Connecting the Digital Dots – Automotive Marketing


Marketing has evolved from being creative driven to being a data-driven process and marketers constantly struggle to connect the dots.   The customer journey also continues to evolve as technology enables consumers.

Research shows that Auto Shoppers want a better digital experience and in fact, most would complete the entire buying process on line.   80% of Auto Shoppers use some form of digital technology to research their buying preferences and 62% are initializing the car-buying process online, including social media.  This has resulted in Auto Shoppers visiting less dealerships in the buying process.  And as a result, dealers now spend nearly 65% of their marketing budgets on digital marketing.*

Unlike traditional media, with digital, we can measure how many consumers a marketing campaign delivers.  By using Google Analytics, we can see the number of unique visitors a digital campaign delivers to a dealer’s website and by applying conversion metrics, can further quantify the results.  Google Adwords provides data on the most profitable keywords and ad copy response in a PPC campaign.   This allows marketers to measure the MROI (marketing return on investment).  I’ve met with many dealers and reviewed digital campaign results that show as many a 3,000 unique website visits in one-day that also had the proper conversion metrics enabled.  But, the conversation always comes back to the marketer being able to provide bottom of the funnel leads with actionable Auto Shopper data.

In the traditional marketing days every dealer would admit that 50% of their advertising didn’t work, they just didn’t know which 50%.  With digital it’s all changed.  With technology changing faster than you can change your social media profile a dealer now has the opportunity to evolve with the customer.  The good news is there are now new digital media platforms that actually allow us to “Connect the Digital Dots”.

We now have a platform that can capture a dealer’s website visitor data (name, address, email, compliant phone, credit score and vehicle ownership data).   Thus providing actionable data on a daily basis that is piped directly to your BDC.

Geo Fencing was a tremendous break-through in technology for conquesting new customers on your competitors’ lot or showroom.   However, again, it was limited to providing the just metrics on how many people were served ads and clicked through to a landing page or website.  That’s where it stopped.  We now have a platform that can provide a dealer up to 10 geo fences.  When a customer enters the fence, we can capture their device ID resulting in a data pull that includes their name, address, email, compliant phone, credit score and vehicle ownership.   We can deliver 1000 shopper data records in a campaign that delivers as little as 50,000 impressions.   So, it’s no longer about the impressions, clicks, etc.  It’s about providing the data of bottom of the funnel shoppers that are in the process of buying a vehicle in a given day.

Email continues to be a highly effective platform to reach Auto Shoppers that are in the market to buy.   Our campaigns provide the highest open rates in the industry (average 13.5%).  As part of our targeted campaigns we provide the consumers postal data of every open.  But here’s the best part.  We can now drop a Ringless Voicemail on the email openers cell phone without it every ringing.  We provide the dealer a script to record a personalized actionable message.   We have an inbound call centers that takes the calls and sets the appointments for your promotion.

At we are “Connecting the Digital Dots” and can help your dealership sell more vehicles this month by providing you real leads with your digital campaigns.

For more information, call me for a custom quote at 850.203.0554 (cell) or 850.591.5719 ext. 700.  You can email me at


*Source:  Accenture


Does your dealership have a 2017 Digital Strategy?

In 2015, Automotive Manufacturers represented 3 of the top 10 companies that spent the most on advertising with a total of $7.8 billion, and when combined was number one.

1. Procter & Gamble ($4.6 billion)

2. AT&T ($3.3 billion)

3. General Motors ($3.1 billion) General Motors

4. Comcast ($3 billion)

5. Verizon ($2.5 billion)

6. Ford ($2.5 billion)

7. American Express ($2.4 billion)

8. Fiat-Chrysler ($2.2 billion)

9. L’Oréal ($2.2 billion)

10. Walt Disney Company ($2.1 billion)

According to Borrell, in 2016 automotive advertising will be nearly a $40 billion category, up almost 10% from 2015. $22.1 (55%) billion was spent by local dealers. 63% was spent on Digital Media, 21% on Print and 12% on TV, Radio, and Cable.

Some of the most innovative data and technology driven creative marketing concepts and ideas come from Tier 1. But there’s a huge disconnect from the Tier 1 level to Tier 3.

Some local franchise dealers don’t know what marketing they are doing month-to-month. It’s subject to change on a whim, or on having a “bad month” which results in a knee-jerk reaction like “let’s pull all the PPC stuff and send out 50,000 direct mail pieces with jiggy prizes to get the toothless in the door”.

In my last article “Dealer Digital Warfare – Do You Have a Winning Strategy” I addressed the importance of having a digital strategy in place. Unlike most local retail businesses, we have the data and technology to effectively and efficiently develop a local winning marketing strategy. We can look at a dealers PMA, analyze DMS/CRM data, overlaid with over 18 other data sources and develop a highly sophisticated, targeted marketing plan. Based on the data, we know which zip codes have the greatest propensity to buy from you or your competition and can tailor your digital marketing plan accordingly (“fishing where the fish are”) – targeting shoppers that have an interest in your dealership, your brand. However, none of this matters unless you as a dealer embrace the strategy and stick to your plan.

So, moving into 2017, what should be your marketing priorities?

· Develop a mobile strategy. All digital campaigns should align with your mobile strategy.

· Be big somewhere. Pick 3 or 4 digital platforms and own them. It’s no different than in the days of traditional only when a dealer would dominate TV, Radio or Print, etc.

· Manage and Measure your campaigns by setting up conversion metrics in your Google Analytics account.

We recommend the following digital platforms in order of their importance:

· Targeted Pay Per Click – target and bid by zip code (our GeoForce platform allows you to target customers and bid by zip)

· GeoMobile Marketing (location based mobile) – we serve your ads to customers that are in your competitors showrooms and on their lots.

· Video – we develop a consistent video marketing strategy from YouTube to Video Pre-roll.

· Conquest Email Marketing – our email campaigns have the highest Open and CTR rates in the industry.

· Retargeting – give Auto Shoppers a second chance to see your offers through retargeting

· Display Advertising – we place ads on all of the major sites including, ESPN, CNN, Fox News and more.

· Social Boosting – only 5% of your post get seen on Facebook – we boost your posting and reach a specific target audience.


Does your dealership have a 2017 Digital Strategy? At our Google Certified digital specialist can help you develop an effective and efficient marketing strategy. Our data and technology driven platforms can help you measure and managing your digital marketing and save you up to 30% on your current digital spend. Call us for a no-obligation digital evaluation at 800.591.5719.

Dealer Digital Warfare – Do You Have a Winning Strategy?

Competition continues to increase dramatically in dealer digital advertising.  The old adage, “the best defense is a good offense” has never been more true than in today’s dealer digital combat.   With new technology, aggressive dealers now have the ability to combat a competitor on the web, on their lot and in their showroom at a fraction of the cost of traditional media.

Due to new technology, the average Auto Shopper no longer visits 4-5 dealers.  The number is now less than 2, which means that when an Auto Shopper enters your showroom, they know what they want and what they should be paying.  Digital savvy dealers are now influencing Auto Shoppers at every digital conversion point.

Dealers currently spend 63% of their media budget on Digital up 20% from 2012.  According to the Borrell 2016 Auto Outlook Study, Dealer’s’ Top 5 Sources of New Customers are:  1) Customer Referrals (74%),  2) Dealer Website (70%), 3) Online Ads (55%), 4) TV Ads (54%) and 5) Social Media (50%).   Other than TV, it’s a digital game!

For a dealer to compete, the digital house must be in order starting with SEO, SEM (Pay Per Click), Social Media and Reputation all under the umbrella of a comprehensive, targeted Mobile Strategy.

Let’s start with SEO.   It’s never been more important to have a fully optimized website that eliminates multiple/duplicate meta data.  Schematic markup is essential!  An aggressive keyword strategy will insure first page placement for profitable keywords.  In combat, dealers can now compete and conquest out of brand competitors and  build model comparison pages targeting competitors, which results in higher organic rankings.   Developing a local content strategy can also have a positive impact on your organic rankings.

The Cost Per Click continues to rise!   If your dealership is not showing in the Top 4 for your top models, you need a new strategy.  The days of keyword bidding in a radius around a dealership is no longer effective.   With our GeoForce technology a dealer can now utilize their DMS data and overlay in-market data (Polk, IHS, Experian, etc.) to determine which zip codes are the most profitable utilizing our bid modifier platform and save as much as 30% from the overall spend.

With Mobile now being the most important battlefield, a dealer can now target a competitor’s’ lot and showroom, serving up competitive, relevant ads to Auto Shoppers on their mobile devices while shopping and after they leave.   Once we capture the device ID, we then can retarget Auto Shoppers for an indefinite period of time.  With the same technology, a dealer can protect and defend its own backyard, serving ads to customers that are on their lot and in their showroom.  Our GeoMobile Marketing platform can place your dealership top of mind with shoppers on mobile.

Social Media must be utilized as part of your digital combat strategy.  A dealer can hyper-target auto shoppers by age, income, lifestyle, intent, etc. with aggressive campaigns that are effective and efficient.

And of course a dealer’s’ Reputation is critical in maintaining a dealers’ image in the local community and online.  Research shows that Auto Shoppers will drive up to 50 miles farther to buy from a dealer with a positive online reputation.

If you are unsure of how your dealership stacks up against the competition, let us perform a comprehensive digital audit showing your strengths and areas of vulnerability.   Please contact us directly at 800.591.5719 or  Find us on the web at





Why Conquest Email Should Be Part Of Your Digital Plan!

Conquest Email Marketing should be part of every dealers digital marketing plan.

Here’s why:

91% of consumers check their email at least once per day on their smartphone, making it the most used functionality ExactTarget “Mobile Behavior report” (2014)

67.2% of consumers use a smartphone to check their email, 42,3% use a tablet while 93,3% uses desktop environment. – BlueHornet “Customer Views of email marketing 2015” (2015)

B2C emails get 57.4% more opens on mobile than B2B email, ranking 42.78% opens on mobile for B2C compared to 27.18% for B2B. DDMA “Nationale email benchmark 2015” (2015)

Webmail and desktop opens have steadily declined throughout 2015, each dropping 13% since January. Litmus –”Email Analytics” (Nov 2015)

75% of Gmail users access their accounts on mobile devices. Gmail now has 900 million users. – Google / TechCrunch “I/O developers conference” (May 2015)

Mobile email opens have grown with 180% in three years. From 15% Q1 2011 to 42% in Q1 2014. – Campaign Monitor “Email interaction across mobile and desktop” (Q1 2014)’s Progressive Email platform generates the best ROI in the industry. Call us for details at 800.591.5719.



To compete in today’s digital world, as a dealer it’s vital that you know how you stack up against the competition online.  A digital audit will provide you insights into your  online presence and allow you to develop a competitive Digital Strategy.  Developing a Digital Strategy will help you target Auto Shoppers at every conversion point and minimize wasted reach in  your advertising mix.   Our Digital Audits analyze the health of your on-line presence and identify pain points.  Here is what we review:

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

93% of Auto Shoppers do not go past page one, which is why SEO should be the foundation of your Digital Strategy.

On-Site SEO insures that your website structure is optimized for target keywords and insures that your site is appealing to users and search engine crawlers.  It contains lots of technical terms like Title Tags, H1/H2 Tags, Meta Descriptions, HTML, that all are essential in getting found online.  Google has established specific guidelines for the way your back-end should be structured which allows their crawlers find your website.  If the guidelines are not followed, you are actually penalized which could result in not even showing up on page two or three.   We analyze and correct those technical  issues which is the first step of optimizing your website.

Off-Site SEO, simply put is the content on your website which is extremely important in achieving that highly desired first page  organic placement.     On-line press releases, local directory listings, social media and blogs are ways to develop a strong organic placement.

Google rewards sites for engagement and user interaction (more visits, more page views) and the time your potential customers spend on your site improves your organic ranking.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing or PPC gets you first page top 3 instantly with your most profitable keywords.  Our model-level PPC campaigns generate inordinate results driving traffic to your website and your showroom providing a major lift in SERP’s and VDP’s.

We review your current PPC campaign including keywords and cost per click and make recommendations to increase your SEM performance.

Social Media

The average consumer spends almost 2 hours a day on social media, which represents 28% of  daily time on line.   If you don’t have a robust and engaging social media strategy in place, you are missing a huge audience segment.  Therefore, having optimized social pages is an important part of a digital strategy.

We review all major social sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. focusing on likes, the number of post, reviews and user engagement.

Engaging users should be the main focus of a social media strategy followed by online visibility and branding your dealership. Social media creates a comfort level and connects with your dealership with active Auto Shopper which ultimately leads to web site and show room visits.


Research shows that a consumer will drive farther to buy a car from a dealer that has positive on-line reviews. In fact, 90% of consumers look at on-line review before making a purchasing decision.

We review and analyze all major review sites including, Google, Facebook, Dealer Rater,, Yelp, YP, Rip-Off Reports and more.

At we have dedicated digital specialist that can help you design a custom strategy for your dealership that is relevant to you market.

For more information, contact me at: