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OEM Virtual Showrooms - Do We Like It?

JDHigginbotham

4 Pounder
Apr 3, 2014
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J.D.
I came across Cadillac and Chevy "Live" a while back.

I'm sure this was a trend that spun up during COVID and we'll see if it sticks.

Without factoring it's current traction, I'm curious if dealers are in favor of a move like this from the OEM.

Do you feel it is effective in moving a customer down the funnel?

What is your comfort level of an OEM rep warming up the conversation?

Is the pass off to a local dealer successful and/or equitable?

Is there some OEM vs Dealer friction I may not see here?

GM
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Merc
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Pondered these as well. Also considered a 'group wide' live TV, showcasing various brands etc. with a schedule.
Love to know any 'real' numbers on how this is working or not. Porsche had something similar where you were connected to a rep (no one was ever available to take the video chat)
 
I should sit through a session before commenting but if they try to sales me or up sales me, I'd be turned off.
I want to become intimate with the product and possibly learn a cool feature I wouldn't have known about until the 7th year of ownership.
 
Pondered these as well. Also considered a 'group wide' live TV, showcasing various brands etc. with a schedule.
Love to know any 'real' numbers on how this is working or not. Porsche had something similar where you were connected to a rep (no one was ever available to take the video chat)

Yea I could see it being tough for them to create a following for generic live broadcast.

The 1:1 soft sell simply for building interest could work at the OEM level, though. GM seems to have the right idea.

Scheduling is simple, times are widely available, and the amount of personal info traded for an appt is low-friction.

If "Product Specialists" were incentivized not for a DTC sales motion but instead appointments set with a dealer, I think like it.

SaaS org equivalent - Inbound Sales Development Rep

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Trial run for "direct to consumer?" This seems to be related to the argument that it may never be fully mainstream because people still want to talk to someone. If you give them someone to talk to, maybe customers will do it. Just a theory.

Yes, have to talk to someone. Though, I like it being a dealer hand off than DTC attempt. They warm up interest for a dealer visit to do the real thing.

I should sit through a session before commenting but if they try to sales me or up sales me, I'd be turned off.
I want to become intimate with the product and possibly learn a cool feature I wouldn't have known about until the 7th year of ownership.

Agreed. The goal would be to stand out from competitive brands in the interest stage. Then, a seamless hand off to the dealer while interest is high. Nothing more.
 
I would say a BIG NO to virtual showrooms, I feel like the consumer is not ready. I do however say a BIG YES to a virtual turn table or 360 imaging. We have been working with a virtual 360 photography app called Drivee.ai . They produce great results. All you need is your phone and 2 mins walk around the car to scan the car they turn your scan into a 360 indoor showroom quality turn table. its almost too good to be true, the results are similar to what you see on Carmax website. We have seen great conversations and much higher engagement using 360 virtual turn tables in addition to our regular photos. The first touchpoint of every customer with your dealership is your online ad and presentation is very important to us. My rep name is Shaun and if you call them say you are from Sam Zom and we both get some credit. It's also one month free to test. Best of luck.
 
Hey @jon.berna,

Remember that ingeniously devious idea you had in the thread on Test Leads a few days ago? ...something about burying a competing dealer in automated lead forms...

Now, I'd NEVER suggest that anyone do this, but...

Hypothetically, could you do the same thing to a vendor's "book a demo" form if they repeatedly attempted to siphon traffic off of your favorite forum with a SUPER-OBVIOUS fake dealer profile shill game, you know, hypothetically? ;)
 
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Hey @jon.berna,

Remember that ingeniously devious idea you had in the thread on Test Leads a few days ago? ...something about burying a competing dealer in automated lead forms...

Now, I'd NEVER suggest that anyone do this, but...

Hypothetically, could you do the same thing to a vendor's "book a demo" form if they repeatedly attempted to siphon traffic off of your favorite forum with a SUPER-OBVIOUS fake dealer profile shill game, you know, hypothetically? ;)
Alex and Jeff I offer myself as tribute to help build such a weapon as it's our only hope fighting off all the little Carbois and Cargirlz out there.

Not hypothetically ;)
 
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Hello Everyone :goodbye:, I think this is backfiring on me lol. I was just trying to spread the word about our experience with 360 imaging so far, also with every sign-up referral we would get a month free so I thought it would be an added bonus. I will go ahead and remove my previous post! Dont mean to be a spam and advertise here, seems like the wrong place for this kind of post. I already told Drivee team to try and do paid advertising or comment as a vendor here since it seems like the right audience for them.

P.S After some research I dont seem to be able to remove my post? If anyone know how to do this please let me know. @jon.berna @ryan.leslie
 
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