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Jan 17, 2013

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Ron Henson's Recent Posts

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  • Let Data Drive Pretty Much Everything in Your Marketing

    First, a mini-rant. It will make sense why I'm starting with a rant before getting to the meat of the issue. I was on the phone with a social client and their prospective search marketing provider the other day when I was blindsided by ignorance. It wasn't what I expected from a company that came highly recommended for their search prowess, so I called later on to talk to someone other than a salesperson to confirm that I heard properly. They selected their keywords straight from a template. The dealer would tell them the cities and then they would plug in those cities into their keyword template and, VOILA, they had a keyword list to plug into their campaigns. This is the type of treatment I would expect from an OEM-level provider, but to see it coming from a boutique shop really turned me sideways. The whole idea of being small and nimble is the ability to give the personal touch; heck, that's why we built our company in the first place! That experience prompted me to talk abou...Read post

  • Changing Your Dealerships Culture.

    In Greek mythology Sisyphus was compelled, as a punishment for deceitfulness, to roll a boulder up a hill, When it almost reached the top he would witness it roll to the bottom and then would repeat this action over and over again for eternity. Sound FamiliarRead post

  • Using Moneyball Strategies to Win the Content Marketing Game

    In a recent article published on Marketing Land, an author used the famous concept of Moneyball and applied it to content marketing. If you aren’t familiar with the Moneyball concept, it began when Billy Beane became manager of the 2001 Oakland Athletics. Mr. Beane hypothesized that a team doesn’t necessarily need a superstar to win games. The key to winning in baseball is scoring. To score runs, a team must have players that can get on base. Rather than allocate millions of dollars (which the organization couldn’t afford) for superstar players, Mr. Beane used data and algorithms to identify players who may have been considered sub-par, but had high on-base percentages (i.e.: they could hit and get on base consistently). Using this strategy, he was able to put together a team that went on to win against stacked teams of superstars. The author of the Marketing Land article went on to explain how successful content marketing paralleled the Moneyball strategy. Marketers shouldnRead post

  • How to Make Hyper-Targeting Your Social Media Secret Weapon

    If you're like many, you're sick of hearing how big social media is. It's huge. We get it. That's not the real "juice" that comes through utilizing social media for automotive advertising. The greatest benefit that social media currently offers to car dealers is through hyper-targeting. More dealers every day are taking advantage of the standard targeting components of sites like Facebook and Twitter - targeting by location, age, income, education, and any combination of these and many other demographic components available. Very few dealers are taking advantage of the stronger data that's available through a plethora of very specific data sets. First and foremost, the use of your customer database is absolutely imperative. You might be sending direct mail to your customers. You're probably emailing them. Unfortunately, your also probably missing a large number of them because of spam filters and a general distaste for junkmail. Social media offers a very direct way to get your me...Read post

  • There's No Need to Make Reputation Management Complicated

    One of my biggest complaints about some vendors in our industry is that they make reputation management seem like it requires extremely specialized talents in order to make it work for car dealers. They would have you believe that you cannot manage, monitor, or influence your own reputation and that it takes extreme talent and a complex strategy to make it happen. As much as I would love to pitch our own reputation management solution here, I'll keep it simple. Reputation management isn't hard. In fact, it's the complicated measures through which many vendors attempt to manipulate your reputation that gets dealers and other businesses in trouble. Here, I'll break down the steps that make up a real reputation management system: Deliver Great Customer Service - Just as we do with our own clients, dealers that are treating their customers fairly and with respect have a better chance of maintaining a positive reputation online. That doesn't mean that great service will definitely yi...Read post

  • You Need to Repeat Yourself (in marketing) to Your Past Customers

    Repetition can get annoying. When we see the same message over and over again, it has a tendency to get on our nerves. That's not what you're trying to do by putting out consistent messages multiple times through diverse channels. In today's ever-shifting world, it's important to risk repetition for the sake of having them see your message at all. I originally published this article over at AutomotiveSocial.com but thought it would fit in nicely at DrivingSales: Customer loyalty is a tough cookie to crack nowadays. It's not like before when things were more predictable, when you could make assumptions about timing and situations. Today, you never know when the situation will change to where someone is in the market to buy a car immediately. The standard buying cycle has been replaced by a chaotic weaving of changes to job, relationships, and circumstance. Another thing has changed. People are not inherently loyal to any particular dealership. Sure, there are regular customers who...Read post

  • Sub-Prime Automotive Finance is Back - Is Your Dealership Ready?

    Credit bureau analysts found that sub-prime auto loans in March came in at $13.1 billion, marking an 8.8-percent increase year-over-year, and it is only expected to grow stronger. Equifax had to go back to March 2007 to find a figure that high. That’s when the market generated $12.5 billion in sub-prime paper in a single month. - See more via Sub-Prime Auto Finance News: Sub-Prime Auto Loan Totals     Do you have the right people and inventory in place to take advantage of the record number of Sub-Prime Finance buyers that are flocking to market? There are billions of dollars at stake. Let's see with a quick assessment.   What is the most profitable department in your dealership? If you did not answer with your Sub-Prime finance department then you have some things to work on. Your gross profit per unit sold on a Sub-Prime finance deal should be substantially higher if you have the right people and inventory. Lets get started.   People:   Have your salespeople been pro...Read post

  • How important is a job title?

    My dealership firmly believes in a culture of *teamwork* - and by not having a title - I can be the utility player on the team.Read post