Deep into the digital age, as automakers and retailers stampede to online marketing, a curious truth remains: Many car dealers prefer to advertise the traditional way — radio, TV, direct-mail fliers and even the occasional full-page ad in the local daily newspaper. They like the human touch. They are pleased with the results. And like many things in the auto industry that are not always easy to explain, it just feels right to them.
China’s car market rules are already designed to help develop the local industry. For one thing, foreign companies are only allowed to operate in China’s automobile market through joint venture (JV) partnerships, with foreign equity capped at 50%; these equity restrictions have been maintained by the most recent version of the Catalogue Guiding Foreign Investment in Industry, released in June 2017. In recent years, there have also been allegations from foreign players that Chinese regulators have employed legislation, such as China’s Anti-Monopoly Law—which saw aggressive enforcement against foreign automakers for alleged price violations in 2014—as a tool of industrial policy to chip away at foreign market share, in order to give local automakers room to grow.
Relevate Auto offers a solution called Relevate Signals to give dealerships the ability to identify which of their customers and prospects are visiting competing dealerships and which dealerships they are using for service. Relevate Signals is different from traditional mobile marketing or lead products because Signals leads represent real people who are actively shopping at a dealer lot. Mobile devices are matched to actual people including demographics, contact information, and VIN data.
Specifically, we probably want to find out about the vehicle models, features and also the prices. So it’s also important to give us all of this. Pictures are not going to be enough, so you may want to embed manufacturer videos or TVCs on your site.
Another way to build trust in your brand and increase the social interaction with your customers is to invite user-generated content onto your website. This could be in the form of blog posts, customer photos of their purchases or reviews of your service. Ideally, you will build a way to respond to reviews into your web design so that you can increase customer interaction.
The latest data from Google shows that vehicle research and purchase decisions are increasingly influenced by video. More than half of auto shoppers watch 30 minutes or more of videos as part of their vehicle research.
The best strategy any salesperson can employ is to maintain good contact with leads to nurture them to become conversions. This can be difficult unless you are hyper-organized and never forget anything. For the rest of us, I recommend a cloud based customer relationship management tool like SalesOptima.
The ability to learn and keep learning has been a part of IT from the start. Since the first mainframes in the 1950s, technologists have understood that they need to keep reinventing themselves and their skills to adapt to the changes around them.
Most dealerships make 1.5% over invoice in profit. That’s usually $1250 for a new car, of which the sales person gets 25%. On a used car though, if they make $3000, it makes a difference. Most used cars are priced to profit by $1000 to $3500, depending on the market.
Retail sales workers earned a median annual salary of $23,040 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, retail sales workers earned a 25th percentile salary of $19,570, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $30,020, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 4,854,400 people were employed in the U.S. as retail sales workers.
For employee accountability, benchmarks are essential. It’s difficult for someone to fulfill your expectations if you don’t tell them what they are. That’s why we have created sales enablement training to help dealerships come up with benchmarks that are both realistic and that push the sales reps.
Data silos remain the enemy of efficient marketing strategies. Auto marketers do all they can to gain a unified view of their customer using data. Marrying data from CRM to social, customer loyalty and third-party data assets, then closing the feedback loop with analytics, seemed key for everyone in attendance at DRIVE.
But the lack of brand loyalty arises out of major problem that the automobile market has been struggling with for years. The brands and models are all basically the same once you put them into a category (such as big trucks or economy cars). The advertising would be identical if not for the logos airing at the end. You could replace an Opal logo with a Kia one and nothing would change. You wouldn’t see the difference.
40. There’s no need to fix something minor on your car before trading it in. The dealership can probably do the repairs for less than you can, and in most cases, you won’t get back in trade-in value what you spent to make the fix.
Every decision maker can access the data and embedded analytics they need to directly guide business processes to quickly take advantage of emerging opportunities and mitigating risks head-on. They can measure physical store and online sales, shopping behavior, consumer loyalty, and transaction trends in one view, which can be more meaningful than analyzing these metrics separately. And they can do so using the mobile device of their choice to maintain that insight wherever they are.
We all want our salespeople to work effectively. Often, this isn’t being tracked well and often not at all, digitally. Fortunately, 2016 brings a year when there is no longer an excuse to guess on the performance of your employees. Instead, the marketing team can generate leads and the sales team can contact leads and the entire process is tracked to know the actual conversion rates and what can be improved.
People want to know the mileage, if it’s been in any major accidents, and if it’s had any recent tune ups or replacements. They want to know that all the door locks and window work, as well as the AC and CD player/AUX inputs. Make sure that you have all the information on all these things. Be honest.
As a result, in some companies, the most interesting tech developments are happening despite IT, not because of it. “There’s an alarming digital divide within many companies. Marketers are developing nimble software to give customers an engaging, personalized experience, while IT departments remain focused on the legacy infrastructure. The front and back ends aren’t working together, resulting in appealing web sites and apps that don’t quite deliver,” writes George Colony, founder, chairman, and CEO of Forrester Research, in the MIT Sloan Management Review.
This probably depends on your credit. If you have good credit and can get a low rate, or if they are running a 0% financing deal, and you’ll be able to pay off the loan before APR kicks in, then financing is a good option. If you have no/bad credit, you could get stuck with a really high rate, which means you’ll be paying a lot more than really should. Here’s a little math for you to do to decide how much you can finance.
Sean Epstein is Head of the SAP Private Equity team in EMEA and runs global merger and acquisition (M&A) transaction programs at SAP. His team develops strategic partnerships with private equity funds, institutional investors, and family offices and helps drive customer success during M&A. Prior to SAP, Sean was an executive advisor and general manager at CEB and has held a variety roles in merchant banking, strategy consulting, and venture capital in San Francisco, New York, and London. He is frequent speaker, guest lecturer, and ad hoc writer covering topics such as technology innovation, M&A, and private equity. He has an MBA from Columbia Business School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. He and his wife have three children and reside in Arlington, Virginia.
People who sell cars have often been caricatured as shifty dealers who play loose with the facts. Although this is a cartoonish stereotype, you will still have to deal with the salesman jokes and be able to control your thoughts, words, and emotions.
Market to Millennials on InstagramA survey by Facebook discovered that millennials are leaving Facebook and are turning more of their attention to Instagram. Instagram, primarily used on mobile devices, is all about taking, sharing, and uploading pictures and videos. Instagram provides a great platform to creatively share your brand’s story. For example, share pictures that allow consumers to imagine themselves in the moment – a picture of one of your vehicles at the beach, tailgating at a sporting event, camping, near a lake, or any creative way you can imagine to showcase the lifestyle your vehicle represents.
When CEOs, celebrities, and the extremely wealthy need personal protection, they call in men and women with a particular set of skills. Bodyguards provide a physical barrier against anyone wishing their clients harm, but there’s a lot more to the job—and a lot that people misunderstand about the profession. To get a better idea of what it takes to protect others, Mental Floss spoke with several veteran security experts. Here’s what they told us about being in the business of guaranteeing safety.