page contents Automotive Thought Leadership: Ralph Paglia: June 2010 My title page contents

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

4 Immutable Laws of Automotive Digital Marketing

Automotive Digital Marketing Laws of Nature; 4 Immutable Constants that Determine Dealer Success Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow!

Location:Torrance, CA

Friday, June 25, 2010

What Components Required for Automotive Social Media Marketing Strategy?

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What Makes Up a Social Marketing Strategy?

Some key questions still unanswered

It's quickly becoming common wisdom among marketers that a strategy is needed to use social media effectively. Of course, that doesn't mean a majority of those involved in the space have gotten on board yet and created such a well-thought-out approach. According to a May 2010 study by Digital Brand Expressions, 52% of social marketers are operating "without a game plan," similar to the 50% found in April 2010 by R2integrated.
Further, many that do have a strategy find it doesn't address all their concerns or fit their needs. The most common elements included by companies with a social media communications plan were resource-allocation guidelines for ongoing activities, registration of branded usernames on social sites and research into competitors' use of social media.

Activities Included in Their Social Media Communications Plan According to US Companies, May 2010 (% of respondents)

To be sure, those are all critical components of an effective strategy, but they are only the beginning.
When respondents were asked what they thought should be part of their company's plan, their answers had a somewhat different focus. While resource allocation was still top of mind, 71% were concerned with preparing and distributing policies for ongoing communications, such as how to respond to comments on social sites. Just 45% of companies had such policies.
Respondents were equally concerned with the ongoing monitoring of brand reputation, at 71%, but only 52% had a plan for such activities.
The greatest disparity related to departmental protocols detailing how social sites should be used by sales, human resources, customer service and other groups within the company. While more than two-thirds of respondents saw a need for these policies, 29% were prepared.
That desire also highlights how social media has spread throughout many organizations and is not limited to marketing or PR departments. A majority of companies with a social strategy included marketing, PR and sales in their plans, but most respondents also thought that human resources and customer service should be added. Respondents agreed that, in general, responsibility for creating strategies should fall to marketing departments.

Area that Is Responsible for the Creation/Maintenance of the Social Media Communications Plan According to US Companies, May 2010 (% of respondents)

"Companies that have held back on adopting social media throughout their organizations would benefit from starting with a cohesive plan that involves all of the key groups within the organization," said the report, while those that have already adopted the social channel should get all departments and employees on board with a complete strategy.

[Sent from Ralph Paglia's iPhone]

Ralph Paglia
Director - Digital Marketing
ADP Dealer Services
cell: 505-301-6369

Location:Scottsdale, AZ

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Canadian Economy Skipped the Recession

Canada's economy is suddenly the envy of the world

No financial meltdowns here, Canada boasts, and world leaders want in on the secret

Related Quotes

Chart for Moody's Corporation Common Stoc

, On Sunday June 20, 2010, 4:51 pm EDT

TORONTO (AP) -- Canada thinks it can teach the world a thing or two about dodging financial meltdowns.

The 20 world leaders at an economic summit in Toronto next weekend will find themselves in a country that has avoided a banking crisis where others have floundered, and whose economy grew at a 6.1 percent annual rate in the first three months of this year. The housing market is hot and three-quarters of the 400,000 jobs lost during the recession have been recovered.

World leaders have noticed: President Barack Obama says the U.S. should take note of Canada's banking system, and Britain's Treasury chief is looking to emulate the Ottawa way on cutting deficits.

The land of a thousand stereotypes -- from Mounties and ice hockey to language wars and lousy weather -- is feeling entitled to do a bit of crowing as it hosts the G-20 summit of wealthy and developing nations.

"We should be proud of the performance of our financial system during the crisis," said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in an interview with The Associated Press.

He recalled visiting China in 2007 and hearing suggestions "that the Canadian banks were perhaps boring and too risk-adverse. And when I was there two weeks ago some of my same counterparts were saying to me, 'You have a very solid, stable banking system in Canada,' and emphasizing that. There wasn't anything about being sufficiently risk-oriented."

The banks are stable because, in part, they're more regulated. As the U.S. and Europe loosened regulations on their financial industries over the last 15 years, Canada refused to do so. The banks also aren't as leveraged as their U.S. or European peers.

There was no mortgage meltdown or subprime crisis in Canada. Banks don't package mortgages and sell them to the private market, so they need to be sure their borrowers can pay back the loans.

In Canada's concentrated banking system, five major banks dominate the market and regulators know each of the top bank executives personally.

"Our banks were just better managed and we had better regulation," says former Prime Minister Paul Martin, the man credited with killing off a massive government deficit in the 1990s when he was finance minister, leading to 12 straight years of budget surpluses.

"I was absolutely amazed at senior bankers in the United States and Europe who didn't know the extent of the problem or they didn't know that people in some far-flung division were doing these kinds of things. It's just beyond belief," he told the AP.

The Conservative Party government of Stephen Harper that took over from Martin's Liberals in 2006 broadly stuck to his predecessor's approach, though he cut taxes and, when recession struck, pumped stimulus money into the economy, with the result that Canada again has a large deficit.

But it is recovering from the recession faster than others, and although its deficit is currently at a record high, the International Monetary Fund expects Canada to be the only one of the seven major industrialized democracies to return to surplus by 2015.

This month Canada became the first among them to raise interest rates since the global financial crisis began.

George Osborne, Britain's Treasury chief, has vowed to follow Canada's example on deficit reduction.

"They brought together the best brains both inside and outside government to carry out a fundamental reassessment of the role of the state," Osborne said in a speech.

It's a remarkable turnaround from 1993, when the Liberals took office facing a $30 billion deficit. Moody's downgraded Canada's credit rating twice. About 36 percent of the government's revenue went toward servicing debt.

"Our situation was dire. Canada was in a lot of trouble at that point," Martin said. "If we were going to preserve our health care and our education system we had to do it."

As finance minister, he slashed spending. A weak currency and a booming U.S. economy also helped Martin balance the books. In the 1998 budget the government estimated that about 55 percent of the deficit reduction came from economic growth and 35 percent from spending cuts.

"The rest of the world certainly thinks we're the model to follow," said Martin, who was prime minister from 2003 to 2006. "I've been asked by a lot of countries as to how to go about it."

Don Drummond, Martin's budget chief at the time, says the U.S. and Europe won't have it that easy, because the economic climate was better in the late 1990s than it is now, with large trade gains and falling interest rates.

"There's a lot to learn from Canada but their starting conditions are worse," he said. "Even though we were on the precipice of a crisis we weren't in as bad a shape as many of them are."

[Sent from Ralph Paglia's iPhone]

Ralph Paglia

Director - Digital Marketing

ADP Dealer Services

cell: 505-301-6369

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Join Automotive Social Media Marketing

Social Network, Community and Reputation Management Strategy for Car Dealers
Automotive So… 22 friends
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Join the Automotive Social Media Marketing Network and connect with your peers at other companies...
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About Automotive Social Media Marketing
Automotive Social Media Marketing is an online exchange for the strategies and practices car dealers use to leverage social media marketing.
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[Sent from Ralph Paglia's iPhone]

Ralph Paglia
Director - Digital Marketing
ADP Dealer Services
cell: 505-301-6369 

Happy Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads who follow my tweets!

Who is FOTY?

Mr. Jim Jensen is @RalphPaglia nomination for Father of the Year 2010.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Social Media Marketing; Business Best Practices

5 Social Media Best Practices for Business
by Brian Solis

Social networks and blogs are changing how consumers find places and services, how and where they share their experiences, and eventually, where they will spend their time and money. Without an understanding of, and participation in, social networks, you can miss shaping and contributing to the decision-making process of those who define the success of your business.

While social media cheat-sheets and short cuts are available almost everywhere you look, the truth is that we have some work ahead of us. To help, I’ve assembled a list of five best practices to help you build, cultivate, and measure success in the new web right now.

1. Dedicate the time

We’re all very busy and our to-do list is never ending. Because time is a big concern, think about social media as an opportunity cost. Will your investment in identifying and connecting with prospects, customers, and influencers outperform your other activities? The answer is yes for most businesses, so carve out time for strategic experimentation. In short, you get out of it, what you invest.

2. Conquer your fears

Many business owners believe that social media gives people a chance to criticize their business. That’s true, but avoiding social media doesn’t mean that their opinions will never see the light of day. Your brand is at the mercy of those who take to social media to share their experiences, so you might as well take an active role to contributes to the stature and perception of your brand. You might even learn how to improve your product and service in the process.

3. Listen and research to learn and contribute

Social networking is far more effective when you realize that creating profiles and updating social networks aren’t arbitrary. There’s an art and science to all of this, and the process begins with listening and research. Step one: create a list of keywords that represent your market and then use the search box in each social network to see what people are saying about you. As you examine the results, you’ll identify the people who are leading conversations and the dialogue that invites and inspires participation. If local business is paramount to success, use services such as Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn. Also monitor location-based networks such as Foursquare, Gowalla, and Loopt.

4. Establish an attractive and expansive presence

Your presence online is far more valuable than you may realize. While you may think that you should focus on your website, your social-media presence also represents you and what you offer. The ability to showcase your products and services to attract customers and spark conversation is arguably greater on social networking sites than your own website. In any case, connecting the dots between social networks, websites, and the real world is now as important as the service and products that you offer.

5. Use engagement as the new customer service and marketing

It’s not what you say about you, it’s what they say about you that counts. Customer service and engagement overall is a new and genuine form of unmarketing. Customers, prospects, and influencers are already engaging with others to contribute, learn, and discover. They are forming and sharing opinions and making decisions based on the information they find online—with or without you. You should use engagement as a fast, free, and powerful way to reach and serve customers.

This is your time to engage! Doing so will earn you permanent residence in the hearts and minds of the people who make up your markets. This will expand market opportunities, build brand awareness, stimulate demand, and engender loyalty and advocacy.

Originally published on American Express OPEN Forum

Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google Buzz, Facebook

Please consider reading, Engage!: It might just change the way you think about Social Media

Get Putting the Public Back in Public Relations and The Conversation Prism:

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reputation Management and Social Media Pew Research Overview


More than half (57%) of adult internet users say they have used a search engine to look up their name and see what information was available about them online, up from 47% who did so in 2006. Young adults, far from being indifferent about their digital footprints, are the most active online reputation managers in several dimensions. For example, more than two-thirds (71%) of social networking users ages 18-29 have changed the privacy settings on their profile to limit what they share with others online. 

Reputation management has now become a defining feature of online life for many internet users, especially the young. While some internet users are careful to project themselves online in a way that suits specific audiences, other internet users embrace an open approach to sharing information about themselves and do not take steps to restrict what they share. 

"Search engines and social media sites now play a central role in building one's identity online," said Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist and lead author of the report, "Many users are learning and refining their approach as they go–changing privacy settings on profiles, customizing who can see certain updates and deleting unwanted information about them that appears online." 

When compared with older users, young adults are more likely to restrict what they share and whom they share it with. "Contrary to the popular perception that younger users embrace a laissez-faire attitude about their online reputations, young adults are often more vigilant than older adults when it comes to managing their online identities," said Madden. 

[Sent from Ralph Paglia's iPhone]

Ralph Paglia
Director - Digital Marketing
ADP Dealer Services
cell: 505-301-6369 

Hoss Devine: Where Have All The Leaders Gone?

When was the last time you worked with a manager and said, "that person is a great leader"?

Early in my career, I can honestly say I learned more about what kind of leader I didn't want to be rather than the kind Ido want to be. Unfortunately, I found myself learning and practicing management traits of those poor leaders.

It wasn't until someone cared about me enough to tell me "you're a prick to people at times" that I realized I needed to do something about it.

Needless to say, it wasn't the first time in my life I had heard that statement, but I had never heard it from someone I respected. This gentleman modeled what it means to be a truly great leader, and I respected him because of his leadership. We don't agree on everything, but we do agree on core leadership principles.

Over the years, I have consulted many stores and have to say that I have yet to see great leadership initially.

I remember a line in the movie "Remember the Titans": "Attitude reflects leadership." If your business isn't doing what you think it should, then you should probably look in the mirror. The speed of the team is the speed of the coach.

When you look at any great team or business, leadership is the key to their success. We all have heard "it's all about people" and that saying will ring true forever.

You can beat yourself up and make excuses for your people by saying, "they learned it from me; it's not their fault." But now it's time to get over it and do something about it. I hear people say they need better people, processes, inventory, traffic, advertising strategies, etc. and it might be true. 

You may need all of those things, but without great leadership none of those things will create a business model with any longevity.

Now that we've talked about some of the problems we have, let's talk about some solutions. Don't hire or promote people to do a job unless you are committed to training them how to do that job. 

It is criminal to put someone in a position to fail. Why do we have one of the highest turnover rates of any business in the country? 

Do you really think its because all of those people are
unqualified or incapable of doing the job? 

No! It's because we don't prepare people to be successful. 

Think about it for a minute. 

We hire a salesman because he interviews well, then we sit him in front of a TV watching videos for 2 days on how to sell a car and then 3 days on product knowledge and tests. Then we spend a couple of hours on how to fill out paperwork, turn him loose and then say, "Go out there and get'er done.

Is that really preparing the person to be successful?

The real irony is that if the person we did that to happens to be successful, we promote him to management and say, "Alright – get these guys going and sell some cars!"

In our industry the number of dealerships that actually train their managers to be great managers is very slim. You have a multi-million dollar business, and the only people who have any real training on how to do their job is the office manager (who more than likely has a college degree) and the
service technicians.

But the least trained people in the company are customer-facing employees that you depend on, not only for your business but also your long-term reputation.

We need to wake up!!! We can't simply rely on the walk-in customers anymore. You have to have skilled salespeople and managers in order to have any type of success today.

Your people have to love what they do, love the game, be proficient at it, and play for keeps. Managers need to learn how to manage people individually.

No longer can you berate people and M-F them in order to get the desired behavior or result. I'm not saying to coddle them or not hold them accountable, but it is possible to hold people accountable without belittling them or browbeating them; you just have to change your approach.

In order to have any success in the new automotive industry, we must be more scientific about how we manage our business, and that should start with our people. People are not thick-skinned like we were growing up in the business.

We have more generations in the work place today than ever before, and each one of those generations has to be managed differently. If you're not profiling people before you hire them, you can expect to have a lot of turnover and generally unproductive people.

There are tools out there today to help ensure the success of people, tools that teach how to manage people on an individual level so they can be the most productive.

Over the last couple of years I have read a lot of articles about how to increase business and profit, but nobody is talking about the most important thing when it comes to increasing your business and profit: PEOPLE.

If you really want to make a difference in your dealership, begin training your people everyday and in daily one-on-ones.

Take the time and invest in their future. The return on investment will be greater than you ever imagined.

Source: Written by Hoss Devine