So|Lo|Mo: Winning With Today's Car Shopper


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Jack Simmons' presentation on Social, Local and Mobile at the 3rd Annual Automotive Boot Camp

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  • Welcome to the 3rd Annual Automotive Boot Camp
  • Workbook Question: What do these terms mean to you?SOCIAL: power of the internet to improve the shopping experience because consumers hear from each other – not just about social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, although those are important, but also consumer reviews sites like Yelp and shopping sites like Amazon or that makes reviews a central component of the process.LOCAL: Local is about differentiating your brand in your market. You’ve always been focused on delivering great customer service and selling your brand’s ability to deliver – now it’s time to make sure you’re doing it online -- consistentlyMOBILE: (talking points tbd – easy)
  • July 2007 – iPhone launched (Mobile)September 2008 – Android OS launched with the G1March 2009 – Nielsen reports that social networks had become more popular than email (Social) February 2010 – Foursquare launches (Local) April 2010 – iPad launched (Mobile)July 2010 – Facebook membership climbs to 500 million (Social) July 2011 – 20 millionth review posted to Yelp (Local)
  • You talked a lot about Facebook and Twitter… are you using them to sell cars?
  • Setup: How many cars have you sold on Facebook? Social media is important from a brand and discovery standpoint, but you’re not going to put your listings on your Facebook page. Instead, think about your social media presence the same way you think about how your dealership presents itself in your community in the real world. Think philanthropy. Think about the networking you do in your weekly golf league. These are relationship-building Set (realistic) goals and develop a strategy to attain them.  Automotive retail is among most ROI-focused industries out there, so it’s important to understand this point from the start – social media will help you sell and service more cars, but it’s unlikely you will be able to quantify its true impact upon your bottom line immediately.  Set your goals accordingly.  Social media can promote better brand awareness, foster customer loyalty and generate word-of-mouth advertising, among other perks.  Determine what you want to accomplish, and then put a plan in place that assigns accountability within your staff, sets guidelines for developing content and establishes how the success of your social media program will be measured. Set guidelines. Put into place policies and best practices for your staff – check out the work of Charlene Li, a social media expert with experience helping corporate leaders foster an enterprise that supports social media. “controlled openness” – creating the structure, policies and procedures to create an environment that supports social media while maintain brand integrity and other considerations.Have a plan to build your audience.  Creating a Facebook page or Twitter feed won’t do your dealership much good without an audience of fans and followers.  Include links to your social media pages in your e-mail campaigns, and invite visitors to your web site to “like” or “follow” you.  Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and most other social media platforms provide widgets that can be placed on your web site to make this process easy.  Also consider running a promotion to build your audience, such as offering a free oil change or entering new followers for a chance to win a prize (be sure to check your state’s legal requirements for such promotions beforehand).   Content is King!  Chances are you’re already using social media on a personal level – take what engages you as a user into account as you develop content for your dealership.  Communicating with your customers through social media should be more than marketing copy.  Engage them with news, promotions, maintenance tips, new product information and news about what you’re doing for your community, and make them feel valued by posting service coupons and other “perks” just for Facebook friends or Twitter followers. Tip: Don’t recreate the wheel. Repurpose information published on the social media pages of your OEMs, automotive enthusiast publications like’sKicking Tires and other consumer content providers.Participate in your own conversation!  Social media isn’t just another way to push information out to your customers – they expect the experience to be interactive.  Respond to wall posts, comments and tweets to drive the conversation and open it up to others.  If you see a customer post something positive about you on their own page, thank them!  And on the off chance they have something negative to say, reach out to them privately to make it right – they’re likely to share the story’s happy ending as well, putting you in a good light.
  • Workbook cue: “If I could share my CSI scores publicly, that would be worth $___________ in advertising to me.”
  • Workbook cue: fill out social process table
  • These are from actual reviews – you can’t make this stuff up! Don’t just track what is being said, listen to what is said and use the information to improve your processes.Animate this slide to have these go one at a time – What should you do here? Next one?
  • Workbook Question: What do these terms mean to you?SOCIAL: power of the internet to improve the shopping experience because consumers hear from each other – not just about social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, although those are important, but also consumer reviews sites like Yelp and shopping sites like Amazon or that makes reviews a central component of the process.LOCAL: Your businesses have always been local – the good news is the power of the internet and the transparency it’s provided means price is fairly consistent across the board, putting the focus back on customer service and your brand’s ability to deliver. MOBILE: (talking points tbd – easy)
  • Consistently? (is the way you’re showing up consistent with your promise? i.e. e-mail addresses that go nowhere, incorrect info on business directory pages, etc.)In a way that communicates value?? (is your brand value showing through in everything you do online? Complete and accurate vehicle merchandising, make your website easy to navigate. optimized presence for mobile)
  • Workbook Cue: Reference process and metrics tables for local (fill out at home!)
  • Workbook Cue: When it comes to using mobile, my dealership… (check all that apply)
  • People under the age of 55 are more likely to send/receive texts than phone calls. Why not try texting someone that you have left multiple voicemails for? How about texting appointment confirmation? You can even alert buyers to your inventory options that meet their needs.Females text 30% more than males. Meanwhile, men lead high-end monthly data activity on their devices with activities such as surfing the Internet (31% for men vs. 29% for women), reading and sending e-mail (33% vs. 30%) and downloading apps (24% vs. 21%).There are services that allow you to send text messages from your desktop computer: Google Voice, Pinger
  • Pros: Better user experience than a mobile site: because apps are designed specifically for a user’s device, it’s easier to communicate with your customers in a more targeted way and streamline their interactions with you.Good service application: apps make it easy for customers to keep a maintenance log, schedule service appointments, check for recall information, etc.Utilize device capabilities – use GPS to provide service or vehicle suggestions based on location, put a service appointment directly into their calendar, send a push notification when a vehicle matching their search hits your lot, etc.Cons: MOBILE SITES WORK ON EVERY DEVICE!Apps cost money. (estimate: $2-5K for smartphone app, $5-$10K+ for iPad/tablet apps)Apps need to be developed for each platform (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Palm and the list goes on…)Apps have to be downloaded! Is your app worth the real estate on your customers’ phone? Note: 80% of apps are deleted after the first use.Tip: do some testing.
  • Employees who use smartphones in their own personal life will demand mobile tools for productivity and increased success.Your customers are using their mobile devices while they’re in your store, oftentimes looking at your competitors’ inventory, reviews and website. You can sell against that – you just need to be a part of the conversation! Tell your side of the story by going through that process with them on your device.Use an iPad to “wow” your customers with a quick way to compare vehicles, demonstrate unique features and take a quick tour through your inventoryWorkbook cue: Moblie Toolkit
  • Workbook cue: all metrics sectionsWhat are you trying to accomplish? Your metrics should help you get there.Beyond sales, what are you trying to accomplish?Drive more ROI?Increase contacts? Grow walk-in traffic?Improve staff performanceImprove service efficiency?Increase customer satisfaction?Foster more loyalty?Reviews metrics – use them to drive more volume, assess customer service performance, etc.Advertising performance – change messaging/creative, landing page or alter your marketing mixSocial media – track likes, engagement and shares to lock in what gets customers talkingLead process performance – how are individuals contributing to the larger whole? Room for improvement?E-mail, SRP/VDP shouldn’t be the only metrics
  • Example of John Eagle metrics – Traffic by Device
  • Just a few examples of how they affected change: [CLICK] After seeing a <1% conversion rate on impression-based mobile advertising, switched some advertising to pay-per-click, which saw a 20-30% conversion rate and better ROI Jim also found that their Google Places display advertising package investment left mobile benefit on the table. Adjusting this package to take full advantage of their investment from a mobile perspective had (this impact).[CLICK]:In order to provide better customer service, as well as to increase efficiency for both customers and the stores, the group sought to drive mobile app downloads: - F&I has customers download the app at the point of sale and schedules their first appointment on the spot- Considering driving advertising to their app to increase downloads [CLICK]Tip: The group also pays close attention to their bounce rate – according to Jim, a bounce rate of 60% or higher could mean your mobile site is taking too long to load or too difficult to navigate.
  • So|Lo|Mo: Winning With Today's Car Shopper

    1. 1. So|Lo|MoWinning with Today’s Car Shopper
    2. 2. About MeJack Simmons • Dealer Training Manager, • Over 35 years of automotive retail experienceConnect with Me: jasimmons@cars.comTweet to us at @dealeradvantage about thissession using #ABC!
    3. 3. What Do These Terms Mean to You?So Lo MoSocial Local Mobile
    4. 4. The World Has Changed Total U.S. New Vehicle Unit Sales (in millions)181614121086420 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 (proj.) 2013 (proj) Sources: Bureau Of Transportation Statistics; Polk, Automotive News, J.D. Power & Associates
    5. 5. Our Objectives Social: Local: Mobile: Build Your Differentiate Connect Across Reputation Your Brand Platforms Understand Today’s Consumer5
    6. 6. So
    7. 7. Social Media is for Long-Term Relationships1. Set realistic goals and develop a strategy to attain them.2. Set guidelines for your staff.3. Have a plan to build your audience.4. Content is king!5. Participate in your own conversation.
    8. 8. How Much is it Worth To You?$_________ PRICELESS.
    9. 9. Who at your dealership… Share feedback Listen to feedbackMonitors across the Internet across the dealership Correct any Acknowledge andResponds reply to feedback underlying issues at the store Deliver a positive Ask satisfied Asks customer customers to write experience a positive review Share positive RewardPromotes reviews with sales, service staff for success prospects
    10. 10. Dealing with Negative Reviews It had rained the night before, and apparently they I emailed twice about a car and left the windows open in the got no response. When I called rain all night. and asked about the car, he said, "oh we sold it," and didnt suggest another car or see how else he could help me. Instead of telling me it was broken, they duct-taped itback on and put the new tire First, the salesman tried to get me on over it! to sign a blank loan form...
    11. 11. Lo
    12. 12. What’s Your Brand Value?
    13. 13. Do You Deliver On It? Source:
    14. 14. What’s Your Brand Value? Who’s Responsible for Communicating it? How Do You Maximize Your Performance?
    15. 15. Mo
    16. 16. Are You Texting? Calls vs. SMS350030002500200015001000500 0 male female 13-17 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ # of calls made/received # of SMS sent/received The Nielsen Company, Mobile Media Insights, Q4 2010
    17. 17. Do You Have an App For That?App vs. Web Usage App vs. Web Preference 23% 26% 23% 41% Web Both App 98% 55% 57% 55% 33% On Mobile Phone On Tablet No Preference Prefer Mobile Website Prefer Mobile App Mobile Web and App Usage for Automotive Shoppers (Source: Nielsen)
    18. 18. Are you Equipping Your Staff? Connect with customersin-store & counter objections Boost productivity with dealer apps
    19. 19. What do you Track?
    20. 20. Why Do You Track It?What are you trying Metricsto accomplish? StrategyHow are you tracking Goalyour progress? Tip: Align your metrics with your store’s objectives and your strategies for reaching them
    21. 21. Digging Into the Numbers
    22. 22. Digging Into the NumbersEffecting Change
    23. 23. What Do These Terms Mean to You Now? So Lo Mo Social Local Mobile
    24. 24. Thank You! Download this presentation