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NADA Prep: What Is Your Breaking Point?

It’s the annual ritual that continues to educate, perplex/confuse (many) and intoxicate, especially with this year’s New Orleans destination. The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention starts next Thursday so let the flash and sizzle begin, and maybe (just maybe) a reception or two to get the monthly receivables up…

We are in the twenty-second year of the Automotive Internet. Yeah, don’t blink! And with some of the major moves around the industry, you’d wonder if it weren’t the first. So do you book up on appointments with your current static providers or do you go outside? Do you take some mindshare and brave some proven-yet-unused platform/technology?At IM@CS, we have been wowed by little over the past year and lulled to sleep by most…

While you might fall for the loud person calling this the “Year Of The (fill with¬†ostentatious call name)”, here are some hard and fast rules dominating what will likely guide you (and your vendors) to the breaking point in 2017:

  • Google AMP Project (Accelerated Mobile ages)
  • SEM/Paid Search one-to-one relevancy/Google ad updates
  • Move from last-click attribution (Google Analytics) to multi-touch “varied attribution”
  • Search Engine Optimization/marketing SPAM (next generation black-hat SEO)
  • Embracing of equity mining/process/CRM/showroom integration
  • Live video use for marketing, prospect and lifecycle engagement

Any more and your head will swim, if it’s not already. There will be few leaders, especially the largest companies, in the spaces mentioned above, signaling dealers to branch out and do more. More investigation. More education. More questions. And more time understanding that the homogenization of retailers is real.

Some of our picks for NADA visits are AutoAlert, Calldrip, DealerInspire, DealerSocket, Dealer Teamwork, eAutoAppraise, Nextup, Sensible Driver and Time Highway. We will be sitting with vendor companies and seeing the latest updates to bring them to our clients as well as the general dealer body.

We hope that everyone has a great convention this year, see you on the show floor!

2017 New Trends: What You Are Missing Is Sales

Let’s face it. The more you hear about new trends, the more you are likely to invest. The more new trends, the more investment. At what point does a new trend matter as much or more to your business than what works consistently? One constant in Automotive over the past nine plus years of IM@CS’¬†existence is that trends have never given a bigger yield over strong fundamentals. As a matter of fact, we have never guided a client to any significant investment with new trends, however we have with defined trends.

Do you hop on the new trends?

Trend. Merriam-Webster defines a trend as either to “extend in a general direction” (which we call a define trend) or “to veer in a new direction” (which we call a new trend).

It is a significant new trend, and worth while, to leverage text massaging for sales and service. It won’t, however, replace email in the immediate future. We have heard speakers, trainers and consultants recommending dealerships drop email in favor of text and other messaging forms. Does text/messaging tend to receive higher open rates? Yes. Have we seen the same for sales responses? Some lift, in general, yet nowhere close to pervasive. Have we seen those eclipse results from responding to emails and communicating properly, measured in dealership CRM systems? Not yet.

It was a hot new trend to jump into Display Advertising a few years ago, which we have never recommended or had a client spend more than 5% of their budget on. Results? Negligible, at best. Dealership return on investment, reviewed by those NOT taking a commission or fee, was poor at best. Lots of explanations erupted, including the “branding” argument, however the new trend diminished and many dealerships got sensible on their spends, relying more on effective search advertising, better CRM follow up on unsold customers and educating themselves on Google Analytics and other tools.

New, hot trends have shown, year after year, that too much or misappropriated attention causes lapses in core business values, efficiencies and results. We do discuss all types of trends with our clients, and at the same time keep them focused on what drives more efficient spend, while recommending small investments in new tools and technology.

Dealerships need to focus on better digital operation, more efficient showrooms, streamlined and engaging delivery, consumer feedback and top-down management with consistent measurement and accountability.

Hottest new trend for 2017: More dealerships getting real on human capital, education, accountability and customer engagement. We hope…

 

Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results