Archive for November, 2007
If you were going to build a new physical location for your dealership, the “where” would be as, if not more, important than the “what.” After all if potential customers couldn’t find you, then buying a vehicle from you becomes all but impossible.
Not coincidentally, the same principle applies online. If your customers and prospects can’t find you, you don’t exist. Having a memorable and intuitive web address will help, but the number one thing you need to do is ensure that your site plays nice with the world’s biggest search engines (Google, Yahoo!, Ask.com, MSN, etc.). It is those sites that determine your “location” online. Being near the top of the first page on Google is like having your dealership at the intersection of town’s two main drags — it’s so easy to find that your customers can’t help but come across it from time to time.
Search engines are the maps of the digital landscape. And products like Dealer Impact’s Rank King can use a variety of strategies and tactics to ensure that you grab a piece of prime digital real estate. That’s the “where” of the digital marketing game… and it’s at least as important as the “what.”
Marketing Strategist/Creative Consultant
Appeared in Marketing Vox
A SellPoint, Inc. study conducted by Coremetrics found a significant increase in product purchases after online shoppers viewed audio/video tours of products, writes MarketingCharts.
The study analyzed online shopping behaviors to measure the impact SellPoint’s Active Product Tours (APT) on the purchase patterns of online shoppers. Among the findings:
There was a 35 percent increase in the sales conversion rate among shoppers who viewed the tours vs. those who did not.
Shoppers viewing the product tours spent more than 2.5 minutes, on average, engaged in viewing detailed product information about each product viewed.
The Active Product Tours are detailed product presentations featuring audio, video and downloadable sales collateral related to a particular product. Shoppers choose to view them by selecting a “Take a Product Tour” button on the product page.
SellPoint also released the following information:
Last year, online shoppers spent more time viewing APT on Thanksgiving Day than on CyberMonday (208,509 minutes vs. 181,726 minutes).
Based on SellPoint projections, Thanksgiving Day view time will total more than 380,000 minutes vs. nearly 182,000 minutes of view time on Cyber Monday.
About the study: The Coremetrics online shopper study was conducted on the CompU.S.A website, which features SellPoint APT for products from companies such as Canon, Panasonic and Epson. The study was conducted over 30 days and examined more than a million shopping sessions.
If any paradigm shift has dominated marketing thought over the past decade, it is this: If a tactic can’t be measured, it can’t be trusted. It is this sort of thinking that has driven marketers, dealerships and otherwise, to shift their spending away from hard-to-measure mass market tactics like radio and TV and towards more measurable strategies like direct mail and electronic marketing.
But with all this measuring going on, the next question becomes this: What do you measure? What is the key metric that you look at to determine how your marketing is performing?
Do you simply measure leads generated? Or do you only count those leads that are successfully converted into sales? Perhaps you calculate how much each lead costs? Or do you go even deeper… examining how much profit each lead generated?
Use the comments section to tell us what your key marketing metric is.
From Digital Dealer
Nov 15, 2007
Volume 2, issue 46
eMarketer foresees U.S. online advertising will more than double as a percentage of total media, rising from only a six percent share of total media in 2006, to a little more than a 12 percent share in 2010. In approximately the same period, online spending will close to triple, rising from $16.9 billion in 2006 to $42 billion in 2011.
According to David Hallerman, a senior analyst at eMarketer, the three milestones which marked this change include:
“First, U.S. Internet ad spending surpassed $5 billion in Q2 2007, the largest sum recorded in any quarter according to research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers,” says Hallerman. eMarketer projections suggest that in Q4 of this year spending will leap past the $6 billion mark.
“Second, while 69 of the 100 largest U.S. advertisers put smaller budget shares into four traditional media – television, radio, newspapers and magazines – in 2006 than the previous year, 70 of the same group put larger shares into Internet advertising,” continues Hallerman. Furthermore, 58 of those U.S. advertisers both decreased their traditional spending share and increased their Internet share.
“Third, even as the credit crunch pulls ad money off the total media table, the Internet looks to be more resistant to economic turmoil,” asserts Hallerman. “To put the obvious into figures, online advertising contributes more and more to the total ad spending universe every year.” That share will show 7.4 percent this year, approach one in 10 dollars next year, and will probably reach at least 13 percent by the end of 2011.
“Data from both eMarketer and TNS Media Intelligence indicate that 2007 Internet ad spending will be higher than for radio, as reported in August,” declares Hallerman. “That is the first time online ad spending will be greater than for any of the four traditional measured media.” The average ad spend per Internet user is also growing. In fact, 2007 marks the first year that marketers will spend more than $100 to reach each person online. And, by 2011, advertisers will be spending nearly $200 per user.
It has recently come to our attention that one of our competitors, Cobalt, has partnered with General Motors to offer manufacturer-endorsed template websites. At first, it seems that using one of these basic, inflexible sites is mandatory… but this is not the case. The industry has seen Chrysler, VW, Lexus, Mercedes, and others try this strategy and fail. But there is something they’re probably not telling you. Yes you have to pay the $199 to get leads down from GM, but you can use nearly any internet provider to build, manage and host your site. You don’t have to work within the limits and restrictions of the template site — and you shouldn’t. You can simply run the template site in the background and use it to feed data into your custom-built site.
What they’re not telling you about these template sites is how limiting they are. They don’t offer you flexibility you need in regards to search engine marketing/optimization, proactive marketing, branding, local promotions, multimedia and all of the other things that really make a web site sing.
So, is this now a necessary evil for GM dealerships? Probably so. Does it force your hand in regards to the way you build and run your website? Absolutely not.
10. They have AOL or Hotmail email address.
9. They still have the Field of Dreams mentality (Build it and they will come)
8. The Internet Manager spends more time integrating that new flying airplane on the site than making sure leads get followed up.
7. They switch website providers every year trying to find a site that will sell cars for them.
6. The Internet Department thinks they can take the same number of smoke breaks as everyone else in the dealership.
5. Policies, Procedures, and Accountability don’t pertain to the Internet Department.
4. The newspaper is their primary advertising medium, where the average reader is 55 and the new generation doesn’t even pick it up.
3. They use Cobalt or Reynolds as their primary web solution because they were told to (can you say brainwash).
2. The GM/Owner doesn’t use the Internet so why would anyone else.
1. The dealership has handed over a multi-million dollar profit center to Internet Guru they wouldn’t trust to baby sit their 8 year old daughter.
President, Dealer Impact Systems
From Digital Dealer
Thursday, November 1, 2007
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 44
Among late-model used-vehicle buyers who use the Internet during the shopping process, Internet use has surpassed all other shopping methods as the source for locating the vehicle a buyer ultimately purchases, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Used Autoshopper.com Study released late last week.
The study finds that Internet vehicle locators, such as Autotrader.com, CarMax.com, Cars.com and eBay Motors, are increasingly leading consumers to the actual vehicle they buy. In 2007, nearly one in four buyers of late-model used vehicles (23 percent) used an Internet vehicle locator or online classified ad services to find the vehicle they purchased — a 44 percent increase since 2006. In addition, 2007 marks the first year that Internet use surpasses all other shopping methods in locating the vehicle a buyer ultimately purchases. The proportion of used-vehicle buyers who use the Internet in the shopping process and who ultimately found the vehicle they purchased on the Internet is 10 percentage points greater than the number of shoppers who found their vehicle through the second-most-popular method, visiting dealer lots.
“This is just one indication that use of the Internet is now perhaps the most efficient source for shopping for and purchasing late-model used vehicles,” said Jon Osborn, research director at J.D. Power and Associates. “In the past, the majority of used-vehicle automotive Internet users relied on the traditional method of driving around to dealer lots to find the vehicle they ultimately bought. However, as the number of Web sites specializing in the used-vehicle market continues to grow, and the use of video, photos and improved dealer inventory management tools proliferates, we can expect that consumer use of the Internet for used-vehicle shopping and for actually finding a desired vehicle online will continue to increase.”
Consumer-generated automotive content (CGC) is dramatically affecting Internet usage for used-vehicle shopping, as consumers are offering their own experiences and opinions on makes, models and dealerships. With hundreds of sites listing shopping tips, vehicle reviews, pictures and vehicle specifications, CGC is becoming a highly sought-after and trusted source of information for consumers to help determine their buying decisions. The study finds that slightly more than seven in 10 used-vehicle automotive Internet users (72 percent) use CGC on the Internet either while they are shopping for their vehicle or after they purchase it. By far, the most popular types of CGC are consumer ratings and reviews, with two-thirds of used-vehicle automotive Internet users accessing this type of content for automotive information.
“Not only are reviews written by consumers frequently accessed, but also the buyers who use them rate them as the most helpful of all types of consumer-generated content,” said Osborn. “Among used-vehicle automotive Internet users who access consumer-generated ratings and reviews, 94 percent say the information is either ‘somewhat helpful’ or ‘very helpful.’ With this level of utility, CGC is one area that consumers will continue to seek out and may even expect to find on all automotive Web sites.”
The study finds various gender-based differences in used-vehicle shopping trends among automotive Internet users. For example, women not only tend to decide to buy a vehicle earlier in the purchase process than do men (15.9 weeks before the date of purchase compared with 14.1 weeks), but also decide upon the vehicle type and model earlier than do men. In addition, at the beginning of the shopping process, men are much more likely to know the make of vehicle they want than women (49 percent vs. 38 percent), while a much higher proportion of women are initially open to any vehicle that would meet their needs than are men (22 percent vs. 13 percent).
The 2007 Used Autoshopper.com Study is based on responses from 5,476 used-vehicle buyers who purchased pre-owned 2002-2007 model-year vehicles in January and February 2007.
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