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Denim Simkins

Denim Simkins Director, Fixed Ops

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Well done Toyota, now all the other OEM’s should follow suit

“28% of clicks from Toyota branded parts/service queries were LOST to the independent rooftops or other advertisers”

Within the span of the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to attend a digital learning lab hosted by Toyota that had representation from Facebook and Google. In addition to that the following week Toyota announced to their dealers they are launching a coordinated effort with a handful of vendors to help all service and part departments start winning some market share in the digital space. Obviously Toyota is trying to wake up every Dealer, General Manager, Service Director and Digital Marketing Manager of the importance of being present in that space along with the need to enlist the help of some proven vendors to deploy an all out attack on our aftermarket competitors. Toyota, I tip my hat to you in leading the charge of helping your dealers engage in this area that needed drastic improvement and bringing awareness to the benefits of shifting some of your traditional marketing spend to fund a coordinated attack online.

Here is why I feel Toyota will be successful with this latest “program” that has been piloted in the Kansas City market where they had great success in driving traffic, recapturing clicks and increasing leads.

Ease of use – Ultimately Toyota has taken away any of the guesswork and made it simple for a Toyota Dealer Service Manager to launch a digital spend that will align with the market demand and maximize all of Toyota’s digital tools and resources to help them drive traffic to their front door.

Awareness – Really what Toyota is saying needs to be done is not new information. This is information the Google team has been yelling for the last 5+ years. They have been begging the dealership world to engage in this area for years only to achieve minimal success. When Toyota speaks, dealers listen and it sounds like their message will be received loud and clear and will help support the service managers need for help in digital marketing.

Affordable – This coordinated effort is very cost effective and easy to launch. Toyota is offering an incentive (co-op) for the first 3 months of the program to help the Dealers see the value of being present when someone searches “Tundra repair Seattle” or “Toyota service Nashville”

Working together – Hopefully this initiative helps all Toyota dealers to work together. The competitor in this space is the aftermarket and not the other Toyota dealer. Having a collaborative consolidated effort will help the spend work better and more efficient without as much overlap and below the belt digital practices in competitive markets.

Proven tools – Toyota has designed service and parts landing pages that are optimized to help increase your quality score and therefore improves        your organic search ranking. Simple, take stack of landing pages with all the sub pages and simply have site provider load them up. They are simple, easy to navigate, clean and very effective.

To use a well known saying but adding a twist is very appropriate at this time. “That’s one small step for the dealer (man), one giant leap for the industry (mankind)” Maybe this quote is a little out of this world but if all the dealers could implement a similar strategy today, maybe tomorrow we will capture more than 29% of this $310 billion dollar industry.

Roger Conant

This is really ironic Denim in that I attended a GM Compass meeting lastweek that was stressing the same thing.  Service has taken a hit on website budgets for too long!

Ian Barkley

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