Tag Archive | "web marketing"

Mastering the Web

In today’s world, mastering your Web presence is more critical than ever. As consumers and businesses grow more and more Internet dependent, if you don’t keep pace, you will quickly be left behind.

Here are some statistics that matter to you as agents:
• There is good news in the auto industry: 2013 projections show an increase of 5% in overall growth.
• Of over 170 industries measured, the automotive industry ranked second in Internet usage and growth, topped only by consumer goods.
• 70% of B2B companies will boost their spending on Web site development in 2013.

So what does this boil down to? If the industry is moving in this direction, and as an agent you are trying to sell to dealers who have to work in this increasingly Web-savvy world and you don’t speak their language, then you don’t understand your customer.

Your Web presence consists of various elements, including social media, YouTube, Webinars, electronic marketing, and of course, your Web site. You need to present a consistent message and image across all touch points, and learn to utilize each one so they work together synergistically.

But let’s start with your Web site — the hub of your Internet presence. If your design pre-dates 2009 or earlier, it’s outdated. Research shows that a visitor to your Web site will spend 3-5 seconds — yes, seconds — before they either click off, or click through. And that includes your dealers.

Today’s Web user wants fast-loading, image-rich user interfaces and they demand content that is relevant to them. That means at first glance, your Web site must be visually appealing! Clean, uncomplicated designs with up-to-date images, and easy to find information define today’s Web sites. White space is your friend.

Make Content Concise and Relevant
Keep your important information above the view line (the area that can be seen without scrolling). Eighty percent of people read the headline only on a Web site. Of those, 20 percent will read the first paragraph. What does that mean? You must avoid “information dump” and boil your message down to the most important information that will spark your target’s interest. Remember, you have 3-5 seconds to capture their attention.

And let’s talk about those images. A picture paints a thousand words. Does your Web site scream “Let’s party like it’s 1999!” Your customers want to know you’re up on the latest in your industry. That’s what you tell them. “We know how to help you. We know how to make you more profitable. We understand your business. We understand you.” Out-of-date images scream, “We’re stuck in the past.”

Web on the Go
Forty-five percent of Americans own a smartphone, and 29 percent own a tablet. Just three years ago tablet usage was at 2 percent.! Is your Web site optimized for mobile platforms? The percentage of people who access their Internet information via mobile platforms continues to grow. Optimizing your website for mobile must be standard operating procedure.

By providing your customer with information that is relevant and helpful for them, when and how they want to access it, you will gain customer loyalty. Be a resource for your dealers. Provide them with tools and information that will help them in their world. Give them a reason to come back to your Web site. Provide content across multiple touchpoints. Utilize social media, blogs, webinars, videos, etc. to talk to your target audience, but be strategic in your approach. Integration and strategy is the key.

The Web is a fast-paced environment to say the very least, but it is a permanent part of our marketing landscape. Making sure you are relevant and up-to-date will be a critical factor in the future of your business. 1999 might have been good for parties, but it’s no longer a good year for the Web.

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ADP Digital Marketing Expands Analytics Segment Facilities

SEATTLE – ADP Dealer Services and its Digital Marketing group have acquired Autotegrity from Link Ventures and Cogo Labs to expand a facility that’s focused on optimizing the online shopping experience for consumers.

The Autotegrity acquisition will bring online traffic campaign management and site conversion analytics competencies to ADP Dealer Services. The company also said that it anticipates doubling the research, production and science staff in its new Cambridge offices over the next two years, leveraging analytics talent being produced by local universities.

“The Autotegrity team has built a very successful business based on the application of math and science in understanding, and acting on consumer intent in the automotive digital marketing space,” said John Vicidomino, vice president and general manager of Autotegrity. “ADP Digital Marketing shares that commitment with a strong analytics heritage of its own. Together, our expanding team will blaze new frontiers in creating dynamic, seamless, shopping experiences for automotive consumers.”

John Holt, senior vice president of ADP Digital Marketing, added: “I can’t think of a better opportunity to get immediate, real world feedback on your analytic insights than digital marketing. We are excited to grow a facility in Cambridge that will offer unmatched opportunities for innovation and career development to analysts and scientists seeking to participate in the revolution in digital marketing to improve both consumer experiences and business results.”

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Response Logix, Digital Air Strike Announce Merger

LAS VEGAS — Response Logix and Digital Air Strike announced a merger of their two companies at this past weekend’s National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention. The combined company features two business units, with Response Logix offering a prospect-response digital marketing solution and Digital Air Strike offering social media and reputation management solutions, reported F&I and Showroom magazine.

“I’m excited to announce the merger of these two fast-growing, ground-breaking companies,” said Tom Mohr, president and CEO of Response Logix. “I’m especially excited that we have brought together a winning team of innovators and powerful digital marketing solutions that are second to none.”

The Response Logix product line features automotive Internet lead management tools SmartQuote, SmartFollow and RapidTouch. SmartQuote delivers a multi-vehicle price quote to the customer within 10 minutes of lead arrival while SmartFollow provides continuous e-mail and online advertising-based follow-up to prospects for up to 180 days. Through a partnership with an automotive call center, RapidTouch ensures that once the quote has been sent, a follow-up phone call is made to the prospect within 45 minutes, according to Response Logix.

“This merger brings together two very dynamic companies that complement each other in many ways,” said Alexi Venneri, co-founder and COO of Digital Air Strike, and chief marketing officer of the combined company. “In our industry, it is all about responding quickly, whether that’s to leads, online reviews or social media prospects. Our combined solution utilizes revolutionary technology and a team of strategic marketers to help dealers respond incredibly quickly and professionally throughout the entire sales and customer lifecycle.”

The Digital Air Strike product line offers a solution to fully manage more than 50 social media and review sites, enabling dealers to select from multiple levels of service, according to the company. Product service levels include the Defend package for outsourced online reputation management, the Conquer package for proactive social media marketing, and the Dominate package which offers the broadest combined automotive social media and reputation management solution.

In the near-term, the combined company will operate under both names while leveraging the combined management team.

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Colorado Puts the Brakes on TrueCar

After hitting an impasse with auto industry skeptics, TrueCar is facing another setback. The embattled company and its dealers were notified by the Colorado Department of Revenue that they could be in violation of five of the state’s advertising rules, according to a letter released on Dec. 15.

According to the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, TrueCar had initiated a meeting with the Department’s Motor Vehicle Dealer Board in late November to find out if its service was in compliance with Colorado state laws. “That seemed to be a discovery meeting to tell the [state’s] Auto Industry Division (AID) how the TrueCar model works,” said Tim Jackson, Colorado Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) president.

The Department of Revenue’s legislative liaison, Mark Couch, stated that the AID is currently investigating a complaint that it received last week regarding TrueCar and could not comment until the investigation was completed, reported F&I and Showroom magazine.

Jackson said that his association was not involved in the meeting, but was notified soon after by the AID about a number of issues regarding TrueCar’s business relationship with dealers. Some of the topics mentioned in the AID’s letter include concerns over access to dealer’s inventory information, possible “bait and switch” situations and concerns regarding unlicensed sales activity.

The five advertising violations identified included failure to include vehicle stock numbers, using the word “invoice” in advertisements, small font size on disclaimers, failure to disclose all costs associated with purchasing a vehicle, and not listing an expiration date or time limit for offers.

The association’s new-car dealers were notified about the situation over the weekend. “I’ve been on the phone all day,” Jackson said. “Out of those 250 or so dealers, I’ve probably fielded between 25 to 35 calls so far.”

The AID’s letter also indicated that it has been instructed to “pursue licensure by TrueCar as either a Used Motor Vehicle Dealer or to have individuals associated with TrueCar licensed as salespersons or both.”

The reason for this, Jackson adds, is that anyone who is negotiating the price of a car in Colorado needs to be licensed to do so.

Though the alleged violations originated from TrueCar’s materials, the AID states that any dealer using the company’s services to promote and list vehicles will ultimately be responsible for any violations of the state’s compliance rules.

“It’s up to the dealers who they do business with and we don’t tell them who to do business with or not to do business with,” Jackson says. “But it’s our role to help them stay in compliance.”

Group 1 Automotive was recently reported to have ended its business relationship with TrueCar, but did not immediately return F&I and Showroom’s requests for comment. Last week, Honda confirmed that it warned its dealers over the summer that marketing dollars will be withheld if dealers violate the company’s stated advertising guidelines. A company spokesman, however, denied that Honda is prohibiting its dealers from using TrueCar.

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Provider Exchange Network Launches Website

TROY, Mich. – Provider Exchange Network (PEN), a division of Open Dealer Exchange LLC, has launched an official website to further serve F&I product providers and automotive dealers nationwide.

“We’re thrilled to introduce a website dedicated solely for Provider Exchange Network,” said Mark Virag, managing director for PEN. “Considering PEN’s advanced technology and comprehensive electronic offerings, it was time to extend our marketing to include both offline and online communication to better serve the needs of our customers.”

He added, “Our new online approach positions PEN more prominently in the market, and we look forward to educating and captivating many more providers about PEN’s capabilities and what it means for the F&I process.”

The site, www.providerexchangenetwork.com, gives users instant access to news and information about PEN, with smooth navigation, flexible content and fast, timely updates.

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