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Why are most Dealership Service Department behind in digital marketing

Discussion in 'Service Marketing' started by Jeff Kershner, Mar 10, 2016.

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  1. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner
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    I published an article over on the blog yesterday on how new technologies and consumer facing mobile apps could influence change in the Fixed Ops / dealership service lane. You can read it here.

    Most dealer service departments incorporate very little digital marketing into their marketing budget. Many are still dependent upon postcards and coupons sent by snail mail, from the manufacturer program.

    Visit just about any dealership website and you’ll find the average amount of pages allocated to fixed-ops equals out to a whopping TWO.

    Why do you think dealer service departments have so little focus on a digital / online marketing strategy?

    Why does the service department only get on average 2 dedicated pages on the dealers website?

    Better yet - What are YOU or what's your dealership doing to push the boundaries of Service Technology and Marketing?
     
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  3. Alexander Lau

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    • Does the average dealer head dedicate enough budget to fixed-ops marketing?
    • Is it the perception of it, from an upper management level? Is it looked at as ugly or non-sexy, so why market towards it?
    • Does the average dealer head assume their car customers will automatically bring in their vehicles back to them for service and parts?
    This is a good subject, considering the crazy amounts of money dealers make from fixed-ops, yet on average dedicate very little marketing dollars to it. Technology is going to disrupt their bubble, it's coming and quickly.
     
    #2 Alexander Lau, Mar 15, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
  4. Jeff Kershner

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    It's a freaking great topic but for whatever reason it's hard to get dealers involved when it comes to the Service Department, yet SO FREAKING important. It's the single reason I've been writing and publishing articles on the blog that have been focused on Service Ops and Technology.

    So again, what are YOU or what's your dealership doing to push the boundaries of Service Technology and Marketing?
     
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  5. Alexander Lau

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    Agreed.

    Dealers that embrace new technology hold the golden chalice, and those that don’t run the risk of being obsolete. In today’s fast-paced economy, speed is king. Transforming data into useful information is now an essential part of business. Predicting market shifts and creating proactive plans that identify business pain points is vital. A popular pastor, Bill Hybels, once said, “Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces, but rather than get paralyzed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution.”

    The same could be said of Service Ops and Tech. Look at what https://www.openbay.com / http://www.openbayconnect.com are doing, etc.
     
    #4 Alexander Lau, Mar 15, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
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  6. JoePistell

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    Interesting topic. Has anyone done an ethnographic study of automotive service customers?

    My instincts tell me the potential will be capped by shoppers that can't visualize any benefits (for the time invested). For me, the anecdotal evidence of this is everywhere (e.g. Service dept's are not getting swamped with coupons off their website, nor are customers asking for coupons they don't see).
     
  7. JoePistell

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    Top Reason? Weak service shopper demand.

    Caused by: Need vs Want.
    • I need groceries.
    • I want a flat screen.
    (groceries cost waaayyy more than a flat screen, yet grocery internet commerce is 0.0001% of all sales)
    • I need brakes
    • I want a new car.
    (It's 2 completely different mindsets)

    Summary:
    Any new product in this space will have to dish up a WIFM that can conquer shopper apathy. The ethnographic study will help reveal insights.
     
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  8. Ed Brooks

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    And within the service category, there are two completely different customers;
    • The scheduled maintenance / regular customer
    • The "Oh crap, my car is broken" customer
    One of these has zero sense of urgency, the other has a profound sense of urgency. Regardless, both types require a dramatically different marketing strategy than the 'leads and conversion' focus that many in our industry have.
     
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  9. Karen Ann

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    We have been advertising online with Call Only ads (Bing & Google). Not a raging success, but not a flop. We did have to add several exclusions as people did not know they weren't calling "Mr Lube" or "Canadian Tire" when they clicked on an ad. Caused confusion and felt like a very poor first impression of our dealership.

    Twice a year we have a tire event and add Facebook and Twitter to the advertising mix but still not the success we see from our Sales digital advertising.

    We did originally start with ads sending people to our website with zero success. We have call conversion tracking through our Google ads now, it might be time to test again.

    That's really it besides our CRM campaigns - not snail mail lol.
     
  10. JoePistell

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    Uncle Joe Rule #11

    "The sales department is the maternity ward, the service depart is the cancer ward... no one is excited about a visit to service"
     
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  11. Latoya

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    The only way to stay alive in this car business is through technological innovation, without it there is no future for a dealership.
    we have a new type of client who is very sophisticated and hypnotized by the internet and smart phones , so if you want to make sales that is the place to go.
     

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