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Getting a Grip On Digital Marketing

Today, dealers are more confused about their digital strategy than ever. Their digital footprint looks fine from afar, but up close it’s fragmented and the dots are not connected. They employ multiple vendors to provide programs and services but fail to deliver a unified message across marketing platforms.

There’s information overload regarding big data. To auto dealers, that equates to “paralysis by analysis.” The savvy dealers are becoming digital disrupters by harnessing technology to change consumer online behavior and forever alter the competitive automotive landscape. Shopping for a car is no longer a linear path to purchase. Dealers chase consumers through multiple online channels, who typically criss-cross between them to meet their needs and whims. The successful dealers are able to immediately provide the right message at every intersection, across every channel.

Dealers can no longer take a single, [...]

As a kid, I remember it taking me about an hour and a half to solve the original Rubik’s cube.  It was deductive “if-then” reasoning that got me through that task then and still guides me today. Although, I admit it sometimes takes me longer than an hour and a half to solve some of today’s automotive digital marketing puzzles. (wink, wink)

I think we can all agree that all advertising messages are going to inspire online research.  Depending on which study you read this morning, consumers are visiting 18-24 online touch-points prior to making a purchase.  How do you influence them during their online journey? How do you become part of their consideration set? Let’s examine one of the greatest digital marketing challenges dealers face today; Budgets.  All dealers I work with have a limited budget; therefore the efficiency of spend is critical to produce the highest ROI. More important than “how much” you [...]

Mastering the digital phone up

Lead forms are down, but phone calls are up!

I personally work with some of the top dealers across the country and speak to, consult with and present to hundreds of others.  I see a common thread of concern on the decrease of lead form submissions. The flip-side to that is that phone calls are way up!  And my dealers say that’s just fine with them.  Consumers are spending more time researching online, but still desire and need to buy a car from a human being. Many of my dealers experience higher closing ratios (conversions) on phone calls, then actual lead forms.  Therefore, equal weight should be focused on the “digital phone up.”  Especially, now that more than 50% of searches are on mobile devices, the top action on a mobile device is the “click-to-call” button.

I know, I know, your BDC manager says “I need more leads.” And there are so many lead choices, that you don’t know which ones are the best [...]

You’re Wasting Your Marketing Budget

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. Trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

-Jon Wanamaker, Philadelphia’s most famous multi-location retailer, is credited with uttering this phrase in 1910.

Dealership management can relate to his frustration. Traditional marketing investments; newspaper ads and TV spots, may sometimes feel more like a necessary evil than an effective way to spend your hard earned revenue. Primarily because you’re spending thousands of dollars every month with little data to know if your efforts are attracting customers.

What if I told you there was one thing you could do right now to attract more customers, get real data on effectiveness, and stop wasteful marketing spending?

The trick is to be present online AND off-line, with a consistent message during the moments that matter most.

Woody Allen is often quoted as saying, “80% of success is showing up.”

How many of you feel you’re [...]

social-media

Dealers constantly battle the implementation of social media as a marketing and sales tool.  Most are just happy to have the part-time college intern posting on the top social sites a few days a week. Social Media represents a huge potential opportunity for your dealership if used correctly.  And it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. You wouldn’t have your intern layout your newspaper ad, negotiate media buys, administer your PPC campaign, manage your BDC follow up….would you?  If you treat social media like a hobby, it will reward you as such.

Social Media has become a powerful element in today’s marketing efforts and Facebook is still the 800 pound gorilla in the room.  If you only have the budget to optimize one social media channel, this would be the one.  Facebook also offers [...]

mobile-advertising_1

If you’ve shrugged off mobile as a top priority 2016, you will need to re-think your strategy for 2017. In an Omni-channel world, and as mobile marketing continues to skyrocket, dealers need to recognize that mobile is no longer just a device, but a behavior that consumers spend most of their daily communication with.  Mobile is quickly being considered as the default shopping medium, with more than 75% of online engagement occurring on a mobile device, according to Comscore.  In a recent IBM digital analytics report, mobile drove over 40% of Black Friday’s online traffic in 2015, when three years ago it accounted for only four percent.

Here’s some number-crunching that’s sure to get your attention.  YOY (year-over-year) Smartphone traffic grew by more than 60% and online revenue surged 141%-growing almost 350% faster in 2016 than in 2015. In comparison, tablet online revenue and traffic each grew [...]

Sales process simplified one arrow with the word leads ans a sign with the word sales, 3d render

I personally work with some of the top dealers across the country and speak to, consult with and present to hundreds of others.  I see a common thread of concern on the decrease of lead form submissions. The flip-side to that is that phone calls are way up!  And my dealers say that’s just fine with them.  Consumers are spending more time researching online, but still desire and need to buy a car from a human being. Many of my dealers experience higher closing ratios (conversions) on phone calls, then actual lead forms.  Therefore, equal weight should be focused on the “digital phone up.”

I know, I know, your BDC manager says “I need more leads.” And there are so many lead [...]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Horsepower 360 Marketing Announces Appointment of Jeff Sabes to Area Vice President of Sales

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October 12, 2016. Horsepower 360 Marketing, a subsidiary of Wilkin Marketing, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeff Sabes to the position of Area Vice President of Sales. Most of his professional career has been exclusively devoted to serving the automotive industry. He brings over 25 years of experience in the media business, which includes selling and managing advertising sales at The Chicago Sun-Times, WGN TV, Chicagoland Television News, and iHeart Media. This background provides a unique perspective of dealer success for Horsepower 360 and its clients. Working across multiple media platforms provides unique insight to consumer motivations when purchasing new and used vehicles.

 

Jeff is well versed in using data to determine strong opportunities for automotive dealers. He works with clients to [...]

habits-of-successful-people-do-in-the-morning1

I’ve had the great fortune of working with some of the top eCommerce directors and digital dealers across the country. I continue to see a trend in the qualities and habits these top performers share. Although each dealer possesses more than just five, I’ve decided to document these common threads and share them with you.

  1. Every top dealer has a “digital champion” at the dealership. This is an executive leadership position and responsible for overseeing all eCommerce programs; including the strategy, implementation, execution, and reporting. The compensation plan should not be measured solely on cars sold through the internet department (that is the function of your internet manager). He/She should be able to connect all the dots from your traditional to digital marketing budgets and be able to forecast based on the success and failure of each [...]

digital-footprint-mean_555fde8e55b9adab

Today, dealers are more confused about their digital strategy than ever. Their digital footprint looks fine from afar, but up close it’s fragmented and the dots are not connected. They employ multiple vendors to provide programs and services but fail to deliver a unified message across marketing platforms.

There’s information overload regarding big data. To auto dealers, that equates to “paralysis by analysis.” The savvy dealers are becoming digital disrupters by harnessing technology to change consumer online behavior and forever alter the competitive automotive landscape. Shopping for a car is no longer a linear path to purchase. Dealers chase consumers through multiple online channels, who typically criss-cross between them to meet their needs and whims. The successful dealers are able to immediately provide the right message at every intersection, across every channel.

Dealers can no longer [...]

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