JD POWER INTERNET ROUNDTABLE SUMMARY REPORT
What happened in Vegas….doesn’t need to stay in Vegas as far as I am concerned.
The following provides a summary of what I felt were the 3 most important “take-aways”
from my 2-day conference.
1. Social and viral marketing (Web 2.0)– along the lines of MySpace
and Facebook – are becoming greater influencers to the car
buying process, and more importantly – the decision on which
dealership to go buy a car from!
This has been included in the VMAR “extra-curricular duties”
2. Mobile Marketing is the hot new trend being adopted quickly in the
dealership space, and will only grow exponentially from here.
This is included in the current roadmap for ADPTouch, for an
3. Behavioral Targeting is beginning to gain acceptance as it is being
talked about more and more by the “bleeding edge” of dealers
who have adopted BT targeting tactics in their direct mail and email
activities to some great success.
a. This has been included in the VMAR “extra-curricular duties”
The following represent random research notes that I found to be worth
repeating, as well as help to validate the ADPTouch platform strategy:
Search is the primary tool for filtering dealerships – 79% of consumers questioned
said they used Search for their research on dealerships. (according to a recent
study conducted by Cobalt). However, many consumers are experiencing
“search fatigue”, which means they walk away from their search if they can’t find
what they are looking for in the first 5-7 pages.
The dealer website is a key extension of the dealer's showroom – research
conducted showed that the dealer website brought in the highest quality and
most convertible leads of any other online resource.
Online advertising grows the dealer sphere of influence – the more a dealership’s
name appears in advertising and in search results – both paid and organic – the
more likely the consumer will click through to the website.
A third of consumers will drive more than 20 miles from home if they like what they
see on a dealers website
o We need to take this fact into account as we do location-based
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More than 30% of all leads coming through the Internet are still going
o This fact makes a strong case for our LeadTouch service
Poor lead handling at a dealership can cause not only dealership defection, but
up to 23% brand defection over time
o Again, a strong case for offering an outsourced lead management
solution, particularly to handle inbound Internet leads.
Social networks and online blogs are becoming more and more influential in the
car and dealership shopping experience: 21% of consumers stated they are
influenced by online dealership reviews; 43% said they act on the information
they find on CONSUMER review sites, which help them determine which
dealership to go to.
o This makes a case for the value-added service of a VMAR handing social
and viral marketing for the dealership. Someone has to keep an eye on
what is said to be able to perform damage control (reactive) as well as
provide pro-active positive social influences.
Dealership loyalty and location are less of an issue in consumers’ minds, given the
power of information found on the Internet – and the experiences people write
about and post on the Internet. Experiences are the new driver to consumer
buying behavior – whether you are talking about cars or shoes.
73% of the Cobalt survey audience said they would use a dealership review site,
and 58% said they would POST to a dealership review site.
Online car shoppers (that is over 80% of us) seek out, value, and reward
transparency in their research online.
The top 10 internet automotive searches include (in order):
o New vehicles
o Local dealerships
o Used vehicles
o Car accessories
o Videos/photos of cars
o Reliability/cost of maintenance info
o Professional reviews
o Local service/repair providers
o Consumer reviews
o Auto enthusiast information
Some noteworthy results of a joint study by Polk and AutoTrader found:
An interesting point made by the study is that the Internet is given even more
consideration by consumers than feedback from family, friends and co-workers.
According to officials, the Internet is second only to the dealer visit, where
consumers can interact with and test drive the car, as the overall most useful
source of information throughout the entire car-shopping process.
While the study found that 42 percent of new-car buyers think the Internet was
the most helpful source of information during their car-buying process, only 8
percent said TV was most helpful,; 2 percent indicated direct mail was the most
helpful source; and only 1 percent pointed to radio or newspapers as the best
However, 2006 National Automobile Dealers Association data indicated 27.3
percent of dealer advertising dollars were spent on newspapers, 19.5 percent
spent on TV and 18.1 percent spent on radio. Meanwhile, only 11.5 percent of
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dealer advertising dollars were spent on Internet. Direct mail accounted for 10.2
percent of dealers' advertising spend, and 13.4 percent was attributed to "other"
According to the study, independent of price, when searching the Internet for
new cars, 27 percent of new-car buyers said dealer inventory was the most
important piece of information they wanted.
INTERESTING VENDORS AND TECHNOLOGIES SHOWCASED
1. Call Command has a new feature that recognizes a BlueTooth mobile device
and will send a text message (SMS) to the person driving by.
2. AutoByTel has a new service called Rapid Response that will take an Internet lead
and turn it into a phone call to the designated persons’ cell phone for immediate
3. enPocket – very cool, hip mobile marketing company that provides location-
based mobile marketing capabilities (they call it “mobile CRM”) based on
consumer response to advertising. (Did you know that there are more mobile
phones per household today than TVs and computers????)
4. Revenue Science – The kings of behavioral targeting. They are poised to explode
once the market “gets” the advantage of BT in their marketing efforts.
5. PlaceCast - delivering hyper-local content and advertising. The reality of
reaching every consumer with the right offer in the right place at the right time is
finally here. Placecast story is they increase the relevance of content delivered to
consumers by combining precise real-time user location information with product
proximity and user profiling. True one-to-one marketing. Something to keep an
eye on for future ADPTouch enhancements.
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