11 Mar


LotLinx drives deep-funnel auto shoppers directly to your VDPs


LotLinx VDP Advertising

LotLinx VDP Advertising


The number one car shopping activity,

Believe it or not, is searching through inventory.


The vast majority of consumers, believe it or not,

Are doing their pre-purchase research online…


To the tune of 84 distinct car searches during a 45 day sales process, according to LotLinx.


This is not new information.


What is new, however, is the process of learning and tracking exactly what those 84 car searches consist of and how to best reach those low-funnel visitors ready to buy.


Using the latest in Deeplinking ™ technology, a term coined by LotLinx, the company is able to track the digital signals of VINtenders, another term coined by LotLinx suggesting digital consumers ready to buy, and serve up the vehicle information that best matches their research criteria from the dealership’s own Vehicle Details Page (VDP).


Does it work for conversion?


You bet it does!


Based on information published in January 2014 by PCG Consulting, LotLinx dealers shifted 11% of their SEM spend to LotLinx – an average of $1,933 per month:

  • They reduced their cost per shopper from an average of $23.70 with Adwords, to $3.99 with LotLinx
  • They reduced their cost per VDP view from an average of $18.55 with Adwords to $3.17 with LotLinx
  • The increased their Time on Site from an average of 1:96 with Adwords to 4:16 with LotLinx
  • LotLinx delivered 94% new visitors – nearly 20% better than Adwords.

In a study conducted in 2013 by Cobalt called, 9 Million Reasons Why VDP Views are the Metric that Matters, it clearly shows that vehicles that have more Vehicle Detail Page (VDP) views sell faster.


If you want to sell more cars then you need to get your vehicle detail pages in front of as many Internet auto shoppers as possible.


LotLinx drives deep-funnel auto shoppers directly to your website’s Vehicle Detail Pages (VDP). Click below to learn more about LotLinx VDP Advertising.


Learn More

28 Feb


How to Set Up a Google AdWords Call-Only Campaign for Your Dealership



Call-Only Ad

Did you know that about 70% of people doing mobile searches
call a business directly from the search results?

This is not surprising considering that typically we are
on the go, phone in hand, and in need of
immediate attention or information.

Pressing that handy call button on your screen is
the quickest way to achieve all this,
especially for people attempting to reach your dealership.

This is why businesses and advertisers are flocking to implement
Google’s new call-only campaigns in AdWords.


Generic Example of Call-Only Ad

Generic Example of Call-Only Ad


Call-only campaigns provide a new and easy way
for businesses to reach potential customers
by prominently showing your phone number, business description and call button — right when people are searching.

This is particularly useful for car dealers obviously.
Competition for showroom traffic is fierce and
the next best thing a dealer can get is a phone call.

Dealers have long been able to include a phone extension in their AdWords
but with call-only campaigns
the display is much more deliberate with bigger, bolder, and brighter text
with a more prominent call button.

When I research dealerships
the first thing I do is a Google search.
Many dealers have been quick to jump on this
but for ones that haven’t, you have to wonder…
Are they missing out on an important opportunity?


How to Set Up a Call-Only Campaign



AdWords Wizard


Assuming you already have an AdWords account and are familiar with creating ads, all you need to do is select the “call-only” option and follow the prompts on your screen. The screenshot above is an example of what you can expect to see, but if you require additional assistance visit Google’s announcement post about these types of campaigns for more information.


03 Feb


How to Get Free Social Media Content from the Chicago Auto Show for Your Dealership



CATA Social Dealers Program

For the second straight year, Chicago-area auto dealers are able to acquire free brand-specific social media content from the Chicago Auto Show and have it published directly to their dealership Facebook pages, courtesy of show host The Chicago Automobile Trade Association and SOCIALDEALER.


This is significant because as the effect of organic content on Facebook dealer pages continues to diminish, auto dealers are faced with the challenge of keeping their Facebook pages fresh and interesting but without investing too much time or money into the process, something I talk about at length in the post, How to Combat Declining Organic Reach on Facebook.


With the CATA Social Dealers program, dealer members can benefit from having auto show content on their pages with little to no effort on their part.


The way it works is simple:


  1. CATA Dealer Members register their Facebook page(s) with SOCIALDEALER’s Social Integration platform and select the brand (or brands) they represent.
  2. During the show, registered dealers will receive email alerts that provide a preview of the content that has been prepared for their page
  3. Using the platform, dealers will be able to approve, modify, or reject each piece of content that is prepared


The program is free to all CATA dealer members. If you missed the Dealer Summit we held on January 20 where we discussed the program then you can contact me directly for a recap. There is a video I had prepared in a June blog post for the 2014 USO BBQ For the Troops event that demonstrates how this program, formerly referred to as the CATA Connect4Content program, works. In this video you will see reference to what the declining reach of organic Facebook content means for dealers and how Facebook Targeted Advertising can be utilized to produce a more desired result with Facebook.


What Type of Content?

To view samples of the type of content you can expect to receive for your Facebook page, check out this post on my Google+ profile.


To get started simply click on the image below.


CATA Social Dealers Program

Filed Under: Announcements, Events

Tags: , ,

19 Jan


DealerSocket Acquires DealerFire


DealerSocket Acquires DealerFire

DealerSocket released a press release today announcing that it has acquired DealerFire, custom automotive web design and digital marketing firm that was established in 1999 and has been providing custom automotive website solutions from large automotive dealer groups to independent dealers; supplying dealerships with extensive automotive websites, mobile applications, content marketing, and search engine marketing (SEM).

The future for DealerSocket is beginning to take shape. DrivingSales.com reported back in May 2013 that DealerSocket was “clearly growing.” At the time, DrivingSales had an exclusive interview with company Co-Founder and CEO Jonathan Ord. During that interview, Ord announced a partnership with Vista Equity Partners. Ord called the move, “…A financing event to do some great things for our employees, to do great things for us personally, and really get back into the trenches.”

As we see today, one of those things DealerSocket has now done is acquire DealerFire.

Filed Under: Buzz Worthy

Tags: ,

11 Jan


Is Your Dealership Prepared for 2015?


Happy New Year 2015

Happy New Year 2015

And so we begin

A new year,

Hello 2015!


What do we have to show for the year prior, and

More importantly

What do we have to look forward to in the year to come?




Earlier in the year

ADP formed the spinoff CDK Global.

A merging of three ADP divisions – Dealer Services, Cobalt Digital Marketing, and Kerridge Computer Systems,

The new brand looks great

And it gives this business a fresh start.


What effect will this have on the industry?


Whether or not this invigorates the dealer space

I do not know, however

What does invigorate the dealer space

Is that there are many terrific companies

In this space, from which

Dealers can choose.


When it comes to your integrated marketing needs.

It’s hard to go wrong.


When I think back to the way things were 10 years ago

I get excited, knowing all

The amazing capabilities dealers have today

When it comes to representing their dealerships on the Web.




For the last several years

We have been told that content is king,

But really

Content is more like your army.


Your website is your most important (digital) asset.

Your website should rock!

Your website should be mobile (or responsive or adaptive, whatever).

Your website should be engaging.

Your website should create opportunities.


Dare I say that the days of websites are numbered

(A topic for an entirely different post)

But for the time being, treat your website like the Queen that it is.


Make sure it is accessible and user friendly in all formats

Make sure search engines like it, and

Make sure it engages visitors and creates a bounty of opportunities.




The BEST way

To enhance the effectiveness of your website

Is to personalize the customer experience,

And while there are different ways of doing this

Live Chat has proven to be

One of the better ways to personalize.


With effectively managed live chat engagement

Dealers are able to reduce the number of missed opportunities

That continue to effect dealership websites today

While also improving customer service.


In 2014

We probably saw more dealers embrace live chat technology

Than just about any other tool or function, but

Simply installing live chat on your website

Does not in-and-of-itself work like a magic pill.

The engagement it makes possible with customers is what is

Key to your success.


In my estimate, about half of franchise auto dealers

Have live chat on their sites right now.

Of those that do however, many miss the mark.

Chat consoles continue to be unmanned and visitors ignored

Prohibitive interfaces turn away visitors, and

Poorly managed conversations result in lost opportunities.


As websites become more and more personal for visitors,

Engaging with these visitors will become increasingly more important as well.


Be sure not to get left behind in 2015

Have a killer Live Chat Engagement Strategy!




Speaking of kings, how about Big Data?

While the term “big data” is new, the idea is not

Think of big data more like consumer insights (that’s what Google calls it),

A valuable currency in the form of zeros and ones, bits and bytes.


The term big data implies intelligence and understanding of consumer information

Gathered through relatively new (technological) ways.

But make no mistake about it, while big data is only a term

The intelligence is pivotal.


As an auto dealer

You have access to tremendous information, and

You should take advantage of that

If you aren’t, then consider this your queue,

Educate yourself and take action.

If you are, then well, more power to you.


Dataium is probably the most known, if not only

True Big Data supplier dedicated to automotive.

Dataium’s tentacles are in thousands of places

Affecting the shopper experience in significant ways.


Big Data is the new king and you won’t survive without it much longer.




At the JD Power Automotive Internet Roundtable in 2011,

A big message there was that you have to think mobile.

Three years later, the mobile component no doubt is crucial

All consumers, you included, are spending more and more time

On their/our mobile devices.


Knowing this, and knowing that your core objective is

Engagement that leads to opportunity

Engagement therefore must begin with mobile in mind and

Be integrated deep into your sales and marketing processes.

From text messaging to email to social media to live chat and telephone calls

All these things can and typically are

Performed on a smartphone.




The Internet-age has matured and

Auto shoppers are well equipped

The experience is mobile.

The experience is intelligent.

The experience is personal.


Is your dealership prepared for 2015?


13 Oct


IS20G 6 Boston Dealership Composite Winners




Congratulations to the winners of the first ever IS20 Dealership Composite Awards which were announced at the event in October 2104. While the composites have been part of the Internet Sales 20 Group since inception in 2012 this was the first time that individual dealerships were actually awarded for scoring the highest.

The composites are a comprehensive web and BDC assessment we perform on 20 dealers at each IS20 event which is held twice annually by Dealer Synergy in a different location each time. IS20G 6 was held in Boston and in this instance there were 28 Boston-area Toyota dealers that were evaluated.

As part of the assessment we evaluate things such as Website integrity, SEO, Online Reputation, Social Media, Lead Volume, Lead Response, and a Mystery Shop. In Boston we also included a composite for online credit app.

Each composite has its own scoring criteria which makes it possible to rank the dealers in each category. In most instance there are 2-5 top performing dealerships and 3-5 under performing. As a whole the composites give everyone an idea of where and how dealerships in general are performing.

YouTube Preview Image

The winning dealers (and evaluator) for each category were:

For more details about each category read the full announcement at www.AutomotiveInternetSales.com.

I have been working with Sean V Bradley on these composites for the event since IS20G 3 in Houston. For each event a different sponsor is responsible for providing the data for one assigned category. Once the data is provided then I work with the Dealer Synergy team to calculate the scores, rank the dealers, and then format the results for print and distribution at the event.

Needless to say it is quite a process but I do it because it provides me with a lot of key insight into each participating dealership plus it gives me an opportunity to network with each vendor and dealer as well. Plus the IS20 events themselves are exciting and meaningful.

Be sure to check out the Internet Sales 20 Group website for more information and announcements about future IS20 events.

03 Jul

Comments Off

How to Combat Declining Organic Reach on Facebook


Declining Facebook Organic Reach

Declining Facebook Organic Reach

With the reach of organic Facebook posts for brand pages continually on the decline

Causing engagement levels to diminish as well,

Auto dealers are faced with a new challenge in their digital marketing strategy:


How to keep your dealership Facebook page fresh and interesting

Without investing too much time or money into it?


The reason you don’t want to invest too heavily into organic content on Facebook is

That so few people are going to see it, and the posts themselves will ultimately have little to no effect.


This does not mean that Facebook is not a good advertising medium for dealers.

On the contrary, Facebook is a terrific medium for advertising your dealership!

In fact, dollar for dollar, no other advertising medium today produces a better bang for your buck

When it comes to creating interest in your dealership and driving traffic to your website.


Cost to Reach 1,000 People on Facebook

Facebook Targeted Advertising


The way to take advantage of this is by utilizing Facebook’s targeted advertising capabilities.

This is no secret or big news, but it is reality.

If you aren’t certain how to do leverage this on Facebook, then my recommendation is

To find a company that can do it for you.

Pretty much any digital marketing company today offers Facebook Targeted Advertising as a service.


With Facebook Targeted Advertising

You can have your dealership appear in the News Feeds

Of people in your market that meet your targeting criteria

For a relatively low cost.

But while this is a good thing,

Your Facebook strategy does not start or end there.


So Why Organic? And How?


Back to the challenge of keeping your dealersh