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New Role Overseeing Dealer Group "Internet" - Ideas?

Discussion in 'Websites, SEO, SEM, Display, Social, Marketing' started by Nick Spolec, Feb 25, 2019.

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  1. Nick Spolec

    Nick Spolec
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    So, I've been with the same Dealer Group for about 7 years now, and for about 5 years I've been a "catch all" Digital Marketing Director, which includes everything from fixing a sales persons PC to editing the websites, doing merchandising (taking pictures), social media, and doing facebook/google ad campaigns from time to time.

    Now, I've been tasked with taking over the entirety of 3 dealerships and their marketing, websites, online presence --- i.e. "the internet". The goal seems to be to streamline the strategies between the 3 stores I'll be handling, modernizing our focus, and driving increased traffic/sales.

    It's a pretty big undertaking, and I'm not sure how success is going to be determined. I'm not even sure the management knows what they expect from this (besides what they want --- more sales).

    There is a general feeling that the dealerships are behind the curve in terms of how we conduct business and how we target the current market, in terms of digital.

    I've been kicking it around for a day, thinking where to start. Well, I kind of know where to start --- Develop a goal of what we should be doing, look at what we are currently doing/spending, and figure out how to plug the holes. But I was maybe hoping for some ideas on things I should be considering/places I should be taking the dealership.

    (just an FYI, currently, the stores are all pretty much on the same model --- 3rd party classified ads (i.e. AutoTrader/Cars.com/CarGurus), using OEM Websites, occasional direct marketing mailers, radio)
     
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  3. SoCalMark

    SoCalMark
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    Here is a start:

    Autotrader’s Car Buyer of the Future Study looked at the current shopping, buying and ownership process and asked more than 4,002 consumers about their ideal process. Only 17 car shoppers and buyers out of 4,002 — that’s less than 1% — chose the current process as their ideal experience. But there is good news for the automotive industry because the study also revealed that improvements in the process will benefit the industry.

    Change the buying experience for you customers .

    I just experienced it and I hate it too.
     
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  4. Alex Snyder

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    :iagree: because you have an opportunity to do something fresh! Why plug holes when you can erect new dams?

    Start with determining what the vision is for the Internet department under your leadership. If it just about responding to leads, you're doing it wrong.
     
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  5. umer.autojini

    umer.autojini
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    I would start by first figuring out what we are doing/spending. if no one has been actively looking after the stores their is likely lot of waste going on.

    Six Things that you need to review:

    1. Websites (Organic Rankings, Analytics (Conversion Tracking, Time On Site, Bounce Rate, Landing Page Report), https://web.dev or lighthouse report, mobile vs desktop experience, google search console)
    2. Vehicles (Time to get Inventory on site, Data Quality (pictures, descriptions, options, prices) have I presented what I'm selling the best)
    3. Local (Google Business, DealerRater, Yelp, Edmunds, Cars.com reviews, Bing Local, NAP across local)
    4. PPC (Google Ads, Facebook, Remarking, landing pages, conversion, search term report)
    5. Classifieds & OEM portals (which once, my dealer profile on each, links from each are they going to right website, is my inventory correct)
    6. CRM (are the leads attributed to right source, replies/followup templates, workflows, call tracking, is it even being used fully?)
     
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  6. Alexander Lau

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    Start with a strategy. Which Digital Marketing Strategy shall I entertain? Not that what's been answered is wrong (those are excellent suggestions), but just back up and figure out what has worked (absolutely hold your vendors accountable), what has been a waste and where do you need to be.

    RACE: a practical framework to improve your digital marketing
    https://www.smartinsights.com/digit...-framework-to-improve-your-digital-marketing/

    Reach, Act, Convert, Engage
    [​IMG]

    You could run some non-last-click attribution against what's currently being used (vendors) in order to figure out what is driving the best cost / acquisition (against website goals) or lead and then cost / sale. However, I wouldn't run these long-term, just figure it out and drop the vendor. Attribution companies hate this, but it will work like a charm for you. Just dump them after three months.

    Mark Twain once said, “Data is like garbage. You’d better know what you are going to do with it before you collect it.”
     
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    #5 Alexander Lau, Feb 26, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  7. john.quinn

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    Love the guys on this forum, but Geeze Louise, too high level and complicated! Leave "vision" and "strategy" for the guys who are signing your checks. If you want to make a real difference Nick, do real work.

    The question is, "Where do I start?" The answer is, "Pick a problem." A problem. Something simple: what's broken? Then pick 2 more. When you're done, you have a prioritized list of three improvements to make. In reality, if you can solve 3 real problems, you're making a real, pragmatic difference.

    And make sure the problem is LOW level. A bad example: "My lead response process sucks." Too many variables, too high level.

    A good example: "My salespeople don't know when customers have a trade." A specific problem, with specific solutions.

    Another good example: "My salespeople don't know what payments customers are figuring for themselves." See what I mean? Real problems that when solved, you've made a tangible difference. The real work, as usual, is paring-down problems to manageable components.

    Keep It Simple Sam... and good luck!
     
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  8. Dane Saville

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    I have a few thoughts that might help, but I definitely don't preach the gospel. I'm a student of this all just like so many of us.

    Like you said, I'd start with establishing your goals for each store. What are the initial primary objectives that you want to accomplish in this role. Is it greater brand awareness? Is it sales of a specific model? Is it capturing more impression on paid search? Is it increasing your Quality Score in paid search?

    In other words ... Where is it that you'll make the greatest impact first?

    So, the next step depends on what that goal is.

    Greater brand awareness -- Who are you selling to? When you built that persona, are you hitting the right channels where they are at? If so, what content seems to have historically worked? If there's no history, then A/B test. If you're not in the right channels (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc), then start testing organic and paid content on those platforms.

    Be where the consumer is with the content that matches the platform.

    More sales -- I could be here all day with suggestions, just like you could and like many others on DealerRefresh could. Start with the foundation: This might be where your "fill in the holes" comes into play. Do you first have content that satisfies the lowest hanging fruit? Do you have the right content pages built out? Are you satisfying search intent and on-page consumer expectations?

    Paid search -- Look at your strategy. Are you granular enough? Again, are you satisfying search intent and focusing on the greatest impression share for intent-based searches? Are you using audience optimizer or boosted geo bids to make any high-funnel paid search ads and ad groups more effective for you?

    Quality Score -- What does your CTR look like? Do your keywords belong in each ad group / is relevant? Is your landing page for the ads high-quality and relevant to the search? Is the ad text relevant?

    Once you've established what your goal is and the deficiencies and strengths of your current strategy, the next part is execution. So then you "do the work."

    I hope this wasn't too long-winded or meandering. I tend to do that!
     
  9. NickCybela

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    You might also consider some of the digital shows. Digital Dealer is coming up in April and that's a great chance to talk to other dealership directors tackling the same challenges and hear what the various providers are speaking about.

    Having been on both the dealer and agency side multiple times, I'd strongly recommend choosing some key metrics of success and getting total buy-in from your owners before doing anything.

    If they're focused on cost savings, that's totally different than on profit from attributable leads. Which is different than market share.

    Nearly any good agency can help provide more granular metrics by channel, once they know what your specific goal would be.

    But, without definitively shared metrics for success and a singular big picture goal it's often continual frustration on both ends.
     
  10. Jeff Kershner

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    @Nick Spolec@Nick Spolec everyone has offered up some great advice. I really like @john.quinn@john.quinn !

    I have a question or 2. In your profile, you have your your homepage as http://www.schimmercars.com/ yet this is a dead page. Are you advertising this URL anywhere?

    When I was on SchimmerHyundai.com, there's a lot of inventory from mendotaford.com. Is this by design? is Mendota Ford a Schimmer dealership?

    Do you have a BDC for the group, or is it on the dealer level or no BDC all together and each dealer handles their own leads and phone calls?
     
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  11. Dan Sayer

    Dan Sayer
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    @Nick Spolec@Nick Spolec If you want a shoulder to cry on, hit me up. I've been down your road and am living it out now. @john.quinn@john.quinn gave some very helpful advice. I would also add that in a group setting, you need to define what items are the stores' responsibility i.e. Reputation. You'll also need to make sure you pull in all rogue vendor relationships (classified, lead gen, systems, agency, etc) that are store specific for both expense and duplicity reasons. Do you have access to budgets?
     
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