New Google Ad Function Allows Gen Y Car Buyers A Direct Path To The Car Sale Using Text Messaging | Canadian Auto Dealer Marketing

screenshot-2016-11-19-16-24-00 Purchasing a vehicle just got intense, but wasn’t it already? Gen Y’s expectation of the dealer and manufacturer just got heightened. No more tacky “on hold” phone music while you wait for the secretary to scramble and find a sales person to take your “UP”. Text messaging is a function that has truly changed how we communicate as a culture and world. It allows us to multi-task and talk to many people at one time without being bogged down by the old school phone call and voice to voice. I did a workshop on this very sales technique through The Motor Dealers Association of Alberta last year where we talked about CRM systems lack of ability to follow conversations between car buyers and sales people that were within the text messaging environment.

In an article written by Vince Bond from the Automotive News, he interviewed Kia’s Head of Digital Marketing David Schoonover and asked why he thought text messaging was so intricate in landing the sale. Read the article here. In the article Kia talks about how they understand that Gen Y simply does not want to wait on the phone for 5 minutes and the expectation has changed.

In the automotive marketing workshops and seminars that we do, we always stress the importance of understanding what the car buyer needs and the preferred context they want to communicate in. So important in 2016!

If your dealerships has questions or would like training on how to use texting and text ads to land more deals, reach out to us here.

Also a huge shout out to Platinum Mitsubishi for allowing us to use a screenshot from their recent Google Text Ads.

What Are Some Tips To Create A Successful Automotive Dealership Social Media Plan?

20140403-211755.jpg

So this would be one of the questions that I get asked the most. My first thought is always “how the heck do I answer this?” This question is so broad and loaded with many different aspects.

When a auto dealership decides that they would like to take the plunge into social media I think it is awesome. The first suggestion that I would make, is do a FULL audit of your current digital strategy or marketing efforts. From here, decide where you want social media to be interjected.

When I worked at the dealership and was first hired, I found myself very overwhelmed simply because I did not know where to begin or where we were at. I want to make this very apparent and clear, to be good at social media and gain good traction with past, present and future car buyers it takes WORK .

Let’s talk about attitude. Sales managers, dealer principles, product advisors or even owners all must have a very positive and accepting attitude when it comes to adopting new forms of marketing and communication. I believe that ONE person should be behind the social media for a dealership as this will ensure clarity and consistency and one voice for the dealership.

Here are a few tips to get started:

✅ Figure out what your dealerships branding message and goals are.

✅ Do an audit of all your current marketing initiatives whether it be paper, radio, tv, pay per click or third party websites.

✅ Pick two or three social media platforms whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube and master and get really good at those first.

✅ Pick one person or decide if you are hiring out to manage all social media channels. Reach out to me as this is a service I offer.

✅ Setup your two or three social media platforms and ensure all information is filled out. Ensure all logo’s and dealership information is accurate and present.

✅ Start talking, interacting and engaging with people, remember that the whole point of social media is to be social.

✅ Post 10% about the dealership, things such as pictures of vehicles, staff functions, sales and 90% about life and what is going on in your local city.

✅ My FINAL and MOST important tip is to educate and find training that will help you execute and deploy this successfully inside of the dealership. Have a peek at what dealers have said about some of my past digital marketing workshops.

I hope this article has helped and as always please share with your social communities and feel free to reach out to me with any questions.

Salute to Vienna and Auto Marketing…..Absolutely!

January 5, 2014-Salute to Vienna at The Winspear Centre in Edmonton, Alberta

January 5, 2014-Salute to Vienna at The Winspear Centre in Edmonton, Alberta

So I was at the Salute To Vienna this past weekend at The Winspear Centre here in Edmonton. Great afternoon spent with loved ones. A very nice musical performance full of singing, dance and laughter. Now I know this technically has nothing to do with Automotive Marketing, but has everything to do with “Storytelling”. The Maestro or conductor, whichever you prefer brought personality to his sets. He engaged with the crowd by starting each number with a back story that usually ended in humour.

Admittedly, these kind of performances are not my preference but I am always open to any kind of entertainment and storytelling whether it be performing arts or sports. Each has a very intricate way of telling their story. At the core is a message and the audience needs to understand it. Whether your message is “Mr.Customer here is why you should buy this vehicle” or “A soprano singing some classic music” in between is that thing we call “Storytelling”.

What is your story? What is your message? Who is your audience?

Let’s Chat

My Interview With Asif Premji, General Manager of Okotoks Honda



Click to Listen to my Interview with Asif Premji, General Manager, Okotoks Honda located in Okotoks, Alberta

Another awesome interview with a seasoned and innovative Automotive Professional. Asif Premji, General Manager of Okotoks Honda located in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada has over 10 years of experience in the automotive industry. His family has owned the dealership for 15 years.

This interview was truly a pleasure and has tons of useful content both for the customer and other dealer priciples, general managers, sales managers and automotive marketing professionals. I am going to go over our conversation briefly, but as always, all the nuts and bolts are in the interview itself, so be sure to take the 18 minutes and 53 seconds to give it a listen. I guarantee you will learn a few things from one of the best!

Three C’s: Connect, Create & Cultivate is the culture inside of the dealership that Asif and his family live by, breathe and demonstrate. In a world where digital has literally changed how we communicate, do business and live, it is so important that we use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram to communicate. Currently about 10% of Auto Dealers have adopted digital which is shocking! If you flip the script, 90% of car buyers are starting do their home work (Online) 3-6 months prior to stepping foot in the showroom and when they do, likely they have already chosen the vehicle, it is just a matter of who THEY select to help them in the process. This is where relationship, transparency and trust are soooo important, hense the online new age of communicating. My opinion is if dealers do not wake up and realize that taking out an ad on the back of a newspaper is just not good enough then……yikes.

Now I know that adopting Social Media, Online Marketing and Digital inside of the dealership as a culture can be challenging at best but it is so crucial in moving forward to stay in touch with the customer. Some of the techniques that Asif has used are explaining the “why” to his staff and seeking out professionals to come in and teach his staff some of the new age digital techniques. Education is the big thing here.

I asked Asif if he was a customer walking into a dealership what kind of tips he would give them. Here is what he suggested:

-Start the homework online
-Visit automotive websites like Dealer Rater
-Look at automotive dealers website pictures, if they have snow and it is summer then that means they have been sitting on that vehicle for awhile (Better negotiating power for customer.)
-Look for dealers that offer education tips “How to’s”
-Check them out on google and look for reviews

I will wrap this post up by saying this was an awesome interview with so many good tips for both the customer and fellow dealer. Below is a summary of what you will find in the interview, so as I said previously, take some time out and listen. If you like this interview or found value then please share with your networks. If you would like to reach out to Asif, you can do so here or on Twitter @asifpremji

Interview Summary:

  • The 3 C’s: Connecting. Creating. Cultivating.
  • Car Buyers are researching 3-6 months prior to purchasing
  • Consumer Buying Tips from The Dealer Himself
  • How to Get Your Dealership Staff To “Buy In” to the Digital Game
  • We Need to Make The Automotive Industry More Transparent for both The Buyer & Peers
  • LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS
  • Build Realtionships with Customers, Don’t Sell
  • Over and Out.