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  • 1. Dealer Edition Online Automotive Review A look at the past, present and future of automotive Internet A Bi-Monthly Report by J.D. Power and Associates • October 2007Fall is here, and with it comes many changes in the world around us. We here at theOnline Automotive Review–Dealer Edition also have many changes planned for the season.Starting with this issue, the OAR–Dealer Edition will be transitioning to a blog format In This Issueavailable at www.OnlineAutomotiveReview.com. Those of you familiar with blogs and Demystifying Search Engineblogging will understand that the new format will allow for an increased number of Marketing: Driving Sales with the Digital Marketplacearticles on online marketing for dealers, available in a more timely fashion. Those of -4-you less familiar with blogging as a communications medium will have an opportunityto sharpen your skills and share your comments on issues related to online retail Google, Yahoo, and MSN Your Web Sitemarketing. During the next few months, we will continue to publish the PDF version -10-of the publication and make it available for download at the blog site. All archivedissues will also be available at the site. You can post comments on the site and discuss J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Dealer Satisfaction withimplications and trends with other industry leaders. We encourage you to take the new Online Buying Services StudySMformat for a spin and let us know what you think! -16- State of the InternetIn This Issue Search engines helped me find the following -17- types of sites...The theme of this issue is search. 80% Branding on Dealer Sites % of AIUs Finding Site Via Search EngineSearch engines assist vehicle shoppers 70% -24-every day online. Forty-six percent 60% Making Video a New, 50%of new-vehicle Automotive Internet 40% 75% Powerful Part of YourUsers or AIUs—buyers who used 30% 59% 46% Online Marketing Arsenalthe Internet during their shopping 20% -32- 10%process—said that a search engine 0% Landing Pages and Micro Sites: Manufacturer Sites Independent Sites Dealership Siteshelped them find a dealership Web Big League Search Rankings forsite. Thirty-six percent used search Dealers of all Sizes Search engines helped me in the shopping process by... -37-engines to find dealerships in their area. Narrow down the list ofIt is imperative that dealers use search vehicles I was considering 59% Vendor Source Book—engines effectively to drive shoppers to Decide what price to pay 56% Search Engine Marketing Services for the vehicle I wanted -49-their site and ultimately to their store. Find dealerships near my neighborhood 36% Decide which vehicles 33%Demystifying Search Engine to shop for Subscription Information: Research myMarketing: Driving Sales with the financing options 11% Logon toDigital Marketplace addresses the Other 6% www.OnlineAutomotiveReview.com forbasics of and opportunities available 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% the all-new Online Automotive Review— Dealer Edition Blog. Archived issues areto dealers via search engine marketing Based to Automotive Internet Users (AIUs); new-vehicle also available on the Web site.(SEM) and search engine optimization buyers who used the Internet during their shopping process. Source: J.D. Power and Associates 2006 New Questions? E-mail us at(SEO). The article, Google, Yahoo, AutoShopper.com StudySM (NAS) onlineautomotivereview@jdpa.comCopyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  • 2. cars_espn_jdpower(outline).indd 1 9/6/07 8:45:00 AM
  • 3. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Introduction (continued)and MSN Your Web Site, walks dealers through a more hands-on approach of how tomake your site more search engine friendly. In a special in-depth report, Ralph Pagliatalks to OAR about Landing Pages and Micro Sites: Big League Search Rankings forDealers of All Sizes. This article addresses how dealers can use micro sites and landingpages to increase the effectiveness of their sites in search engine rankings. We wrapup the issue and theme in the Vendor Source Book, which highlights search enginemarketing firms that can assist dealers.This issue also includes a recap of the recently released J.D. Power and Associates DealerSatisfaction with Online Buying Services Study.SM Dealers provided feedback on their onlinebuying services and we report the results and award recipients.Every once in a while it is good to step back and see where the Internet stands today.We provide you with the State of the Internet—trends on who’s using the Internetalong with how and why.Making Video a New, Powerful Part of Your Online Marketing Arsenal discussesthe opportunities that dealers have in using videos as part of their online marketingcampaigns. Chip Perry, CEO and President of AutoTrader.com talks about theproliferation of video online and why dealers should embrace and implement thetechnology.And finally, we look at how the dealership Web site can play a part in branding. Brandingis often viewed as an upper-funnel function and therefore associated with manufacturersites, but dealers can also contribute to branding efforts on their sites. Read Branding onDealer Sites for more on the topic. Don’t forget to check out the new Online Automotive Review–Dealer Edition blog at www.OnlineAutomotiveReview.com. You don’t have to wait until December, we’ll have new, updated information weekly! We wish you the most profitable reading possible.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 
  • 4. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Demystifying Search Engine Marketing:Driving Sales with the Digital MarketplaceBy Chris Orton, Director of Search Marketing at eBay Inc.Your next customer is searching for a vehicle online. They may not be ready to buy today,but consumers are researching makes and models, looking for reviews and guides, andreading feedback from vehicle owners. J.D. Power and Associates says customers spendon average more than five hours online researching make, model and features.The buying cycle on considered purchases is a natural fit for search engine marketing(SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO). Dealerships can build relationships withnew customers early during the consideration and planning phase while also buildinga loyal customer base that will return to the site or come to the dealership when readyto purchase.When dealers promote vehicles through third-party automotive sites such as eBayMotors, Autotrader.com, and Cars.com, they are essentially purchasing that site’s SEOand SEM expertise in addition to the listing itself. Well-established automotive siteshave invested years of time, money and experience into learning the nuances of searchmarketing and driving traffic to their respective sites.eBay is the largest buyer of paid search listings and is one of—if not the largest—inSEO on every major search engine. The company has a dedicated team that works solelyon search engine optimization and marketing and is well-versed in the art and sciencebehind it. While some consumers are starting the decision process online, an ever-increasing number of consumers are finalizing their purchases on the Internet, too.While some consumers are starting the decision process online, an ever-increasingnumber of consumers are finalizing their purchases on the Internet, too. According to astudy by The Cobalt Group, 67% of auto buyers research their purchase online prior tovisiting a dealership. They’re looking for the best value when they determine what it isthey want to buy.Search engine optimization also can be referred to as natural search. Search engines suchas Google and Yahoo! crawl Web sites and index keywords and phrases that people mayuse when searching. J.D. Power and Associates 2006 New AutoShopper.com StudySM (NAS)Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 
  • 5. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Demystifying Search Engine Marketing (continued)When a dealer Web site offers an array of guides and vehicle specifications with pre-planned keywords and phrases, those Web pages likely will rank fairly well in a naturalsearch. Consumers searching online during the research phase tend to look at natural, orunpaid, search results as the most credible because they want to hear from other ownersand third parties to gauge experiences.Later in the buying cycle, people tend to look to paid links, or search engine marketing,because they want credibility with their purchase, with a more exact price attached.Dealers who want to increase their presence on the Web may want to consider aprogram that involves SEO and SEM together, rather than one in isolation.For instance, if your search engine optimization rankings are strong with vehicle guides,then you could use search engine marketing strategy focused on driving buyers in thepurchase phase to your site. If your goal is to drive consumers to your vehicle guides tobuild name recognition for your company, you could reinforce that same message in yourpaid search. Each method is dependent on the company and its objectives.Whichever tactic you use, it’s good to have a plan in place and a goal in mind. Thinkabout where your strengths are and the status of the overall marketplace. Considerwhether other dealers are advertising through search and research how these dealers farewhen you conduct a search. A site that has targeted words and phrases and updates pages frequently will stand a better chance of securing a higher ranking.Half of new-vehicle shoppers and 64 % of used-vehicle shoppers will end up at adealership Web site, according to J.D. Power and Associates. Therefore, savvy dealershipsinvesting in an online presence that includes a strong search engine strategy are morelikely to be found easily by prospective customers.Probably the biggest benefit to SEO is that it’s free. Search engines want to index morepages to provide the most relevant matches to those who use the site. Also, early on inthe shopping process, Web site users target natural search results more frequently as theylook to other people for opinions and information before committing to a purchase.A site that has targeted words and phrases and updates pages frequently will stand abetter chance of securing a higher ranking. Search engines also take into account a site’spopularity or relevance by noting how many other sites link to it. J.D. Power and Associates 2006 New AutoShopper.com StudySM (NAS) J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Used AutoShopper.com StudySM (UAS)Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 
  • 6. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Demystifying Search Engine Marketing (continued)Algorithms are sets of rules that search engines use to rank Web pages. Search enginesnever publicly reveal their methods, but most follow general rules such as analyzing howpages link to each other, measuring click-through rates and penalizing sites that repeatwords or phrases hundreds of times in an attempt to increase search rankings. Hundredsof other factors are also taken into account.Every search engine uses different algorithms to find and index Web site pages. It isimpossible for each search engine to have a complete understanding of every nuance ofjargon in every industry, so natural search results can and do vary on each search engine.In addition, the search engine may link to specific pages within your site when you’drather have links to a different page to drive a user action.It is impossible to learn a search engine’s algorithm. They are in a constant state of changeas the search companies update methods in a continual quest to improve search results.To receive better rankings in search results, try to incorporate descriptive terms thatmake sense to human intuition and that search engines are able to figure out. Forexample, not all car buyers would search “fully loaded” or by named option packages butrather would search for specific features such as “sun roof ” or “side air bags.” To receive better rankings in search results, try to incorporate descriptive terms that make sense to human intuition and that search engines are able to figure out.Search engines have several nuances, as well. It pays to be specific as possible whencreating all text, images and Web site coding. Best practices include using hyperlinks forcompany, product and personal names instead of the term “click here.” Also, use HTMLtags to their fullest extent by using the actual image name (1998 Chevy Impala) insteadof the file name (image123.jpg).Many companies complement SEO with SEM. SEM is paid, and with that comes addedcontrol. Dealers can target a paid search listing with a tailored message to reach a specificcustomer demographic. You also control which page the link goes to and, therefore, theuser experience once the consumer reaches your site.For example, if you have a review guide for a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe, a search engine mayindex the page with specifications for the LT model. However, you may have a financingoffer with the LTZ model and you would prefer to direct readers to that page.SEM is powerful because it can be measured very accurately. When you buy anadvertisement on television, you may never really be sure of how many sales are directresults of that ad.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 
  • 7. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Demystifying Search Engine Marketing (continued)With SEM, if you have a tracking system in place, you have access to specific details andresults. You’ll know when someone clicks on your ad, the path they go through on yoursite and if that eventually results in a call, a visit or a purchase. You’ll have the statistics toshow the impact of your marketing dollars.A dealership has several options to start utilizing search engines to drive traffic and addcustomers: 1) appoint someone internally who handles online marketing, 2) outsource itfor a fee to a third party, or 3) list inventory on an automotive site that already engages insearch marketing.To become search-marketing pros, dealers should keep in mind standard practices suchas having a tracking system in place, monitoring click-through rates closely, setting upcustom Web pages, and planning to invest time in addition to funding to make theprogram a success.If you pay for search engine marketing, you’ll want to make sure you track all activity.Actively monitor which words and phrases are working and change or end those thatare not. Some entities are buying hundreds if not thousands of keywords, so you arecompeting with those companies for click-throughs. Even a small improvement canmean a huge increase in visitors to your site by increasing your click-through rate. Once you have that visitor on your site, you need to make sure your landing page is driving your desired action.Search engines all have programs for businesses of every size to purchase keyword adprograms and track click-throughs. The programs also have performance data on variouskeywords so you can see what has worked well in the past and what terms you may wantto avoid because of poor performance. In addition, you’ll want to see what is drawingusers through your landing page and what paths they take once they land on your site.Because a vehicle purchase takes research and consideration on behalf of the buyer,visitors to a dealer’s site probably are not clicking a link and pulling out their creditcards. Fifty-five percent of online consumers have researched a product online and thenpurchased that same product offline, according to a Forrester research report.However, if a site visitor clicks on a link, comes to the site and fills out a form requestinga call, eventually building a relationship with a salesperson and making a purchase, thenit can be tracked back to search engine marketing. Some search marketers just want todrive traffic to their Web site and build brand awareness, so they would concentrate onmonitoring increases in overall site traffic rather than specific sales results or actions.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 
  • 8. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Demystifying Search Engine Marketing (continued)Once you have that visitor on your site, you need to make sure your landing page isdriving your desired action, whether that visitor is filling out a form, picking up thephone or browsing your inventory. Watch closely to see how many people are landingon that page and what path they are taking. In your Web site metrics on your dealershipsite, you should be able to see if people move on to another page, fill out a form or if theyleave after browsing the landing page.Each of these search engine marketing elements takes a precious commodity: time. Adealership will need to determine how much time and money it is willing to invest inSEO and SEM. More often than not, results are tied directly to the amount of timeinvested. If you do not monitor and actively refine your key words, the system may notwork for you as efficiently as it could. Also, by removing the words that are not workingfor you, you will not be paying for the clicks of the users who are not your desired target.eBay uses search to drive millions of potential buyers to eBay sellers every day. Theteam of search experts applies their traditional brand marketing expertise to conductanalytical modeling, build a technology infrastructure and create longstanding businessrelationships with search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL and Ask. Inaddition, eBay manages local paid search operations around the globe. SEO and SEMhelp play a pivotal role in ensuring eBay Motors is consistently ranked the No. 1automotive site on the Web by Nielsen//NetRatings. Search engine optimization and marketing can be powerful tools when used correctly and monitored frequently.Consumers who repeatedly see the same ad, whether it’s an image or wording, becomeimmune to the message, which can be referred to as ad blindness. To maintain onlinetraffic, dealers will need to tweak and refine messages to stay relevant with consumers.This is something to consider when determining whether to handle search marketing in-house, through a vendor, or with a partner site. Outside vendors may be better equipped toactively update search listings and scour other sites to determine the competitive landscape.When you choose keywords, you first need to use test and then retest approaches. Knowwhich other dealers are advertising and what keywords they are using. Perform somesearches on the most popular search engines of the most relevant words to your businessto see if other advertises are there and if your site comes up in a natural search. If not,modify and add words on your Web site pages to improve SEO and make a list of wordsyou may want to purchase for SEM.Ideally, you want the right people clicking at the right time to the right landing page toget the right results. This happens by knowing your audience, what words they use, whatactions you want them to perform, and constantly refining your process.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 
  • 9. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Demystifying Search Engine Marketing (continued)Search engine optimization and marketing can be powerful tools when used correctlyand monitored frequently. Consumers continue to use the Internet to research productsand services, and an increasing number are making large purchases online. To make surethose consumers notice your dealership, consider a search strategy to drive increasedtraffic and serious shoppers to your site.SEO and SEM Tips ■ Test, test and test again. Monitor your paid key words and change them often if they’re not performing well ■ Make sure your message is aligned with your creative ■ Create a landing page specifically for your search efforts ■ Have a tracking/metrics system in place ■ Know your audience: What words or phrases will they be using?Terms defined ■ SEM: Search Engine Marketing ■ SEO: Search Engine Optimization ■ Meta Tags: Tags in the HTML coding of a Web site that users don’t see but search engines use to index pages. ■ Title Tag: The tag in the coding that defines the Web site and contains specific key words to enhance search. ■ Crawlers and robots: Automated scripts used by search engines that browse Web sites methodically to index and categorize data about those sites. ■ White vs. Gray vs. Black Hat: Search techniques defined as good (white), risky (gray) and those that will get you in trouble with search engines (black). ■ SERP: Search Engine Results PageChris Orton is the Director of Search Marketing at eBay Inc. He manages Paid and Natural Searchfor eBay.com, eBay Express, eBay Motors, and Half.com.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 
  • 10. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Google, Yahoo and MSN Your Web SiteBy Amit AggarwalFew would argue the importance of getting your Web site to appear prominentlyin search engine results. As discussed in the article, “Demystifying Search EngineMarketing,” Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization(SEO) are key techniques for gaining visible placement and driving additional sales.SEO is particularly compelling because after the initial set up, it is a free source of sitetraffic and therefore leads. Unfortunately, since dealers usually outsource creation andmaintenance of their Web sites, they too often are not involved enough to achieve thebest possible results.Regardless of your own level of technical ability, testing the search engine visibility ofyour Web site is easy.1. Build a list of terms/phrases that vehicle shoppers and owners might use in search engines. For example, include terms such as your dealership name, vehicle brand + city, “new car” + city, “vehicle service”, etc.2. Test these terms on Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Although Google is by far the most frequently used search engine Yahoo and MSN command 25% and 13% of searches, respectively, and are important sources of site traffic.3. Review the results. For terms such as dealership name or brand + city, your Web site should appear among the first few results. For other important terms, your site should appear on the first page, since users rarely look beyond that. Anyone who is searching for your Web site will find it. But what about someone who is just looking for a local Honda dealership? Or any dealership?Anyone who is searching for your Web site will find it. But what about someone who isjust looking for a local Honda dealership? Or any dealership? What about owners whoneed their vehicles serviced? If you’re ranked poorly or not at all for these kinds of searchterms, then you risk losing business to rivals that are better positioned online. comScore qSearch, June 2007Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 10
  • 11. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Google, Yahoo and MSN Your Web Site (continued)In the article, “How to Optimize the Dealer Site for Search Engines” in the October2006 edition of OAR-DE, we discussed techniques for improving a Web site’s searchengine performance. Although technical and programming techniques have their roles,content is the most important means of making a Web site more visible to searchengines. The following is a quick summary of methods that help a Web site performbetter in search engine results: ■ Replace any generic text with text specific to your dealership, the vehicles it sells, its service, etc. Keep in mind that clear and concise text for consumers equals good input for search engines. ■ Make sure the terms or keywords Internet users would actually type into search engines can be found on your site. It can also be helpful to include these terms in the meta tags section of your page (this needs to be done by a programmer). ■ Add a site map that links to the most important pages, e.g., new vehicles, used vehicles, sales, service, parts, address/directions, contact information. This helps search engines find all your pages and makes your site more useful to visitors.Some dealer Web sites are extremely effective at applying these techniques. To identifystrong performers, OAR conducted a field test of 10 dealer Web sites. Following the samesteps listed earlier in this article, we built a set of search terms, applied them to Google,Yahoo! and MSN for all 10 sites, and then examined the results to find examples of goodand poor SEO techniques at work.The dealerships that did well were BMW of Nashville (Nashville, TN), Crest Honda(Nashville, TN), Roush Honda (Westerville, OH), and Santa Monica Ford LincolnMercury (Santa Monica, CA). For all four, the dealer site showed up in the first 10results (the first page for most users) for almost all terms across all three search engines.Even more impressively, these sites often linked directly to a relevant internal page ratherthan the home page. This allows site visitors to get directly to the information they want.Sites with more extensive content have more opportunities to capture vehicle shoppers.For instance, searching for “Honda Accord Westerville” brings up Roush Honda in thefirst five links on Google, Yahoo, and MSN. More importantly, clicking on the link takesshoppers directly to an Accord Coupe page with an overall description, breakdownof trim levels, links to other models, and links to Accord Coupe inventory. By makingdetailed information immediately available, Roush has given itself a good chance ofcapturing shoppers and given shoppers no reason to visit other sites or cross-shop. Search terms used: “[dealer name]”, “[brand][city]”, “[brand][model][city]”, “[model][city]”, “sedan [city]”, “new car [city]”, “dealer [city]”, “car dealer [city]”, “dealership [city]”, “oil change [city]”, “vehicle service [city]”Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 11
  • 12. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Google, Yahoo and MSN Your Web Site (continued) Roush HondaThe top dealer sites also did well with local search results on Google and Yahoo (MSNdoes not incorporate local search into its standard results). As shown below, local searchresults appear above regular search results and are accompanied by location, phonenumber, and a mapped location for the dealership. Internet shoppers are accustomed tousing local search and this makes it much easier for them to get to the dealership site,even if they never previously visited your dealer site. Note that in this example, BMWof Nashville has also paid for a sponsored link. The overall impact is that the top resultson keywords “bmw nashville” for standard search, local search, and pay-per-click all leadto the same dealership, greatly increasing the chances of capturing shoppers using thesesearch terms. Paid ad Local search result Standard search results GoogleCopyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 12
  • 13. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Google, Yahoo and MSN Your Web Site (continued)All four strong performers incorporate descriptive text throughout their site, againhighlighting the importance of content. There was less consistency regarding other SEOtechniques. For instance, Roush Honda does not use any meta tags, while the other threedealer sites use them extensively. Additionally, although site maps can be helpful, onlytwo of these four sites use them.The weaker-performing sites generally did not utilize site maps, used fewer keywordsin their meta tags, and were stingy with text throughout their sites. This latter point iseasily demonstrated by comparing the following two used-vehicle inventory pages fromNashville-area dealerships. Beaman Pontiac GMC BMW of NashvilleBoth sites offer effective inventory functionality, but the second example (from BMWof Nashville) incorporates introductory text with relevant key words, while the firsthas none. While page text is not the only factor impacting search engine rankings, it iswithout a doubt one of the most important factors. In this case, the second site is highlyranked on all three search engines, while the first doesn’t even show up on the first pageof any of them.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 13
  • 14. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Google, Yahoo and MSN Your Web Site (continued)Weak performers tended to do well on the “must-have” search criteria, such as dealershipname and brand+city. In other areas, performance was much more uneven. For instance,most of these dealerships didn’t show up in service-related searches, cutting out apotential avenue of new business. They also showed up near the bottom of results (if atall) in a general dealership search such as “dealership [city]”. Instead, potential shopperswould find: ■ Other dealerships ■ Dealership listings on OEM sites or local sites, e.g., cardealersinnashville.com for Nashville-based dealerships. Your dealership may only be an additional click away, but most shoppers won’t make that extra click. ■ Third-party sites such as Edmunds or Yahoo Autos that would be all too happy to lure shoppers in, provide information, and turn them into leads that are sold back to you or another dealership.Organic traffic from search engines is a cost-effective way to get business in your door,but good search engine rankings do not happen by chance. While vendors can obviouslyassist in this process, the dealership must make the commitment to creating the rightcontent and invest the time (and money) to make it happen.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 14
  • 15. Big warehouses. Bigger parking lots. Biggest close ratio – in excess of 32%Tap into one of the most affluent, loyal and motivated customer bases in the world. • Median Income: $75,000 • 98.4% own or lease a vehicle • 93.9% are homeownersExclusive representation of your franchise at selected warehouselocations. Multiple franchises and warehouse assignments are considered. We know retail. Call 1-800-458-1690 today, and find out how the Costco Auto Program can refer members to your dealership.
  • 16. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Dealer Satisfactionwith Online Buying Services StudySMAutoTrader.com ranks highest in satisfying dealers with online buying services for new-and used-vehicle leads, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Dealer Satisfactionwith Online Buying Services StudySM (DSOBS).“As products and services offered by online lead service providers continue to evolve, so doesdealer satisfaction with those services,” said Steve Witten, executive director of marketing/media research at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, with dealer satisfaction averaging585 on a 1,000-point scale for the new-vehicle lead segment and 613 for the used-vehiclelead segment, there remains considerable room for improvement in delivering the level ofservice dealers expect. In particular, the quality of leads is of prime importance to dealersregarding new-vehicle leads, while quantity is emphasized for used-vehicle leads.”The study finds that dealers typically respond to online leads with a personalized e-mailor phone call within 48 minutes. The study also reveals that 46 percent of dealers reportthey respond to online leads in 30 minutes or less, while nearly three-fourths of dealersclaim to respond in one hour or less. J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Dealer Satisfaction with Online Buying Services StudySM Dealer Satisfaction Index Scores Dealer Satisfaction Index Scores (Based on a 1,000-point scale) (Based on a 1,000-point scale) New-Vehicle Lead Services Segment Used-Vehicle Lead Services Segment AutoTrader.com 628 AutoTrader.com 672 Dealix 616 Cars.com 668 AutoUSA 605 Used-Lead Services 613 Segment Average Cars.com 605 Autobytel Inc. 601 New-Lead Services Segment Average 585 Dealix (UsedCars.com) 588 Autobytel Inc. 584 eBay Motors 554 CarsDirect 559 eBay Motors 541 Vehix.com 503Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample Included in the study but not ranked due to small samplesize are: Autos.com, CarSoup, iMotors.com and Jumpstart size are: AutoExtra.com, AutoMart.com, BeepBeep.com,Automotive Media. CarsDirect, CarSoup, Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program and Vehix.com.Charts and graphs extracted from this article must be accompanied by a statement identifying J.D. Power and Associatesas the publisher and J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Dealer Satisfaction with Online Buying Services StudySM as thesource. Rankings are based on numerical scores, and not necessarily on statistical significance. No advertising or otherpromotional use can be made of the information in this release or J.D. Power and Associates survey results without theexpress prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 16
  • 17. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007State of the InternetBy Amit AggarwalIn any discussion regarding the Internet, one can safely assume many central tenets—most U.S. consumers are online and more are going online almost daily; search isimportant; Google, MSN, and Yahoo! have been big for some time while others such asMySpace and YouTube have more recently skyrocketed in popularity; and the list goeson. This article explores the data behind these types of assumptions and takes a look atwhere the Internet is today. Internet PenetrationAs of early 2007, 71% of adults in the United States were Internet users, up from 62%five years earlier, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The increase inInternet adoption was rapid in the late 1990s but has leveled off more recently as thosewho could easily go online already have. Figure 1: Percentage of U.S. Adults Online 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% May Jul Nov Apr Mar July Feb Aug Jan Sep Mar Feb May Jan May Sep Jan Feb to 96 97 to 00 to 01 to 02 02 to 04 to 05 to 05 06 to Jun May Aug Sep May Jun Jun Apr 95 98 00 01 03 04 05 06Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project Surveys, March 2000–April 2006, Pew Research Center forPeople & the Press, May 1995–May 1998. This article draws from multiple sources of data regarding Internet penetration, usage, etc., each with a slightly different focus andmethodology. While there is rarely perfect agreement on the exact numbers between sources, they all show the same trends and can beused together when making broad generalizations.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 17
  • 18. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007State of the Internet (continued)Age, education, and income are the biggest demographic drivers of Internet usage,which is not surprising, considering that going online requires technical familiarity anddiscretionary income to purchase computer equipment (outside of use at public accessareas such as libraries), as shown in Figure 2. In fact, in 2007 55% of households withannual incomes below $30,000 subscribed to an Internet service at home comparedwith 93% of households with annual incomes above $75,000. Even so, Internet usage issurprisingly widespread across most demographic subgroups. Figure 2: Internet Penetration by Demographic Groups (February–March 2007) Total Adults 71% GENDER Women 70% Men 71% AGE Age 18-29 87% Age 30-49 83% Age 50-64 65% Age 65+ 32% GEOGRAPHY Urban 73% Suburban 73% Rural 60% HOUSEHOLD INCOME Less than $30,000/yr 55% $30,000-$49,999 69% $50,000-$74,999 82% $75,000 + 93% EDUCATION Less than High School 40% High School 61% Some College 81% College + 91% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, February 15–March 7, 2007 Tracking SurveyCopyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 18
  • 19. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007State of the Internet (continued)Broadband penetration, on the other hand, has continued to increase rapidly. In May2007, almost 82% of U.S. households with computers had high-speed connections, up10 percentage points from 72% in 2006. This increase has been fueled in part by greateravailability and reduced costs—residential high-speed connections are now available insome parts of the country for as little as $20 per month. The article “Making Video aNew, Powerful Part of Your Online Marketing Arsenal” in this issue of OAR-DE furtherdiscusses the rise of broadband and the online video boom it has enabled. Figure 3: Broadband Adoption Growth Trend—Home Users (U.S.) 100% 90% 80% 70% Market Penetration % 60% 50% 40% Broadband % 30% Poly. (Broadband %) 20% 10% 0% Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06 Feb-06 Mar-06 Apr-06 May-06 Jun-06 Jul-06 Aug-06 Sep-06 Oct-06 Nov-06 Dec-06 Jan-07 Feb-07 Mar-07 Apr-07 May-07 Jun-07 Jul-07 Aug-07 Sep-07 Oct-07 Nov-07 Month (starting at March 2005)Source: www.websiteoptimization.com/bw/0706/, extrapolated from Nielsen//NetRatings dataSite VisitationInternet users can go to a variety of sites. The top U.S. properties in terms of sitevisitation are shown in Figure 4. Note that a “property” combines the multiple sites runby a single entity—for instance, Microsoft Sites include all visitation to MSN (search,maps, etc.), Microsoft.com, and Hotmail.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 19
  • 20. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007State of the Internet (continued) Figure 4: Top U.S. Internet Properties—June 2007 % of Internet Users Rank Property Visiting Site in Past Month 1 Yahoo! Sites 74% 2 Google Sites1 69% 3 Time Warner Network2 69% 4 Microsoft Sites3 65% 5 Fox Interactive Media4 47% 6 eBay 45% 7 Amazon Sites 30% 8 Ask Network 29% 9 Wikipedia Sites 26% 10 Apple Inc. 25% 11 New York Times Digital 24% 12 Viacom Digital 24% 13 The Weather Channel 22% 14 Adobe Sites 20% 15 CNET Networks 17% 16 Gorilla Nation 17% 17 AT&T, Inc. 17% 18 Target Corporation 16% 19 Expedia Inc 16% 20 Facebook 16%Total U.S.—Home, Work and University LocationsSource: comScore Media Metrix1 Includes YouTube2 Includes AOL3 Includes Hotmail4 Includes MySpaceThis demonstrates one clear message: Internet visitation is truly fragmented. Forinstance, although ESPN.com is the most popular sports Web site, it ranks 41st overalland is visited by only 9.8% of all Internet users. Even the Web giants often requiremultiple disparate services—such as Microsoft’s various offerings—to achieve such highrates of visitation.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 20
  • 21. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007State of the Internet (continued)There is, however, concentrated power within specific types of sites. Search, for instance,is dominated by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and to a lesser extent, Ask.com. Google is theclear leader and has significantly expanded its dominance during the past year, despiteefforts by the other sites to improve their offerings and compete more effectively. Figure 5: Search Engine Market Share July 2006 July 2007 Time Warner Network Time Warner Network Ask Network (AOL) 6.6% Ask Network (AOL) 4.4% 5.0% 4.7% Microsoft Sites Microsoft Sites 12.4% 12.3% Google Sites Google Sites 46.2% Yahoo! Sites 55.2% Yahoo! Sites 23.5% 29.8%Total U.S.—Home/Work/University LocationsSource: comScore qSearch 2.0Represents each property’s % of all searches doneThe above charts actually understate Google’s dominance—AOL’s search is powered byGoogle, so the search giant’s share has actually gone from 52.8% to 59.5% in just the pastyear. Most of this gain has come at the expense of Yahoo!.There is similar concentration of power when it comes to online video. Google, whose sitesinclude Google Video and YouTube, is the clear leader in this category, as well. One majordifference, compared with other rankings, is the presence of major media sites such asViacom, ABC, etc., which have television and related content that attract online viewers.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 21
  • 22. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007State of the Internet (continued) Figure 6: Top U.S. Online Streaming Video Properties* By Video Streams—May 2007 Property Share (%) of Video Streams Google Sites1 21.5% Fox Interactive Media2 8.1% Yahoo! Sites 4.6% Viacom Digital 2.8% Time Warner Network3 2.2% Microsoft Sites 2.0% ABC.com 1.2% Disney Online 1.0% ESPN 0.7% NBC Universal 0.7%*Rankings based on video content sites; excludes video server networksSource: comScore Video Metrix1 Includes YouTube2 Includes MySpace3 Includes AOLLooking ForwardThe Internet’s short history has shown that accurate predictions are difficult tomake—new and disruptive sites and technologies can rapidly transform what and howconsumers act online. Google completely changed the nature of Internet search andonline advertising with targeted advertising (in this case, based on search behavior) thatis highly effective and profitable. Social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebookhave transformed the way that teens and young adults interact online and offline.YouTube has made online video immediately accessible to the masses. And the list goeson.But there are a few claims that we can make with reasonable certainty: Internet andbroadband penetration will continue to grow; advertising dollars will continue to flowonline at the expense of media such as newspaper and television; the explosion of richerand more interactive content will continue; and new sites will continue to explode ontothe scene. As Internet users, we can delight in the new experiences and personal benefitsafforded by the continuing onslaught of innovations, while as business people we mustremain tuned into the changes so that we can take advantage of them—or at least avoidbeing blindsided.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 22
  • 23. DON’T BELIEVE OURSENSATIONAL CLAIMS.BELIEVE OUR CLIENTS’Jumpstart helped Courtesy succeed with online advertising in one of the most competitive markets in the country. I know we sold morecars online last year because of all their help. – RALPH PAGLIA, COURTESY CHEVROLETJumpstart has taken a lot of guesswork out of our (online) advertising. We are having some of our best months since startingwith Jumpstart. – ASHLEY ANTONIO, PARAGON HONDA ACURAJumpstart has given us the edge we need to win over our market. We posted record numbers in April when the entire industry wasshowing a drop in sales. Jumpstart is not a vendor to me, they are a partner. – PANCHO DIEZ-RIVAS, ESSERMAN INTERNATIONALTO FIND OUT HOW JUMPSTART AUTOMOTIVE MEDIA CAN HELP GROW YOUR BUSINESS AND MAKE YOU A BELIEVER, CALL ROB BOLLINGERAT 888.280.4542 OR EMAIL HIM AT GROWYOURBUSINESS@JUMPSTARTAUTOMOTIVE.COM.
  • 24. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Branding on Dealer SitesBy Bill Williams and Amit AggarwalDealers make decisions about how to use their brand hundreds of times a day: inadvertising, promotions, sales presentations, recruiting, correspondence, point ofsale, accounts receivable and the receptionist. Every one of these independent actionscontributes to an overall brand portrait. This includes online branding decisions, thosemade on dealers’ Web sites.A brand is a promise that time after time, day in day out, year after year, the customerexperience will be of a certain type and standard. A brand helps consumers simplify thepurchase process, especially in expensive goods, such as cars and trucks. A product doessomething, while a brand stands for something. While a product may change often oroccasionally, a brand is more permanent. While a product may change often or occasionally, a brand is more permanent.The distinctions are important, especially in the automotive industry, in which thereare multiple brands at work in a purchase: the OEM brand, the make brand, the modeland series brands, and the dealer brand. Sometimes there are even third-party brands(Harley-Davidson, Bose) and OEM specialty brands (Nismo, MOPAR). Each type ofbrand plays a role in the selection, purchase, and repurchase of new and used vehicles.Dealer brands play a crucial role in this mosaic: the dealer must deliver on all brandpromises. In the end, the dealer brand—above all others—should have a distinctive lookand an authentic promise of its own.Dealer Web Sites Grow in ImportanceDealer Web sites have an increasingly important role in the new-vehicle automotiveshopping process. While shoppers still look primarily for contact information, inventory,and RFQ functionality on dealer Web sites, they are increasingly visiting dealer sites tofind options/feature information, peruse vehicle colors, talk to a live rep, etc. In fact, 11%of all new-vehicle Automotive Internet Users (AIUs) regard a dealer site as the mosthelpful site (vs. manufacturer sites or independent sites such as MSN Autos and kbb.com) during their shopping process. While this percentage may seem small, it representsa steady year-over-year increase. J.D. Power and Associates 2006 New AutoShopper.com StudySM (NAS)Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 24
  • 25. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Branding on Dealer Sites (continued) Figure 1: Most Helpful Site Type Overall 100% Independent Site manufacturer Site 80% Dealer Site 60% 56% 53% 50% 40% 35% 37% 39% 20% 11% 9% 10% 0% 2004 2005 2006Source: J.D. Power and Associates 2006 New AutoShopper.com StudySM (NAS)The August 2007 edition of OAR–Dealer Edition illustrated how to evaluate theusefulness of dealer Web sites using a model based on information/content, appearance,navigation, and speed. A useful dealer site includes: ■ Professional-looking design ■ Accurate information ■ Quality information ■ Consumer-driven tools ■ Easy to find ■ Fast-loading pages (including inventory)In the past, getting usefulness right would have been sufficient—but that’s now justthe price of entry, the minimum. A dealer site today is expected to be a genuine onlineextension of the dealership. The online brand presentation should reflect the samedifferentiating characteristics as the bricks-and-mortar dealership.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 25
  • 26. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Branding on Dealer Sites (continued)Serving Both Dealer and OEM InterestsDealers work hard to distinguish themselves from competing and other same-makedealers. The same logic should apply to dealers’ Web sites. However, there is a pushamong some OEMs and independent developers to have dealers choose from approvedor standard templates, and all too often dealers simply accept the default template withminimal change. While this approach may be expedient, a generic site communicates ageneric brand image. In this case, the make brand might overpower the dealer brand. The store brand, whether a single point dealer or part of a group, is important.Some dealers and dealer groups fall into the reverse situation: the dealer brand overpowersthe make brand. For example, the Sholz group sells Kia, GMC, and Cadillac among itsdealerships, but each site is exactly the same, down to the home page text. This is clearly anexample of an effort to build a clear, consistent dealer brand, but it underserves the distinctmake personalities. For example, a Kia buyer is obviously very different from a Cadillac buyer:different price points, interests, concerns, and needs. All of the millions of dollars invested inboth the Kia and Cadillac brands are somewhat underexploited at the store Web site level.Figure 2: Sholz Kia Home Page (sholzkia.com) Figure 3: Sholz Cadillac Home Page (sholzcadillac.com)The store brand, whether a single point dealer or part of a group, is important—it’s theblue sky that drives valuations and the name on the back of the Little League team’suniforms. It is no more or less important than the make brand; but it is separate.Consider the retailer Target. The brand makes nothing that it sells: it is a collection ofthousands of SKUs of “OPB” (other people’s brands)—however, ask shoppers and theywill provide you with a very rich description of Target. The same is true of the dealerwho negotiates the price and provides the service for “OPB.”Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 26
  • 27. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Branding on Dealer Sites (continued)Retailers are always balancing the interests of their brand with those of the brands theysell and weighing how to best mix the brand awareness and personality of each. From themanufacturer’s perspective, it makes sense to have a consistent national make-level lookand feel online: it weeds out sites that do a disservice to the brand, maximizes factoryadvertising investments, and it’s tidier administratively. Therefore, there is an increasinguse of “factory approved site developers” and templates. Dealers—especially dealergroups—have their own brand interests to pursue and protect. Among single-pointstores there is probably heritage at work, while for dealer groups there are both the imageof the brand and the needs of the corporation.Sometimes the needs are balanced by taking visitors to a factory-approved landing pagedesigned around the specific product, which then allows them to go to the dealer site.The dealer site may or may not be a dealer design. More often, the dealer determines thelevel of association the site will have with the factory.For example, Brumos Mercedes-Benz incorporates the brand and product reputation ofthe make with their own reputation for tradition and customer care (Figure 4).Emphasize Tradition and Customer ExperienceBrumos Motor Car highlights the dealership’s 54-year market presence and that its Bestof the Best award and high CSI indicate “[we] excel at taking care of you and your car.”Site visitors—who might have come to the site via either the OEM dealer locator, search,or directly to the URL—get a balance of both product and dealer reputation. Figure 4: Brumos Mercedes-Benz Home Page (brumos-mercedes-benz.com)Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 27
  • 28. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Branding on Dealer Sites (continued)Figure 5 illustrates a greater proportion of make brand mixed with dealer reputation.Emphasize the Manufacturer BrandThe Bill Heard name is closely identified with Chevrolet. Indeed, the Heard logoapproximates the Chevrolet bow tie, and the American Revolution OEM theme isprominent on the home page. This interrelationship is a selling point and is heavilyemphasized for all Bill Heard Chevrolet dealership sites by incorporating themanufacturer’s marketing theme. In this example, the feature product and the makebrand are in heavy proportion to the dealer brand. Figure 5: Bill Heard Chevy Home Page (billheardchevy.com)Reflect the Luxury ExperienceThe Web site for Gaudin Jaguar Porsche Aston Martin uses a rich color scheme, classicalmusic, and an online dealership tour to attract luxury buyers. In this example, multiplemake-level brands are marketed under a store brand. What joins the store brand and theOEM brands is a shared and highly identifiable consumer target: upper-income luxuryand luxury sport buyers—therefore, the brands are collectively presented in an upscaleattractive fashion. The total experience is consistent. Figure 6: Gaudin Jaguar Porsche Aston Martin Home Page (jplv.net)Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 28
  • 29. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Branding on Dealer Sites (continued)Synchronicity, Not SurrenderOEMs are no more interested in diluting dealer brand equity than dealers are indiluting make brand equity: the brands exchange awareness and esteem. When it comesto developing or relaunching Web sites, dealers should explore a range of options forputting this exchange of equity to best use.The Sewell organization provides an example of how that can be done, illustrating thatthe debate doesn’t have to involve only one Web site. Figures 7 through 9 illustrate threedifferent Sewell “brands”: the Lexus store, the Cadillac store, and the Sewell “MotorCompany” family of brands. Figure 7: Sewell Lexus Home Page (sewelllexus.com)Figure 8: Sewell Cadillac Saab Home Page (sewellvillagecadillac.com) Figure 9: Sewell Brand Wide Home Page (sewell.com)Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 29
  • 30. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Branding on Dealer Sites (continued)Individually, each site balances the interests of both dealer and make brand: there is a“Sewell” look—not so specific as to “handcuff ” the site designer, but there is enoughsimilarity to demonstrate a “family” resemblance. There is also respect paid to the makebrand—using the equity of the Lexus or Cadillac names, but ensuring the photos areproperly insinuated into the design.Then there is the Sewell Motor Car site, which is especially interesting—and freeingfor the dealer—because this is where the focus is deeply on the dealer. Sewell providesa directory and links to the other stores––for corporate issues such as employment anddealership history as well as opportunities to set appointments or search vehicles acrossthe Sewell franchises.While the Sewell organization is large, the strategy can work with any size operation.It’s largely a matter of mutual respect and a creative use of online media. The key is toavoid disagreements over whose brand the site is going to promote, as well as to explorealternatives in promoting both.When determining how to brand dealer sites, remember:■ Shoppers and buyers increasingly find the dealer site most helpful in their vehicle shopping process: dealer sites play a vital role■ Being useful is no longer enough: a dealer site needs to work as hard as the brick-and- mortar marketing in differentiating the store■ The OEM brand and the dealer brand both play a pivotal role in online marketing■ OEMS are interested in gaining brand uniformity across dealer site designs■ Both OEMs and dealers gain when make and dealer brands are synchronous■ Separate landing pages or URLs give dealers flexibility in creating a more dealer- centric site, while still retaining a well-balanced product/store branded siteCopyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 30
  • 31. It will still beIt will just be
  • 32. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Making Video a New, Powerful Part ofYour Online Marketing ArsenalBy Chip Perry, President and CEO, AutoTrader.comThe Internet is no longer a phenomenon. While that may seem obvious, what is aphenomenon is the continued growth of the medium, the improved means by whichpeople are accessing it, and how companies and advertisers are applying components oftried-and-true forms of traditional media online. The latest cross-promotional tool toenter the Internet arena is video. And while it may be an early trend right now, onlinevideo is here to stay. The demand for online video will continue to grow over the next fiveyears, and the sooner automotive dealers embrace this evolution, the more they will reapthe rewards of being ahead of the mainstream curve—much like the dealers who initiallyadopted the Internet as a viable advertising medium in the late 1990s and early 2000srealized a significant return on their investments. The demand for online video will continue to grow over the next five years, and the sooner automotive dealers embrace this evolution, the more they will reap the rewards …The proliferation of online video is a direct result of Americans’ accelerated adoptionof broadband (high-speed) Internet. Broadband Internet access that makes it possiblefor Americans to quickly stream online video—comprised of files much too large toplay smoothly on a typical dial-up connection—in a seamless fashion, as if watchingtelevision from the comfort of the living room couch. In fact, at the end of 2006, 62.6%of all U.S. households had an Internet connection, and 73.3% of those online householdshad broadband connections, according to eMarketer. New-vehicles buyers have evenhigher rates than the general population. According to J.D. Power and Associates, 85% ofall new-vehicle buyers have Internet access, with 80% having high-speed access. By 2011,nearly 94.1% of U.S. Internet households will have a broadband Internet connection.Without question, broadband Internet has helped fuel the rapid rise of the Internet as ahighly demanded medium, relative to the stagnating growth, or in some cases decline, ofother advertising mediums. eMarketer. “Broadband Worldwide: 2005-2011.” March 2007. J.D. Power and Associates 2006 New AutoShopper.com StudySM (NAS) eMarketer. “Broadband Worldwide: 2005-2011.” March 2007.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 32
  • 33. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Making Video a Part of Online Marketing Arsenal (continued)As it has become easier for consumers to download, upload and stream uninterruptedvideo via a broadband connection, it has also become proportionally more prevalentto find videos online. Consider the advent of YouTube. The once underground, “user-generated content” site has exploded onto the scene over the past year and a half tobecome an accepted mainstream entity and common conversation piece. However, thepop culture phenomenon of YouTube is but one anecdote and only begins to tell storyabout the rapid proliferation of online video. The most recent data—across multipleanalyst and research groups—bears out the increased demand for video nationwide.According to eMarketer, the 2007 U.S. Internet video audience is already comprised ofan estimated 123 million people, and within three years more than half of all Americanswill be part of the online video audience. The report also cites a recent AP/AOL survey,which revealed that 32% of the current video audience said they viewed more video in2006 than 2005. And a Yankee Group statistic from the same report found 3.7 billionvideo streams were delivered on a monthly basis in 2006, up 146% from 2005. Asstaggering as these numbers may be, there is also evidence demonstrating online video’sreal business application and advertising potential, beyond simple entertainment value. Figure 1: U.S. Online Video Viewers, 2003-2010 (millions) 2003 52.3 2004 69.6 2005 89.4 2006 107.7 2007 123.4 2008 137.2 2009 149.0 2010 157.0Note: Ages 3+; online video viewer defined as an individual who downloads or streams video (content or advertising) atleast once a month.Source: eMarketer, November 2006 eMarketer. “Internet Video Audience.” December 2006.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 33
  • 34. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Making Video a Part of Online Marketing Arsenal (continued)Local online video advertising currently represents roughly 5% of all money spent onlocal online advertising, according to Borrell Associates. They project a prominentexistence for online video as a mainstay advertising tactic in the near future: “In five years,local online video advertising will surpass $5 billion, representing more than one-thirdof all local online advertising.” While advertisers continue to leverage the use of onlinevideo more frequently, Hallerman uncovered data illustrating the effectiveness of themedium. In a March 2006 Online Publishers Association survey, 31% of respondentsvisited a company’s Web site after viewing a video ad representing a particular productor service. What’s more, the survey states that “14% of respondents went to a store tocheck out a product after seeing an online ad.” Yet, the most compelling news to theautomotive community—with its wide-ranging target audience age—may be thatthe video revolution does not appear to rest solely in the hands of today’s youngergeneration. A June 2006 Nielsen/NetRatings statistic on video and movie Web sitesfrom Hallerman’s report indicates that more than 52% of the visitors to the video siteswere 35 or older. Now is the time for the automotive community to make online video a powerful component of the online marketing arsenal.So, what does all of this mean for car dealers? It means now is the time for theautomotive community to make online video a powerful component of the onlinemarketing arsenal. At AutoTrader.com, we have closely watched and monitored theincreased popularity of online video and the growing audience demand for it. In fact,AutoTrader.com consumers told us they wanted the flexibility to access dealershipcommercials and other video content when they are in the market for a vehicle. We’vealways advised dealers to take a holistic approach with advertising by, for example,directing customers to the dealership Web site through television and radio ads.Likewise, we recognized adding video to online advertising would give consumers theopportunity to interact with the vehicles and a specific dealership in a tangible fashionlike never before! And, they could do it on demand, where and when they wanted.In the spirit of the growth of online video and cross-platform advertising, AutoTrader.com unveiled a new Multimedia Center in early 2007. The tool allows dealers to uploadvideo and radio ads to complement their vehicle listings and dealership advertising. Theresponse of both dealer customers and in-market vehicle shoppers has been tremendous.As of this writing, more than 1,000 AutoTrader.com dealer customers are alreadyincluding video along with their vehicle listings. Borrell Associates Inc. “The New Frontier: Local Online Video Advertising.” February 2007. eMarketer. “Internet Video Audience.” December 2006. Ibid 34Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  • 35. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Making Video a Part of Online Marketing Arsenal (continued)Even better, one of the most appealing features of online video advertising with toolslike the Multimedia Center is that it doesn’t have to break the bank with additionaladvertising costs to start taking advantage of the medium. While online video doesprovide the flexibility to create new commercials and messages not confined by the fixed-value proposition of a 30-second or 60-second television spot, the most cost-effective andimmediately efficient way to begin implementing video is to repurpose current televisioncommercials for online viewing. The production costs to convert the spots are minimal,while the return could be significant.As dealers begin to implement video as an advertising tactic, they will soon discoversupplementary opportunities to maximize its exposure and deliver alternative messages,beyond the scope of traditional advertising. For instance, in addition to including videoas part of their own Web site listings, dealers should also look to include video as partof their online media buys. They can create a message from their general manager toaccentuate the value proposition of their dealership or introduce their friendly salesteam to create an emotional connection with consumers. Online video expands on theflexibility as an advertising medium that only the Internet can provide. Cutting-edge dealers will provide 360° video walk-arounds of their cars, giving shoppers near first-hand interaction with their inventory.For example, just as the Internet has given dealers the opportunity to better merchandisetheir vehicles to shoppers by providing multiple photos of their available inventory, theInternet and online video provides dealers with an additional, creative way to allowshoppers to experience their vehicles. Cutting-edge dealers will provide 360° video walk-arounds of their cars, giving shoppers near first-hand interaction with their inventory.Online video also stands to become particularly valuable to dealers who merchandisetheir used cars online, where the condition of each vehicle has its own unique set oftraits. Now, not only can dealers write detailed copy about a specific vehicle’s clean, “likenew” jet black leather interior, but they also can demonstrate it to shoppers throughvideo, drawing them into further interaction with the vehicle.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 35
  • 36. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Making Video a Part of Online Marketing Arsenal (continued)Likewise, dealers can apply a similar tactic to set the unique features and one-of-a-kind services of their respective dealerships apart from the competition. It’s onething, for instance, to explain to prospective consumers through written copy that theservice department waiting room is equipped with wireless Internet access and a full-service, complimentary coffee bar, but it’s quite another to demonstrate that waitingroom by bringing it to life through video. The list of unique ways dealers can applyvideo to enhance the merchandising of both their vehicles and their dealerships isalmost limitless!Now is the time for the automotive industry to join the revolution. Even the so-called“traditional media”—which once shunned the medium—are using the Internet andvideo to cross-promote their own services, as well as the services of their advertisers.It’s also time for the automotive dealer community to join the trend and upload videosto help tell the dealership story—because, like the Internet, videos will be more thansimply a trend in the near future. Clearly, the window of opportunity for each dealer tomaximize their store’s exposure and get in front of the mainstream competition is wideopen today, and those who jump on board will benefit the most.Chip Perry is president and chief executive officer of AutoTrader.com. He can be reached atchip.perry@autotrader.com.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 36
  • 37. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Landing Pages and Micro Sites:Big League Search Rankings for Dealers of all SizesBy Bill WilliamsDealers are continually searching for new, cost-effective ways to drive traffic to their sitesand leads to the showroom. Often this is best managed through the use of an outsidesupplier, but there is a lot dealers can do on their own. Ralph Paglia, Director of DigitalMarketing, OEM& National Accounts, ADP Dealer Services, shared his experiencesand successes with Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition. Paglia has extensiveexperience in building successful online retail marketing programs, and has shared thoseexperiences at past J.D. Power and Associates Internet Roundtable meetings.OAR: First, and most obviously, what are landing pages and micro sites?Paglia: I get asked this question all the time, so it must be a good one. First off, for allpractical purposes, every micro site contains a landing page, but not all landing pages arepart of a micro site. ■ A micro site is comprised of a Web page with a unique URL that is descriptive of the micro site’s subject matter. ■ The first page accessed on a micro site—accessed by the root domain of the URL— is known as a landing page because it is where the consumer first ‘lands’ when they click on an advertisement, text-based sponsored link, or search engine listing of that unique URL. ■ In addition to the landing page, which we call a home page when applied to a dealership’s full featured primary Web site, a micro site has one or more ‘daughter pages’ that are accessible from linked text or images shown on the landing page (the micro site’s home page). ■ A micro site’s daughter pages must be created within the same root domain structure as the landing page’s URL. This is far different than the use of Web pages hosted within another root domain structure, as when using links to a different Web site’s pages. ■ Each daughter page within a micro site will contain additional content relevant to the landing page’s subject matter and is what qualifies the domain as a micro site instead of a simple landing page.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 37
  • 38. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Landing Pages and Micro Sites (continued)From the first part of my answer, you already know that a landing page is a singleWeb page connected to a unique URL, but without any additional pages of relevantcontent, or daughter pages, connected to it that are hosted within the same root domainstructure. An example—and the epitome—of a micro site, including rich media sectionsand daughter pages containing vehicle information, photographs and specifications canbe seen at www.PhoenixChevySilverado.com. An example of a true landing page, devoidof any other content within the same root domain structure, is: www.Silverado-Truck.com.Please note that both landing pages and micro sites typically feature multiple links toother Web pages that are part of separate and distinct URL domain structures, usuallythe dealer’s primary Web site.The bottom line is that every micro site contains a landing page, along with one or moreadditional content pages, while the term landing page is also used to describe a single Webpage, usually with a form that is linked to advertisements and text-based sponsored links,and is distinctly separate from any other Web site. Technically, any Web page connected tooutside links, such as advertisements, sponsored links and URL listings, is a landing page,because it is where you first land when you click. But, within the car business, most peopleuse the term landing page to describe a single Web page specially created for a specific use.Micro sites require more content to set up than solo landing pages, which typically require alimited amount of text and an online form for customers to complete and submit.OAR: When and why are they used?Paglia: Both micro sites and landing pages are used by dealers, third-party lead providers,search engine marketing (SEM) services providers, dealer advertising associations, dealergroups and OEMs for a variety of purposes. Compared to landing pages, and dependingon the richness of content they contain, automotive micro sites usually achieve far greaterlevels of effectiveness over time. Micro sites and landing pages generally serve threeprimary objectives:A. Generate sales leads as completed online forms, incoming phone calls and showroom traffic. When used by SEM service providers, landing pages are typically designed to generate electronic leads and are optimized for the highest possible visitor-to-lead conversion rates.B. Attract unique visitors using highly specific and limited subject matter content that is indexed by search engines as relevant to key word searches related to the site’s subject matter. When successful, a micro site’s title and description appear at the top of specific search engine queries based on richness of relevant content.C. Generate online traffic to other Web sites through the use of linked objects displayed within the micro site, or within the text-based content of the site. This objective is best met through the use of managed organic content that is search-engine optimized around a subject matter popular among a targeted audience that will be searching for it. Otherwise, a micro site could be misconstrued as a link farm.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 38
  • 39. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Landing Pages and Micro Sites (continued)If you are like me, seeing a few examples really helps to clarify a concept. If you visitwww.2008ChevyMalibu.com, you will see a micro site that is focused on the all-new 2008Chevrolet Malibu and nothing else. It has lots of rich content relevant to the Malibu,including an interview with the dealership’s New Vehicle Director, Scott Gruwell. At thebottom of the landing page are links to content within the store’s primary full-featuredWeb site that supplement the forms and phone numbers within the micro site in seeking toconvert visitors into leads and phone calls. Three months after being launched, a search for“2008 Chevy Malibu” returns a worldwide front page listing as follows: 2008 Chevrolet Malibu from your Phoenix Arizona Chevy Dealer ... 2008 Chevy Malibu. Come and fall in love with the all new 2008 Malibu from Chevrolet. Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix offers the best pricing and financing on ... www.2008chevymalibu.com/ - 18k - Cached - Similar pagesThe model-specific micro site that has outperformed any other micro site I have ever seenin generating incremental eLeads and unique visitors to the primary Web site operated bythe dealership is www.2008ChevyCamaro.com. A Google search for 2008 Chevy Camaroreturns the following Web site listing at the very top of the worldwide search results: The All New 2008 Chevrolet Camaro from Courtesy Chevy in Phoenix ... 2008 Chevy Camaro. Your Valley Chevy Camaro Dealer located in Phoenix, Arizona, The New 2008 Chevy Camaro, Courtesy Chevrolet Camaro, 2008 New Chevy Camaro. www.2008chevycamaro.com/ - 15k - Cached - Similar pagesIn July 2007, the Camaro micro site attracted over 25,000 unique visitors, of whichover 1,800 submitted an online lead form. This micro site also generated over 2,500unique visitors to the store’s other Web sites, which resulted in over 50 additional leads.Courtesy Chevrolet operates the 2008ChevyCamaro.com micro site and spends less than$100 a month hosting it. There was no paid advertising used to generate traffic, althoughthe “Transformers” movie seemed to generate a big spike in Camaro-related searches.One of the first micro sites I created is the popular www.2007Tahoe.com. If you Google“2007 Tahoe,” it shows up at the top of the search results as follows: 2007 Tahoe at Courtesy Chevrolet- The all new 2007 tahoe! Phoenix ... 2007 Tahoe by Chevy. Come and fall in love with the all new 2007 tahoe from Chevrolet. Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix offers the best pricing and financing ... www.2007tahoe.com/ - 20k - Cached - Similar pagesYou should click on the photo galleries and specifications pages within each of the abovelisted micro sites to truly understand what differentiates a micro site from a landing page.I have never seen a landing page by itself generate any significant organic site ranking.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 39
  • 40. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Landing Pages and Micro Sites (continued)OAR: Who creates the actual online ads in all the various sizes and shapes?Paglia: This is one of my hot buttons right now. The creation of online advertisementsthat dealers can then place on various Web sites, or use as sponsored links with paidsearch engine advertising, is typically done by vendors. However, they often generatethose ads in either a size or format that is intentionally designed to prevent the dealerfrom using them elsewhere. I give Cars.com a lot of credit because even when they builda Flash-based ad for their dealers, you can ask for the same ad in an animated GIF fileformat, which they will provide. This allows the dealer to use that great-looking adcreated by Cars.com on other Web sites, and further leverages ROI from the dealer’sinvestment in Cars.com advertising. An example of a digital ad created for one of thedealers I work with in San Diego is:Another example of a dealership’s digital advertising as created by Cars.com is:By the time this article is published, ADP Digital Marketing will be providing digitaladvertising content for online promotions that comply with industry standards so thatthey fit into various Web sites. Digital Advertising assets (files) can be created by anyoneusing a PC with MS Office installed, but there is a ton of work and expertise that goesinto making an effective digital advertisement.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 40
  • 41. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Landing Pages and Micro Sites (continued)Here are a few prototype examples of ADP Digital Marketing dealership ads:When it comes to paid search advertising, text-based sponsored links are usually createdby a dealer’s SEM services provider. However, despite the fact that there are a lot of veryknowledgeable SEM services providers, such as BZ Results Search Engine Marketing,Clickmotive, Jumpstart and others, in my opinion this is a bad practice. Outsourcing thethinking and creative promotional exercises that have historically been done either in-house or in conjunction with a dealer’s ad agency is more likely to result in a failed digitaladvertising campaign. This happens because separating digital advertising from theother forms of dealership promotional activity leads to a disconnect with the dealership’smarketing strategies. I believe each dealer should control and monitor their digitaladvertising with the same diligence and management participation that they use forTV, radio, newspaper, outdoor and all the other media. More than two-thirds of all carshopping is done online—does it really make sense for a dealership’s management teamto pay so much attention to the ads placed in media used by a minority of car buyers andthen ignore the ads seen by the majority of automotive shoppers?Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 41
  • 42. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Landing Pages and Micro Sites (continued)OAR: How can dealers manage all the separate URLs? How do they ensure they getranked by Google, Yahoo, MSN search?Paglia: Although a lot of dealers use low-cost domain management service providerssuch as www.GoDaddy.com and www.PowerPipe.com, I feel most comfortable goingdirectly to the source by using www.NetworkSolutions.com, where dealers can buy adomain and Web-forwarding services (if needed) for less than $47 a year. Significantdiscounts apply if registering for three years or more.Since it can take up to three months to get a new micro site organically ranked for freesearch engine traffic, I recommend creating a Google AdWords account and building apaid search marketing campaign using keyword bidding on text-based sponsored linksthat point to the dealer’s new micro site. This gets traffic going to a micro site right away,and then if the site is built well enough to be considered relevant to the intended sales,parts or service shoppers, you can back down the paid traffic after three to six monthsand let the organic relevancy of your micro site do its magic by attracting search engine-generated traffic.The people at Google have told me about a three-month period after a new micro sitegoes live as being ‘in the sandbox,’ where it will not get organically ranked, but I have seenexceptions made for really good micro sites that covered a topic that does not have a lotof competition for relevancy in search results. The Camaro site I previously mentionedis one of those. After your micro site is up and running, copy the actual URL stringof characters from your browser’s address bar when viewing the site, then go tohttp://www.google.com/addurl and paste the micro site’s domain based URL string intothe field for the site address. Then type in a description of the site using no more than 20words into the text field set up for it. Next, try to decipher the garbled-up characters thatGoogle displays to keep bots from being able to do this and type these weird-lookingcharacters displayed into the indicated form field. If you are successful in translating thegarbled-up letters, when you hit the ‘submit’ button, you will get a confirmation page thatsays your site will be queued up for crawling and indexing by Google’s spider bots.I know it sounds like a bunch of hassle, but anyone who can figure out how to useGM’s Dealer World, Honda’s Interactive Network, Toyota’s Dealer Daily or Ford’sFMCDealer.com can ace this stuff.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 42
  • 43. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Landing Pages and Micro Sites (continued)OAR: How can dealers be certain their landing page/microsite strategy actuallydelivers valuable content to consumers?Paglia: Dealers should be consistent and transparent in their digital advertising campaignmessages. When doing it yourself, make sure the ad contains text that describes the landingpage’s content that you are linking it to. For example, if your ad says “Chevy Price Quotes…Get Discounted Prices on a New Chevy from Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix” and itpoints to www.ChevyPriceQuotes.com, you can be pretty certain that the people clickingon the ad are interested in getting a price quote on a new Chevy and that they are willing tobuy it in Phoenix, AZ (duh!). The landing page gives them the instructions and a form tocomplete that are in sync with the ad’s message, so it is a no brainer for the customer to fillit out the form and find out how your store will respond.A good example of this is a micro site I built for a Free Gas advertising campaign thatyou can visit at www.YouGotGas.com. This micro site has a built-in calculator that asksthe customer how many miles they drive every week, then how many miles per gallontheir current vehicle gets. It shows the customer how much money they will spend in ayear. The customer is then invited to enter a contest to win a free gas card, or to registerto receive a year’s worth of gas at no additional charge when they buy a new Chevy fromCourtesy Chevrolet. This is then promoted using the following image ads:Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 43
  • 44. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Landing Pages and Micro Sites (continued)If you look at the ads shown above and then visit the Web site by clicking on the ad, youcan’t help but see that the site delivers on the promises made in the ad itself. If the adswere linked to my primary Web site’s home page, and the consumer was then expected tofind the free gas special offer from there, then it would not be delivering on the promiseimplied by the ad and it would fail to produce any results. Online advertisements shouldbe directly linked to single-click access to the promised content.OAR: What about costs: Internet costs, design/placement costs, staff overhead costs?What kind of investment is required?Paglia: Different micro site suppliers charge different fees. At ADP Digital Marketing,we have not yet established our micro site pricing matrix, but they will be completedby the time this article is published. We are still assessing the typical costs involved, butwe have sold, designed and delivered micro site prototypes to our pilot dealers on thefollowing cost basis: Design and Setup: 3 micro sites package = $1,995.00 one-time fee Monthly Hosting: 3 micro sites package = $595.00 monthlyAlternately, we have sold prototype micro sites to other dealers as follows: Design and Setup: 5 micro sites package = $0 one time fee Monthly Hosting: 5 micro sites package = $3,000.00 monthlyI have personally used some smaller independent micro site designers that charged $750per site as a one-time set up fee and $75 per month to host them. And, I have seen someof the large enterprise dealer groups purchase micro sites from ADP for as little as $295a month per site with a $595 set-up fee. It is safe to say that costs are reasonable forthe sites themselves, but it is usually the advertising campaigns where the real money isspent. As for staff and overhead, Tina Pratt, the GSM at People’s Chevrolet in ChulaVista, builds her own micro sites and uses the store’s digital advertising budget for pureadvertising buys. I taught her to do the micro sites herself and she does a heck of ajob for that store. I have recently been hired on a consulting basis to compete with herand she wins the search engine placement battle quite frequently. But, that is when theteacher shows the student how it’s done and I usually come right back at her with anonline ad campaign for Courtesy Chevrolet in San Diego that kicks her butt, until werun out of budget. Ahhh, the car business—you gotta love the competitiveness of it all!Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 44
  • 45. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Landing Pages and Micro Sites (continued)OAR: How can dealers measure results? What are common/useful metrics?Paglia: Be sure to display big and bold a unique toll-free AdTracker phone numberon your micro sites to track incoming calls generated, and make sure your micro sitesupplier embeds site visitor tracking software such as Omniture’s SiteCatalyst into thesite. One of the most useful reports is for Referring Domains, which shows how manyleads were submitted by the URL used to link an advertisement to the micro site. I usemultiple URLs for each micro site and then monitor each ad group by using distinctURLs as the pointing Web address that then shows up in the Omniture reporting.Whether it is a micro site, any other site or simply an online advertising campaign todeep links within your primary Web site, here’s the metrics I find most useful: Metric Description Actual Case Study Example: Total Cost of Ad Campaign and Micro Site: $71,801.30 Advertising Impressions Generated: 33,257,657 Micro Site Visits Generated by Ads: 29,528 eLeads and Phone Calls Generated: 2,248 Appointments Generated from Leads: 562 Vehicles Sold to Site Visitors: 174 Analysis Subject Cost Unit Description Advertising Impressions $2.16 Per Thousand People Micro Site Visits $2.43 Per Visitor Session eLeads and Phone Calls $31.94 Per Lead Appointments Generated $12.78 Per Dealership Appointment Vehicles Sold $412.65 Per Vehicle Retailed (PVR)OAR: This all sounds like a lot work—does it take an outside supplier to do this, oris it something dealers can do on their own? How does one organize to do this?Paglia: Yes, it takes focus, time and effort. Although all of a dealer’s digital advertisingneeds can be outsourced to save time, this typically results in the manager beingdisconnected and removed from the store’s digital advertising initiatives. Outsourcingdigital advertising concept creation can result in a lack of commitment in making thesales to the leads generated that are required to get the ROI results. I recommendlearning how to do it, then doing it long enough so that if the dealer decides to outsourcethe work, they at least know what it is, how to measure it and what it takes to do a goodjob. I would much rather sell digital marketing products and services to dealersCopyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 45
  • 46. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Landing Pages and Micro Sites (continued)who know what they are and how they work, than to those that don’t know what theyare buying. Other considerations are the ability to adjust campaigns daily, even hourly,and saving money. Most stores can save thousands of dollars by managing their onlinecampaigns and by knowing how to evaluate a supplier for the portion of the digital adbudget that is outsourced. Generally speaking, I consider a blended approach of both in-house and outsourced digital advertising to be the best of both worlds, and it keeps thevendors honest when you compare their results with the in-house results. The blendedapproach also allows a dealer to shift dollars as resources and budgets fluctuate.OAR: Can you share examples where landing pages and micro sites made adifference? What was done? What were the results?Paglia: There are so many examples of micro sitesbeing used to make a difference in a store’s success.Let’s take a look at the www.PHXfinance.com microsite I designed for Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix.After you look at this very basic, and not so elegantspecial, finance site, take a look at the advertisementwe placed in over 60 bus shelters around Phoenix inAugust 2006:Imagine sitting in a bus shelter, in 100+ degreetemperatures and staring at that life-size postertwice a day, six days a week. To say it generated afew phone calls and visits to the micro site is anunderstatement. The bus shelter ads cost about$5,500 per month, so we used that part of the budget previously spent with BarNonefor special finance leads. Combined with the online advertising, which was $4,500 permonth, we set up a $10,000-per-month ‘eFinance Department’ total advertising budget.The PHXfinance.com micro site was, and remains, able to receive organic ranking in ahighly competitive subject matter area and appears as a first-page search engine queryresult for ‘phoenix auto finance’ as shown below: Phoenix Finance, Do you have Bad Credit and want a Used Car? at ... Courtesy is the Phoenix Valley’s only car dealer that has been nationally recognized for their leadership in the area of credit repair by hiring and ... www.phoenixautofinance.com/ - 10k - Cached - Similar pagesCopyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 46
  • 47. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Landing Pages and Micro Sites (continued)The astute reader will notice that the outdoor bus shelter signage features the URL aswww.PHXfinance.com, whereas the organic search result lists PhoenixAutoFinance.com.This is because PhoenixAutoFinance.com was used for the actual root domain URL,which is what gets indexed by search engines, and PHXfinance.com was created asa special URL for use ONLY on the bus shelter ads. This allowed us to evaluate theeffectiveness of the bus shelter ads by looking at the referring domain reports for themicro site. The Courtesy Chevrolet eFinance team really hit its stride in September 2006when they sold 57 cars. When we examine the metrics around the use of the eFinancemicro sites, here are the results: PHXfinance.com Results Cost Unit Description Advertising Impressions $4.57 Per Thousand People Micro Site Visits $3.72 Per Visitor Session eLeads and Phone Calls $17.71 Per Lead Appointments Generated $48.10 Per Dealership Appointment Vehicles Sold $178.07 Per Vehicle Retailed (PVR)We then use the above metrics to calculate the following cost effectiveness analysis: eFinance Digital Marketing Metric Description Actual Case Study Example: Total Cost of Ad Campaign and Micro Site: $10,150 Advertising Impressions Generated: 2,221,168 Micro Site Visits Generated by Ads: 2,729 eLeads and Phone Calls Generated: 573 Appointments Generated from Leads: 211 Vehicles Sold: 57Given the low cost per vehicle retailed (PVR), we initially were very excited by theseresults and by the integrated nature of the promotion, with more phone calls generatedthan electronic leads. However, once we started counting up all the expenses paid inthe form of lender fees, we realized that generating special finance leads online is a lotcheaper than getting the deals bought. Our process for handling the incoming phonecalls was to get callers to either schedule an appointment to come in right away, or if theywanted to know for sure whether they were pre-approved, we asked them to completethe credit application at www.Chevy-Finance.com, which is a completely differentdynamic online credit application. We set up Chevy-Finance.com to quickly access adeep link connected to an easily remembered URL. The talking credit application isprovided by DealerCentric and hosted within a BZ Results Web site. So, yes the microsite made a difference in this case study, but it was used in conjunction with online andCopyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 47
  • 48. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007Landing Pages and Micro Sites (continued)offline advertising, combined with a very talented crew of automotive professionals madeup of Ron Daly, Scott Daly and Barbara Mason. In the interest of proper disclosure toOAR readers, I will also report that by January 2007 we completely reconfigured theeFinance team because of the high bank fees and the need to properly compensate someof the most talented car people I have ever had the privilege of working with.Ultimately, a dealer’s use of micro sites is not a silver bullet in the world of digitalmarketing and advertising. It is another tool that savvy dealers can use to get acompetitive advantage. Combined with the right people, lead management processes andtechnology, the use of micro sites is one of many digital marketing tactics that separatesome of today’s most successful dealers from those that would like to get there.Copyright © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 48
  • 49. Online Automotive Review—Dealer Edition October 2007 Online Automotive Review—Vendor Source Book—Search Engine Dealer Edition — October 2007Marketing Services Gene Cameron Executive Director, Media SolutionsThe Vendor Source Book is a recurring feature in the Online Automotive Wendy Olson KillionReview—Dealer Edition. The intent of this section is to provide the dealer Editorcommunity with a comprehensive list of potential partners for every aspect Kristina Winesof selling and marketing vehicles online. J.D. Power and Associates in no way Senior Account Manager, Advertisingendorses any of the companies listed. Bill Williams Senior ContributorThis installment is dedicated to firms that can assist dealers with search enginemarketing. Future issues will include information on Web site developers, Amit Aggarwaltrainers/consultants, online financing companies, CRM providers and more. Senior Contributor Faith Chakirian Phone Research Associate Company Web Site Number Chip Perry Atlas One Point www.atlasonepoint.com 206.816.8000 President and CEO, AutoTrader.com Auto Dealer Traffic www.autodealertraffic.com 800.545.6028 Chris Orton Auto One Media www.autoonemedia.com 972.301.4655 Director of Search Marketing, eBay Inc. Beyond ROI www.beyondroi.com 800.498.4764 Pat Anderson Copy Editor Cobalt Group www.cobalt.com 866.289.2786 Heather Molloy Dealeron www.dealeron.com 800.381.6604 Layout and Design Dealerskins www.dealerskins.com 866.848.6480 Go4Promotion www.go4promotion.com 800.284.6162 Contact and Advertising Information Google adwords.google.com — onlineautomotivereview@jdpa.com Jumpstart www.jumpstartautomotive.com 888.280.4542 Automotive Media1 Subscription Information Market Vertical Partners www.marketverticalpartners.com 800.745.1685 Logon to www.OnlineAutomotiveReview.com MSN advertising.microsoft.com/search — for the all-new Online Automotive Review—Dealer Omniture www.omniture.com 877.722.7088 Edition Blog. Archived issues are also available on Pole Position www.polepositionmarketing.com 866.685.3374 the Web site. Marketing Advertising claims cannot be based on Karl Ribas www.karlribas.com 815.209.0933 information published in this publication. Search Ad Network www.searchadnetwork.com 877.462.9764 Reproduction of any material in this Send Traffic www.sendtraffic.com 866.487.2334 publication, including photocopying of this Submit a Website www.submitawebsite.com 480.949.1810 publication in whole or in part, is prohibited TK Car Sites www.tkcarsites.com 714.937.1239 without the express written permission of Yahoo! searchmarketing.yahoo.com — J.D. Power and Associates. © 2007 J.D. Power and Associates,1. Advertiser of this publication. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.J.D. Power and Associates in no way endorses the companies on this list. It is meant for informative All rights reserved.purposes only.If your company would like to be added or deleted from this list or included in future Vendor Source Booksplease send an e-mail to OnlineAutomotiveReview@jdpa.com. 49