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

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Which Used Cars Are Trending Demand Exceeds Supply?

Used-vehicle shoppers are feeling pretty sporty this month, judging by Kelley Blue Book's Hot Used-Car Report.

Sports cars and high-performance models led the month-over-month jumps in shopping activity growth so far in May with two particular used vehicles standing out the most.

Interest in the 2009 Volkswagen GLI soared a whopping 171.9 percent higher month-over-month. Shopping activity connected to the 2010 Mazda Miata MX-5 increased by a healthy margin, too, rising 43.5 percent.

KBB indicated the share of research toward sports cars increased 9.4 percent among total used retail traffic. Research into high-performance models wasn't far off that pace as interest in those vehicles rose 6.5 percent in April, marking the second consecutive monthly increase.

"It is no surprise that performance-oriented vehicles have been increasing in popularity for the past couple of months," said Arthur Henry, manager of market intelligence and market analyst at KBB.

"As the days get longer, people have more daylight time to have fun in their vehicles. We have been seeing more interest for import performance vehicles than domestic models. It appears shoppers are choosing vehicles that are better known for handling than power," Henry went on to say.

The remainder of the Top 10 used models within the Hot Used-Car Report contained a couple other examples of vehicles that can hold their own in terms of sporty styling or performance. The rest of the used vehicles most researched at KBB included:

—2010 Infiniti G: up 17.0 percent
—2011 Honda CR-V: up 15.1 percent
—2007 Jeep Wrangler: up 15.1 percent
—2010 Nissan Maxima: up 13.7 percent
—2011 Honda Pilot: up 12.9 percent
—2011 BMW 3 Series: up 10.5 percent
—2010 Nissan Altima: up 9.3 percent
—2010 Honda Civic: up 6.1 percent

And for dealers who are scratching their heads over why some certain models continue to remain in inventory with summer dead ahead, perhaps the list provided by KBB of vehicles that sustained the largest drops in shopper activity this month might provide some clarity.

That list included a mix of both import and domestic units, as follows:

—2009 Nissan Altima: down 7.5 percent
—2007 Scion tC: down 13.5 percent
—2009 Honda Fit: down 14.6 percent
—2010 Chevrolet Cobalt: down 16.1 percent
—2009 Hyundai Accent: down 17.5 percent
—2009 Lexus IS: down 18.4 percent
—2009 Chevrolet Equinox: down 24.4 percent
—2009 Saturn Outlook: down 27.5 percent
—2011 Mitsubishi Galant: down 28.0 percent
—2009 Infiniti M: down 30.7 percent

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[Sent from Ralph Paglia's iPhone]
Cell: 505-301-6369

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Are You Ready for Big Changes? How About a Marketing Reboot?

Marketing Reboot? Are You Ready to Change?

Is your business ready to face the technological and sociological changes that are happening right now?

To learn why you need to consider rebooting the way you market in this rapidly changing world, I interview Mitch Joel for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael Stelzner

The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.

It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode, I interview Mitch Joel, author of the book Six Pixels of Separation and the podcast with the same name. His newest book is Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It.

Mitch shares how technology will change the way we market our businesses in the future.

You'll learn the most important trends and how they will impact your marketing.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

Listen Now

You can also subscribe via iTunesRSSStitcher or Blackberry.

Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show:

Marketing Reboot

What's the business world going to look like for our young children, when they enter the workforce?

Mitch shares how the iPad has only been around for the last three and a half years, and so for us to even think about what life will be like in a decade is unfathomable.

He believes that in current business, with the catalyst of technology, we've gone through exponential growth. Mitch says that as human beings we find it difficult to understand this dramatic shift.

Since the iPad has come along, it has imploded the PC market.

Our children will know nothing but technology. It's changing the lives of people and the state of business.

stock photo 23514521 little girl playing with a tablet

Children today are growing up with social media technology. Image source: iStockphoto

Listen to the show to find out why Mitch questions why anyone would download content and keep it on a hard drive.

Why we need a reboot

In the preface to Mitch's new book, Ctrl Alt Delete, he says, "during this state of purgatory, many businesses will die and many jobs will disappear, but in the same breadth many businesses will thrive, many new businesses will be created, and many new jobs will be invented."

Mitch shares his story of when his agency, Twist Image, first started out in 2000. The idea was to create a modern marketing agency focused on technology and connectivity.

You'll discover what type of people they now hire compared to back then and see how the acceleration has kicked in over the last 5 years.

twist image team

Twist Image now hires for positions that didn't exist when they first started.

As far as education goes, Mitch feels that we're not educating young people properly. He believes that we're not setting up an infrastructure for the world as it exists.

As a professional marketer, you'll need to look at how we connect with things, engage with brands and engage in our lives.

Mitch explains what he means by reboot and how marketing professionals are not grasping it. They tend to still hold onto the old ways in which they buy, sell, create and engage with media.

You'll discover why Mitch believes the book is a wake-up call and why it's not forward-looking.

Listen to the show to hear the five movements that have already happened that have shaped business and changed the way we work.

How has the seemingly ubiquitous adoption of social media led to the need for businesses and marketers to change?

Mitch feels the most important element is the intrinsic connection we now have.

For example, when you see two young people shopping in a mall, they aren't just two good prospects for your store—they're more like 1,002 prospects. Young people today have about 500 connections on Facebook, where they chat, share and text. They create a connected society that we've never had before.

using phone

Consider the potential reach of your customers. Image source: iStockphoto

Mitch feels that social media, a platform of connectivity, has been a major factor. The adoption has been so intense that he's not sure if marketers or even the people who built the platform understand.

You'll hear an example of marketing optimization and how for a nominal amount of money, you could learn so much by testing things on your site every day. He's amazed that marketers haven't fully embraced this.

You'll learn the challenges marketers face and what they're afraid of.

Another massive opportunity for marketers is programmatic buying. Mitch explains how we have now moved to a technological platform of real time and what this means for marketers.

Listen to the show to find out why the mobile frontier is huge and how it's a whole other opportunity for people.

Do you see us entering another stage that's going to be on par with the introduction of the world wide web?

Mitch believes that we are currently spiking in terms of mobile and touch. He feels that the things you can do with these are going to make the web, ecommerce and social media cumulatively pale in comparison.

It's scary for marketers because when you have just got something figured out, something new comes along.

Mitch still sees people now who worry about their website, ecommerce, transactions and social, but these are things that have already happened. We also have to remember that mobile has already happened too.

We live in a world right now where we can see a decline in PC sales. There are 1.7 billion-plus connected mobile devices, compared to 600 million PCs.

Listen to the show to hear why Mitch believes we're living in a one-screen world.

What marketers need to think about when it comes to utility

Mitch talks about how utility is a new area to watch and that we currently live in a world that he calls the narcissistic web.

You'll hear an example of the narcissistic web, when it comes to having an app about your brand. There's data to show that 25% of branded apps get downloaded and used once, then never again. And there's other data where it's upwards of 20% of branded apps that get downloaded and never opened.

But you can't rely on this data because what they are talking about are thesenarcissistic apps. These are apps that suck.

We use apps day in and day out that provide utility and are of value to us.

You'll hear Mitch give an example of a Procter and Gamble app called SitorSquat and how because of this he has become a Charmin loyalist.

sit or squat

SitorSquat is a great utility app provided by Charmin.

When Mitch talks about utility, he sees it both as physical and digital. It's a squishiness of the two.

You'll learn why content is a functional utility and why it's important to question if we can create with true authenticity.

Listen to the show to hear an example of how Lego uses the physical engagement of utility in their stores.

In Mitch's book, he mentions a dinner conversation with Sherry Turkle, author ofAlone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less From Each Other

Mitch shares the story from this discussion about whether technology is making us better. In today's world, people love their smartphones and their connected devices.

Mitch came to realize that we have a saying in our world, "Time to Device." Basically from when you wake up in the morning, what is your time to device? For most people, the first thing they touch is their phone and it's the last thing they touch before bed. We really love the connectedness that we have.

Listen to the show to find out when Mitch came to realize that there is another side to this.

What's a "perpetual entrepreneur" and why is it important?

Mitch explains that the idea of becoming a perpetual entrepreneur was more of a call to arms—just because you did something great, it doesn't mean you're entitled to greatness.

You'll discover why Apple employs perpetual entrepreneurs and why there aren't many companies out there that can ascend to that type of position.

official apple store

Apple employs perpetual entrepreneurs.

When you look at Blackberry, they had a very good idea when it came to secure, mobile email. The timing of it was perfect and they managed to create an entire market around it. You'll find out why this didn't entitle them to the same future as Apple's.

Mitch says that we shouldn't compare the two. The argument he makes in the book is to think like the perpetual entrepreneur. Always think how your industry is evolving.

Listen to the show to find out how the perpetual entrepreneur would think when it comes to the mobile experience.

As marketers, how should we market ourselves in this new era?

Mitch released his book Six Pixels of Separation in 2009, and he believes there is still a lot of stuff in there that resonates today.

As a marketer you need to start thinking about what your plan is now. Remember these things aren't fads. The webmobile, social, local and hyperconnectivity aren't going away. Purgatory is where we're at. We know this stuff is happening and we're not doing anything about it.

develop a plan

Marketers need to start a plan. Image source: iStockphoto

Mitch thinks that's what makes the reboot necessary. You need to go back and look strategically at what your business is and how it can best connect.

Listen to the show to hear what Seth Godin once said to Mitch about the secret sauce.

Other Show Mentions

I wanted to share with you that there are 21,000 people who listen to this podcast, which just blows my mind. I've published a podcast every single week for the last 8 months and it's been super-rewarding.

But I know there's a lot of people out there who are missing out on this podcast. Anybody you know who is a marketer or has a business that could benefit from this podcast? I would love it if you would be willing to help spread the word.

You can head over to iTunes, leave a rating, write a review and subscribe or simply click here now to post a tweet.

If you want to be part of a future podcast, I would strongly recommend you try out our voicemail hotline.

Call in and leave your social media–related questions for us and we may include them in a future show.

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

Written By  for SocialMedia Examiner

[Reposted with Ralph Paglia's iPad]

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Social Media Marketing Metrics That Matter

9 Social Marketing Metrics That Actually Matter


Even the most social-savvy business owners can get caught up in the numbers game: counting and recounting likes, followers, fans, retweets, shares. Not to say those numbers don't correlate to how well your business connects with customers online, but 100 shares doesn't necessarily mean 100 sales — and it certainly doesn't measure the potential value of those 100 shares.

For example, were any of the 100 fans sharing that post actually influencers? Did the fans in question sign up for your list, or share and forget? Are your likes and follows actually impacting your sales? Many business owners wouldn't know how to start answering those questions.

To find out which social metrics are really worth monitoring, we asked a panel of successful young entrepreneurs to share which numbers they're tracking right now on FacebookTwitter and other social media sites. Here's what they had to say.

1. Facebook Engagement

We came up with a metric that we call "Facebook Engagement Ratio," which is the number of people talking about us, divided by the number of likes. We believe this is a more accurate measure of engagement than just counting likes. And we track it on a weekly basis, compared to our competitors.

Kit HickeyMinistry of Supply

2. Not Just Vanity Metrics

Early on at Contently, we observed our content marketing clients struggle with not only how to measure results, but also knowing what they should track in the first place. So we built a social content analytics tool that tracks three scores: reach, engagement and influence. Each score is a mashup of various metrics. Reach comes from pageviews and social impressions, essentially asking, "Who was exposed to your content?" Engagement is total minutes spent with your content, generated by active time on page and pages per visit: "Who actually consumed your content?" Influence is "Who took an action because of your content?"; i.e., shares and subscribers. This way, we create a funnel for measuring both social and longform content, boiling it down to insights that actually map a brand's goals.

Shane SnowContently

3. Metrics vs. Influencers

Metrics and thought leaders are two different ends of the spectrum. When you're looking at metrics and data, you're looking at the whole or segments of it. When you're looking at influential thought leaders, you're looking at building relationships with individuals. Keep the two ideas separate — woo your influencers by building real relationships. Then use metrics to see how you're doing with the masses.

Laura RoederLKR Social Media

4. Virality vs. Likes

Measuring social metrics by "counting likes" on a single Facebook post doesn't work. You must measure by"virality.". A post that gets 17,000 likes (the number of unique people who see your post) may only get 0.1% virality (the percentage of people who create a story from your post, out of the number of unique people who see your post), while another that receives 10,000 likes, but gets 9.97% virality — this is a far better post. To go viral, you must connect with your fans' passion and excite them. This is the toughest challenge of all.

- Nicolas Gremion,

5. Repeat Engagment

For us, the real social media win is when someone becomes a fan and then stays one over time — someone who consistently shares, likes and tweets our content. What we measure is basically our number of super fans.

Derek FlanzraichGreatist

6. The Stories That Metrics Don't Show

We measure our social media marketing in stories. How many stories can we tell others as a result of what we did online? Did an influencer retweet one of our tweets this month, which resulted in X amount of sales/followers/traffic? Did our social media monitoring tool discover someone using our products who wasn't even aware that it was our product? Is that same person now a fan of ours? Did he buy more stuff after he rediscovered our brand? Did our social media community teach us something that we didn't know about our own brand this month? All of these questions can bring out a story that shows why social media metrics don't always tell the full story of how you're doing online.

Brett FarmiloeMarkitors

7. Conversions are all that matter

There is only one number that matters and that is how many conversions you are getting. Whether you have 100,000 fans or 100, what really matters is how many of those people you can make customers. Business is not a popularity contest, and in many cases having lots of attention and hype can detract from your brand and distract both your customers and team.

Matt WilsonUnder30Media

8. Content Distribution

Rather than measure whether we are reaching the "right" thought leaders, we focus on scaling our social media to reach both small and large influencers alike. Our goal is to build relationships, so we try to spread relevant content that we think will match us with a person's specific interests. It truly is a one-to-one model, extremely time-intensive and difficult to build. When we do achieve that goal, that person is able to trust us as a source of interesting and insightful content, so ideally, he starts spreading the word and the cycle continues.


9. Unique Relationships With Followers

Relationships rule all when it comes to social influence. Social marketing strategies focused solely on increasing likes or follows don't say much for a brand as a whole. Instead, brands should be focusing their attention on developing unique one-on-one relationships with every single follower — especially the thought leaders in their sectors.

Heather HuhmanCome Recommended

Image via iStockphotozakokor


Scott Gerber is the founder ofYoung Entrepreneur Council,an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recenty launched ...more

[Sent from Ralph Paglia's iPhone]

AutoCon 2013: Early Bird Registration Saves You Big Bucks!

Which Car Companies are Tops in Digital Marketing?

Ford, Jeep, Chevy Top Digital Auto Brands

Written by 


On the digital proving track, Detroit is beating out the competition. Ford, Jeep and Chevrolet were the top three auto brands based on an analysis of their Web site, digital marketing, social media and mobile efforts over the last year.
Each of the 42 brands assessed in the "L2 Digital IQ Index: Auto" study was scored against more than 350 qualitative and quantitative data points and assigned a Digital IQ ranking of Genius, Gifted, Average, Challenged or Feeble. Web site marketing is given the most weighting  at 35%, and social media, the least at 15%.
Only Ford earned a "Genius" rating, with a score of 142. "Strong digital fundamentals combined with a willingness to experiment set the brand apart," stated the report authored by Scott Galloway, L2 founder, and NYU Stern clinical professor of marketing.
In particular, it cited initiatives including Ford's connected car platform Sync, iPad catalogs for different models, strong customer support and dealer inventory search via its Web site, and a social media hub through its Ford Social site.
Jeep was cited for its retargeting efforts to send consumers to a microsite linking to local dealers, and its "Badge of Honor" community for off-road enthusiasts. Chevrolet received high marks for its active presence on YouTube, including competitive ad purchasing on the video site, as well as segmented email marketing across 24 models.
Among other auto brands in the "Gifted" category were Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Honda, Cadillac, Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz. Toyota was credited especially for having a strong commitment to mobile with its touchscreen mobile site, "striking" iPad app and Entune suite of mobile apps and data services for in-car use.
At the other end of the spectrum, the "Feeble" category was populated by ultra-luxury brands, including Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Bentley and Lamborghini.
What about Tesla Motors, the electric car startup that has seen its stock nearly double in the last two weeks after being rated the best car by Consumer Reports since 2007? It fell into the "Challenged' bucket, given the lack of a mobile site and low traction on YouTube, among other factors. 
Beyond ranking specific brands, the L2 study offered several broader findings about digital efforts in the auto category. For one, search advertising has gone mobile. Automakers are nearly four times more likely to rely on paid search in mobile than on the desktop, reflecting the desire to reach potential buyers while they're out shopping.

In the mobile realm, companies are also doing better work with smartphones than tablets. Nearly nine out of 10 (86%) auto brands had mobile-optimized sites on smartphones, while almost one in four had missing or broken components on tablet sites. On a third featured touch-and-swipe functionality versus 75% on mobile sites.

Comment on "Ford, Jeep, Chevy Top Digital Auto Brands".

  1. commented on: May 20, 2013 at 5 p.m.
    It seems that user generated communities and content were not taken into account of what was measured. A brand spending the most and have the largest voice in my opinion does not show they have the most passionate customers. Many other brands have huge enthusiast-run forums and communities as well. With that said, I do give props to Ford, Chevy and Jeep for putting a large priority on the digital spectrum.

[Sent from Ralph Paglia's iPhone]

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Digital Marketing Infographic Shows Priorities for Car Dealers

The Infographic diagram of Internet Marketing Strategy illustrated in the image above correctly identifies the major core competences that car dealers and their marketing managers need to have mastered and implemented on a continuous basis..

Email Marketing is especially important for car dealers and is essential to realizing the opportunities to do business and revenue points that drive ROI for the dealership across multiple marketing communication channels... Think of email marketing capabilities as the salt and pepper in the Chet's kitchen of automotive digital marketing. 

Directories and Business Listings are akin to basic blocking and tackling... There are literally hundreds of these online services and publications which ever car dealership should be correctly listed in with all points of contact, including actual phone numbers owned by the dealership, physical location addresses and URL's for every dealership controlled website and social media profile. Additional items that should be included in these directory listings include logos, photos, images, coupons, maps, directions and videos.

Regardless of personal opinions or anecdotal misdirection, it is critically important for car dealerships to have a well designed and fully populated portfolio of social media channels, accounts, profiles, pages and sites. This includes blogs, photo, video and consumer generated content sites that feature customer reviews and ratings.. Each of these social media assets must be continuously monitored and updated. Yes, it is a big job and worthy of a full time position within the dealership's employee staff. The impact of social media and consumer generated content on a dealership's reputation and branding within the local market cannot be understated. In the absence of a dealership controlling this communication diamond with many facets, the risk of adverse information becoming the dominant presence for the dealership is simply too high. Each dealership must secure their name as user names so that the SocialMedia profile page URL contains the same keywords that customers would use in a search query when seeking information about the business and its reputation among customers. It is critically important to understand that customer comments, blog posts, status updates and tweets have a similar impact on the dealership's reputation as actual review and rating sites set up for such purposes... In some cases, when a disgruntled customer, former employee, competitor or even a malcontent seizing the opportunity to claim a URL with dealer's name in it, the damage to the dealership's reputation and business revenue can exceed the negative impact of many bad reviews on sites without massive followings. 

Speaking of massive followings, my direct experience working with dealerships over the past year has shown that certain user generated content (UGC) sites have far stronger impact on their member's car buying and service spending activities than others. Case in point; YELP! Has emerged as a major player in the area of business reputation and where members actually spend money. Unlike Edmunds, DealerRater,, CarFolks and other automotive specific ratings and review sites, Yelp has a loyal, active and high income membership demographic that seeks out businesses, including dealerships with a robust presence within the Yelp user community online. Dealers who stand out from their competitors on Yelp achieve a major competitive advantage... Yelpers are so loyal when it comes to where they spend money that it reminds me of when an LDS (Mormon) church leader or Hasidic Jew owns a dealership... They can count on their fellow members doing business with them to the exclusion of non-member owned dealerships. My advice to all dealers and GM's is to build your personal profile on Yelp with daily content and review submissions and make sure your affiliation with the dealership's enhanced business profile on Yelp is prominent and clearly displayed.  For those who ask, I always recommend that a dealership invest the monthly fee for a Yelp Enhanced Business Profile and allocate a portion of the dealership's online advertising budget to Yelp display and pay-per-click (PPC) search advertising.

As important as it is to allocate significant budget to Search Engine Marketing campaigns which include PPC with Google Adwords and Microsoft Advertising (Bing), it is equally important to have a consistent and effective Online Display Advertising (ODA) strategy that incorporates use of advanced targeting technologies.  Examples of audience targeting technologies and tactics that have served dealers well are:

1. Geotargeting - Dealership is only charged when Ads appear on computers and mobile devices within the dealer's specified geographic area. 

2. Demographic Targeting - dealer only pays for the ads which appear for consumers within defined age, gender, income levels, education, residential and or marriage status.

3. Contextual Targeting - Dealer only pays for ads which appear on web pages with content that includes keywords such as make, model, and those indicating and interest in buying or servicing a vehicle.

4. Behavioral Targeting - BT is sexy and has sizzle when agencies are selling dealers because it is based on tracking which consumers are visiting websites that in combination are virtually certain to identify those shopping for a new or used vehicle. BT has come a long way over the past few years and when done properly is a highly effective tactic.

5. Retargeting - This is the holy grail of online advertising... Following customers who have visited on of the dealership's websites, blogs, social media channels and displaying ads to them while they visit their favorite sites, check their email or participate in social networking.

Regardless of targeting, the messaging and creative we include in our online display advertising (ODA), Search Engine Advertising (SEA) and content marketing (social media and blogs) are what determines the success of a dealership's overall Internet Marketing Strategy. Great copy and eye catching creative is more important than ever before and trumps any type of targeting or placement prowess. Make sure your display ads are strong enough to grab consumer attention and the message has to be so compelling that you do not depend on click throughs for the ad's impression to effect consumer behavior. Search Engine Ads must be written within a tight set of constraints to quickly convince consumers that the site it is linked to is exactly what they were searching for in the first place. Using dynamic multimedia display ads that allow customers to check inventory, call the dealership and submit inquiries without ever leaving the web page where the ad is seen have transformed ODA into one of the most effective tools in a dealership marketing toolbox for generating leads, phone calls and showroom traffic.

Want more information and how to's? Be sure to visit and join the professional network at http:// . My name is Ralph Paglia and I have been selling new and used cars, trucks, parts and service using the Internet for over 20 years. 
Ralph Paglia
President - Automotive Media Partners, LLC