Blog Archives

Driving Customers Away: Bad Marketing Is Not Simply Ignored – Use Social Logins to Get Better Data

Driving Customers Away: Bad Marketing Is Not Simply Ignored 

Automotive Consumers Don’t Just Ignore Irrelevant Marketing Messages from Car Dealers… They Take Action!

Almost all car buying consumers and service customers claim to have received information or promotions from a car dealer that were not relevant to them. This includes offers that show the dealer doesn’t know who they are (71%). Dealers are also guilty of sending mixed, or inconsistent information across different methods of communication (51%). Many times, the dealer’s messaging includes basic errors about the consumers’ identities (41%).

A new Janrain and Blue Research report details out the data in newly-released survey results touting the benefits of social login. In response, more than 9 in 10 respondents have developed an unfavorable attitude to the dealership or taken some kind of action to limit the messaging.

Specifically, 94% of respondents reported taking at least one of these actions in response to a dealership that consistently mis-targeted them in their marketing efforts:

  • Automatically deleted the emails (68%);

  • Unsubscribed from emails (54%);

  • Categorized emails as “junk” or “spam” (45%);

  • Became less likely to buy products (29%);

  • Visited the website less frequently (13%); and

  • Never visited the website again (10%).

Apparently, it only takes a couple of missteps to turn off a sizable proportion of automotive consumers: almost half said they automatically delete emails or categorize them as “junk” after being mis-targeted twice; 38% unsubscribe after receiving two mis-targeted emails.

 

Use Social Media To Build A Better Database

By delivering data that can be used by auto industry marketers to personalize their communications, social account profile and login based campaigns can avoid these pitfalls, per the researchers, who indicate that 9 in 10 respondents have encountered social login at some point and half use it.

Among Social Login Users, 9 in 10 are Satisfied with the Experience

The primary reasons for consumers to use social logins being faster registration (65%) and one less password to remember (50%). That brings to mind a survey released early last year by Janrain and Harris Interactive, which found that 88% of online adults don’t like being asked to register on a website, with 51% of those turned off by the idea of having to remember another user name or password.

Interestingly, though, social login use is currently not driven by a desire for more personalization; only 12% said they chose social login to “ensure websites are more personalized.” That either implies a lack of awareness of the benefit among consumers, or that they simply are not as enamored by website personalization as they say they are.

Privacy Concerns Obviously Play a Role

Among those not using social login, half say a primary reason is a lack of trust in the company to use their data appropriately, with one-third concerned that the company will post to their feed, and 1 in 6 concerned that the company will spam them or their contacts.

Automotive Consumers May Not Be Convinced of the Value Exchange

In a study released late last year by Forbes Insights and Turn, only 2% of B2C customers said they believe they benefit more than companies when sharing their data, and a majority indicated that their privacy concerns outweigh benefits from sharing information.

Some reassurance would no doubt help: according to the Janrain study, respondents would be most likely to respond to reassurances that the dealership will not contact others in their social network… Sending advertising messages to a customer’s 300 Facebook Friends is not something that automotive consumers seem to warm up to. These same consumers also want to know that their information would only be used to personalize their experience. Sending free trials, gift cards or promotions won’t do the trick for many.

The survey finds that in general, “consumers see value in personalization enabled by social login.” However, the results require a slightly closer look. For example, the study indicates that “60% find suggested products/promotions based on profile info useful.” However, respondents were deemed to find this “useful” if they rated its utility anywhere from a 5 to a 10 on a 10-point scale. (One would imagine that those rating it a 5 would be quite neutral on the topic.)

Even with this rather broad view of “usefulness,” only a minority of respondents would allow mobile phone apps to offer special “Dealership Offers” (49%) or would like suggestions based on their social media account profile info (44%), among others.

About the Data: The data is based on a national survey of 594 adults, most of whom (55%) fell into the 35-64 age range.

Source 1: Marketingcharts.com/consumers-dont-just-ignore-irrelevant-messaging

Source 2: Janrain.com/increase-lead-conversion-social-login-your-site

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Podcast Recommendation: Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner – Automotive Community

Podcast Recommendation: Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner

Recently I have been listening to Michael Stelzner’s Social Media Marketing Podcasts via Social Media Examiner and have both learned a lot and enjoyed Michael’s style.

He tends towards NOT over-complicating what businesses should be doing to effectuvely leverage social media platforms for marketing communications (MarComm) and customer relationship marketing (CRM), which I appreciate.  The periodic doses of humor Michael injects into his podcasts make them a resource that I continue to use and sometimes listen to more than once.

Shown below, I have displayed the latest blog post from Social Media Examiner that describes and provides access to Michael’s podcasts for ADM Professional Community members to take advantage of and try out… 

More and more I am finding that there are great resources for sparking innovation within the auto industry that are available from outside of the automotive specific vertical… Learning what works for other retailers and businesses can be a great source of inspiration for those of us who specialize in automotive marketing.

Selling With Social Media: 
A New Direction for Businesses

To learn about why you need to rethink the dealership showroom sales process in this social age, listen to this interview with Tom Martin for the Social Media Marketing podcast.

The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner designed to help busy automotive marketers and dealership owners discover what works with social media marketing.

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

In this episode, listen to an interview with Tom Martin, author of The Invisible Sale: How to Build a Digitally Powered Marketing and Sales System to Better Prospect, Qualify and Close Leads. His agency is Converse DigitalTom shares the concept of painless prospecting and propinquity.

You’ll learn how to succeed in the changing social media sales landscape, and how your business can embrace these new strategies.

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

Tom believes success is more about how buyers buy than the way dealerships and businesses want to sell. With the Internet, people can hide behind the anonymity of Google search.

You can do all your pre-purchase research without having to talk to a salesperson. You only have to talk to a person once you’ve made a short list of car dealerships you are interested in and want to test drive the vehicle before closing the deal.

Buyers use Google search for pre-purchase research.

Today’s buyer prefers this process, as it’s easier and more efficient. With this in mind, companies have to adjust.

In the early days, the power was with the salesperson, but with the knowledge available online today, the power is in the hands of the consumer.

Tom says as a business, you have to stop thinking about how you sell because you don’t really sell anymore. Instead you help buyers make a buying decision. When they make their decision, hopefully it will be in your favor. Although it won’t always be the case.

You’ll discover how your system needs to be set up properly and the approach you need to consider.

If you have a really good product or service, more often than not, you will win the conversion. Most people are turned off by people selling to them. The best way is to show them that you’re willing to help and that you always have their best interests at heart.

Listen to the show to find out more about how the approach to sales has changed.

An example of a business that has embraced new ways to sell

Tom talks about a camera store called Adorama based in New York that he used as a case study in his book, The Invisible Sale. Adorama only has one store, but does business in all 50 US states and 5 countries.

The camera store Adorama is used as a case study in The Invisible Sale.

Adorama has two sides to their business, B2C and B2B. Regardless of which side you look at, they approach it the same way. Their philosophy is to sell by sharing original educational content.

Even though it’s a photography store, they sell more than just cameras. They’ve built a Learning Center that includes Adorama TV, which is one of their huge content pieces. The Learning Center is a treasure trove of educational content.

There is everything from learning how to shoot a photo to discovering the best equipment.

Although their approach is to educate, when you watch one of their videos, you’ll notice easy-to-follow links to products below the video. You’ll find out how they used YouTube to allow people to reach that product.

Products mentioned throughout Adorama’s videos are linked for easy access.

In 2010, they saw a general growth curve, mainly due to the educational content they provide.

The moral of the lesson is that if you can make your buyer smarter and better because they are doing business with you, then Tom believes you will succeed in selling more to that buyer.

Listen to the show to hear why Tom relates it to fly-fishing and how it’s the same with modern content marketing.

What is a social agent and why is it important?

Tom describes a social agent as someone who doesn’t necessarily buy from you, but recommends you to a friend or colleague who might buy from you. A lot of the time, social agents can be your most valuable customers that you never do business with. They’re the best customers you’ll have.

You need to draw in your social agents through educational pieces. A relationship is formed with your brand or company when they see value in what you are doing. You’ll learn how Tom became a huge social agent for Adorama.

Listen to the show to find out the importance of empowering everyone to be a social agent for your company.

In The Invisible Sale, you reveal a process that helps people sell without cold-calling and advertising. Can you explain the process?

Tom calls the process “painless prospecting.” The concept is a spin on inbound marketing. The core difference is that most content and inbound strategies leverage search and keyword optimization.

As more and more businesses discover and deploy keyword optimization and SEO strategies, Tom believes that only so many will win the battle. It’s going to get more competitive and much more difficult.

Whereas painless prospecting is built on the concept of propinquity.

Propinquity is a scientific theory that powers the formation of relationships. It says that if you bump into someone a lot, the higher the likelihood of you touching them more often, reading their content or meeting them in person, the more likely you are to like that person, providing you like them each time you meet.

You need to build your dealership success on the concept of propinquity.

Tom’s painless prospecting philosophy is that you don’t walk away from SEO, but do get off your own blog.

You need to think and care more about putting great content on other people’s blogs. Tom advises you to treat every blog as your own. When you put content in these places, they are called Propinquity Points.

You’ll learn how to develop a strategy for this to make sure you stay top of mind.

Tom shares a quick overview of where you can find places to provide content, but there is a whole chapter (Building a Painless Prospecting Platform) in his book where the process is laid out.

Check out the chapter on Building a Painless Prospecting Platform.

If you pay attention to what is written by auto industry experts or your OEM you can usually sit down and list all the places that your prospective customers congregate online and offline. You’ll learn where these places might be. If you know the auto industry well enough, you will already know of 7-10 places without thinking. This is your first list.

You’ll discover how social listening software such as Radian6 or Sysomos can be beneficial to finding propinquity points for you.

Sysomos can help you find propinquity points for your business.

Once you find these points, you can create more opportunities for people to stumble across you and your brand. It’s a great way to get a good positive impression.

When you get off your own blog, your buyer doesn’t have to be in active research mode to stumble upon you. They might then click through to your blog and possibly sign up to read it. You’ll learn what can happen if you only stay on your own blog.

You could have people sign up to your blog who weren’t in active research mode.

You’ll discover why you do your best content work when you write for someone else.

Tom advises you to write 4 or 5 posts for other blogs, staged over a 2-week period and keep an eye on your Google Analytics to see what happens. You’ll notice that you drive more traffic back to your site.

The more you write for these larger audiences, the bigger your chance of people coming over to your site to check out your content. For every 100 people who read your content somewhere else, around 5% will convert to signups. This is how to build propinquity at a blog base.

Tom is convinced that the way to win today is to get out there and treat yourself like a media empire.

Listen to the show to learn about the invisible component in Tom’s book title.

What automotive marketers should avoid when using content to drive sales

Tom says there are two things automotive marketers should avoid. Most dealership marketing managers produce content at the wrong level. It’s normally the same single unit of content across their blog and podcast. So most feel that one blog post a week is enough without writing for others.

First you have to think about content creation as an ecosystem. You should never create one piece of content once. You should look for ways to repurpose it or even rechannel it. 

Make sure you repurpose your blog content.

You’ll learn about the ways you can turn one piece of content into more content.

Secondly, Tom states that there is a belief, especially among inbounders, that every piece of content needs to have a call to action. Although research proves calls to action get more conversions, Tom doesn’t really believe it. He feels there is still value in pure education.

You need to go out and educate your buyer. Don’t ask or expect anything in return. Tom states that most buyers know how to buy; you shouldn’t need to rely on a call to action for them to have enough confidence to contact you.

Listen to the show to find out why your content should always be of value.

This Week’s Social Media Question

Debra Keirce, a professional artist, asks, 

“As an artist, sometimes it will take years between contacting potential collectors and receiving a commission or a purchase. Are there specific social media tools that can be used to help develop, encourage and maintain these long-term relationships, so that the leads don’t go cold and people will recommend you to their friends, when at times they are not necessarily looking to buy themselves?” — DebKArt.

This is a great question on how to keep top of mind with prospects who aren’t ready to buy.

The first thing I would recommend is to make sure you listen to this particular podcast for some great ideas. Here are a few examples of what you could do with your business.

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

  • Create time-lapse videos that showcase your processes
  • Create educational pieces
  • Become the conduit to prospects

When you put yourself in the position of the resource person rather than the salesperson, every time you communicate with prospects, it’s a way to stay top of mind. If, and when, they are ready to buy, they are more likely to come back to you or pass your details on to another prospect. You need to have regular touch points.

You’ll hear an example of what I received from people in the voice talent industry when I was a prospect and how my realtor markets his business using social media.

I hope you find this helpful.  Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how this works for you.

Other Show Mentions

Social Media Success Summit 2013

Social Media Success Summit 2013 is a special online conference designed to help you master social media marketing (brought to you by Social Media Examiner).

Social Media Success Summit 2013 features Forty-five of the world’s leading social media pros and book authors will show you how. Instructors include: 

  • Jay Baer (Youtility)
  • Chris Brogan (Impact Equation)
  • Mari Smith (Facebook Marketing)
  • Michael Stelzner (founder, Social Media Examiner)
  • Mark Schaefer (Return on Influence), 
  • Jesse Stay (Google+ for Dummies)
  • Amy Porterfield (author, Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies)
  • Experts from General Electric, Sony, E! Online, Kelly Services and Discovery Channel

Fully online. Click here to learn more.

We have finalized our brand panels and here are a few killer ones:

  • Instagram panel with Sony and E! Online
  • Online video panel with Discovery Communications and Salesforce
  • Pinterest marketing with Whole Foods and Target
  • Twitter marketing with GE and American Express
  • Facebook marketing with Walmart and NASA

We’ve got some incredible brands that will share what they do with social media. This is just a sample. There is an enormous amount of how-to content.

It’s an online conference, which means you don’t need to travel anywhere. It’s spread over an entire month and it’s live. If you want to learn more about it, be sure to check it out.

Help Us Spread the Word!

Please let your Twitter followers know about this podcast. Simply click here now to post a tweet.

If you enjoyed this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, please head over to iTunes, leave a rating, write a review and subscribe.

What do you think? What are your thoughts on car dealers selling new and used vehicles, parts, accessories and service with social media? 

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Facebook: What Days of the Week Work Best for Car Dealers? – Automotive Marketing

Facebook: What Days of the Week Work Best for Car Dealers?

Facebook Post Timing: Which Days of the Week Have the Best Engagement Rate Potential for Automotive Marketers?

Car Dealers and Automotive Marketing Professionals are less likely to post on Facebook on the weekend, and that seems like it might be a good decision, according to new study from Socialbakers…  
The research is based on an analysis of almost 2.9 million Facebook posts from 23,000 business and brand pages over a 2-month period. The researchers looked at the percentage of posts that were created on each day of the week, then looked at each day’s “engagement rate potential.”

Here’s how the researchers determined engagement rate potential (contrary to some press reports, the figures do not reflect actual engagement rates):

“Socialbakers first looked at the 4,000 most engaging posts from the analyzed sample. Then, to calculate Monday’s engagement rate potential, for example, they calculated the number of those top posts that were created on a Monday and then divided that number by the total number of posts published on Mondays. They repeated that calculation for each day of the week, and then made the resulting percentages relative to each other. (In so doing, they controlled for the variances in number of posts created on each day of the week.)”

Monday emerges as the best performer, with its relative percentage at 7.1%. What that means, then, is that posts created on Monday were 7.1% more likely to rank among the top posts than the average post created on any single day. (Alternatively: the share of posts created on Mondays making it into the top posts by engagement rate was 7.1% higher than the overall share.) By contrast, Saturday (-12.1%) and Sunday (-5.3%) were the worst performers.

 

So are automotive consumers less engaged on the weekend? Or is it that dealers and their social media marketing service providers are not only posting less on the weekends, but are also updating less engaging content?

While it’s difficult to draw too many conclusions from the data, the study provides an interesting glimpse into potential opportunities. It also raises other questions, too: Are car dealers, businesses and brands not exploiting opportunities on the weekend, or are they right to be focusing more on posting during the week?

In an earlier study that looked at Twitter, Socialbakers found that Saturdays had the highest relative engagement rate (engagement rate relative to entire sample of tweets). Last year, research from Buddy Media indicated that brands’ tweets enjoyed higher engagement rates on the weekend.

It’s worth noting that the researchers do offer the requisite disclaimers: results likely differ by industry, market, nature of product or service, audience demographics, and season of the year. (The same caution needs to be applied to questions of email timing.)

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Enhanced by Zemanta

How MySpace Started Its Rebirth by Alienating Its Most Loyal Customers

How MySpace Started Its Rebirth by Alienating Its Most Loyal Customers

  How MySpace Started Its Rebirth by Alienating Its Most Loyal Customers

MySpace was, in many people’s opinion, the social network to be on for many years. In fact, in 2006, MySpace surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States. The decline of MySpace began in 2008 as Facebook rose in popularity and became the newest social network of preference for many. MySpace’s user base has since declined from a peak user base of 125 million to its present day membership (as of June 2013) of 25 million. In 2011, a group which included singer Justin Timberlake, purchased MySpace and they vowed to revive the network.

MySpace has been focusing on attracting business presence and musical talent in addition to revamping the look and feel of their site. It appears that in order to achieve their goal, they felt it was necessary to delete “user blogs which had been maintained for upwards of six or more years,” according to this recent article in SocialNewsDaily.

While many users abandoned MySpace in the mass exodus that occurred between 2008 until now, these users remained loyal and continued to visit and use the site to record and share their daily thoughts and activities. This of course angered those fans that remained loyal; not just because of the loss of six or more years of their digital life; (which some users maintain as sort of a digital diary) but because they felt as if they are unimportant to the site they remained loyal to.

As one user wrote, “You have stolen six years of blogs and something that is priceless to me and cannot be replaced.”

MySpace has a long way to go and a definite uphill battle in its attempt to gain back market share and attention away from other more popular sites. By alienating their most loyal customers and deleting their loyal user’s content, they may have taken a huge step backwards. Big business and music talent certainly want publicity but what good is a social network that has no audience?

While MySpace may yet have to acquiesce and restore the blogs of their customers, they did at least recognize the importance of their customer base, even if only in words, when they made the following statement:

“Change isn’t easy and there has been a lot going on lately. We understand that this information is very important to you. Please understand that your blogs have not been deleted. Your content is safe and we have been discussing the best ways possible to provide you your blogs.”

The point is that loyal customers are the foundation of any business. Building your business on a solid foundation is extremely important. By threatening the instability of that foundation, MySpace may find itself in a position whereby the companies they want to attract have no reason to be there. A social network is, after all, not social if nobody’s at the party. Similarly, no business can survive without customers.

Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

TrueCar Sponsors Ten Full Ride AutoCon 2013 Scholarships – AutoConnections Conference and Exposition

 

AutoCon 2013 Announces a Special Program Sponsored by TrueCar to Award Ten “Full Ride Scholarships” for Dealership Managers to Attend AutoCon 2013*

Automotive Media Partners, LLC is proud to announce the creation of a “Full Ride Scholarship*” program sponsored by TrueCar of Santa Monica, California.  TrueCar’s pioneering sponsorship of this program provides the funds to cover the costs of transportation to and from Las Vegas, lodging at the Aria Resort and full AutoCon conference registration. 

One of the most surprising aspects of TrueCar’s sponsorship is that the company has funded ten (10) AutoCon “Full Ride Scholarships*”.  Ten automotive professionals will receive the educational, networking, inspiration and innovation benefits from attending the 2013 AutoConnections Conference and Exposition at no out of pocket expense for travel, meals during the event or conference fees to themselves or their dealerships. 

  

The TrueCar AutoCon Scholarship Program is further evidence of the remarkable transformation that has taken place at TrueCar since the beginning of 2012. After receiving a remarkable level of criticism within the auto industry during the second half of 2011, TrueCar has evolved and revised their automotive purchasing programs for consumers and affiliated corporations to be far more dealer friendly.  TrueCar’s objectives supported by these changes have included raising dealer profit margins to levels that provide more room for dealers to cover facility costs and the staffing levels needed to properly service new vehicle buyers sent to them by TrueCar.   


TrueCar understands and recognizes the need for ongoing training and thought leadership within the ranks of the retail automotive industry. 

Their management team has decided that one of the best ways to demonstrate this commitment to betterment of the industry is to commit the funds necessary to support independent dealer focused educational events such as AutoCon 2013. 

 

TrueCar executives Bernie Brenner and Mike Timmons approached the founders of the Automotive Digital Marketing and dealerElite professional communities, Ralph Paglia, Chris Saraceno and Mike Myers because these online networks have served as “Ground Zero” for some of the industry’s harshest criticism of TrueCar in the recent past.  

Surprising for a company as large as TrueCar is, their management team has reviewed the criticism published by members of the ADM and DealerELITE networks and taken corrective actions, changed their business models and worked with State dealer associations to create vehicle purchase programs that make sense for participating dealers. 

How will the TrueCar AutoCon Scholarships be Awarded?

TrueCar has asked that the AutoConnections Conference Management Team take full control and responsibility for ensuring that the 10 Full Ride Scholarships be awarded based on merit and need.  Criteria will include a wide geographic representation by selecting automotive professionals from every region in North America.  Another consideration will be to award scholarships to professionals who represent a diverse range of vehicle brands and positions within the dealerships they serve.  

Written TrueCar Scholarship Application

The application process will be a simple online application that includes all the expected contact information, a description of the applicant’s role in the dealership where they work and space for them to describe in their own words why they should be awarded a TrueCar AutoCon Scholarship to attend the AutoConnections Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas from September 4th to the 6th

Video TrueCar Scholarship Application

If you are better at explaining your reasons why you should be selected for a scholarship in a verbal manner, the AutoCon 2013 TrueCar scholarship committee will also be pleased to accept your proposal in a video format. Simply explain why you should be selected in a YouTube video that is either uploaded or embedded to either AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com or dealerELITE.net.

Please be sure to include the link to that video in your scholarship application where you write out your explanation of why YOU should be selected to receive a “Full Ride Scholarship”.

The AutoCon Scholarship Selection Committee is comprised of Ralph Paglia, Chris Saraceno, Mike Myers, Carrie Hemphill and Brian Pasch.  As applicants are being considered they will be contacted by a committee member and interviewed via phone and email.  Final selections will be made by committee vote and the awardees notified by email and phone.

AutoCon 2013 Scholarship Selection Committee

  • Ralph Paglia
  • Chris Saraceno
  • Mike Myers
  • Carrie Hemphill
  • Brian Pasch 

                                                    

Applications for TrueCar AutoCon Scholarships will be accepted starting Monday July 1, 2013 and award selections will begin Monday August 5, 2013.

AutoCon 2013 Sponsored by TrueCar

AutoCon 2013 Sponsored by TrueCar

With 10 TrueCar AutoCon Scholarships being awarded, the odds of being selected are probably better than any other similar program in the auto industry… So, do not hesitate to apply and encourage other automotive professionals to do so!  All of us who are stakeholders in the AutoCon event are thrilled with the investment being made by TrueCar to support what we believe is the best event in the auto industry.  The TrueCar sponsorship of AutoCon 2013 and the Full Ride Scholarship Program is appreciated and respected. 

In the past, TrueCar was a company that received an enormous amount of criticism, much of which has been emotionally charged and at times, crossed the boundaries of decency and professional behavior.  Many other companies faced with similar criticism and public ridicule would have released a barrage of legal actions to defend themselves.  TrueCar has consistently taken the high road and responded to their critics with program changes and by sending their senior executives to major auto industry events and meetings. 

 

The TrueCar sponsorship of AutoCon is further proof that this company is led by professionals who want to be valuable contributors to the overall success of the auto industry.

 

On behalf of the AutoCon team and the 10 auto industry professionals who will receive the benefit of these scholarship awards, a sincere thank you to TrueCar is extended.

Apply for a TrueCar AutoCon Scholarship online at http://AutoCon2013.com

    

*PLEASE NOTE: “Full Ride Scholarship” is the brand name for this category of award and is owned by Automotive Media Partners, LLC.  All “Full Ride Scholarships” associated with an AMP promoted event with include a travel stipend that reimburses the scholarship recipient for airfare expense submitted up to a maximum dollar amount. Recipients will also receive lodging for the nights of the conference itself. Any room charges authorized by the scholarship recipient, or incidental expenses are the responsibility of the scholarship recipient. Also included are the conference fees for registering and attending the event, which will usually include scheduled breakfasts and lunches that all event participants receive. It is important for scholarship recipients to understand that ANY expenses outside of airfare to and from the event, hotel lodging and conference registration fees are NOT INCLUDED in our version of a “Full Ride Scholarship”.  Furthermore, we strongly advise all scholarship recipients to travel with a valid major credit card and two forms of government issued ID. Adequate cash should be brought by scholarship recipients to cover meals outside of those scheduled on the conference agenda, local transportation and miscellaneous expenses… After all, you will be in Las Vegas and “Cash-In-Fist” is strongly advised!

   

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Will Car Dealers Leverage Social Media Advertising for Competitive Advantage in 2013?

Will Car Dealers Leverage Social Media Advertising for Competitive Advantage in 2013?

Car Dealers: Social Media Matters When Seeking Your Competitive Advantage in Local Markets

In 2012, more than 1.4 billion people around the world used social networks, up 19% from 2011. But although the worldwide social network audience is enormous, it is by no means unified. Within the North American automotive marketing landscape social media based advertising continues to mature and develop capabilities that are simply unavailable in other media channels. As social networking giants such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and others grow and develop increased business engagement models, their ability to attract marketing and advertising investments from the automotive industry grows.

The chart shown below shows five years of social media based advertising spend with fairly steady growth. I predict a faster rate of growth going into 2014 as the targeting, messaging and creative engagement models provided by social networks continue rapid development and increased effectiveness in achieving automotive marketing objectives.

 

US Online Social Network Advertising Spend from 2008 to 2013*:

  • $1.175 billion (2008)
  • $1.295 billion (2009)
  • $1.335 billion (2010)
  • $1.420 billion (2011)
  • $1.515 billion (2012)
  • $1.640 billion (2013)

Social Network Advertising Spend increases from another perspective*: 

*Data source: eMarketer

ADM Professional Community members have access to all the data and insights we publish about social media. You can learn more about social network usage around the world below, but you can learn a lot more by visiting the ADM Professional Community daily. Complete the “Sign Up” form on the upper right of every ADM page to submit a membership application and start the conversation with experienced automotive marketers and people selling more cars using strategies and their tactics within the social media universe.

Usage patterns are highly developed and predictable in some regions, and unstable and changing rapidly in others. And while many people use Facebook, not all social network users do. Facebook has shown many users how to get their most satisfying results from time spent online, this has driven an increased familiarity with online social media in general, and a cottage industry of social networks specializing in specific subject matters. Homegrown social networks, especially those seeking consumers, enthusiasts and influencers in automotive niches will play a larger role over time in most major markets in both the USA and Canada.

Countries such as India and Indonesia are rapidly becoming major usage centers for social networking, particularly via mobile phones, and will each see their user bases grow more than 50% in 2012. This phenomenon, combined with Facebook’s staggering growth in the region, mean that in 2012, the Asia-Pacific region will, for the first time, be home to more Facebook users than North America is. As North American automotive consumers have become more accustomed and skilled at using social networks via their introduction through Facebook, many of them have ventured outside of the social media behemoth to participate in User Generated Content (UGC) sites, specialized blogs and forums, as well as other networks.

In more mature markets like the USA and Canada, automotive marketers are looking to use the social media presences they have already established to deliver relevant content to fans. Social networks are making it easier for businesses, especially car dealers to broadcast changing incentives and promotional offers that create the deals which drive both sales and service recommendations across a wider network of users in real time with improved location and mobile targeting.

With Facebook’s New Ads Manager and the growing maturation of the platform comes an increasing effectiveness for their paid advertising models.  

This in turn enables car dealers to leverage user profile based targeting that delivers the right message to the right automotive consumer at the exact right time. More and more North American car dealers are using the growing platform maturity and advertiser responsiveness at Facebook for a competitive advantage over their neighboring dealership competition which has ignored Facebook’s emerging capabilities.

Data Sources: eMarketer, Facebook and MarketingCharts.com 

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

facebook

facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

Branding versus Marketing on Facebook

Branding versus Marketing on Facebook

Facebook Logo

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that Facebook (and social media in general) is a communication tool. It’s a way for businesses to connect with customers and a safe venue through which customers and potential customers can interact with your business.

With that said, let’s look at the other two primary functions of Facebook: marketing and branding. Both are similar. Both are categories that can mean different things to different people and businesses. While it’s definitely possible to do both well on Facebook at the same time, the safer and less time-intensive strategy would be to pick one or the other as the primary goal (outside of communication, of course).

Here are the two basic options. There will be those who will say that it’s being oversimplified, but this isn’t a tutorial. It’s a way to distinguish between the two so that a business can make an intelligent decision about which mindset to take in their efforts. Once the mindset is established, the strategies can form.

Facebook for Branding

This is becoming the more common practice among businesses because it is more open in form and more singular in goal. More importantly, using Facebook as a marketing tool is considered by many to be harder (depending on your business type, of course). Many, particularly those who are engaged with individual customers on a daily basis such as car dealers and realtors will opt for this approach because it gives them the freedom to simply be entertaining or informative without having to put the time into crafting an appropriate marketing strategy.

It’s the easy road, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any less rewarding.

Using Facebook for branding is all about getting your name, logo, and general message out there. The general message is often abstract – it’s not talking about a sale or a particular product but rather trying to convey a company attitude with the message.

This strategy can use popular images, interesting (and sharable) facts, or funny concepts to will encourage liking and sharing. While some take the road of using ideas that are completely off topic, I’m a firm believer that it’s possible to stay focused on either the local area, the industry, or both with every post. In other words, a car dealer shouldn’t be posting pictures of cats. They should be posting pictures of cars, videos of cars, and images or discussions about the local area.

The branding message is easier to spread because it doesn’t involve marketing. There’s no goal of direct conversions or clicks to the website. It’s all about getting the brand out there as much as possible.

The downside, of course, is in proving ROI. Without direct marketing applied to the messages, it’s a leap of faith that by getting interaction and engagement around content that does not lead directly to a lead or a sale but that keeps the name and logo of the business in mind, that there are intangible benefits that are happening.

Facebook for Marketing

Unlike using Facebook for branding, the marketing strategy is trickier. It’s easier to mess up. There’s a risk of actually doing damage to the Facebook account by being too “spammy” with the posts. Those who are not ready to take a little heat on their path to get more conversions should not even go down this road.

However, if your goal is to achieve demonstrable ROI and take what you can today in a concrete manner, this is the right approach. It will rely on Facebook ads. There’s no way around it – unless you’re marketing something that resonates while also being productive such as a funny T-Shirt company, you’re very unlikely to get away with a hardcore marketing message without the use of ads.

Thankfully, Facebook ads are cheap.

Using a marketing strategy on Facebook does not mean that it’s all business. While some I have spoken to on the subject (including a VP at Facebook) have said that businesses can find success by only posting once or twice a week and promoting those marketing posts, I’ve found that a mix of interesting or entertaining content with the marketing messages can be beneficial.

People aren’t going to Facebook to see marketing messages, so yours has to be truly valuable. It’s not about putting up a picture of a car and calling that marketing. It’s about generating messages that they can only get through Facebook. For example, having Facebook-only sales events can be effective with next to zero risk. If people come to the store as a result, awesome! If they do not, then the expenditure was minimal. If they aren’t successful, you shouldn’t give up. You simply need to tweak the message, adjust the advertising, or go through a series of “fun” posts to set up the marketing posts properly.

Don’t Forget Communicating

Regardless of which path you choose, remember the number one rule: Facebook (and social media in general) is about communication. It’s about talking to your customers and having them talk to you. It’s about giving them a venue through which you can be completely open about your business and hold public conversations with unsatisfied customers as well as the happy ones.

Which way fits best with your business? That’s the only real question you need to ask to get started down the right path.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

English: Graph of social media activities

English: Graph of social media activities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Web Connected Car Buyers Spend Over 3 Hours a Day on Social Networks – Automotive Marketing

Web Connected Car Buyers Spend Over 3 Hours a Day on Social Networks

Social Networking Eats Up 3+ Hours Per Day For Car Buyers

American automotive consumers aged 18-64 who use social networks say they spend an average of 3.2 hours per day doing so, according to new research released by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (OTX).

Factoring in survey respondents who don’t use social networks, the survey finds that the average online American Car Buyer spends 2 hours a day social networking from a computer, tablet and/or mobile phone. Unsurprisingly, American Car Buyers who are social networkers aged 18-34 self-report spending more time than their older counterparts, and women outpace men in consumption, also.

Specifically, among American automotive consumers who are social network users:

  • 18-34-year-olds report spending 3.8 hours a day
  • 35-49-year-olds report spending 3 hours per day
  • 50-64-year-olds report spending 2.4 hours per day

In terms of the gender difference, female social networkers spend almost 40% more time daily with social media sites than men (3.6 hours vs. 2.6 hours), a finding consistent with earlier research from MyLife and from Burst Media showing women to be more active than men on social media.

Some other interesting demographic gaps emerge from the Ipsos research. Those include:

  • Social networkers with low household income spending more time than those with high household income (3.7 hours vs. 3.1 hours) 
  • Those with low education levels spending more time than those with high education levels (3.5 vs. 3) 
  • Business owners spending almost 50% more time than those who don’t a business (4.4 vs. 3) 
  • Senior executives and decision-makers spending 40% more time than those not in that position (4.2 vs. 3) 
  • Unemployed social networkers spending 3.5 hours a day on social media, versus 3 hours for the employed. 

The study breaks down actual hourly estimates per day, with some striking results. For example, roughly 1 in 5 users aged 18-34 claim to spend 6 hours or more per day social networking.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

English: Semiotics of Social Networking

Content Marketing – Automotive Professional Community

Content Marketing – Automotive Professional Community

 

Content Marketing

Local Small Businesses or Fortune 500 firms alike, that plan on using Content Marketing as part of their overall Online Strategy must challenge themselves in developing a campaign that underlines the outreach of useful information through accessible channels for maximum conversion.

Before any Content is created there are 4 influential steps in developing your Content Marketing Strategy. 

  1. Research
  2. Editorial Calendar
  3. Content Creation
  4. Distribution

Research : 

As with any strategy, the most important course of action is research. A lot of research is the best way to grasp a hold of who your readers are and will be. You need to think in terms of who your audience and what websites do they visit and often engage with.When you are thinking of your audience it is important to note the target demographic and their particular behaviors.

One of the best tools in performing content marketing research is Google’s Keyword Tool. Using this tool will allow you to learn about what keywords drive your industry nationally as well as locally. Most Small Business Owners do not know even this even exists but with a little elbow grease you can achieve 1st Page RankingsYou want to think of Keywords as your way of maximizing your contents:  

“Search Engine Visibility”. 

Social Media Marketing is playing a major force in how Content Marketing is being shaped. Being able to listen in on conversations is a great way to stay ahead of the curve. Social Listening is just that, it allows you to see fill in the, “Content Gaps”.

It is important to create a content marketing editorial calendar to plan your communications to current and prospective customers.

The 2nd step in your Content Marketing Strategy includes laying out what your message will be based on the day, the month and your mood.

1. Remember The Past

First thing first, you are going to need to do a little research and see what has worked before and what has not worked before, for your company and in your industry. 

Before you start piecing your content calendar together,
 you need to ask these questions:

What type of content did you deliver this year?
What method of content distribution did you use?
Next ask yourself in a quiet room, What Worked…and What Truly Failed ?

The Future is always Tomorrow but the seeds are to be planted today. 

By thinking about where you’ve been the next logical step is to think about where you will go next. Deciding the next 12 months content road map is a difficult process. As you envision where your company will be in the next year, you can think of the content marketing calendar as your guide – a month to month breakdown of what your online marketing and offline collateral efforts will consist of.

So here you are, asking yourself a few more questions in a quiet room,

  • Where do you see your business in the the future?
  • Where do you see your business in a year?
  • What type of clients do you want to service and help?
  • Are there new services that you can offer for more sales?
  • Are you doing everything you can to build your database?
  • Is your staff properly trained in conveying your brands’ message?
  • Can you see new opportunities that you may have overlooked?

2. Tag Team,  You Are It – Idea Brainstorm

Gather a group of your employees in a meeting room and meet with for a purpose. Depending on how big your company is you will have different teammates from different sectors. For our purpose we will talk about a small business – owner, manager, creative, etc. – anyone you think of value who would add insight into how you could best build content for your business. Maybe your accountant or your janitor.

You never know who might be creative. 

The Idea Brainstorm, is a perspective that will not only create a spark but will give you the opportunity to see it from their view, from their – “Panoramic Point of View” – you not only see it from their shoes, but also see through their eyes. This Idea Brainstorm not only gives you ideas from which to pull content from but but also an opportunity to hear what your employees are saying. There are times when a group gets together and becomes energetic. This energy sometimes produces ideas that generate millions of dollars.

Always be listening.   

 

Remember, this is a session where ideas can be different and formless, go with the flow and allow different people to communicate. Whoever is in charge, ultimately guides the Idea Brainstormand directs it to stay on course for time restraints.  This person will ideally be in charge of gathering all the raw ideas after the session, and creating a structure within the calendar template.

Questions for yourIdea Brainstorm

What content would I like to see if I was a customer?
What are we missing that we can improve on?
What content will be created  (i.e.pr, social media, graphics, video, local seo marketing,  interviews, etc.)
Any old content you can re-hash for the upcoming year?
What new methods of distribution can be more effective?
Is there a way to integrate offline marketing in to online traffic?
Who is going to write the content?

3. The Editorial Calendar Plan

So you have met with your teammates and gathered intelligence on how to effectively build the proper content that markets to the correct demographic. So now is the time to start working on the calendar. You can start with a simple piece of paper and jot down the day.

If any holidays are in that month make sure to note that and also note it three weeks ahead. In fact, lets go ahead and mark holidays with the colour blue or any colour you desire. 

Some people recommend using a monthly calendar, but to be honest the best possible and effective way to to use content marketing is to look as far ahead as up to 12 months. This will give you a specific plan for the year you can relate to whenever.

Add the info to the Content Marketing Calendar

Take your monthly sheet of paper from step 3 and start with the first day. Plot your information on the calendar as well as online for maximum usage. You want to be consistent as well as keep the info simple and direct. Remember to add Conferences, Bills, Holidays, Birthdays and any other information that may provide content.

Repeat this for Each Month (12x)

Now that you content scheduled for each month, this will allow you to automate some of your online marketing using a service like Sendible or Aweber. This will save you future time but also give you more time to do more social engagement online.

What’s great about your Automated Social Marketing, is that you can schedule what information you want posted on what day and on what page.

It also can determine the frequency as well as where the information gets distributed to.

As long as you are prepared with a constant stream of content built up, this will help you on the Search Engines. You will be providing your customers and potential clients, a formal introduction as to who you are and the type of information that can formulated from strategy base on your business.

 

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Enhanced by Zemanta

7 Things to Accomplish in Social Media in 2013

7 Things to Accomplish in Social Media in 2013

2013

A new year represents beginnings. It is a time to reflect on what was missed and make plans for improvement. This year is going to be a crucial one for many businesses with uncertainty in the economy, fluctuation in the social media sphere, and an awakening that is happening for many that social media is here to stay and is something that they need to master.  Competition is getting stronger thanks to this awakening.  It’s no longer an option to try out social media. The test drive phase is over. Either you’re in or you’re out. If you’re in, here are some things that you should strive to accomplish in 2013 that will make your social media strategy shine above the competitors:

  1. Get on the Google+ bandwagon before it becomes a bandwagon – In 2011, I said that Google+ had potential. In 2012, it started showing signs of having influence over searches, placement of reviews in the local section, and an increased engagement level on the social networking component itself. In 2013, it will go from an option to a “must have”. We saw this sort of necessity budding with Facebook in 2008 and Twitter in 2009. Google+ is different because it’s accelerating faster than any of its predecessors. Get going now or you may fall terribly behind.
  2. Make quality content the highest goal for website improvement – We’ve discussed it several times over the last few months and we’ll continue to discuss it for as long as it remains important. High-quality content is the key to both search and social more than it has even been in the past. Unique, important, entertaining, and informational content that can get the inbound links and social shares to your website can be your secret weapon in 2013.
  3. Consolidate your social media posting strategies – This is a challenging one to discuss and deserves its own blog post in the near future. There’s a difference between posting the exact same content to all of your social profiles and pages at the same time and consolidating the strategies in a way that will make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. It’s not that you will cross-post everything you have. It’s that you’ll want to make sure that everything from website content to Facebook posts to Pinterest pins are pointing in the same strategic direction.
  4. Get visual – The written word is harder to promote than the visual message. All of the major social networks love images. Most hate links. That doesn’t mean that you can’t try to make links a part of the message, but all too often it’s the only part. This has to change in 2013.
  5. Post higher quality instead of more often – If given the choice between crafting and promoting a single piece of content on Facebook and Google+ that truly resonates with the communities or posting a lot of good but not great content, I’ll take the former every time. Your posts have to pop or they’ll go nowhere.
  6. Grow your targeted following ONLY – There was a time when it was okay to get a boost on followers by targeting the whole world. It’s easier to get local followers to a big account than one that is tiny. Things have changed, though, and now it can actually damage the effectiveness of your accounts by being too large with untargeted followers. Tighten it up, prune when necessary, and stop trying to inflate your numbers.
  7. Build a true personality with your social profiles and stick with it – This is not a call to become the cat-picture poster of Facebook. There are plenty of those. It’s a call for businesses to personalize, to make sure that there is humanity within their social media posts. It could be regular promotions of a local charity, funny videos made by the business that can quickly become “a thing”, or just staying business-focused but with a real person expressing real ideas and offering real advice in their industry.

It’s hard to limit this list to 7. I actually had to cut off three of the tips I was going to give because they were too hard to try to fit into a list; they deserve individual blog posts of their own.There are so many other things that businesses should do in 2013 to make their social media shine like never before, but it’s better to start with a handful of achievable goals rather than be flustered by the failure of taking on too much at once. If you do these things, you’ll get better this year.Thankfully, nothing on the list is that hard.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Dealer Authority

Automotive Digital Marketing

Automotive Social CRM by Ralph Paglia

Social Media Based Customer Relationship Management Strategy and Tactics for Car Dealers

The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice

The secret of Leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there...People will follow. ~Seth Godin

CBT Automotive Network

Automotive News, Training and Insights

Matt Collins' Blog

A Blog About Disruptive Tech, Trends, & Opportunities

Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today

This is a blog that explores the trends of Sales, Marketing and Social Media. Send me your questions!

Evans Design Studio, Chip Evans

Wordpress Website Design and Development | Drupal Web Design and Development | Custom Web Design and Development

Social Media PR

Our Social Media Consultant And Marketing Agency Gets Your Brand Noticed Online

Car Dealer Consulting

Proven strategies to grow your dealership, sell more cars and have happy customers. Catapult your business on a new level with recommended dealer management systems, how to guides and muchmore.

The Automotive Basics

The Terms to Know

Market Research (BLOG)

Next-generation provider of syndicated research, customized research, and consulting services.

richardscarblog

All automotive, all the time

The Speed Trap

Automotive News, Reviews, and History

Photofocus

Education and inspiration for visual storytellers

Caprice Photography Automotive Art

All things automotive and the people who live it

%d bloggers like this: