page contents Automotive Thought Leadership: Ralph Paglia: November 2018 My title page contents

Thursday, November 29, 2018

American Life Expectancy Drops

Overall life expectancy for Americans was 78.6 years in 2017, a drop of 0.1 year. 

That may not seem like much, but usually, life expectancy goes up a little each year. If it goes down, it means people are dying at younger ages.

The death rates are driven mostly by a startling 9.6 percent increase in drug overdose deaths, from 63,632 in 2016, to 70,237 in 2017

Most of the overdoses involved opioids of some sort, and the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics recorded a 45 percent increase in deaths from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and tramadol. They accounted for nearly 30,000 of the 70,000+ drug overdose deaths.Image: Age-adjusted drug overdose death rates: United States, 1999-2017

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Market Smarter With a Digital-First Approach

Market Smarter With a Digital-First Approach
Balancing customer engagement and the cost of advertising is your key to increasing your marketing return on investment (ROI).
Sounds simple, right? It is – and it starts with a digital-first strategy. This variation on multi-channel marketing uses digital media channels (such as email, SMS, or social media) to initiate engagement with customers. Once you’ve established a relationship with customers with a cost-effective approach, you can then follow up with higher-investment media channels like print mail to capture customer sales and service business.

This strategy isn’t uncommon, but even proven strategies can be perfected with data-driven study – at AutoLoop, that’s what we’ve spent over 13 years doing. We have a passion for solving the unique challenges that dealers face every day, so we dug into the digital-first marketing approach to discover insights you can put to work in your store now.

How does a digital-first strategy increase ROI?
Customers who engage with dealers are twice as likely to service and five times more likely to purchase from that dealer. So establishing and maintaining a high level of engagement with your customers is vital—and it can be done on a budget through a digital-first approach. Start by consistently contacting customers with relevant content via digital to keep your dealership top-of-mind. Then, track and target your high-intent customers with timely print mail follow-up. While print costs more, it is much more influential in closing deals. In fact, the open rate for print mail is two times higher than that of email.
Loyalty Rates by Engagement Level
But if email is cost-effective, why pay for mail?
When analyzed individually, we found that no single media channel influenced more than 30% of customers to generate an RO. So rather than using email as the sole solution for their marketing, dealers should include multiple channels in their marketing mix to boost engagement and ROI beyond the additional costs. Pairing email campaigns with a corresponding print piece is a great first approach, as it’s been proven to drive high engagement.
Influence by Media Channel
How can I implement a digital-first strategy at my store?
First, choose a vendor that gives you multi-channel marketing options. If your vendor specializes in only one channel like print, you’ll often be charged unnecessary costs just to add digital to the existing print. A multi-channel solution like AutoLoop Essentials™ offers dealers print, email, SMS, social, voice, and more to minimize costs.

After you’ve found the right marketing solution, start sending your customers emails to boost dealership awareness and target those who opened those emails with print mail and/or other higher-investment media channels. And for an even more effective approach, continue to send email communications along with other marketing communications to ensure your dealership is always chosen when customers need service or a new vehicle.

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Car Business Is The People Business


Most people think of automotive retail as a product business...

After all, the primary activity of most dealerships involves selling new and used cars. But with dealerships in the U.S. combining to employ more than a million workers (with that number expected to grow substantially in the near future), automotive retail is as much a part of the people business as anything else.

1. To put it simply: people impact profits.  

When dealerships hire the wrong people, fail to train them properly, and send them off to the front lines of auto sales, they usually make the wrong impression on customers. And when customers fail to connect with people, they simply find what they're looking for somewhere else. As a result, sales, CSI scores, and customer retention all suffer. 

Even worse? When your dealership invests in training quality employees, industry trends show it's not enough as statistics reveal high turnover costs dealerships billions of dollars every year industry-wide.

2. Despite the importance of recognizing auto retail as a people business, most dealerships delegate the duties of hiring and retaining talent to human resources. 

And while this might make sense on the surface— human resources personnel being the trained experts in this area— decisions involving people in a people business are too valuable to be ignored by ownership. Again, it's all a matter of outlook. When dealer principal owners (DPOs) stop viewing auto retail as a product-centric profession, they're able to understand that the bottom line begins with job postings, applicants, and interviews, and ends with long-tenured employees who provide a distinct advantage over the competition.
In an interview with Automotive News, Adam Robinson, CEO of Hireology, a hiring software provider and consultant, said the "difference between a mediocre dealership and a great dealership is the strength of its people," and that "improving the people side of automotive retail is the last great return on investment available to dealers."

Dealertrack Launches New F&I Platform


Dealertrack Launches New F and I Software Platform to Cut Time From Retail Car-Buying Process

Dealertrack uniFI offers the industry's first single platform that seamlessly connects the entire deal process with open integration



NORTH HILLS, N.Y., PRNewswire -- Dealertrack, a leading provider of digital solutions for the automotive retail industry, announced today a new F and I software platform, Dealertrack uniFITM.  The new platform is designed to streamline the car-buying process for consumers, dealers, lenders and warranty providers by offering the industry's first single platform that seamlessly connects the entire deal process with open integration.
Dealertrack uniFITM addresses a major pain point for consumers, dealers and lenders. Less than half of consumers are satisfied with the three hours it takes on average to finalize their car purchase at a dealership, Cox Automotive's 2018 Car Buyer Journey Study revealed. Dealers recognize the issue with 69 percent concerned about the need to deliver a better customer experience and increase the efficiency of their sales process, according to 2018 Cox Automotive Dealer Communication & Operations Study. On the lender side, delays often occur around multiple systems requiring rekeying of data and the error rate on paper contracts.
This final stage of car-buying, called the financing and insurance or F and I process, is complicated with different systems handling different parts of the process, such as credit checks, loan applications, taxes, titling and trade-in values. Dealership staff navigate on average more than six different systems to finalize a sale, a Cox Automotive poll showed.
Dealertrack uniFITM is the industry's first software platform to bring together these different systems to create a seamless F&I solution. Instead of switching between multiple systems and re-entering data each time, dealership staff can use Dealertrack uniFITM to run credit checks, submit credit applications, structure deals and calculate accurate payments, add aftermarket products, and speed trade-in payoff and title release. This single platform also generates compliance-specific documents that meet federal laws and regulations and creates a check-list to track actions – all in one digital deal jacket. Dealertrack uniFITMconnects both online and in-store interactions, making it easier to seamlessly track the entire car-buying experience for each customer.
"The car-buying experience should be an exciting time for consumers, but it's often lengthened by a set of disjointed technologies required to finalize the sale," said Cheryl Miller, vice president and general manager of Dealertrack F&I Solutions. "Dealertrack uniFITM creates a single technology platform to simplify the process. Dealership sales staff spend less time logging into and typing data into various systems, enabling customers to enjoy their new vehicles more quickly and freeing dealers to focus more attention on serving customers."
Open Platform Connecting the Automotive Ecosystem
Dealertrack uniFITM streamlines the process by creating a single system built as an open platform to make it easier to connect various systems needed to handle different parts of a car deal. The open platform allows Dealertrack uniFITM to work with other Cox Automotive solutions, solutions from other providers as well as with Dealertrack's network of more than 1,600 lending institutions.
"After our upgrade to the new Dealertrack uniFITM platform, I've experienced a level of efficiency that gives me both speed and accuracy and allows me to work more deals for more customers in a shorter period of time," said Richard Cirami, finance director of North Shore Honda in Glen Head, N.Y. an early customer of Dealertrack uniFITM.
"F and I is the backbone of any dealership, and Dealertrack uniFITM has made a significant impact on our business by making our F&I process faster from start to finish," said Joe Speaker, sales manager for Neuwirth Cars On Market in Wilmington, N.C., who's also an early customer of Dealertrack uniFITM. "I now utilize more lenders and the faster workflow has made me a more valuable employee. The quicker turnaround time in F and I also means happier customers and better CSI scores."
"In today's fast-paced world, we could all use some extra time," added Miller. "Dealertrack uniFITM is one way that Cox Automotive is trying to help both customer and dealers gain back time that they can spend on more enjoyable and productive activities."
About DealertrackDealertrack provides industry-leading software solutions that give dealerships and lenders the confidence to thrive in an ever-changing automotive market. The company's integrated suite of powerful but easy-to-use products helps dealerships and their lending partners grow by increasing efficiency and improving decision-making. Dealertrack is part of the Cox Automotive family, a company that is transforming the way the world buys, sells, owns and uses cars. Dealertrack—along with its unmatched network of dealership and lending partners—is improving the car buying experience by embracing the technologies that will shape the future of automotive retail. For more information about Dealertrack, visit
About Cox AutomotiveCox Automotive Inc. makes buying, selling, owning and using cars easier for everyone. The global company's 34,000-plus team members and family of brands, including Autotrader®, Clutch Technologies,®, Dealertrack®Kelley Blue Book®, Manheim®, NextGear Capital®, VinSolutions®, vAuto® and Xtime®, are passionate about helping millions of car shoppers, 40,000 auto dealer clients across five continents and many others throughout the automotive industry thrive for generations to come. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., a privately-owned, Atlanta-based company with revenues exceeding $20
SOURCE Dealertrack

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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Automated Twitter Posting for Car Dealers

Twitter Automation: How to share High-Quality posts automatically on twitter

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Twitter Automation: What does it really mean?

Today, there is no doubt that marketing automation tools are gaining more and more space in our lives, especially among marketers and business owners who spend a lot of time every day managing social media and are always looking for tools that can help them manage the brand's digital activity effectively.

However, the first thing to emphasize when discussing automation is that the fact you can automate something doesn't mean it's a good idea. It's important to always add value to your followers and build a true connection with people who are relevant to you. As part of that, it's important to post quality content for your followers, but how do you continuously create interesting content that will keep your followers engaged?

Our goal at is to build the easiest tool for marketers, bloggers, small business owners, and for anyone who wants to grow their social community. Today – we made that a whole lot easier. is excited to announce our Twitter automation feature, and one of our favorites: a new campaign that finds and shares top articles for you, based on topics that interest you and your audience. We want to help you grow your following on social media, and it all starts with getting your own posts out there!

How it works

I'm sure this sounds a bit too good to be true: You just need to choose the topics and we'll share 2-5 quality articles for you per day? Yes, that's exactly how it works.

We'll do it in layup:

Step #1: Go to your dashboard on, on the navigation bar click on 'Schedule'> 'Top Articles'

Scroll down and click on 'continue'  blue button.
Step #2: Pick at least 2 topics to share that interest your audience of followers 

#Pro_tip: You can also add topics that interest your audience and are not on the list – just type in the search bar

And now what?

You're all set – Sit back and watch your engagements grow! If this isn't enough for you… Fine, you're probably ready for the next level: our premium users can manually review posts (Recommended for business) and edit the description of the tweet related to the article, which can increase clicks and engage followers significantly!

Any last words?

Remember using Twitter automation is great ONLY if you do it right and create real value for your followers.

  • Be consistent – make sure that you have 3-4 articles to publish every day/week. Keep an eye out for what duration works best for your followers.
  • Check engagement – see which topics get more engagement and learn what keeps your audience engaged. Try to occasionally switch topics to identify new opportunities.
  • Be involved– when your audience reacts – respond back – don't leave them hanging.
  • Create content by yourself – When you understand what your audience wants to read – start creating your own content!

For premium users – USE YOUR POWER!

  • Add something personal – Replace the default text with your personal opinion on the article.
  • Increase exposure – use relevant hashtags to increase the exposure for a tweet.
  • Ask a question – One of the best ways to get engagement from your followers is to ask them what they think – turn them on. schedules these articles at the Best Time for you to reach the most people, and the best time for you to get the most engagement from your followers without ever annoying them.

We hope we can help you do the same and even more – Let us know!

Written by Emily Campos