It was a pleasure to participate with other industry colleagues on a panel at Social Media Club LA’s event last Tuesday evening: How Social Media Is Affecting the Automotive Industry. Chris Heuer kicked off the evening as only the head of the global Social Media Clubs could. Serena Ehrlich moderated the panel and fielded the live and web-based questions. Thanks to TechZulu and Efren Toscano for covering the event live and to Dave Barthmuss and the GM team for providing some great pizza!
Date: Wed, April 28th
Time: 2:00 PM Central
Duration: 60 Minutes
Not surprisingly, it’s difficult to find a large brand that isn’t at least thinking about how it can participate in social networking phenom, Facebook. With over 400 million members, Facebook teases with an audience that is nearly four times greater than that of the Super Bowl…every day. Unfortunately, many brands are finding that there is a big difference between setting up a fan page and creating a meaningful presence that attracts real customer engagement.
The single biggest point of failure according to Kevin Tate, principal of StepChange, is an unwillingness to follow the four golden rules of creating a successful Facebook presence. Join Powered and StepChangeGroup on Wednesday, April 28th at 2:00 PM CDT (please note your time zone) for our first Social Media Help Desk of 2010 – The Do's and Don'ts of Facebook. Register to attend.
Kevin will spend 15 minutes discussing the four golden rules for any successful Facebook engagement and providing real-life examples of brands that have established a successful dialogue with their fans on Facebook. (He knows a thing or two about this topic as he has worked with nearly 100 brands to create meaningful Facebook presences in a world where many have failed.) The remaining 45 minutes will be spent on answering live questions from the audience as well as those submitted upon registration. So don't miss this opportunity to join the discussion. Register to reserve your seat.
Ward’s will introduce you to successful dealers
from the Ward’s e-Dealer 100, each of whom have implemented unique sales
strategies for driving sales. The Ward’s e-Dealer 100 is considered the
industry’s benchmark for measuring top franchised new car dealerships
by Internet sales, and we have selected dealers from our list to offer
insights into the business practices that helped get them on our
ranking. Our webinar discussion will offer real-world examples and best
practices to help you craft effective new Internet strategies. You can’t
afford to miss it!
Ward's e-Dealer 100
Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 — 2:00 PM ET | 11:00 AM PT
Leap Ahead with Testing in 2010
Attend this webinar to find out how to lift your conversions by 20-50%
According to Forrester, 48% of marketers want help demonstrating ROI on testing. Is your competition in the group that hasn't discovered testing yet? Don't count on it. The innovative half of marketers want the business-case answers we provide in this webinar, the first in our Optimization Series:
• How do I test offers, messaging, or sign-up forms?
• What is site testing and optimization?
• What types of sites and pages can benefit the most from testing?
• What are the tangible business benefits of site testing?
• What are the associated costs and sourcing options?
• What does a typical ROI calculation look like?
Optimization Webinar 1: Build Your Business Case for Optimization
Thursday, Dec. 17
11 a.m. PST
Featuring Jill Griffin and Allen Silkin
Date: Thursday, November 12th
Time: 2pm Central / 1pm Mountain / 12pm Pacific / 3 pm Eastern
Duration: 1 Hour
Get the details and register to attend
Consumers are more demanding than ever and earning their loyalty gets more
difficult every day. Turning them into brand advocates is the holy grail of
marketing and the best source of advertising. But many companies rely solely
on traditional marketing tactics to facilitate customer loyalty. This
approach will fall short of the mark unless social marketing is
integrated into the mix.
Join Jill Griffin, The Loyalty Maker, and Allen Silkin of Atkins
Nutritionals as they help you learn how to "Influence the Influencer:
Creating Brand Advocates with Social Marketing". To attend, please
complete the form to the right.
Social marketing helps companies reach audiences in new and more meaningful
ways and opens up incredible possibilities for building lasting relationships
with consumers. Not only does social marketing provide a way to communicate
with consumers on a personal level, it also provides consumers a voice they
have not had in decades: they blog and tweet their brand opinions, they rate
and review products, they participate in online discussions and
they recommend brands based on their experiences. If your company is looking
for ways to tap into social marketing to create brand advocates, then you
need to attend this Webcast.
Jill and Allen will discuss:
- Four ways to tell if a customer in your advocate
- How to climb Advocacy Hierarchy
- Why complainers must be managed and how to do it
- 9 ways to minimize detractors and maximize advocates
- How to get online communities spreading your good name
About our Panelists:
Jill Griffin, The Loyalty Maker
empowers firms to attract, keep, grow and win-back high value customers.
Clients served include Microsoft, Dell, Toyota, Marriott, Hewlett-Packard,
Wells Fargo, Western Union, and Sprint. Jill's book
Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It
was named to Harvard
Business School's Working Knowledge list and has been published in six
languages. Her coauthored book,
earned Soundview Executive Book Summaries' Best Books Award. Jill newest book
Taming the Search-and-Switch Customer: Earning Customer
Loyalty in a Compulsion-to-Compare World
Jill serves on the board of directors for restaurant chain Luby's
Incorporated, a New York Stock Exchange company with 95 locations and roughly
six thousand employees. In addition, Jill serves on the board of the Austin
Convention and Visitors Bureau as well as the Tri-Cities Chapter of the
National Association of Corporate Board Directors. Jill has served on the
marketing faculty at the University of Texas (UT) McCombs School of Business.
Her books have been adopted as textbooks for MBA and undergraduate customer
management courses taught at UT, Northwestern, and other universities. She is
a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina Moore
School of Business from which she graduated, magna cum laude, with Bachelor
of Science and MBA degrees. In 2003, Jill received the Moore School's
Distinguished Alumna award. An in-demand speaker, Jill keynotes conferences
Allen Silkin, Atkins Nutritionals
Allen is a seasoned internet veteran who specializes in monetizing traffic
and content to generate revenue via advertising sales, ecommerce and
subscription sales. He experience includes managing internet operations at
CBS SportsLine.com, eDiets.com and HealthGrades, Inc. His knowledge includes
help companies improve their marketing efforts of social media, ad serving,
media planning, sales funnel optimization (A/B and Multi Variable testing),
search engine optimization and marketing.
Powered Webinar: From Zero to Community: Practical Advice for Growing and Nurturing an Online Community
Live Webinar on Thursday, September 17th
Featuring Newell Rubbermaid, The Community Roundtable and Powered
A successful social marketing program requires the same comprehensive,
well-planned approach that traditional marketing programs demand, and it
entails careful consideration of how your company will participate. At the
heart of most social marketing programs is some form of online community that
can help integrate social media elements into a cohesive program aligned with
your marketing objectives – from creating customer engagement to brand
loyalty and advocates. Online communities take dedication, perseverance and
commitment that go far beyond building a site or joining an existing social
Register to attend to learn:
How to drive ongoing, active engagement within a branded online
Tips for leveraging social media such as Twitter and Facebook to
drive awareness of your community initiative
How online communities help address the need of your customers at
every stage of the buying cycle
The importance of community management on the health of a
successful online community
As online communities grow in ever-increasing numbers, are you a part of the conversation or standing on the sidelines? Social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter allow you to engage your customers outside the store and develop relationships that drive repeat and referral business. This webinar examines the rules of engagement on these sites to help you understand the channels and how you can capitalize on them.
In this session led by Kathy Kimmel, Cars.com director of automotive consulting and dealer training, you'll learn how to:
- Identify which social media sites connect your store with in-market shoppers
- Incorporate social media sites into your sales process
- Develop site-specific tactics that help you engage car buyers and encourage open communication
- Determine who should manage your social media presence
Friday, August 14, 2009 12:00 pm EDT / 9:00 am PDT
Pitfalls and Best Practices for Building Online Communities
Featuring Forrester Principal Analyst, Lisa Bradner
Date: Wednesday, June 24th
Time: 3:00 PM Eastern Time/10:00 AM Pacific Time
Duration: 60 Minutes
communities offer marketers tremendous business advantage, but
content-rich, highly engaging communities don’t just happen—they are
planned, designed, and continuously nurtured to deliver real ROI that
can help businesses grow. While many platforms abound offering the
of community nirvana, we’ll draw from our extensive experience to show
how and why successful community building extends way
beyond technology tools.
We’ll share best practices and success stories and discuss how to:
- Build a solid foundation for your online community initiative
- Leverage what you learn from community members in your organization
- Drive participation and engagement among community members
- Avoid the 7 deadly pitfalls of community development and management
Tuesday's MPG event at Proud Bird at LAX was another great session. While we're typically greeting marketers, OEM executives and industry suppliers, this was a great departure and informative (if not inspiring!). Charlie Vogelheim moderated the panel and the room finished the day with great questions. In between, it was all perspective, passion, personality and even a little bit of 'personal'.
Enter Jon Gray (Orange Coast Jeep Chrysler Dodge), Peter Hoffman (Sierra Automotive Group) and Beau Boeckmann (Galpin Motors). OK, there were three domestic dealerships on the panel so you could say the 'bend' was deserved. That being said, dealership owners I've met have all spoken the same way regardless if they were a domestic or import store owner. Fact is these guys know the business and definitely from a perspective rarely caught in the 'media' headlines after networks and publishers are done devouring the OEM stories.
The three principals were asked about everything from the cost to sell a car, how long they've been in business, how many employees they have, involvement with charities…to their take on government involvement in the automotive industry, specifically GM and Chrysler (with the two dealers speaking about being 'in the clear' of store terminations…for now).
One of the most interesting answers the panel gave was in regards to the impact of the Internet on car sales. All were in agreement that our favorite technology has added cost to dealership sales operations, not decreased, while acknowledging that the transparency has provided some significant advantages to their business.
As expected, the most pointed comments were about Washington's takeover of GM and Chrysler (let's say Fiasler since the Fiat purchase is complete as of this morning) and Ford's ability to stay out of the Cirque d' AutoBiz. They spoke of close friends and associates being on the short end of the decision stick.
Reflecting on how auto retail has changed, Boeckmann talked about how attrition in their local market area over the past years has taken the Ford dealership count from 9 to 3. Hoffman related the story of Oldsmobile's unwind a few years ago and how different it is this time around. Gray talked about how disconnected the factory reps are from the reality of dealership business. Both Hoffman and Boeckmann talked about Saturn's new life, albeit from polar opposites: Galpin still has their Saturn franchise while Sierra sold theirs. They both hope for the best with Penske's purchase of the brand.
Boeckmann provided a unique perspective in being a retailer that has a very close relationship with headquarters, even getting to have input on future cars. Mostly, the three businessmen related how hard it is to get both consumers and manufacturers to think of dealerships in a positive light. All three are obviously passionate about what they do and provide to their communities, and very likely more so today. Even if most dealerships today are in defense mode, these three seem to have a forward-thinking perspective that is completely refreshing backed by the fact that none are throwing in the towel anytime soon.
These retailers don't have golden parachutes, multi-million (or
billion) dollar bailout packages, rarely get to sell cars for the same
price every time (as the factories do), and are searching for the
logic behind the banks over-reactive pull back (and well as the search for loans so consumers can buy cars). Having seen a handful of dealerships speaking on panels over the past four years, it is clear that it needs to happen much, much more. Kudos to the Motor Press Guild for having the three fine retailers in for a dose of reality (and even a little bit of business and political conjecture).