page contents Automotive Thought Leadership: Ralph Paglia: January 2013 My title page contents

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kelley Blue Book Ranks Top 25 Used Cars - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Kelley Blue Book Ranks Top 25 Used Cars - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Kelley Blue Book Ranks Top 25 Used Cars Based on Traffic to Their Information Pages at

Posted on Auto Remarketing by Editor Joe Overby
On Monday, the Michigan Wolverines and Kansas Jayhawks became the latest in a revolving door of teams taking the No. 1 spots in the NCAA men's college basketball rankings this season.

But consistency seems to be the name of the game in the used-car market. The Honda Accord has continued its reign as the used car pulling in the most online traffic for Kelley Blue Book, and though there were some moves on the list, much of the 25 most-researched used vehicles on this month held steady from December.  

Same as last month, the Honda  Accord and Honda Civic took spots one and two, respectively, and were followed by the Toyota Camry (No. 3), Ford F-150 (No.4) and Toyota Corolla (No. 5).

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500, which was No. 8 in December, moved up to sixth this month. It switched places with the Nissan Altima. Placing seventh again was the BMW 3 Series.

Also swapping spots were the Ford F-250/F-350/F-450 Super Duty (moving from No. 10 to No. 9) and the Ford Mustang.  

These were two of the eight Ford models on the list; no other automaker had more.

Honda was represented by four vehicles, while Chevrolet and Toyota each had three. Jeep and Dodge combined for three spots.

There were two Nissan models to make the list; Volkswagen and a BMW each had one.

The complete top 25 is as follows:
  1.   Honda Accord
  2.   Honda Civic
  3.   Toyota Camry
  4.   Ford F-150
  5.   Toyota Corolla
  6.   Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  7.   BMW 3-Series
  8.   Nissan Altima
  9.   Ford F-250/F-350/F-450 Super Duty
  10.   Ford Mustang
  11.   Jeep Grand Cherokee
  12.   Jeep Wrangler
  13.   Volkswagen Jetta
  14.   Toyota Tacoma
  15.   RAM 1500
  16.   Ford Focus
  17.   Honda CR-V
  18.   Ford Explorer
  19.   Ford Ranger
  20.   Ford Escape
  21.   Chevrolet Impala
  22.   Chevrolet Tahoe
  23.   Nissan Maxima
  24.   Ford Taurus
  25.   Honda Odyssey

Joe Overby can be reached at Continue the conversation with Auto Remarketing on both LinkedIn and Twitter.

Read more: Autoremarketing | KBB Ranks Hottest 25 Used Cars

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Automotive Digital Marketing - Spread the Word - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Automotive Digital Marketing - Spread the Word - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Find more videos like this on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

JD Rucker writes: "Automotive Digital Marketing, better known by many in the automotive industry as simply ADM, needs your help. As a community that specializes in highlighting the best practices and strongest techniques that dealers can use to improve their online marketing, ADM has proven time and time again to be the highest venue to exchange ideas, discuss strategies, and share stories. Let's spread the word to every dealer we know at 20 groups and everywhere else to expand the community. The stronger the community, the more useful it will be for all of us."

Ralph Paglia responds: JD Rucker... You rock! I doubt if there are any ADM Professional Community Members who are unaware of JD's support for this community, but let me share these observations with our community.  For quite a few years, JD has consistently been one of the auto industry's staunchest supporters of raising the overall levels of professional knowledge and expertise among people in the car business.  He has called me on numerous occasions to discuss the strategies and site management tactics designed to grow the actual "COMMUNITY" concept that ADM is based upon.  

Even when JD and I were direct competitors, debating each other on the conference circuit, he was and remains one of the highest integrity leaders I have had the privilege of working with in the car business.  JD Rucker specializes in, and is passionate about driving all of us to ask more questions, push our knowledge and skill sets a little higher each day and being one of my mentors and proponents of so many strong and enduring principles that I and a growing number of others believe in.  

When it comes to doing what is best for a dealer client, I have personally received many messages and calls from JD encouraging all of us in the supplier side of the business to stay focused on what is best for the client and to drop our petty competitive attitudes when the opportunity to collaborate and deliver better results to a dealership presents itself.  Watching this video while speaking to JD on the phone has been a moving experience for me... And, he is right... let's get more dealers and car biz pros to participate, post, comment and become ACTIVE members of the ADM Professional Community.  Each of us will grow and benefit from the experience and our efforts to support and encourage continuous improvement of our craft.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Friends and Family Online Most Trusted Source for Vehicle Selection and Car Buying Guidance - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Friends and Family Online Most Trusted Source for Vehicle Selection and Car Buying Guidance - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Family and Friends Still Most Trusted for Vehicle Shopping and Car Buying Decisions

American Automotive Consumers still look first to their friends and family for advice regarding their major purchase decisions, according to a WSL/Strategic Retail survey.
69% of the Wall Street Journal's respondents said that family and friends help them choose what to buy, up 13% from 61% last year.

Next on the list, manufacturer (OEM) and retailer (Dealership) websites, each used by 55% of the survey's respondents.

The study notes that retailer websites (including car dealers), are a growing influence on consumers, having played second fiddle to manufacturer websites in prior surveys.
Traditional media such as TV and magazines are an information source for 42%, ahead of sales associates and e-mail messages from manufacturers and retailers, each at 32%.
It’s interesting to note that this study shows traditional offline media ranking behind digital and online resources as a trusted information source. This may be partly due to the increasing influence of online reviews and dealership ratings by automotive consumers... Considering the study's bias from being funded by a TV advertising based consortium, revealing that digital media is more trusted than others is most notable. While that may be the case, the authors of this study point out that several other studies point to TV advertising in particular as most effective in influencing consumer purchase decisions.

Despite recent finding by other scientifically validated surveys that almost half of Americans engage with brands on social networks, just 26% of respondents to the WSL/Strategic Retail survey said they use social networks to find information about an item they’re considering purchasing.
If Millennials (16-34) can be used as a leading indicator for automotive marketing professionals, social networks may prove a more influential automotive consumer research and information source in the future: Millennials were 54% more likely than the average respondent to say they turn to social media for product information.

About the Data: The data is based on a survey of 1500 adults and 200 teens aged 16-65+.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ralph Paglia Speaks to Car Dealers at Digital Marketing Blitz for Houston Auto Show

Ralph Paglia

Ralph Paglia is President of Automotive Media Partners, LLC and the Chairman of the AutoConnections Conference and Exposition (AutoCon).

Ralph is an established automotive marketing practitioner and a highly respected auto industry operations consultant and thought leader. He has written dozens of articles published in major magazines, and has been referenced and quoted by many others.

For the past 15 years Ralph has led the auto industry's adoption of digital marketing strategies and tactics while designing programs for Ford Motor Company, Mercedes-Benz USA, American Honda Motor Company, Toyota Motor Sales and retail enterprises such as AutoNation, Group 1 Automotive, Penske Automotive Group and others.


DMB Workshop Title and Description

"People: Organizational Development for Business Growth and Increased Profits"

Ralph will present a combination of dealership case studies, strategy descriptions, tactical action items and recommended best practices all focused on providing automotive professionals with the insights and knowledge to improve the way they grow their teams and business revenues. The key focus is on people, because all research shows that in automotive retail, the key limiting constraint, or growth factor is consistently the people that are attracted to, selected by and become part of each organization.

Sent from my iPad

Ralph Paglia

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thomas Lesard; ADM Professional Community Dedicated To His Mission

Thomas Lesard; ADM Professional Community Dedicated To His Mission - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

The Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community and Network is dedicated to Thomas Lesard...

Tom was a giant of a man, who was also my boss from 1982 to 1984 while I worked for the De La Fuente Automotive Group in San Diego, CA.

Mr. Lesard taught me many profound lessons about how to run a car dealership.  My first General Manager position was thrust upon me when I was 25 years old and had been in the car business for two years... Yeah, I know... Crazy, but there were many complicated circumstances that came together to push me into such a re role for a 25 year old automotive retail newbie. There was an auto industry recession at the time and the dealer principal could not find an experienced GM to take over a store in El Centro, CA that sold 30 cars a month... But, he knew he could trust me and as he said at the time, "I know you are smart enough to figure it out when you get to El Centro..."
The dealership official name was "De La Fuente Imports, Inc." and the DBA was "D'Imports". The franchises the store had for the Imperial Valley of South Eastern California included Honda, VW, Porsche, Audi and Peugeot... All under one roof. The facility was located next to the Imperial Valley Airport just outside of El Centro, CA.  There was a California Highway Patrol Barracks adjoining the property, which resulted in many interesting escapades involving me, my Porsche 911 demo, various CHP Officers (especially Officer Roland Pritchard of the California Highway Patrol) and a pristine stretch of asphalt that was an abandoned highway running through some of the most God forsaken desert I have ever seen, before or since.

Shortly after I was sent to D'Imports as the General Manager, the De La Fuente Family hired Tom Lesard as their Vice president of the Automotive Division with the De La Fuente business empire, which was quite extensive and included banking, real estate development and companies in several other countries including Mexico, Costa Rica, Belgium and the Netherlands.  Tom Lesard was somewhat of a legend because of what he had accomplished with several dealerships he owned in the Apple Valley of California.  What impressed me the most at the time was the way he had pulled new and used vehicle sales from the population centers to his West, which were East of the Los Angeles metro region.
Shortly after coming on board with the De La Fuente organization Tom Lesard flew his highly modified, "hot rod" Twin Turboprop, pressurized cabin Beechcraft Baron private aircraft out to the Imperial Airport. He began repeating this trip about once every ten days. While at the dealership Tom would spend most of the day teaching me how to read financial statements in a manner that was part science and part art... The analysis process and quick ratios Tom taught me in 1982 are still relevant and I continue to use them to this day.  His insights and the many hours he invested in mentoring, teaching and coaching me shaped the skill sets that would drive much of my future success in the car business.

In May of 1983, about 9 months after Tom Lesard started flying his plane out from San Diego to review dealership operating results and to coach me, Tom and I were having an early dinner at "The Buick" Restaurant in downtown El Centro. I took advantage of the moment to thank Tom for teaching me so much about running a car dealership  and more importantly about managing people and getting the most out of my team. I asked him how I could ever repay him...
Tom was a giant of a man who had played college football... He scrunched up his NFL Linebacker of a face, leaned his massive shoulders forward to shift his 6' 4" towering torso towards me, as if to create a sound block... He started to speak to me so quietly it was almost a whisper... I had to lean towards him to hear what he was saying;
"Ralph, I have a very real and serious commitment I want you to make to me and swear on your life that you will execute... I want you to promise me something, and have absolutely no doubts in your mind that YOU WILL EXECUTE YOUR MISSION!"
He started to raise his voice in the middle and was getting pretty loud on those last 5 words...  At this point he was glaring at me, eyes wide open and it seemed to me he was pissed off... I was already regretting my question.
I responded in the type of shaky, quivering voice a 26 year old produce guy from Buffalo would be expected to have when placed into a role I was sorely unqualified to be in;
"Uhhhh... well... ah, mmmm... ahem... I don't know what you are going to ask for, but as long as I don't have to sacrifice one of my baby girls, huh huh... I think I can handle whatever it is..."
Tom did not seem to find any humor in my lame ass attempt to be funny... He went on to say;
"Ralph, I have given you an education about running a car dealership that is worth far beyond what you could possibly understand at this point in your career... I am going to demand that you make me a promise to repay me by passing my gift forward to the future.  After you have made your mark in the car business, you will have the opportunity to take some young person who doesn't know jack about the car business, under your wings and give to him the same type of coaching and guidance I have given you.  When that opportunity arises, I want you to say a prayer and thank God that you have the opportunity to take the gifts you have received and bestow them on the next generation of leaders that come into this business..."
This whole conversation was one of those truly ethereal moments that I believe most of us have at various points in our lives... I inherently realized exactly what Tom Lesard was talking about... I also felt a sense of spirituality that outweighed my minds attempt to apply logic and reasoning. Tom was looking into my eyes as if he could see into my soul... He maintained his lock on my eyes like some sort of Klingon tractor beam... I could not look away... He went on to say:
"You are the fifth young car guy I have taken a personal interest in... With those two baby girls you have, I am sure you made good use of the $2,000 a month raise I gave you six months ago. The reason I did that is because Roque (the owner) knew you were so eager to prove yourself, that he took advantage of you. He sent you out here from San Diego, to this hell hole of a cockroach infested, insecticide drenched piss poor excuse for a town, at a fraction of the pay that anyone else would insist on getting to do the job you were assigned. And the alternatives to you would have most likely robbed him of much more than they would have been getting paid...  
I don't tolerate that approach to using people who are eager to please, and never will. It seems like a sin for a multimillionaire to pay his most loyal people that are making him rich, less than what is needed to support their family at a decent standard of living... Despite the fact that your housing is paid for and all your expenses are covered by the dealership...
Don't you ever forget what I did for you, and promise me that in the future when you see a good man or woman getting screwed by a pay plan that was concocted by somebody a lot shrewder and more treacherous than them, you will do whatever you can to make it right... OK?"

I nodded and simply said "Yes sir"... Tom took a sip of his iced tea (no alcohol within ten hours of flying) and went on to explain;
"Here's the way it works... You are the fifth person I have taken under my wings and mentored.  I am committed to helping five more people become successful before I retire.  I want you to feel an obligation to mentor and coach at least as many people in your career as I have.  You have the advantage of starting at a much younger age."
"If for any reason i cannot complete my commitment to mentor and coach ten people... If I die prematurely or for any reason cannot complete my mission to pay it forward ten times over... Then YOU must complete my shortfall, on top of your own... You got that? Because that is the way this deal works between you and I, as well as between you and the people you mentor!"
By then, the whole scenario was seeming pretty weird to me... I was thinking religious cults and wondering what i had gotten myself into.  We finished our meal, left the restaurant and I drove Tom back to the airport, watched him climb into the cockpit of his plane while thinking how small his briefcase looked next to this hulking giant of a man.

A month later, Tom Lesard asked me to pack my family up, move back to San Diego and take a GSM job at our dealer group's Kearny Mesa Subaru dealership... Within two months, as he had promised, I was moved back to Kearny Mesa VW where I had started my car sales career less than 3 years earlier.  At the age of 26 I was the GSM of one of the top 5 volume Volkswagen dealerships in America, which was also the #1 sales volume Peugeot dealership in the country.
On a rainy day in November 2003, one of our Finance Managers, a beautiful young woman who had moved to San Diego from Hawaii, came to the sales tower and shared her situation with me... Her father and brother had flown from Honolulu to Los Angeles on their way to visit her, but had missed their commuter flight from LAX to San Diego.  We were discussing her options, such as me lending her an all-wheel drive VW Quantum Syncro, rather than her driving the blue 1969 Chevy Camaro she owned which was terrible on rain slicked roads... Tom Lesard had come down from the corporate office on the second floor and walked up to us as we were talking about the situation.  Tom asked what was going on, and when he heard the Finance Manager tell her story about her father and brother being stuck at LAX he said;
"C'Mon, we'll go fire up my plane, and be at LAX in less that an hour. We'll pick up your dad and brother and have you all back here in Kearny Mesa in time for dinner..."

She asked if it was OK to fly in the rain and Tom flashed that big Cheshire cat grin of his, which kind of made his eyes squint shut and flared his nostrils. He described with much pride and bravado how he flies in far worse weather than the benign cloud cover and rainfall with little wind that was coming down at the time.  He went on to tell her about his recent investment in all new avionics, plus that he was instrument certified... I remember thinking to myself "What a great boss to be working for..."

Later that evening, I was still on the desk a couple hours after our scheduled closing time, trying to make a late night last deal of the day.  It was a dark and drizzly night, rain coming straight down. The desk phone rang, which seemed odd for that late at night and I answered. It was Nelly Timothy, our corporate controller... She told me that the Kearny Mesa General Aviation Airport security team had called her. She was on the emergency contact list Tom Lesard had filed with the airport.  They called to tell her that Tom had crash landed his plane in  a grassy field between two subdivisions in Tierrasanta, near the airport.
I am not sure I remember accurately what happened right after that... I saw all manner of fire trucks and emergency vehicles flying southbound past the dealership on Highway 163 with lights on and sirens wailing... Phone call after phone call...

I told one of my guys to take lock down the showroom and pull the chains because I was going to the site of the crash.  I drove my demo to about 2 blocks from where Tom had crashed, before I ran into the police and fire department cordons... Got out of my car, left it parked in the street, started trotting through people's backyards to try and get closer to where the emergency vehicles were clustered... I was stopped by a cop and started blabbering that I was looking for my boss's plane.  He explained that survivors had been taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital, and the coroner was handling the fatalities. I felt sick... I was hyperventilating, sweating profusely, my clothes soaking wet from the combination of rain and perspiration. The cop asked me where my car was, and told me I better move it before it becomes a hazard and causes an accident.

I drove back to the dealership where several of us stayed late waiting for word from Nelly, Tom's wife or anyone on who had survived, who had died, etc.  As it turned out, Tom was the only one of the four who lived long enough to be hospitalized. His plane hit the power lines near the airport when his landing gear was lowered while on approach. Something had malfunctioned with the airport's Radio Frequency pilot triggered runway lights, so he had been attempting to land without the marker lights on the sides of the runway.  Tom crash landed the plane into an open field between homes near the airport.  According to witnesses that lived in the nearby homes, none of the 4 people in the plane appeared to be injured by the impact from the crash landing. Tom had managed to land the plane, despite the damaged landing gear, then slid a couple hundred yards across the grassy field and through a fence... There were quite a few witnesses from the nearby homes.  They said that as Tom opened the cockpit door and it swung upwards, the plane's fuel tank in the wing opposite from Tom's side exploded in a fireball that engulfed the cockpit. He either leaped or was thrown by the force of the explosion outside of the cockpit.

Tom had second and third degree burns over 80% of his body.  His lungs were burned as well... He was able to hold a marker and wrote "Yes" when the doctors asked if he would like to be taken off of life support. 

The next day, all of us at Kearny Mesa VW endured the painful trauma of watching the wreckage of Tom's beloved Beechcraft Baron being slowly drive past the dealership on a flatbed tractor trailer truck.  It was surreal... So many of us who worked at the dealership standing in the front of the showroom as the flatbed truck with what was left of Tom's plane slowly drove past the dealership at no more than 5 MPH.
Here is the FAA Crash Report: BEECH 56TC Air Crash
The air crash with the BEECH 56TC happened on 11/11/1983 at 2238 in SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, USA, causing Destroyed damage to the Airplane. More details on the accident below:
  • Date/Time: 11/11/1983 at 2238 Pacific Standard Time
  • Aircraft: Airplane
  • Make/Model: BEECH 56TC
  • Damage: Destroyed
  • Injuries: 4
Aircraft details on BEECH 56TC Air Crashed in 11/11/1983 at 2238 in SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, USA, causing Destroyed damage to the Airplane:
  • Aircraft Category: Airplane
  • Manufacturer's name: BEECH
  • Model: 56TC
  • Series Identifier: 56TC
  • Serial Number: TG50
  • Aircraft Registration Number: N911SC
  • Federal Aviation Registration Type: Part 91: General Aviation
  • Certified Max Gross Weight: 5990
  • Registration Class: U.S. Registered/U.S. Soil
  • Homebuilt? N
  • Total Number of Seats: 4
  • Number of Engines: 2
  • Fixed/Retractable Gear: Retractable
  • Type of Last Inspection: Annual
  • Date of Last Inspection: 8/20/1982
  • Total Airframe Hours: 2200
  • Airframe Hours since Last Inspection: 172
  • ELT Installed? Yes
  • ELT Activated? No
  • Aircraft Owner Name: THOMAS C. LESSARD
  • Aircraft Owner City: HOOD RIVER
  • Operator Same as Owner? Yes 
  • Highest injury: Fatal
TOTAL: 4 Fatal Injuries

Every day for the next few weeks, I found myself looking out the side of the showroom, over towards Kearny Mesa Subaru, where our dead Finance Manager's dark blue 1969 Chevy Camaro was still parked.  Eventually, I had the locksmith make keys for it and parked it out back behind service.  About 9 months after the plane crash, her mom called from Hawaii and asked if we could sell the Camaro and send her the proceeds.  We figured out a way to get a duplicate title and took care of it.  I seem to recall getting about twice what the car was worth from a wholesaler that always had a big crush on her.  He said something about restoring the Camaro and keeping it.

We all moved on... The De La Fuentes brought in Steve Wilhite to replace Tom Lesard. If Steve's name sounds familiar, it may be because Steve Wilhite went on to become VP of Sales for VW of America, then VP of Marketing at Nissan before becoming Carlos Ghosn's right hand man as Senior VP of Marketing for Nissan Global in Tokyo. Wilhite then returned to the US a few years ago to take the role of Shief Operating Officer (COO) at Hyundai Motor America, Inc. after Finbarr O'Neill had left to become the CEO of the Reynolds and Reynolds Company, where I was working at the time... Along the way Wilhite has brought me in, or recommended me on several exciting projects as an Automotive Consultant... But, I never forgot Tom Lesard and am still working on the 15 people I must help become successful in the car business to cover my ten and the 5 Tom still owed at the time he crashed his plane.  I keep losing count.

So... Now you know why ADM Professional Community is dedicated to Tom Lesard and why I am so motivated to speek, write, coach, guide, mentor, assist, prod and cajole people to do better in their roles within the auto industry...

Thank you Tom...
30 Years later, it is still the best assignment I have ever had in the car business!

I know that nobody misses Tom as much as his family, but here it is, more than 25 years after he died in a tragic plane crash and I am still making a conscious effort at keeping the promises I made to Tom... Such is the lasting impact of true leaders!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dataium Automotive Shopper Intensity Report - January 2013

Dataium Automotive Shopper Intensity Report - January 2013 - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

The automotive marketing research firm Dataium has released their 2013 Automotive Shopper Intensity Report which has become a respected and widely regarded accurate predictor of new vehicle demand in North America.
Each of the charts shown below are posted in the form of a PNG image that I created from the PDF version of the report. You can click on to open a browser window showing the full resolution for viewing and download. I have also included the PDF version of this report excerpt for file download by ADM Professional Community Members at the bottom... The following text, charts and tables are excerpts from the full report, which is available from Dataium for a fee by request. To request complete access to Dataium's ASI predictive modeling tool on future consumer demand by make, model, trim level, segment, region, and market, contact Dataium at, or call 877-896-DATA (3282).

January 2013 Dataium Automotive Shopper Intensity Report
The Dataium Automotive Shopper Intensity Index (ASI) is a leading indicator of Automotive Retail Sales. We show that Automotive Retail Sales closely mirror the fluctuations of the ASI. This index serves as an early predictor of the next 30 – 45 days of automotive retail sales.

The index was relatively flat in December, up by a mere 0.39%, indicating a slowdown in January. Based on this, Dataium forecasts the US Retail SAAR in January to be 12.2 million retail units.

Eric Brown, CEO of Dataium noted;
"It wasn't a fiscal cliff but the market did slow." He added "However, the mitigation is consistent with past holiday incentives and clearance sales hangovers."
With regards to makes, Toyota continues to outperform both the domestic and import brands alike, with three models: the Camry, Tacoma and Tundra included in the top ten new vehicle ranking for three straight months. However, overall intensity around the brand has gradually declined, with each model dropping a spot or two in the ASI ranking since November.
For a second straight month, shopping intensity for mid-size sedans remained high, with three models within the segment ranking highest in ASI for new vehicles. The report identifies intensifying interest for the Honda Accord, which rose from 9th place in December, to rank highest in new vehicle ASI this month. However, the Accord faces strong competition in the New Year from the Hyundai Sonata, which, for the second month in a row, exhibited one of the largest month over month increases in its segment, and ranked second in ASI for new vehicles.
A notable entry to the top ten ASI new vehicle ranking was the popular compact sedan from Hyundai, the Elantra. For the past two months, the Elantra has outperformed much of the competition in the compact segment in terms of shopping intensity. The ASI report also indicates that despite a slight bump in shopper interest owing to a recent redesign, the Nissan Sentra still trails other compacts within the segment.
Download the PDF version of this Dataium report extract by right-clicking on the following link, then selecting "Save As": 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What Would Your Scent Logo Be? - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

What Would Your Scent Logo Be? - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

What Would Your Dealership's Scent Logo Be?

Neuromarketing is an interesting blog combining brain science and marketing.
A recent post discusses the growing trend of using scent logos: and not just by large companies, but by small and medium-sized companies. So what is a scent logo and could it work in your business?
An olfactory logo, also called scent branding, is a custom scent that the brand creates to embody its unique brand characteristics. Much like a graphic logo, the olfactory logo is used wherever the brand is present. After repeated exposures to the logo, customers strongly associate the smell with the brand.
For example, Abercrombie & Fitch disperses their signature fragrance, Fierce, in all of their stores. Fierce is strong, edgy and appeals to young, upscale consumers. Fierce is also sold as a personal fragrance and is the number one selling fragrance for men in the U.S. and Europe. Abercrombie & Fitch customers claim they can identify authentic A&F jeans solely by their smell.
Most of the major hotel chains also use a scent logo. For example, the Westin uses a cool and relaxing white tea fragrance, and the St. Regis uses an elegant blend of rose, sweet pea and pipe tobacco. If you’ve walked into the Mandalay Casino in Las Vegas, you’ll recognize an exotic floral, coconut spice scent; and other casinos each have their signature scent too.
So would this work in a dealership?
People are bombarded by an average of 5,000 marketing messages a day, and scent is a big differentiator. Smell creates a powerful emotional response and can boost brand identity as well as customer loyalty.
Here are a few ideas for incorporating an olfactory logo into your dealership marketing:
  1. Diffuse the scent throughout your dealership.
  2. Instead of selling hanging car scent trees with other odors, get trees made with your own signature scent and hang one in every car you service and sell.
  3. Include a scent strip on your postcard and brochure mailings to customers.
  4. Sell the scent in your dealership, or give it away free with purchase.

What do you think? Is it crazy, or could scent logos work in your dealership?

Think about the personality of your brand; is it relaxed or power charged?

Is your target market young, middle-aged or older?
Are they value or luxury buyers?

Are you a rural dealership, in the woods, or do you have a hip, urban location?

These characteristics can be matched with different fragrance elements to create a scent that embodies your brand characteristics.

So what would your scent logo be?

Relevant Link:

Monday, January 14, 2013

The journey of serving and selling gratefully on Automotive Digital Marketing - #SERVE2SELL - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

The journey of serving and selling gratefully on Automotive Digital Marketing - #SERVE2SELL - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community



The Journey Of Serving and Selling Gratefully!~
The journey of serving and selling gratefully is a philosophy that ties into the art of persuasion, it creates opportunity to serve one another, the ultimate benefit in taking care of ones self and family guilt free -

SERVE2SELL is a positive way of life when done ethically, professionally and gratefully. I believe there comes a time in life to stop, reflect, observe, appreciate and smell the flowers - per se! It's at times of reflection that allow for creativity and spiritual connection to happen. In recent years I've experienced more miracle and spiritual type of scenarions than I can shake a stick at. I feel deeply spiritualized most days, an extreme level of positive physical energy,- when one eliminates the box to think outside of, it's at that time we can see what we're really and truly made of.

I believe in order to truly fulfill one's own destiny, it requires a deep level of humility and a certain mental toughness to take it on. It's in doing what one loves that creates the passion to do it well. In a world of get all you can, I like to think along the lines of - give it all you got!~ As a grateful member of dealerELITE and Automotive Digital Marketing I have taken the time to analyze my personal growth, the gain and love for wisdom; in doing this I have a renewed desire and an appreciation for the Automotive Industry as I did when

I sold my very first Automobile at the age of 21. I shared a blog in the year of 2010 called UTP - Ultimate Training Platform, in this I share a bit of my personal experience as a car salesman, my lack of exposure to some of the absolute great trainers of the industry, and my perception of the evolution and future of dealerELITE.

 I've been participating on the dealerELITE and Automotive Digital Marketing communities since 2010. Prior to my membership, I had never given any thought to creating training videos, let alone to write a book or to truly take the necessary action to stake my place as a real deal contributor of this great industry.

I feel deeply indebted to the founders and members of dealerELITE and Automotive Digital Marketing. My membership means the world to me, the direction in life and my personal career is a direct reflection of the great leadership on these powerful platforms. It's through leadership by example that has inspired me to take my first run at creating training videos as I did in 2012, and now to write my very first book SERVE2SELL the goal is to be completed by the end of 2013.

I generally learn things the hard way, having never ventured down the path of being a published author, I'm sure this will as well be a great learning and spiritual journey for myself. It's a spiritual not material journey!~

I believe it's in the act of humility that creates the greatest opportunity for gain. Never let the ego mind stand in the way of a humble heart, learning is humility gift wrapped in opportunity for growth and development - BE HUMBLE. I must practice what I preach. I have brought full circle my personal views of inspiration, motivation and education by creating this eBook dedicated to dealerELITE and Automotive Digital Marketing.

If there be one single message through all of this, it is to pursue the dream, a step in the right direction starts with the first one, who we surround ourselves with counts in the long run. No matter what level of success, there will always be someone ahead of you, and behind you, and to know it's not always about you. I believe the key is to never forget that we are all behind someone else at all times, that we learn from each other with no limitations.

Show those who are hungry to learn that they are better than they think they are! Bring the best out of people, never to place limits on ones dreams,- the great challenge is to motivate from the bottom up - never to discourage from the TOP DOWN!~

A shallow prayer of thanks is greater than a deep well of wishes - GIVE THANKS!~

Thank You to the founders and members of dealerELITE and Automotive Digital Marketing.

We may not have it all together, but together we can have it all!~

Zig Ziglar Always go the extra mile!

If you can't run it - WALK IT........ Bobby Compton

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Branding versus Marketing on Facebook - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Branding versus Marketing on Facebook - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Facebook Logo

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that Facebook (and social media in general) is a communication tool. 

It’s a way for businesses to connect with customers and a safe venue through which customers and potential customers can interact with your business.

With that said, let’s look at the other two primary functions of Facebook: marketing and branding. Both are similar. Both are categories that can mean different things to different people and businesses. While it’s definitely possible to do both well on Facebook at the same time, the safer and less time-intensive strategy would be to pick one or the other as the primary goal (outside of communication, of course).
Here are the two basic options. There will be those who will say that it’s being oversimplified, but this isn’t a tutorial. It’s a way to distinguish between the two so that a business can make an intelligent decision about which mindset to take in their efforts. Once the mindset is established, the strategies can form.

Facebook for Branding

This is becoming the more common practice among businesses because it is more open in form and more singular in goal. More importantly, using Facebook as a marketing tool is considered by many to be harder (depending on your business type, of course). Many, particularly those who are engaged with individual customers on a daily basis such as car dealers and realtors will opt for this approach because it gives them the freedom to simply be entertaining or informative without having to put the time into crafting an appropriate marketing strategy.
It’s the easy road, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any less rewarding.
Using Facebook for branding is all about getting your name, logo, and general message out there. The general message is often abstract – it’s not talking about a sale or a particular product but rather trying to convey a company attitude with the message.
This strategy can use popular images, interesting (and sharable) facts, or funny concepts to will encourage liking and sharing. While some take the road of using ideas that are completely off topic, I’m a firm believer that it’s possible to stay focused on either the local area, the industry, or both with every post. In other words, a car dealer shouldn’t be posting pictures of cats. They should be posting pictures of cars, videos of cars, and images or discussions about the local area.
The branding message is easier to spread because it doesn’t involve marketing. There’s no goal of direct conversions or clicks to the website. It’s all about getting the brand out there as much as possible.
The downside, of course, is in proving ROI. Without direct marketing applied to the messages, it’s a leap of faith that by getting interaction and engagement around content that does not lead directly to a lead or a sale but that keeps the name and logo of the business in mind, that there are intangible benefits that are happening.

Facebook for Marketing

Unlike using Facebook for branding, the marketing strategy is trickier. It’s easier to mess up. There’s a risk of actually doing damage to the Facebook account by being too “spammy” with the posts. Those who are not ready to take a little heat on their path to get more conversions should not even go down this road.
However, if your goal is to achieve demonstrable ROI and take what you can today in a concrete manner, this is the right approach. It will rely on Facebook ads. There’s no way around it – unless you’re marketing something that resonates while also being productive such as a funny T-Shirt company, you’re very unlikely to get away with a hardcore marketing message without the use of ads.
Thankfully, Facebook ads are cheap.
Using a marketing strategy on Facebook does not mean that it’s all business. While some I have spoken to on the subject (including a VP at Facebook) have said that businesses can find success by only posting once or twice a week and promoting those marketing posts, I’ve found that a mix of interesting or entertaining content with the marketing messages can be beneficial.
People aren’t going to Facebook to see marketing messages, so yours has to be truly valuable. It’s not about putting up a picture of a car and calling that marketing. It’s about generating messages that they can only get through Facebook. For example, having Facebook-only sales events can be effective with next to zero risk. If people come to the store as a result, awesome! If they do not, then the expenditure was minimal. If they aren’t successful, you shouldn’t give up. You simply need to tweak the message, adjust the advertising, or go through a series of “fun” posts to set up the marketing posts properly.

Don’t Forget Communicating

Regardless of which path you choose, remember the number one rule: Facebook (and social media in general) is about communication. It’s about talking to your customers and having them talk to you. It’s about giving them a venue through which you can be completely open about your business and hold public conversations with unsatisfied customers as well as the happy ones.
Which way fits best with your business? That’s the only real question you need to ask to get started down the right path.