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Urbandale, IA--May 18th--Flick Fusion (www.flickfusion.com) announced today that the Cardinale Automotive Group (member of the Cardinale-Group of Companies), one of the nation's top Internet auto retailers with 17 stores in California and Arizona, has increased sales velocity 36 percent since it switched to Flick Fusion for its video inventory marketing needs. In May 2014, the Cardinale Automotive Group's average initial contact-to-sold timeframe was 17.3 days. The auto group incorporated Flick Fusion videos as a key component in its digital advertising strategy, and today the group's rolling average contact-to-sold is 11.1 days, with a few of its larger metropolitan stores enjoying an average of 5.3 days. The national average contact-to-sold timeframe for auto dealers is 50.3 days.
"Inventory is like produce; it begins to rot the moment it's unloaded," said Erich Gail, Chief Operating Officer of the Cardinale-Group of Companies. "Our digital strategy throughout our automotive group focuses on being where the buyer is at the exact zero-moment-of-truth (ZMOT), when the consumer knows what vehicle he wants, why he wants it and is now looking for "the" place to buy it. The sight, sound and motion that videos provide emphasize the three emotional triggers we use to connect with those in-market ZMOT buyers."
Recently the Cardinale Automotive Group achieved the #4 ranking in WardsAuto e-Dealer Top 100 in North America list. Like a few other top Internet retailers, the group is 100 percent digital. "We do not invest one penny in traditional advertising of any kind," said Gail. "While I wouldn't recommend that for all retailers, a digital-only ZMOT strategy works extremely well for us throughout the markets we serve."
Gail focuses the group's digital strategy exclusively on consumers' ZMOT. "Of the $55 billion dollars invested annually in auto advertising, 93 percent of that is spent within the overcrowded stimulus and consideration phase," said Gail. "The challenge within these phases is they represent higher funnel shoppers who have yet to transition to a buyer. These phases make sense for a manufacturer, but not for a retail dealership. As dealers, we do not need to spray our brands or invest our precious capital across all segments, we only need to be where consumers are when they are buying."
To ensure success with consumers at their ZMOT, Gail has focused the operating and digital retail strategy to reflect five essential components: (1) merchandising (2) pricing (3) video marketing (4) targeted in-market buyer channels, and (5) a humanized social voice (being part of the conversation in social media).
To fulfill their video marketing requirements, Gail switched from another vendor to Flick Fusion Video Marketing one year ago. "We chose the Flick Fusion team based on their performance-fueled commitment, their ability to integrate with our technology, their scalable platform and their performance reporting capabilities," said Gail. "They're fantastic; it's been a wonderfully collaborative relationship."
Flick Fusion Video Marketing provides the industry's only platform that completely automates the video production and distribution process, making it simple and fast for auto dealers to create inventory, email and other types of videos. Salespeople can shoot their own videos or choose from an existing library of stock video footage to create dynamic, custom-branded videos in just a few short minutes. Flick Fusion's automated distribution process ensures videos display on a dealership's VDPs, social platforms including Facebook and YouTube, third-party sites and more.
The Cardinale Automotive Group's three-pronged video marketing strategy includes:
1) Inventory videos on all dealerships' Vehicle Display Pages (VDPs)
2) Inventory videos on all dealerships' Facebook active inventory pages
3) Direct vehicle-specific video links embedded into active targeted and re-targeted digital ads, as well as text and banner advertising
Additionally, the Cardinale-Group of Companies has broadened its market reach with an ongoing, development collaboration between ZMOT Auto (a Cardinale-Group company) and Flick Fusion to provide all videos in English and in conversational Spanish.
The advanced reporting capabilities of Flick Fusion's video platform allows ZMOT Auto to track critical metrics, ensuring they are able to attribute every conversion, every lead source and every appointment. "When it comes to video-specific metrics, we study the frequency of views by an individual user," said Gail. "Say a person watches a video twice in 24 hours; they watch it once at work then later at home that night, which means they may be showing it to a spouse. The next day if that person contacts us via form submission, chat, email or phone, we know that person is a buyer. Done. He's an owner."
The Cardinale Automotive Group has high standards and performance expectations for all associates within every department of every store. For example, sales operating performance of manager-confirmed shown appointments reflects an average closing ratio of 80 percent or greater. "The sight, sound and motion of video creates a compelling pre-ownership experience," said Gail. "When that person shows, we already know they want to buy the car they have selected."
Because of this powerful emotional connection, the Cardinale Automotive Group through ZMOT Auto can attribute a higher gross profit per vehicle on inventory sold to video lead prospects. "We know by the volume and frequency of video views if a piece of inventory is likely to move quickly," said Gail. "We know when a customer arrives for an appointment they are emotionally invested in a specific vehicle or model series, and as a result of our merchandising and cost-to-market strategy we do not find it necessary to discount further. This reality of zero moment retail has provided sustainable growth on our overall transactions."
In one year, Flick Fusion's video marketing platform has helped the Cardinale Automotive Group boost its gross profit per vehicle and contact-to-sold sales velocity by 36 percent. The increased inventory turn has contributed to a greater volume of throughput and profitability for the group's fixed operations, including service, parts and sales, as well as sales operations within new, pre-owned and finance.
"After months, weeks and greater than 13 hours of research and consideration, it all comes down to that zero moment when the consumer asks 'Where am I going to buy?'" said Gail. "Video as an emotional connector accelerates the consumer experience. Video is such a great differentiator for us and has provided tremendous momentum to our digital marketing strategy."
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