We all know that just having a website, no matter how great, is not enough to make sales in the automotive industry. LEARN MORE
People have been trashing the Internet for ages about it's viability as a marketing channel, establishing virtual communities, interactive education and allowing people to work from everywhere.
The Internet as a viable tool has raised eyebrows for many years in and out of the automotive industry. Clifford Stoll from Newsweek lambasted the medium way back in 1995 as well.
The Internet has reverted us back to a time when ideas and products were introduced by "word of mouth". The days of acceptance in the marketplace via one way communication, read interruption marketing, is falling by leaps and bounds. Customers do not care how great you claim your product is, they don't care about the great big sale you are having, they don't care to be interrupted in their daily lives until they are ready for what you have to offer. That is just the way it is today.
When the radio then the TV became the primary ways for companies to communicate with their customers it took us out of a time where people talked about what was available in the marketplace by letting their friends, family and business acquaintances know who had what and how you could get it yourself. Consumers still did it they were just ignored and the best way to overcome negative press was to buy more advertising. The Internet is bringing us back to marketing at it's most basic level. Make a product and/or experience worth talking about.
Make it easy for consumers to communicate with you and to provide feedback. Don't give them fill in the blank rating forms then buy their review with perks. Seek honest feedback with a give and take, engage your customers and offer yourself as a resource and drop the pitch until it is asked for. Once you master this then you will be heads above your competition and capture a larger piece of the ever shrinking pie.
Where do you start? I can't answer that for you, but I know you must discover what differentiates you from any other supplier in your niche. If you can't do that you will be stuck in the Dead Zone forever...