page contents Automotive Thought Leadership: Ralph Paglia: 2011 My title page contents

Thursday, December 29, 2011

True Car and ZAG - Cyber Bandits or Good for the Business? Automotive Marketing

True Car and ZAG - Cyber Bandits or Good for the Business?

Jim Ziegler Guidance: Ten Areas We Need to Concentrate on to Bring This Monster to It's Knees...
1. Government investigation of ALL Data Aggregators taking consumer information from dealers' DMS. Sadly enough, dealers who do business with TrueCar are exposed to liability charges. Cut off all access to unecessary data, no matter who takes it from the dealers DMS and make it illegal to "resell identifiable consumer data" and "transactional data".
2. If anyone takes financial transactional data, they expose the dealer that allowed it to violations, especially if it is passed on to other vendors or shared.
3. Educate Consumers to what they're doing with their information...
a. You buy a car from a dealer, do you really want your personal information, and maybe
even your financial information, passed along and sold and shared by "God knows who?"
b. These People Charge the Dealer $300 which the dealers have to build into the deal
c. Your Privacy and the Security of your Information could theoretically compromise your identity if you do business a company that takes data from the dealership.
4. Educate Investors and potential investors they could possibly be mislead if anyone is telling them this is a safe investment because of all of the dealers pushing back, associations pushing back, and government regulators in many states coming after TrueCar's business model as NOT compliant, in some cases they're saying it is Not Legal.
5. AMEX, USAA and all of their affiliates do not want the bad consumer relations this push back is creating with their members and customers.
6. Cancel your dealership's Affilation with TrueCar. Tell people with certificates YOU don't honor TrueCar and you feel the company is NOT reputable. Educate consumers as to perceived data exposure if they buy from a TrueCar dealer.
7. Make the dealers selling at huge losses take all of those deals. Big problem right now is too many Nissan Dealers and others are taking huge losers to get the factory money. The TrueCar reverse-auction business model will continually push those numbers down until the factory money is non-existent. Consumers need to hear from many dealers, "We don't do TrueCar"
8. Keep calling your National and State Dealer Associations demanding they get involved and stay involved... No excuses.
9. Get the Manufacturers into the game. If GM, Ford, Toyota, and other majors change the rules about how we advertise and do business to protect the dealers, we can cut off their ability to set pricing. So keep it up at every dealer meeting. Call your Dealer Council Members and protest to your factory reps.
Tell the manufacturers, if they want showroom and facility improvements, we need the ability to make fair profits.
10. Tell everyone you know. Educate other dealers and industry people. Watch the Painter interviews...I believe this the first time a vendor has publicly announced they intend to bring down the dealers and hijack our business, taking our profits and starving us out with our own data. Painter has said manufacturers and dealers should bankrupt and he, in his God-like way" will control distribution.
When their Yahoo Deal kicks in we need to stand firm and "Just Say No" we don't honor TrueCar deals.

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

5 Reasons It’s Not Your Breath - Automotive Marketing

5 Reasons It’s Not Your Breath

Kurt Kubicki asks; So why then do customers leave without buying? Are the reasons they give to our sales staff for walking the real ones? It’s kinder to the ego to believe they left to check with a spouse or for other excuses than for the “Real Reason versus the False Excuse.”

Use the link provided to read the full article...



Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Thursday, December 22, 2011

TrueCar Consumer Incentive to Report Dealer Sales - Automotive Marketing

TrueCar Consumer Incentive to Report Dealer Sales

In my opinion, this is simply brilliant. The data provided by this sweepstakes will include sales made by dealers NOT PARTICIPATING IN THE TRUECAR VEHICLES SALES PROGRAM!

Source: Automotive Marketing Netword

ADM Members - Is AutoTrader Your Secret Santa? - Automotive Marketing

ADM Members - Is AutoTrader Your Secret Santa?

Brian Pasch has published a fascinating automotive digital marketing strategy... My digital marketing teams have seen the connection between Online Display Advertising (ODA) and Google search queries for branded terms used in the display ads for years, but this article and the attached charts illustrate the consumer's movement through the channel from seeing an ad, to doing a search, to visiting the dealer's website and submitting an inquiry, or initiating a chat conversation, physically visiting the store or calling via phone. Thanks to Brian Pasch for a great article!

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Automotive Industry Message from Scott Painter, Founder-CEO of TrueCar, Inc. - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Automotive Industry Message from Scott Painter, Founder-CEO of TrueCar, Inc.

Scott Painter states; "Is TrueCar good for all dealers? There will always be those that resist change. To our dealer partners, we applaud your understanding that truth, transparency, and customer service is at the center of success in our changing market. And, to those that still have questions, we invite an open dialogue. One of the great virtues of transparency is that we have nothing to hide." Please use the link provided to read the entire message published by Scott Painter and TrueCar...

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Kansas Bans TrueCar - KANSAS AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Kansas Bans TrueCar

It is our understanding that a number of Kansas franchised new car and truck dealers are currently doing business utilizing the TrueCar/Zag format. It is also our understanding that several formal complaints have been filed with the Kansas Department of Revenue’s Division of Motor Vehicles requesting an investigation of those dealers who have been identified. Use the link provided to read the entire letter sent to dealers by the Kansas Automobile Dealer Association...

Source: KANSAS AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

For Those of Us Not on ADM.... SMH - Automotive Marketing

For Those of Us Not on ADM.... SMH

70% of Americans are online daily, checking emails, facebook, google,etc. Google alone gets over 91 million searches daily. According to QVC.com, QVC expects that 50% of its sales will come from the internet by 2014. Facebook has over 320 million users. Understand that 70% of Americans online includes 70% of your previous customer, 70% of your future or potential customers and 70% of your service customers. Also,your sales force, your family, everyone and this number is growing. Go to where your customers are. I see no downside to branding yourself online. It's cheaper than traditional advertising and it's 100% trackable. Marketing ideas can be implemented instantly, measured and changed with a click of the mouse.

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Top 20 Google Search Engine Advertisers of 2011 - Automotive Marketing

Top 20 Google Search Engine Advertisers of 2011

The top spender is IAC/InterActiveCorp at more than $174 million. IAC owns Ask.com, Match.com, Citysearch and several other companies that are all buying long-term non-used inventory from Google.

Other top players such as Amazon ($118 million), eBay ($70 million), and several car insurance agencies (State Farm, $54 million; Allstate, $50 million; Progressive, $46 million) invested several millions as well through the third quarter of this year on Google.

Microsoft, at just under $71 million and one of Google’s biggest rivals, is the sixth largest search advertiser on Google. Other notables include large travel sites Expedia ($92 million) and Priceline ($67 million). Experian Group was the fifth largest advertiser, spending more than $79 million.

What really caught my eye that I never would have thought about is how much telecoms AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint spend. They will likely combine for more than $300 million this year (estimating the fourth quarter). That's a ton of money and a ton of clicks. Though we do have to keep in mind that AT&T also owns online companies like YP.com and other relevant sites.

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

AutoData and Chrome combine forces - Now known as Chrome Data Solutions - Automotive Marketing

AutoData and Chrome combine forces - Now known as Chrome Data Solutions

"The combination of Autodata and Chrome will allow the North American automotive retail industry, including Internet portals, OEMs, lenders, automotive retailers, and solution providers, to benefit from one-stop shopping for their data and content needs," said Mark O'Neil, chairman and chief executive officer, DealerTrack. "Each company has an established, trusted legacy of more than two decades of providing data and services to the industry. By bringing together the breadth and depth of both companies, we will set new standards for data excellence and spur innovative new offerings."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Digital Advertising: Math Plus Magic is the Future - Automotive Marketing

Digital Advertising: Math Plus Magic is the Future

Math and magic are essentially polar opposites, but share two similarities. The first is that they are both a much more hands-on approach to digital media. With magic, that means creating new experiences. With math it means managing programs on a daily basis, constantly evolving and improving. The second similarity is that math and magic are both underdeveloped skillsets in the industry. They were nice to haves in the past; it was enough to have a handful of people who had these talents. But from here on out, they're the two skills that matter most.

Click the link provided to read the article...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

TrueCar Insider Information - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

TrueCar Insider Information

Mr. Painter my statements & questions to you:

  1. A fair price is one the customer accepts based on their own parameters not oneS you artificially create with the TureCar Curve…PERIOD!
  2. Zag / TrueCar is a pass through middle man, your company is the very company the internet eventually eliminates. All you and TrueCar are effectively doing is creating a point for the dealer & the customer to argue about (The TrueCar price) It’s not your inventory and not your place to price it. Mr. Painter when you start paying for the dealers overhead you can start pricing the car until then GET OUT OF OUR BUSINESS. If you want to be a marketer great! YOUR JOB, bring a customer to a dealer. THE DEALERS JOB, sell the car.
  3. Mr. Painter & State Attorney Generals where is TureCar’s Responsibility in advertising a price? Where are their disclaimers for incentives etc?
  4. Mr. Painter DOES EVERY DEALER ALLOW Zag / TrueCar into their DMS? I think we all know the answer to that question.
  5. Mr. Painter You say you don't use the dealers DMS data but you buy data from DMS companies, here’s a shocker for you… IT’S NOT THEIR DATA TO SELL!
  6. Mr. Painter it might also shock you to realize that the data given to finance companies and insurance agencies (if Zag / TrueCar really is?) isn't their data to sell either and potentially is a violation of GLB (Gramm, Leach, Bililey Act) and has potential liability for the dealer.
  7. Mr. Painter is Zag / TrueCar willing to take a feed from the dealership that only includes what you need to bill (Name, Address, phone, email address)? I think not, but I would love to hear the answer on that one.
  8. Mr. Painter who holds Zag / TrueCar accountable, and for what?
  9. Mr. Painter if you are getting paid on the sale how can you say you are objective? That’s non-sense.
  10. Mr. Painter you say your vast data and research shows that price is not what drives a customer to buy convenience and selection are big decision makers, GREAT! Get rid of the TrueCar Curve and let the dealers post the price. As I said earlier it’s not your inventory to price to begin with.

Dealers at the end of the day it is up to us to protect our data from thieves like TrueCar. That is a harsh statement I know, but I have had it with TrueCar trying to justify this process its BS.

NO MATTER WHERE THE DATA CAME FROM IT ORGINATED AT THE DEALERSHIP IF THE CUSTOMER WANTS TO DISCLOSE THAT DATA…FINE, BUT YOU DON’T GET TO BUY IT FROM DMS COMPANIES, INSUREANCE COMPANIES, DATA AGGORGATORS OR ANYONE ELSE IT IS NOT THEIR DATA TO SELL PERIOD.

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Friday, December 16, 2011

TrueCar Insider Information - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

TrueCar Insider Information

I am posting this information that was sent to me by a TrueCar/ZAG insider to the ADM Forum section to generate discussions around the topics referenced in each section and the bullet points that follow... What is your opinion or insight on the listed sections shown?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Quality Grows As Top Factor in Car Buying Decisions - Automotive Marketing

Quality Grows As Top Factor in Car Buying Decisions

Women Want an Easy Transaction - Besides vehicle build quality... According to a separate CarMax survey conducted by Ipsos released in November, roughly 1 in 4 women said what was most missing from their last car-buying experience was a quick and effortless transaction. A fair trade-in value, trustworthy salesperson, or low, fair pricing (all at 15%) were most missing for relatively fewer women. In 2009, when a similar study was conducted, the leading element missing from the experience was also a quick and easy transaction (25%), followed by a fair trade-in value (19%), a trustworthy salesperson (15%), and low, fair pricing (13%).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How Dealers United Works for Automotive Dealerships

How Dealers United works

When considering the Dealers United value proposition, there are at least two important points to identify and evaluate:


1. What is the problem being solved?

2. Who are the principals and can they be relied upon to deliver?


In the case of Dealers United, the problem the company seeks to solve is fairly easy to understand, it is simply one of economics and purchasing power... Large buying groups have the economic clout to drive lower costs, while individual businesses are relegated to serving the quest for higher gross margins by the supplier. Dealers United will give the single point and smaller privately owned groups the ability to access mega-group buying power.


So, the real question is really one of do you trust and have confidence in the leadership of Dealers United? I (for one) have dealt with Jesse Biter for several years and have found him to be smart, trustworthy and a man of good conscience with strong business ethics and a sense of morality that is based on simple "Right or Wrong" dynamics, rather than being guided by selfish reasons or greed. Do I trust Jesse Biter? Yes, I do...


In my professional opinion, there is no reason why every independently owned dealership and smaller dealer group in America should NOT join Dealers United, and many valid reasons why they should.


Use the links provided to watch the Dealers United video...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Honda Warns Dealers About TrueCar - Bad for the Honda Brand!

Honda Warns Dealers About TrueCar

Mike Warwick, director of digital marketing for the seven-store Kelly Automotive Group in suburban Boston, agrees with Honda's policy toward TrueCar. "Honda's trying to protect the gross profit in selling a car and trying to protect the salespeople who are the backbone of the industry," Warwick said. Kelly, with a Honda store and two Nissan stores among its holdings, dropped out of its TrueCar contract this month after just three months as a participating dealer, Warwick said. In November alone, the group was inundated with 700 leads from TrueCar customers who took a guaranteed vehicle price that Kelly offered, he said. But the stores closed on just 20 of those deals and only three were profitable given the discounts negotiated, Warwick said. The vast majority of customers went elsewhere, using the deals negotiated on TrueCar to get lower prices for vehicles at other non-TrueCar dealers, he said. Meanwhile, Kelly had to follow up with all 700 customers, Warwick said.

Source: Bad for the Honda Brand! - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Sunday, December 11, 2011

TrueCar Sales Process - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

TrueCar Sales Process

Adam Barish's list makes me want to thump my chest, do high fives and smack-downs... However, in all sincerity, if you work in a dealership that uses TrueCar or any other value-diminishing price focused based marketing strategy, once the vehicle is sold, the damage is done. The mistake was made long before the customer showed up at the dealership. Therefore, why punish the customer for taking advantage of the stupidity that permeates your dealership's marketing decisions?

If anything, I would want to win the "Hearts and Minds" of these TrueCar mooches and try to ensure that next time around, they do not want to do business anywhere else... Or, service their vehicle anywhere else. After all, if your dealership is so poorly managed that you cannot generate a fair profit margin, then I hope you are able to retain some of these customers in your service drive to earn SOMETHING from selling that car.

Now, I will also agree that Adam's list made me smile and think "Hell Yeah!", but let's be smart enough to realize that wasting a customer is simply not the best way to go, so consider showing these TrueCar customers some love so they do not feel so compelled to use TrueCar in the future, instead preferring to deal directly with your dealership by cutting out the middleman and the extra $300 in dealer cost they incurred by using TrueCar.

Use the links provided to view Adam Barish's extensive and detailed list of TrueCar Sales Process steps...

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

How Dealers United works - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

How Dealers United works

This video explains how Dealers United works and why it is a must do action item for all independently owned car dealerships who seek to control costs and be competitive with the large mega groups. Use the links provided to watch the video...

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Selling to the New Consumer - Service & Parts Coupons on Automotive Websites - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Selling to the New Consumer

Silia Hatzi states "I realize that I may be preaching to the choir because it seems to me that most of the professionals engaged in a forum such as ADM try our hardest to have all aspects of our online marketing presence dialed in. I hope though, that for those who may have had it on a “To Do List” for a while and may have just needed a bit of inspiration for the New Year, that this post serves as such."

Source: Service & Parts Coupons on Automotive Websites - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dear Autobytel, Dealix, Edmunds, KBB - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Dear Autobytel, Dealix, Edmunds, KBB

Jerry Thibeau - Early Monday morning I start receiving e-mails from third party lead providers thanking me for submitting my information. The e-mails were on the same vehicles I shopped on TrueCar. Coincidence, I think not! Now here is where it gets interesting, my data had been corrected to reflect my current e-mail, and my current phone number. I also started receiving phone calls from dealers. I am guessing my information could have been taken was from the DMS of the dealership where I last purchased my Infiniti. My questions to you, where did my lead originate from and how did you get my information?

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Truecar - Scott Painter DMS Data Speech - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Truecar - Scott Painter DMS Data Speech

Jerry Thibeau - Early Monday morning I start receiving e-mails from third party lead providers thanking me for submitting my information. The e-mails were on the same vehicles I shopped on TrueCar. Coincidence, I think not! Now here is where it gets interesting, my data had been corrected to reflect my current e-mail, and my current phone number. I also started receiving phone calls from dealers. I am guessing my information could have been taken was from the DMS of the dealership where I last purchased my Infiniti. My questions to you, where did my lead originate from and how did you get my information?

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mark Boyd's ADM Profile page - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Mark Boyd's ADM Profile page

Mark Boyd is an auto industry technologist and entrepreneurial legend... His startups include Chrome Data, Dealix and other well known automotive technology brands.

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

TrueCar Scam - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

TrueCar Scam

I love the way Jerry created this video to be viewed by car shopping consumers... Be sure to show this clip to any customers considering the use of TrueCar.

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Probability of Accountability

The Probability of Accountability

Joe Webb "reveals" the hidden truth behind the BS that masquerades as a CRM installation in most USA based car dealerships... This article could have also been titled "The PROBLEM Of Accountability". I can attest to the fact that what Joe observed is something I have seen on far too many occasions in dealerships I was assigned to visit for CRM installation purposes back when I worked for The Reynolds and Reynolds Company, but is also a painful reality of what we see up to this day. These sorts of false accountability systems were destructive 8 years ago, and remain destructive to this day.

The good news is that most BDC's and slightly fewer Internet Sales Teams do not engage in such shenanigans because they do not have the luxury of putting their names on deals that they did not bring into the dealership (for the most part).

The bad news is that regardless of the systems you put in place, employees will usually figure out a way to game the system... For example, the nonsense I see of dealers blocking access to Facebook only results in the use of smartphones for this purpose and their employees bringing in their own laptops. In other words, technology does not prevent or provide accountability as much as it gives owners and managers a false sense of security that policies are being followed.

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Saturday, December 3, 2011

American Auto Industry Resurgence Infographic

American Auto Industry Resurgence Infographic

Have you seen the American Auto Industry Resurgence Infographic created and published by the United States Federal Government? Given that your Federal income tax dollars were used to create and publish this chart, I thought it would be well worth sharing with members of the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community...

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Friday, December 2, 2011

TrueCar - Banned YouTube Video

TrueCar - Banned YouTube Video

WARNING: This is the same video that TrueCar forced YouTube to delete in their attempt to squash the message it contains... Watch this clip while you still can and before the army of attorneys that TrueCar uses to suppress America's Free Speech constitutional rights are successful in their "Mob Enforcer" style of witness suppression yet again!

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Google Search Advertising With Lead Capture Form in The Actual Sponsored Listing - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Google Search Advertising With Lead Capture Form in The Actual Sponsored Listing

Google site extensions in Adwords as a email lead capture tool without users being required to leave the Search Engine Results Page (SERP)...

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Toyota FT-86 Concept Becomes the Toyota GT 86 - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Toyota FT-86 Concept Becomes the Toyota GT 86

Toyota FT-86 Concept Becomes the Toyota GT 86... Discover the stunning Toyota GT 86, and rediscover the fantastic images of the initial FT-86 concepts. Some said it took Toyota forever to launch this car...

Toyota 86 - 2011 Tokyo Auto Show

As promised, the eagerly-anticipated Toyota 86 made its official world debut in Tokyo. Named in honor of the legendary Corolla GT AE86 model and co-developed with Fuji Heavy Industries, this rakish, rear-drive 2+2 sport coupe was designed from the outset to be an affordable lightweight sports car with impeccable handling credentials. Starting next year, a rebadged version of the Toyota 86 will be sold in the U.S. as the Scion FR-S and the platform will serve to underpin the new Subaru BRZ model, also being unveiled this week in Japan.


Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

The New Steps to the Sale - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

The New Steps to the Sale

Trust - In order for people to want to do business with you, not only must they like you; they must also "trust" you. Just like being likable, this is also something that happens in the heart – and not in the mouth. In order to be a trustworthy person – I love that word: "trustworthy"...

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Video Marketing Classes at 2012 DMSC

Video Marketing Classes at 2012 DMSC

I really like this video... about producing videos... The overlay and the transitional effects are very attention keeping and truly enhance the clip. Since producing videos like this is part of what we are going to learn at DMSC in Las Vegas, I am more excited than ever about attending and participating in this event!

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Monday, November 28, 2011

http://www.toyotacommunity.com/profiles/blogs/2012-toyota-rav4-ev-at-los-angeles-autoshow

In 2012, the new Toyota Prius line will become more of special focus for the auto maker as they release several new size versions of the very popular hybrid. With the Prius in mind, it will be interesting to see how clients react to an all electric vehicle that gets around 100 miles to a charge.

http://www.toyotacommunity.com/profiles/blogs/2012-toyota-rav4-ev-at-los-angeles-autoshow

Sunday, November 27, 2011

True Car and ZAG - Cyber Bandits or Good for the Business?

True Car and ZAG - Cyber Bandits or Good for the Business?

Jim Ziegler asks; "Are we so bad at what we do that we have to line up and pay vendors to lose money? AND, who is giving these people access to your data that is used against you?" Use the link provided to red Jim's entire post and see the chart provided...

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What is Automotive SEO these Days?

Brian Pasch states: "Dealers can't know in...
Ralph Paglia1:45pm Nov 26
Brian Pasch states: "Dealers can't know in advance which digital assets a consumer will connect with so they should be providing multiple choice paths that include: videos, blogs, social media, content syndication, microsites, and of course a strong website. An SEO specialist also has to advise dealers about their online reputation because of the frequency that review websites appear for searches on their name. Bad reviews impact consumers during the Zero Moment of Truth so dealers need to have a multi-platform approach to collecting customer reviews." The article includes illustrations and charts that go a long way towards delivering Automotive SEO insights.
By the way what is Automotive SEO again? - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community
www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com
This blog post was inspired by Tony Rhoades today, when he commented on a blog post about ZMOT sayin...

http://RalphPaglia.com http://GPlusRalph.com 

By the way what is Automotive SEO again?

By the way what is Automotive SEO again?

Brian Pasch states: "Dealers can't know in advance which digital assets a consumer will connect with so they should be providing multiple choice paths that include: videos, blogs, social media, content syndication, microsites, and of course a strong website. An SEO specialist also has to advise dealers about their online reputation because of the frequency that review websites appear for searches on their name. Bad reviews impact consumers during the Zero Moment of Truth so dealers need to have a multi-platform approach to collecting customer reviews." The article includes illustrations and charts that go a long way towards delivering Automotive SEO insights.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Why ZMOT is BS - According to Larry Bruce

Why ZMOT is BS - by Larry Bruce

Larry Bruce points out: “It is all too easy today for consumers to just cut you out of the buying process for you not to be ultra-transparent and more importantly HELPFUL. The bottom-line the consumers web shopping experience when it comes to automotive is more of a process of elimination not one of inclusion”

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Top Blog Posts this Week - Automotive Marketing Articles and News

Top Blog Posts this Week

Automotive Marketing Articles and News

Listed below are the Top 20 Automotive Marketing Blog Posts published during the past 7 Days on the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community... Each of these 20 Automotive Marketing and Sales Related articles deserve your attention, comments and readership! Please visit and read each of these articles to improve your understanding, strategy and tactical execution of automotive marketing and sales best practices.

Top Blog Posts 

Rank
1 How a Company Blog Can Help Your Site's SEO

How a Company Blog Can Help Your Site's SEO

Added by Mina K. on November 18, 2011

2 The Road to the NO SALE!

The Road to the NO SALE!

Added by Keith Shetterly on November 18, 2011

3 From the Trenches - Remembering Johnny Walker

From the Trenches - Remembering Johnny Walker

Added by Tom Gorham on November 20, 2011

4 The 5 WORST Questions to Ask a Phone Up

The 5 WORST Questions to Ask a Phone Up

Added by Melissa Roberts on November 22, 2011

5 Is The Road to the Sale Obsolete? by Jim Ziegler

Is The Road to the Sale Obsolete? by Jim Ziegler

Added by James A. Ziegler on November 15, 2011

6 All Automotive Marketers Are Publishers; Learn How To Do It Well!

All Automotive Marketers Are Publishers; Learn How To Do It Well!

Added by Ralph Paglia on November 23, 2011

7 If a Review is Written in the Great Forest of the Internet, and It Makes No SEO, Does Anybody Read It?

If a Review is Written in the Great Forest of the Internet, and It Makes No SEO, Does Anybody Read It?

Added by Keith Shetterly on November 16, 2011

8 Updated Information on Google Places and Reviews

Updated Information on Google Places and Reviews

Added by Scott Falcone on November 17, 2011

9 The Lowest Person on the Totem Pole.

The Lowest Person on the Totem Pole.

Added by Ashley AutoDealer Marketing on November 23, 2011

10 Start Using Conversion Funnels With Google Analytics Updated Interface

Start Using Conversion Funnels With Google Analytics Updated Interface

Added by Brian Pasch on November 21, 2011

11 Why Your Online Storefront Matters More

Why Your Online Storefront Matters More

Added by Kathi Kruse on November 16, 2011

12 Cinnamon Challenge Added to 2012 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference

Cinnamon Challenge Added to 2012 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference

Added by Brian Pasch on November 14, 2011

13 Video Blog With Craig Lockerd Of Automax Recruiting And Training

Video Blog With Craig Lockerd Of Automax Recruiting And Training

Added by David Johnson on November 18, 2011

14 Twitter Tips 101: How to Tweet Like a Pro for Your Dealership

Twitter Tips 101: How to Tweet Like a Pro for Your Dealership

Added by Jessica Wolf on November 22, 2011

15 Is What Your Dealership Stocks a Marketing Decision?

Is What Your Dealership Stocks a Marketing Decision?

Added by Larry Bruce on November 18, 2011

16 Actual artwork meant for a dealership

Actual artwork meant for a dealership

Added by Angela Martin on November 21, 2011

17 HELP! Competitive Comparisons Vendor's?

HELP! Competitive Comparisons Vendor's?

Added by J. Lugo on November 18, 2011

18 The Dealership Newsletter

The Dealership Newsletter

Added by Tom Kain on November 13, 2011

19 Staying on the 'Road to the Sale'

Staying on the 'Road to the Sale'

Added by Kurt Kubicki on November 14, 2011

20 Why Google Plus Must Not Be Ignored By Car Dealers

Why Google Plus Must Not Be Ignored By Car Dealers

Added by Ralph Paglia on November 23, 2011



The 5 WORST Questions to Ask a Phone Up - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

The 5 WORST Questions to Ask a Phone Up - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Melissa Roberts, has written a great article that will help all of us to stop making the mistakes that cost dealerships a lot of money in lost sales and service profits from not handling phone calls properly. Sometimes, knowing what NOT TO ASK can be as, or more important than knowing what to ask. Too many people in dealerships are fumbling these opportunities to do business that come through the phone. As a marketer, it pains me to see so much interest from customers get driven away from people saying the wrong things, and asking inappropriate questions when people call the dealership. Check out the entire article with the 5 things you should never ask people over the phone by using the links provided...

Monday, November 21, 2011

What Should Dealers Look For When Selecting an Internet Trainer or Consultant?

Characteristics of Top Performing Internet Sales Trainers and Digital Marketing Consultants

written by Ralph Paglia

Since 1998 I have personally delivered Internet Sales Training and Digital Marketing Consulting services to over 1,000 car dealers and at least 6 car companies. Between 2001 and 2010 I recruited, hired, trained or supervised over 200 Internet Sales Trainers and Digital Marketing Consultants... While managing the services they delivered to dealers and car companies. As I am sure you can imagine, along the way I have acquired some very developed criteria for the background and skills that can be directly associated with the people who will do a good job assisting dealers in their Internet Sales Management and Digital Marketing strategy, tactics and operational management development. So what are these criteria that I personally associate with the people most likely to make a positive difference at a dealership when it comes to selling cars and service using the web? Joe Webb asked me to list them in a manner that he can include in a document designed to help car dealers make better decisions on who to hire as an Internet Sales Trainer or Consultant, so let me itemize what I consider to be the Top 5 ways to select an Internet/Digital trainer or consultant in a prioritized list based on each item's rank in order of importance:

1. Experience - How many dealership Internet Sales Departments has the trainer or consultant set up, built, managed, designed and monitored? In many ways, when a dealer hires a trainer or consultant what is actually purchased is that person's previous experience in both success and failure in the various aspects of creating and operating Internet Sales Teams, Digital Marketing Strategies and related operational aspects of making these people, processes and technologies work for dealers in regards to selling cars, parts and service business. Les experience should cost less and more experience is worth more to the dealer hiring an outside trainer/consultant. Also, as important as it is to hire trainers/consultants who have had BOTH sales and management experience in dealerships prior to becoming a trainer/consultant, it is important to point out that 48 weeks on the road as a consultant installing Internet Sales and Digital Marketing strategies and tactics in 24 different dealerships is probably equivalent to 6 years of experience working as a manger in a car dealership. As a dealer, when you hire a trainer/consultant who has done similar work in dozens of different dealerships you are acquiring a broad base of experience that increases the likelihood of success in your dealership. Let me describe a graphic and personal example... I have personally installed over 100 Business Development Centers in Ford dealerships. I know which of my first 100 dealerships subsequently either disbanded those BDC's or simply let them decline into non-existence. Of the 60 that are still in operation 7 years later, there are common element in their design and implementation that can be associated with their long term success and profitable contributions to the dealership's they serve. Likewise, of the 40 BDC's from those original 100 I installed that no longer exist, there are common elements to the way they were designed, set up, staffed, physically located and managed. It is safe to say that I know what make a BDC more likely to be successful. Likewise, broad based experience working with many dealerships and in different parts of the country is more likely to result in a better trainer/consultant for any dealership considering who to hire. Lastly in regards to experience, this is the essential ingredient for success with "Situational Management"... As opposed to implementing robotic, one way to do something processes in any dealership, the implementation of results based processes is far more effective when it comes to sales, customer retention and efficiency. There are very few tasks that can only be executed in one specific way in order to experience the most success for your dealership. The sign of a truly experienced and wise trainer or consultant is that they know how to achieve the dealership's objectives in a variety of ways and are not dependent on one way to get something done... If that one way doesn't work, the experienced trainer/consultant will know how to get it done using another method.

2. Work Ethic and Productivity - Since hiring a trainer/consultant usually involves the dealer paying for units of time, how much actual in-dealership face-to-face training and consulting time will you get for the money being spent and how many dealership employees and their ability to implement and execute processes will be positively impacted? What are the "deliverables" that the consultant will produce and deliver within those same units of time? Will they deliver a documented Action Plan each time they visit the dealership? Will the trainer/consultant follow up on whether the assigned dealership resources have completed those tasks prior to the next visit to the dealership? Will the trainer/consultant prepare performance reports and assessments for management and dealer review? All of these tasks are certainly in the realm of capability for every trainer/consultant worth considering, but how much is done within a billable time period is a sound basis to use in evaluating their productivity. How much output in high value deliverables is also a function of basic work ethics inherent in the trainer/consultant personal profile.

3. Passion, Persuasion and Communication Skills - I debated whether to list this as #2 or #3, but let's just say that these are VERY, VERY important skills (character traits?) for any trainer or consultant a dealership is considering... How effectively can that person express themselves to a variety of different people in your dealership? How well will their message resonate with your team? Is the trainer/consultant passionate enough about the work they do to have their enthusiasm become contagious and infect your dealership's employees? The ability to both communicate what needs to be done on a daily basis and persuade your team that they will each be more successful by doing these things is paramount to whether or not a dealer gets the most bang for the buck when hiring a, Internet Sales Trainer or Digital Marketing Consultant. There are several ways to evaluate these types of skills... Watch the trainer/consultant on video, read the articles he/she has written and published. Look at the quality of training materials they use, speak to them by phone and ask the trainer/consultant to convince you to do something an Internet Sales Manager, BDC Rep, Marketing Manager, Sales Manager or Salesperson should be doing each day as part of their work flow process. After all, if the trainer/consultant cannot convince you as the dealer or GM that something should be done, how the heck are they going to convince your employees?

4. Dealer and/or OEM References - Before you sign any contracts or pay any money, speak to at least two people who have hired and used the trainer or consultant you are considering... As they say on Wall Street, "Past Performance may not be an effective indicator of future performance" but checking references is certainly a prudent step to execute in evaluation a trainer or consultant and falls under the category of Due Diligence. What are some of the things to ask about a trainer/consultant? You should ask if whatever they did effected the behavior of the dealership's employees after the trainer/consultant left the facility. How long did their visit to the dealership, or the remote work they did for that dealer continue to have a positive effect on the dealership's operations? What should you watch out for? I have heard dealers describe many horror stories, such as paying a trainer/consultant in advance and then having difficulty getting them to visit the dealership on a date that worked for both parties. Or, having paid for one trainer/consultant only to have somebody the dealer never met or heard of show up to deliver the services. However, there is one issue I have noticed over the years that may sound bad, but is actually indicative of the very best trainers and consultants I have worked with... Have they ever been kicked out of a dealership? Some of the best and most effective Internet Sales Trainers and Digital Marketing Consultant have been asked to leave a few dealerships over the years. This is what happens when a passionate, highly skilled change agent works in a dealership that is determined NOT to change; almost like an unhealthy body rejecting a healthy organ transplant! Bottom line, always contact 2 or more dealer references when considering hiring any trainer or consultant.

5. Do They Walk The Talk? - Whenever considering a trainer or consultant who specializes in any aspect of web based marketing, sales and communications, you should check on how much they practice what they preach. So, for example if an Internet Sales Trainer tells you he or she believes in prompt responses to Internet Sales Leads and customer emails... Send them an email message and ask for their phone number; then take note of how long it took them to respond. If a consultant professes to being able to help you improve your dealership's various website Search Engine Optimization (SEO) implementations, do a Google search for their name or the name of their business and take note of how well they show up and how many listings are sites or accounts they are in control of. If a trainer/consultant tells you they will help your team send better emails to your dealership's customers, ask them to send you examples using your name as if you were the prospective car buyer or service customer. The trainer/consultant claims to be able to make sense out of using social media to enhance your dealership's sales and marketing? Then, get their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Ning and Wordpress site or profile addresses and go check them out online... How do they look? Are they practicing what they preach?

I hope these five evaluation recommendations help you make a better decision when considering brining in an outside Internet Sales Trainer or Digital Marketing Consultant, but let me include a final bit of very important advice... If you are not prepared to implement that vast majority of a trainer or consultant's recommendations and operational processes, then your dealership is not an ideal candidate for these types of services. Having assisted many dealerships over the past 13 years, after managing dealerships and departments for many years before that, it is always a little surprising to me when a dealership embraces all that I give them and actually does it! I love it when this happens, but more often than not, dealership management teams will pick and choose the items a trainer or consultant gives them and only implement those items... This does not always provide the best results. However, every dealer I have ever worked with that reinforced the implementation of the vast majority of what i recommended, then enforced the discipline to make sure the dealership employees executed these processes every day, has been VERY successful in achieving the Internet Sales and Digital Marketing objectives. So, the lesson learned is that if you do what the trainer or consultant you hire tells you and your team to do, your dealership will experience success... But, if you choose partial implementation by picking and choosing which items to implement, you will get only partial success, and maybe none at all.

For the past four years I have made myself available and accessible to members of the online professional network I set up for dealers and their employees at www.AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com<http://www.AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com> and look forward to seeing you there!

Ralph Paglia
www.RalphPaglia.com<http://www.RalphPaglia.com>
http://LinkedIn.com/in/RPaglia
http://Twitter.com/RalphPaglia
http://Facebook.com/RPaglia
http://YouTube.com/RalphPaglia
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dealers United Interview on Automotive Digest - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Dealers United Interview on Automotive Digest - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

The whole concept behind Dealers United is fascinating and one of those rare "Win-Win" situations for both dealers and automotive suppliers that should not be ignored. In this video clip Jesse Biter answers the question about what exactly does Dealers United intend to do, and how does the new company intend to succeed? Well worth watching!

Automotive Marketing Network Activity

Here's what's happened in the Automotive Digital Marketing Newsroom during the past day.

New Automotive Marketing network posts:
   
Keith Shetterly commented on Keith Shetterly's blog post 'If a Review is Written in the Great Forest of the Internet, and It Makes No SEO, Does Anybody Read It?': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/keith-shetterly-commented-on-keith-shetterlys-blog-post-if-a-review-is-written-in-the-great-forest-of-the-internet-and-it-makes-no-seo-does-anybody-read-it
   
Tom Gorham commented on Kurt Kubicki's blog post 'Staying on the 'Road to the Sale'': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/tom-gorham-commented-on-kurt-kubickis-blog-post-staying-on-the-road-to-the-sale
   
Tom Gorham commented on Keith Shetterly's blog post 'The Road to the NO SALE!': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/tom-gorham-commented-on-keith-shetterlys-blog-post-the-road-to-the-no-sale
   
Tom Gorham commented on Keith Shetterly's blog post 'If a Review is Written in the Great Forest of the Internet, and It Makes No SEO, Does Anybody Read It?': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/tom-gorham-commented-on-keith-shetterlys-blog-post-if-a-review-is-written-in-the-great-forest-of-the-internet-and-it-makes-no-seo-does-anybody-read-it
   
Keith Shetterly commented on Keith Shetterly's blog post 'The Road to the NO SALE!': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/keith-shetterly-commented-on-keith-shetterlys-blog-post-the-road-to-the-no-sale-1
   
Tom Hawkins commented on Mina K.'s blog post 'How a Company Blog Can Help Your Site's SEO': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/tom-hawkins-commented-on-mina-k-dot-s-blog-post-how-a-company-blog-can-help-your-sites-seo
   
Ric McCoy commented on Keith Shetterly's blog post 'The Road to the NO SALE!': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/ric-mccoy-commented-on-keith-shetterlys-blog-post-the-road-to-the-no-sale
   
mtumilty, Barrett Henry, Peter W. Korallus and 4 more joined Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community: http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/mtumilty-barrett-henry-peter-w-korallus-and-4-more-joined-automotive-digital-marketing-professional-community
   
Ralph Paglia commented on Mina K.'s blog post 'How a Company Blog Can Help Your Site's SEO': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/ralph-paglia-commented-on-mina-k-dot-s-blog-post-how-a-company-blog-can-help-your-sites-seo
   
Scott Falcone replied to Mike Warwick's discussion 'The Power of WordPress Blogs': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/scott-falcone-replied-to-mike-warwicks-discussion-the-power-of-wordpress-blogs
   
Aj Maida commented on Kathi Kruse's blog post 'Why Your Online Storefront Matters More': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/aj-maida-commented-on-kathi-kruses-blog-post-why-your-online-storefront-matters-more-1
   


Saturday, November 19, 2011

What You Need to Know in the World of SEO

The Moz Top Ten
What You Need to Know in the World of SEO
November 2011, Issue 2
 
 
In the season of thanks, we want you to know that we think you're awesome. You're what makes our Top 10 list better than all the turkey dinners at grandma's house. Before your stomach starts rumbling too much, take a look at the most interesting links in inbound marketing we've found around the web.
 
 
 
1

Google's up to it again. Just when your panda-inflicted wounds healed! New changes include more attention to content freshness and improved rich snippets. [search engine land]
 
2

500 internet markets dish about their experiences in digital marketing, revealing top trends and topics. [webmarketing123]
 
3

G+ has opened the flood gates for brands. Now how will this influence Google search results? [search engine land]
 
4

Rand weighs in on Google's keyword referral data hiding. Actually, the really interesting part is all the fascinating comments left by you. There's no way anyone could quantify this affect on all of us without sharing our stories. [seomoz]
 
5

Watch Matt Cutts say no and read Jason's review of Cutts' talk at PubCon. [everspark interactive]
 
6

Why side projects and hobbies enrich your life and work productivity. [justine musk]
 
7

Why your products shouldn't make users do mindless work with continual upkeep. [zach holman]
 
8

Danny Sullivan asks for your thoughts on this term and gets lots of interesting responses. [g+]
 
9

Are you missing the power of leveraging professionals interested in your business? [outspoken media]
 
10

Tips on connecting with your customers without being afraid you're being a pest, and how not to worry about those random unsubscribes from your e-newsletters. [ittybiz]
 
 
 
Did You Know?
 
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  • 26 videos (over 14 hours) from MozCon in high definition
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