Sunday, December 30, 2012

Google Analytics for Car Dealers

Dealers who are looking to measure the ROI of their digital marketing investments need to master the basics of Google Analytics. Dealers need to know how to customize reports that will give them ACTIONABLE data to increase the profits at the dealership. Since a dealership website is the new “storefront”, does it make sense to ignore the

rich insights and reports that Google offers car dealers for free? Absolutely not!

Brian Pasch will lead dealers through three workshops on Google Analytics. Check out the full listing of workshops at DMSC this year. Each Google Analytics session will also feature a leading industry expert showing attendees how to practically apply Google Analytics for car dealership management. Taking a general Google Analytics workshop will not give the same impact of a customize series of classes designed for car dealership websites.

Three Part Workshop Series
The three workshops that will be lead by Brian Pasch on February 6th are:

“Part I – Segmenting Your Data For Better Marketing Analysis” 9:00 am
“Part II – How To Attribute Influence To Website Traffic Using Napkin Math” 1:30 pm
“Part III – Creating Custom Reports To Guide Your Business” 4:00 pm

Brian will introduce the power of measuring “In Market Shopper Activity” (IMSA), a concept first defined by Thomas Gage of Autotrader. Attending these workshops will allow you to measure the In Market Shopper Activity on your website.

Attendees will learn which advertising sources and strategies are INCREASING In Market Shopper Activity. As a special bonus, Thomas Gage will join Brian Pasch in Part II of the series to share his work with dealers and Google Analytics.

Learn how to diagnose your website for problems as well as comparing the impact of new advertising investments, merchandising choices, and website design changes. This is a must attend set of workshops for dealership staff responsible for website conversion, marketing budgets, and car sales.

Special Bonus
Dealers that attend all three Google Analytics workshops will receive $1,000 in merchandise credits from PCG Consulting that will automate Google Analytics reporting as well as reporting on all their marketing investments.

That’s right, attendees can gain access to a customized marketing dashboard to view the most critical elements of their website data for six months, free. The dashboard has dozens of widgets to show you things about your marketing strategy and website that you never knew!

This software bonus covers the cost of attending DMSC and will help dealers master their marketing budgets and website traffic in 2013.

Location:Orlando, FL

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Transforming The Dealership Part 3 - A Live Week By Week Case Study (Dealer eTraining) - Automotive Professionals

Transforming The Dealership Part 3 - A Live Week By Week Case Study (Dealer eTraining) - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Transforming The Dealership Part 3 - A Live Week By Week Case Study (Dealer eTraining)

Welcome to Part 3 of a live dealership case study in which Stan Sher from Dealer eTraining is working on location with a dealer, management team and the entire customer facing staff. 

It has been two weeks since Part 2 was published.  Stan has been working in Chicago while consulting with another client, along with his role in presenting at and facilitating the Internet Sales 20 Group 3 day series of workshops...

Here is Mr. Sher's Part 3 Report for this series:

I came home to a major hurricane which slowed things down considerably.  But here is what we were able to accomplish:

CRM Implementation:
We have been working on pre-installation processes with eLead by installing email headers, templates, and other important parts of the CRM.  It has been a simple process as the CRM company is accommodating.  eLead will be spending the week at the dealership training and installing the CRM at the dealership which means we will be live in a few days.

Dealership Website:
Once again, the major challenge is that it is OEM mandated and certain things are not able to be done while others are being developed as we speak.  As much as I respect what OEMs are doing to make all dealers in the same brand unified I feel that they make it difficult for a dealership to create a unique image to stand out from the competition.

We are in the process of updating employee pictures.  This is a tough task because the owner wants all pictures to be the same exact size.  The challenge is getting the pictures to show up on the website in the same size.  I am still trying to figure out with the vendor what is going on and this is the one time where I feel they are not helping me as they should.

We drastically improved the way the specials pages look with come great content and even more specials.  We started to add video testimonials to the website which was a challenge also because the videos did not want to upload from my end.  In addition, we made proper changes for the new month and any news pertaining to changes.

Social Media:
I have begun to focus on Facebook this past week.  I have been posting engaging content and getting people responding it.  In terms of twitter, I know we have followers but for some reason I am looking for the login which no one can seem to find.  I might have to setup a new account but I will give it a week before I do it.

I have continued to blog and syndicate content.  The content has been getting some views which tell me that people are reading it.  We had an announcement from the OEM that there is a hurricane relief discount available to people in certain areas that lost their vehicles to flood and hurricane damage.  I was quick to post it and promote it on facebook before any competing dealer can think of doing the same, if they normally do it.

It was disappointing to me that when I left for a whole week and asked sales people to start getting their own videos and pictures that not a single person took an action.  They got all excited about the fact that they can brand themselves but they took no action at all.  I addressed that with management because the process takes all of one minute and I am even here to get the content up.  All they need is to have a form filled out, snap a picture or capture a 30 second video and have me handle the rest.  I hope that they fix the situation and get to it.  However, one person did get a picture for me that is now posted.

I added more content to the Flickr account.

Traditional Advertising:
I have not had to be involved with this.

Online Reputation Management:
I discovered a challenge that I have never had before.  In all of my years doing this I was always able to grow a dealership’s online reputation without problem.  I sat in and listened to reasons why the service department has a hard time getting reviews and I am noticing from the sales department why they are not doing.

The sales department is not pushing for it at all.  The service department explains that whenever they ask for a review to get posted that customers do not want to post it.  The understanding that I am getting is that a lot of the customers here are generally in aged in the mid 40s and range as high as 70+.  They do not want to leave an email address and they prefer to leave a survey in pen and paper. 

This raises a challenge to me, a social and digital warrior that believes that everyone and everything should be online.  I am thinking that we need an iPad in service and sales with a 4G connection and we should work closely with the customer to get what we need by guiding them or assisting them.  It is obvious that post cards with links to review sites do not work well for the customers as they do not pay attention to them.

I have never been a fan of spiffing customers for reviews.  However, has a really neat format of how to generate reviews. offers to place customers into a contest where the customer has a potential of getting $100 for leaving a review.  There is an email template for it.  I am thinking of also creating a process strictly for to let customers know about the offer not just as delivery but also after delivery where they can be guided through.  I mean, “Who wouldn’t want a chance to get $100?”  It is also my goal to learn from if the review can somehow be syndicated just like the way DealerRater does it with google.

If anyone has suggestions of how to get reviews from customers that are more mature and not as computer savvy, I am open to some responses on here.

Dealership Process and Operations:
While walking around the dealership looking for things that needed improvement I noticed a binder with parts specials that looked sloppy.  I took it upon myself to let management know about this and created a new professional looking binder with better specials and more transparency.

I have been spending time watching how the sales department functions from how sales managers are managing their people to how they work deals.  I have to say that when it comes to working deals and selling cars they do a great job and they have decent grosses.  The managers get involved in deals and are aggressive to sell cars.  This dealership is generally number one in its district.  The other things that I have been observing are how the one internet coordinator functions throughout the day.  The GSM complains about the coordinator because he finds him playing on his cell phone a lot.  The fix to the problem was that I monitored CRM activities in the old CRM and read comments along with emails that were being sent to the customers.

I noticed something interesting and disturbing.  When an internet appointment comes in the internet coordinator sits with them and talks with them sometimes as long as 20-30 minutes.  When I approached management they agreed and said that it needs to be fixed.  I had the perfect fix for that.  At the Internet Sales 20 Group, Ralph Paglia introduced the “Showroom Appointment Reception Agenda”.  This form is a professional way for the coordinator to meet the customer that they communicated with.  What is amazing about this form is that it explains in a quick and transparent fashion what the customer will accomplish on this visit which is a 4-5 step process.  The coordinator turns over the customer to a sales consultant and moves on with their job.  This takes 1-2 minutes.  We are implementing this as of this week as the new CRM is installed.  There were major changes made to the document that Ralph provided which I will describe in the next section.

Call monitoring is not very strong in the dealership.  The dealership relies on and their website provider to have toll free numbers.  It is amazing that the newspaper always had a local number.  No one really ever listened to phone calls.  In fact, all sales calls are being handled by sales consultants and not the internet coordinator.  This is a whole other issue that I will be tackling soon if I get the chance to.  The way I monitor the calls is I stand in the showroom and listen to the sales consultants talk to phone ups.  I then log into to my limited tools and listen to the conversation.  My plans are to do the same with service and parts soon.  While taking many notes, I have discovered flaws in phone skills and will be planning on phone training sessions at this dealership after the CRM is installed. 

Ownership Challenges:
The only real challenges in the improvement and transformation of the dealership are dealing with ownership in this case.  The dealer principle is not hands on yet has very interesting opinions to how things should run.  As far as sales and service is concerned, she lets the managers do their thing and make money for the store.  But when a highly paid expert that has built numerous success stories is brought in a challenge is created.  Now, I am not saying that challenges are not fun.  This is a unique challenge where I am working with a personality that involves me trying to figure out how they think. 

Every best practice email installed needs to be edited because the writing does not work for them.  This stalled the processes of installing emails into the CRM by two weeks.  Take website content, wording of some serious best practices just never work and they need to be changed.  My challenge is that I need to change content and write it as if I was this other person.  Again, it is an interesting challenge.

The best practice implemented by Ralph Paglia was another example where 60% of the content was rewritten and another 20% was omitted just to satisfy their feelings.  Now I am not saying the document became a bad document but it had changed the TO process from internet coordinator to sales person in a way that I personally would have done differently.

I respect the challenge and although at some point it is frustrating it is what makes me better at my job and what ultimately brings more success to the dealership.

That is all for Part 3. 

If anyone has questions, always feel free to contact me.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ralph Paglia describes Facilities Review for AutoCon 2012 -

Ralph Paglia describes Facilities Review for AutoCon 2012 -

There is a new choice for automotive professionals when it comes to the Fall conference circuit... An event designed to be the next generation of automotive conferences with a dynamic and exciting format that is already pushing others to improve themselves. The AutoConnections Conference and Exposition at the new multi-billion dollar state of the art conference facilities provided by the Aria Resort and Casino in beautiful City Center Las Vegas will challenge your acceptance of anything less.  Connect with the Auto industry's best, most informative and inspirational speakers, plus meet world famous experts such as Lon Safko, the author of the best selling books "Extreme Digital Marketing", "The Social Media Bible" and the soon to be released "Fusion Marketing".  Plus, supplier credit vouchers for over $10,000 per dealership ensure your Return On Investment in time and travel to AutoCon 2012.  You will not want to miss the inaugural session of what is sure to become one of the auto industry's premiere dealer learning, networking, and strategic development events of the year.  So visit to learn more and register online today to ensure your spot at the automotive event of the year.

Dealerships Benefit When Using Location-Based Social Media - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Dealerships Benefit When Using Location-Based Social Media - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Felicia Mahabeer of Potratz Advertising writes: "The overall goal is to bring attention to your dealership. This can consist of feedback or comments about your business on your page, or extending your reach and brand awareness using your customers. To do this, you simply need to give your customers the tools they need to make their friends, family and other connections aware of your dealership. This allows you reach an “untapped” market of potential customers for virtually no cost by transferring a significant portion of your marketing burden directly to your customers. Is your dealership using location- based social media? If not call us here at Potratz, we can get you started in the right direction." Use the link provided to read the rest of her article, and please leave a comment for Paul Prtratz and Felicia Mahabeer!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Jim Ziegler | AutoCon 2012 Speaker

Jim Ziegler | AutoCon 2012 Speaker

Jim Ziegler is the opening keynote speaker kicking off the very first AutoConnections Conference and Exposition... As the auto industry's foremost dealer advocate, Jim Ziegler is widely respected and always delivers the information and inspiration to drive automotive success.  You won't want to miss the Alpha Dawg as he and his tribe open up AutoCon 2012 in Las Vegas!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Dealer Feedback on Suppliers Sought - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Dealer Feedback on Suppliers Sought - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Dealer Feedback on Suppliers Sought
If you work at a dealership, submit reviews for your favorite products that are being considered for the 2012 AWA Awards in Las Vegas. This includes best websites, mobile sites, marketing tools, website add-ons, social media tools, and more. Vote here:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Key Ingredients for the Ideal Dealer Centric Conference - Automotive Marketing

Key Ingredients for the Ideal Dealer Centric Conference - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Exhibit Hall Supplier Coupons

Sponsors and vendors will be providing attendees with credit vouchers, compiled in a spiral bound book of coupons.  The coupons will provide significant savings off products and services offered to dealers.

Attendees will need to visit the exhibitor’s booth to validate the coupons, and can use the credits after the conference to lock in savings.

The coupon book will total over $10,000 in supplier credits.  Of course dealers will not need all the services offered in the coupon book but we are confident that their registration and travel costs can easily be covered by the savings they receive from just a handful of vendors showcased at AutoCon 2012.

Audio & Video Recorded Sessions

A common request that I have received from previous FCE events is to provide attendees with the ability to purchase audio and video recordings of the workshops that they could not attend.

We have decided to record each workshop session at AutoCon 2012 and detail on gaining access to the full conference educational sessions will be provided at the registration desk when you arrive.

First Class Educators Signature Ingredients

Several aspects contribute to the overall “signature” experience when attending an FCE event.  I intend on keeping every single one those popular features (or basic ingredients) and adding new ones each year.

FCE events are well known for their intimate learning sessions, networking during cocktail receptions, dynamic conversions over meals, and well-timed breaks.   At the end of each day, we reward attendees with a comfortable reception and  facilitate building new friendships in the industry.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jeep Shows Off Concept Vehicles At Moab Trek - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Jeep Shows Off Concept Vehicles At Moab Trek - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Since 2002, Jeep and Mopar have teamed to create more than 30 unique concept vehicles for enthusiasts who attend the popular Easter Jeep Safari. “This year, Mopar is pushing the envelope in this arena by offering our customers new Pro 60 portal axles and a new HEMI conversion kit, which we will showcase in these new vehicles. In addition, to further maximize our presence in the off-road market, we are creating a Mopar Off-Road division to develop Jeep Authentic Parts and Accessories,” Gorlier said. Use the link provided to see high resolution images of several Jeep Concept vehicles...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

And Why Aren`t You Using Video At Your Dealership Again??? Automotive Marketing

And Why Aren`t You Using Video At Your Dealership Again??? - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

You have got to admire the cause and effect of Ken Beam making the original Vehicle Presentation Video (VPV), followed by the customer (Connor) seeing the video on, then coming to the dealership and buying the car... As shown in the customer testimonial video made at the time of the sale!  Use the link provided to watch both the before and after video clips embedded into this blog post...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Getting Your Data Out Of Google - It's Easier Now - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Getting Your Data Out Of Google - It's Easier Now - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Brett Stevenson writes: "This is a vast improvement and a credit to the folks at Google. As they suggest under their mission statement, most consumers don’t check on how to get their data out of a software product until the day they want to leave and take it somewhere else. This can be an utter disaster if you have built something substantial in a program only to find out that the program won’t let you take your data. Companies do this so you can’t stop using their product. I’m sure the fact that you can’t take your data with you is in the legal-speak they call their “Terms” (which we all just click on rather than reading them), but it is misleading and unfair in my opinion."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

American Auto Industry: Prepare for a Wave of Consumer Demand! - Automotive Marketing

American Auto Industry: Prepare for a Wave of Consumer Demand!

Scarborough’s automotive study reveals that 7% of American households, representing 8 million households, plan to purchase a new vehicle in the next year. Further, more than half (65%) of American households currently have a domestic vehicle, and 46% of these domestic vehicle households purchased those domestic vehicles new. 42% of American households that own domestic new vehicles either plan to purchase a new vehicle in the next 12 months or already own a domestic vehicle which was purchased new in model year 2000 or earlier – representing purchase opportunity.

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Vendors Wanted! - by Dealers United on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Vendors Wanted! -  by Dealers United

While Dealers United already represents 3 times more rooftops than all of the publicly-traded MegaDealer Groups combined; we’re continuing to experience increased momentum and expect to count more than 10,000 members by NADA 2013.

Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Matt & Vanessa Don't Hate Me… Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Matt & Vanessa Don't Hate Me…

Many thanks to Larry Bruce for creating a post that takes apart the misguided and self-serving criticism of microsites that so many of the RAW website suppliers have keyed upon in an effort to discredit the powerful marketing and sales success case studies that showcase "Best Practice" use of microsites.  On top of the many valid points that you have made, I will go one step further and state that microsites can be an effective branding and engagement tool specifically for the auto industry.

The car business is unique in that we have a franchised distribution system selling a brand of product with distinct and separate sub-brands called "Model Lines".  Additionally, these products require ongoing servicing and maintenance and carry warranties that are actually being used by many of the purchasers of these products. furthermore, the buyers of a Chevrolet SILVERADO is a very different customer than the buyer of a Chevrolet VOLT... In some cases, the buyer seeking information on one of these sub-products within a brand (a model line) has little to no interest in finding or being exposed to information about other sub-products (model lines) within that very same brand (make) product portfolio... We are not selling Tide Detergent that comes in 6 different scents and cleaning specializations! We are SELLING motor vehicles which are in many cases designed for specific usage categories.

In the case of dealerships that sell model lines such as "Silverado", "F-150", "Ram" and "Tundra" these are products with a very different usage profile than other products within their same franchise brand... Yet, they sell more of these product lines than some entire brands (makes) sell of all combined model lines... Why shouldn't a Ford dealer have a website that specializes in delivering the exact perfect information that a truck buyer wants and needs rather than a RAW website cluttered with so much crap and unnecessary information on products and services that have nothing to do with trucks...

And besides all that... Microsites actually work quite well for car dealers.

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community