an in-store purchase. Today’s buyers are more informed and ready to purchase when they walk into their dealership of choice. This is because these internet-savvy shoppers are researching their favorite model, including options and availability, examining local dealerships to see who carries the model of their choice, and visiting review and social sites to gather other consumers’ opinions to solidify their decisions. Once this extensive research is complete, then buyers go to the dealership to test drive the vehicle. Sound about right? With these types of buying patterns, it is more important than ever for your dealership to make a good first impression. But, how do you make a good first impression on the internet? Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to accomplish this, but today we’re going to focus on upholding a positive online brand image through reputation management of online reviews. ...Read post

  • Is it time for an individualized CRM for Internet leads?

    After working with my dealer for 3 years now I have come across an issue that seems to rear its ugly head quite often... the problem is that my co-workers and managers alike just don’t seem to we willing to embrace the idea that customers are coming from the internet. Because of this we are always spending our entire marketing budget on print ads, "Beacuse thats whats working!" "I have set to see google bring me a deal."  I would like to get some input on my thoughts out-side of my dealer. It seems that we are now entering of not already head deep in the world of online. But the leads that come in via online sources are non-emotional. We have no way to gauge their interest beyond the words they surrender to us in their inquiries and I feel that it is unfair to simply place these leads as part of a dealers active CRM lowering the stats of a dealer. I feel that if possible Internet leads require a CRM outside of the current systems dealers have in place, as we still cannot con...Read post

  • Sometimes It’s Better To Cut Your Losses

    I am sure many of you have heard about the recent customer service debacle involving Comcast over the past week. In case you aren’t familiar with what happened, a customer called into their service center attempting to cancel his service after almost a decade. He was transferred to a customer retention department and, unfortunately, was connected with a person who did the exact opposite. The customer’s patience during this call is amazing. The Comcast representative hounds him for almost 18 minutes (only 8 of which were recorded) repeatedly asking the same questions in his efforts to either keep the customer or understand why the customer was leaving. The customer eventually succeeded in getting his services cancelled, while the Comcast employee succeeded in doing more harm to his company than good. You see, this customer recorded the conversation and posted it online. Since July 14, over 5 million people have listened to this recording. Countless articles have also been written ...Read post

  • Pay plans for sales consultants

    I run a bottom-line price storeand we have been contemplating updating our pay plan lately. We pay on a volume basis rather than a percentage of the gross. It's been awhile since we have looked at the pay plan and I want to make sure it is still competitive. I was wondering if there are any one-price stores out there that would be willing to share their pay plan with me? Or, better yet, if there are some negotiating stores that wouldn't mind sharing with me what the average commission per car paid to a sales consultant would be? Meaning, you take their total commissions earned from the % of the gross and divide it by the number of cars sold (minis and everything included). That would allow me to compare to my pay plan since it is on a per unit basis. Any feedback would be much appreciated! ...Read post

  • 19 Tips & Tricks to Prepare for #DSES2014

    The DrivingSales Executive Summit 2014 is less than 80 days away, and Vegas can be an overwhelming experience if you aren’t prepared. After attending for the past several years, I wanted to share the best tips and tricks I have accumulated. Whether this is your first DSES or you are a Vogelheim Veteran, hopefully you can use this advice and benefit from my experiences.Read post

  • How To Sell 24 Cars Every Month Online By Appointment [Graphic]

    Car Dealers: Each of your BDC Reps or Internet Salespeople can produce 24 sales every month each, working by appointment, by following simple math!Read post

  • Content Marketing for the Innovative Dealership

    Dealerships are facing an uphill battle in the fight to reclaim search rankings from third-party listings, as well as the attempt to win customers through social media. For both automotive SEO and social media marketing, however, content is the single most important factor for overall success. You can optimize your dealership’s site to compete for certain keywords, but that’s only going to get you so far with Google. In order to truly impact rankings, you need to acquire links to your site. The absolute best way to do that is to produce content worth linking to in the first place. That is the essence of content marketing. What is Content Marketing? Content marketing is the art of creating high-quality content for the purpose of building awareness about a product, service, brand, or company. This is typically accomplished without employing sales tactics or openly pushing an agenda, unlike other forms of advertisement. The idea is to create content that your target audience ...Read post