From time to time, it’s good to get a strong dose of
perspective or reality, depending who is describing reality. It’s easy to see
why business owners, and especially car dealers, are so confused when it comes
to doing anything, let alone well, in the digital/online space. Diluted
solutions that favor data over results and backed more by marketing genius than
true muscle are more common than wannabe starlets at Hugh Heffner’s gigs at the
Our reality comes in doses while checking out new markets, our
client’s competitors, vendors’ pitch materials or the information the factory
eCommerce rep brings around to dealers, from time to time.
The information age is lacking in one large area for
businesses; in correct information! In a day where so called experts are giving
misleading or incorrect directions, ad agencies are still F-bombing (oops,
errant posts to) client social media accounts, SEO companies are still using
offshore link/content farms and studies show, for some reason, that 2009 data
still needs to be shared on stage as new, not enough people are calling folks
out. No, those companies are still getting hired and you’re still using them!
Reality check is you have to consume large amounts of
correct information at breakneck speed today to keep up. Mind you, we’re not
talking about leading, just keeping up. And most dealers aren’t doing
Sure, everyone knows how to eat an elephant. Right? one bite
at a time. But trying to take a sip of the digital waters, for most, has been
like drinking from a fire hose or the bottom of a waterfall. A little
overbearing! Car dealers…get out of your comfort zone and take a big gulp!!
As you prepare to start 2013, here are a few things to think
about and maybe, just maybe, put to action:
- Your website should not be the same as your
closest in-brand competitor. This is not a vendor thing; it’s a content thing.
- Your emails should not be the same as any local
competitor. This is not a vendor thing; it’s a people thing.
- Your social network content should not be the
same as any local competitor. This is not a vendor thing; it’s a smart thing.
In 2013, the manufacturers clearly want their stores to be
as uniform as possible: experience, showroom, content, website/mobile, email
and more. Fight it tooth and nail. The
majority of endorsed vendors are not there for you, they are there for
them. The norm sucks…so don’t settle for
The more consumers expect a unique experience, the more our
industry fights it. Why? Because it’s not easy to do things that way; even
though more of you are just giving in.
The smallest portion of the budgets in our industry, still,
happens to be the digital ones. This is a top-down mentality, starting with the
manufacturers. Oh, and don’t let the desire to govern response times and having
your wrists slapped over a vehicle image with the wrong lug nuts stop you from
having a kick ass digital presence and drive more customers to your front door.
Do things right the first time and get wet. Get really, really, really, really
wet from the digital hose. It’s the only way to lead.
Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results