LWP Driving Loyalty Data Base Social Marketing

WAAOL- All Automotive Advertising All The Time

Automotive advertising agencies have learned to manipulate the changing algorithms that search engines like Google and Bing use to drive organic search.  SEO is a fluid science that must now include social media. 

Automotive advertising agencies are dealing with recent changes on Facebook that limit organic search to power messages posted in their social networking community.  In today’s Lunch With Phil show I discussed old school best practices that delivered consistent creative across multiple media and channels to increase the reach, frequency and most importantly retention of message.  This practice can be applied to social media to compensate for now limited organic search and expensive paid advertisements.

I used Driving Loyalty’s data base marketing platform as an example of how consistent relevant and transparent messages delivered via email, direct mail, PURL’s and outbound call centers can extend the reach of social media.  Driving Loyalty has recently introduced their Social Marketing Initiative to educate dealers on how to link their conventional and digital messages to social media to leverage consumer content on social networks.

New “friends” sourced from the auto dealer’s DMS are invited through Driving Loyalty’s algorithms that deliver equity and service alerts to target the specific needs of the customer.  In addition, select vendors have been invited to join Driving Loyalty’s Social Marketing Initiative as networking partners to enhance the customer experience through improved sales and service processes at the dealership as well to develop shared B2B opportunities.

CallRevu is a telephone management/monitoring system that monitors inbound calls to the dealership and delivers real time alerts advising the dealer of missed opportunities.  IntellaCar is a sales/marketing platform that resides on an iPad controlled by the sales consultant that delivers credible third party information throughout the sales process. DealerAppVantage is a dealer branded mobile application offered to the customer at delivery that maintains communication between the dealer and the customer after the sale with service alerts and information to enhance their ownership experience.

The sales and service processes powered by these vendor partners insure that the customers’ experiences at the dealership will meet or beat the expectations delivered in the dealer’s marketing messages.  These positive reinforcements power the viral nature of social networks more than any manipulation of their organic search.

Simply put, the best way to replace organic search on social networks is to insure that the every contact becomes a friend and then a customer; in that order.  The best way to make a friend is to under promise and over deliver in the way that you conduct your business,

After all, what are friends for!

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Most discussions about Social Media between automotive advertising agencies and their auto dealer clients center around R.O.I.; or their perceived lack thereof. I accept responsibility for providing proof of my performance. However, I question short term quantitative evaluations that don’t consider the qualitative long term benefits of customer loyalty, satisfaction, retention and residual income derived from a comprehensive marketing plan that includes social media.

A real world example of a vendor that uses conventional and digital media enhanced by an integrated message delivered through social media is Driving Loyalty. Their data base marketing platform relies on a proprietary algorithm that delivers relevant transparent messages on a regular basis. They use emails, direct mail, personalized websites and most recently consulting services that advise their dealer clients to leverage customer generated content on social networks to reinforce the dealer’s online reputation and relationships with their past, present and pending customers.

Relationship based selling is a proven process that has been made more efficient and scalable through the use of social media and the viral nature of social networking. Forward thinking vendors, like Driving Loyalty, embrace the extended reach and frequency provided by customer generated content. They recognize that word of mouth advertising and referrals must originate from like minded customers vs. the dealer with their presumed self serving agenda.

Fortunately, the R.O.I. from social media can be proven when it is properly defined. Increased traffic to websites sourced from social marketing messages, posts by customers on the dealer’s Facebook pages that evidence positive experiences and improve the dealer’s online reputation and even sales and service appointments sourced from social media tracked by analytic tools built into most technology driven sales and service platforms are all verifiable returns on investment.

Next generation social marketing applications, such as Helios being introduced by xChangeAuto, are even providing conversion platforms that reside on Facebook with integrated real time communications to the dealer’s CRM and DMS. This seamless integration between the customer’s social networking habits and the dealer’s sales and service processes provides the first tool with a verifiable R.O.I..

Simply put, social media matters because in today’s internet driven marketplace the customers are in charge. Auto dealers that prioritize their customer’s experience before, during and after their sale or service at their facility will attract and retain more customers. Social media has the unique ability to insert the auto dealer into the conversation that is the market without having to time their message.

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Philip Zelinger, the host of the blog talk radio show - Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising - is scheduled to review a new Social Marketing Initiative being introduced by Driving Loyalty in the second quarter of 2014.  The show will air on Monday, March 31st, 2014 at 12 Noon EST.

Driving Loyalty’s data base marketing platform relies on proprietary algorithms to deliver relevant transparent messages to qualified customers in an auto dealer’s data base using emails, direct mail, outbound phone calls and personalized websites for customers.  Alerts advise customers when they qualify to exchange their vehicle for a new or newer one for similar payments with little or no money down as well as service notifications based on recommended factory maintenance.

The Q2 Social Marketing initiative being introduced by Driving Loyalty will provide information on establishing a social marketing platform for dealer clients as well as content curation services.  The objective is to add social media as a communication channel to the existing messages already being delivered to the auto dealer’s customers by Driving Loyalty on a consistent basis.

Driving Loyalty will be providing a book of best practices in the use of Social Media as an electronic file and as a printed manual for their auto dealer clients.  In addition, they will be offering similar social marketing support services for their vendor partners through shared  online resources like Driving Loyalty Social and Social Marketing Solutions – Auto.

Several vendor partners will be benefitting from and supporting the Driving Loyalty Social Marketing initiative including:

CallRevu – a total call management system that establishes best practices in handling in-bound telephone calls at an auto dealership as well as providing real time alerts delivered to dealership personnel advising them of missed opportunities.

IntellaCar - an iPad based sales and marketing platform with a proprietary process that organizes feature/benefit presentations to match the customer’s individual preferences in selecting a new or newer vehicle

DealerAppVantage - a dealer branded mobile application offered to customers at delivery that sends service alerts as well as providing customer centric information to improve the customer’s ownership experience and increase customer retention for the dealer

OfferLogix – a data management platform that integrates with Driving Loyalty and other vendors which provides information needed to compute lease payments including residuals, money factors and relevant rebates, incentives.

Automotive advertising agencies have recognized the value of consumer generated content in Social Media vs. sales messages delivered by auto dealers through conventional radio, TV and print media as well as Internet or even direct digital media such as emails. Driving Loyalty is acting on behalf of their auto dealer clients by advising them to supplement their existing marketing platform with social marketing and networking.  The decision to share their social marketing platform with their vendor partners is an example of how social networking is able to leverage resources and relationships in B2B as well as B2C applications.

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The Automotive Advertising Experts show is hosted on Blog Talk Radio and featured on AdAgencyOnline.Net – an auto industry networking resource portal.  Philip Zelinger, the President of Ad Agency Online and host of the show, will interview Michael Wynns, the President of Automotive Resource Partner, (ARP) on Fri., March 28th, 2014, at 12 N. EST.

The pair of auto industry insiders will discuss the unique networking partnership and leveraged resources offered by ARP.  They will also share some insider information regarding the upcoming Automotive Leadership Roundtable & Awards, (ALR), scheduled at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach on April 6th & 7th,  2014.

Michael is an author, entrepreneur and digital marketing expert who has spear-headed the technology platforms used by numerous industry heavy weights – including Vehix.com, Comcast.net and Dominion Dealer Services. He is currently the President of Automotive Resource Partners – a private equity company that develops technology solutions exclusively for the automotive industry. 

The Automotive Leadership Roundtable & Awards™ (ALR) has been described as “the most impactful 24-hours in the automotive industry” and for good reason. This is where top thought leaders come to share the results of their research. This is where top dealers come to share their best practices. And, this is where industry insiders come to announce the game-changing ideas that the rest of the world will find out about long after innovators have put them into practice. However, the most extraordinary aspect of ALR is the opportunity it provides to have one-on-one interactions with the country’s best and brightest automotive minds and discuss real world opportunities with those who are at the very top of their game. 

Michael confirmed that they have an exciting agenda planned. It begins with a high-impact roundtable led by several of the country’s top dealers and leading business minds and continues with a five-star dinner that will celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s top-selling dealers and feature a private performance by multi-Grammy winning artist Jon Secada. Finally, the evening will conclude with a VIP cocktail party that will allow attendees to interact with this year’s presenters and reflect on the day’s events.

Speakers include: Forrest McConnell, NADA – Mark Burnett – Jack Harbaugh – Peter Leto, Google – Kass Dawson, Facebook – Ron Collier – Jim Dunn #1 Lexus -Stewart Esterby/Ken Potter (TrueCar) – Johnathan Bernard Univision – John Malishenko, COO Germain Auto – Richard Bustillo, GM, Rick Case Honda -Brian Benstock, Paragon Honda – Andy Lipset, Pandora – Susan Scarola, DCH Auto -                 Steve Greenfield, AutoTrader – Ben Simon, Wal-mart

ALR combines business with pleasure as evidenced by the following scheduled events:

Sunday, April 6th VIP Cocktail Reception 7:30 PM

Hors d’oevres and cocktails served on the La Cote Terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, creating an intimate gathering while mingling with the best and brightest in the auto industry. 

Monday, April 7th – Daytime; 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

The Automotive Leadership Roundtable 

Monday, April 7th – Evening; 7:00 PM – After Dinner Party; 10:30 PM

Automotive Leadership Roundtable Awards Dinner on the Fontainebleau Tropez Lawn 

Automotive Leadership Roundtable participants will gather on the gorgeous lawns of the Fontainebleau for a 5-star reception and awards dinner where the #1 dealers in each franchise will be recognized. The prestigious Automotive Leadership Legacy Award was received by David Power, from J.D. Power and Associates in 2012. 

Michael confirmed the exclusive nature of the event.  However, he conceded that if a top ranked dealer wants to attend there will always be room for them.  Auto dealers are invited to contact an ALR VIP Host at 800-894-8377 or use the following links for additional information:

Download Brochure, click here. Watch Video, click here.

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Automotive advertising agencies have adjusted to accommodate consumer preferences that have shifted from shopping at their local auto row in favor of a growing number of online options. 

The shift from conventional radio, T.V. and print media to digital advertising including websites, banner ads, S.E.O./S.E.M strategies and even email vs. direct mail has matured into even more consumer centric social media.  Forward thinking auto dealers are joining other retail businesses that recognize that the shift from the real world to the virtual one online has just begun.

Store closures by large iconic retailers including Staples, Radio Shack, Best Buy, Circuit City, Linens and Things, Borders and Blockbuster are just the tip of the iceberg as consumers shop online for everything from electronics and books to large ticket items like homes, furniture and even automobiles.  Profit challenged auto dealers have demanded more for less from their advertising agencies and retail operations as margins are reduced by today’s educated consumer with internet access to information that auto dealers no longer control.

In response, automotive advertising agencies have started to leverage social media though the use of technology driven applications that monitor and manage their auto dealer’s online reputations.  Auto dealer marketing messages are being crafted to blend into online discussions that now drive the market on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +.

Solutions like Helios being introduced by xChangeAuto deliver a Facebook hosted information portal that provides relevant and transparent information to an auto dealer’s customers before, during and after their car shopping and buying experience.  As the auto dealer’s online “friends” enter the market they are able to access information directly from the dealer provided Facebook page without having to contact the dealer directly.

These hand raisers are delivered to the dealer through their sales and service tools including their CRM and DMS allowing a seamless transition into established sales processes.  The result is a real time exchange of information that is both consumer friendly and dealer centric; win – win!

Other technology driven solutions are being applied by dealers to accommodate online shoppers that match relationship building messages being delivered through social marketing initiatives.  Data base marketing platforms like Driving Loyalty invite past, present and pending customers to follow auto dealers onto their social marketing sites.

Driving Loyalty blends old school media like direct mail and outbound call centers with current digital marketing methods including emails and personalized websites and next generation social marketing messages.  The proprietary algorithms that power their monthly consumer centric messages deliver relevant information that is unique to each customer.

Equity alerts are delivered only to qualified customers with an offer to exchange their vehicle for a new or newer one for a similar payment with little or no money down.  These out the door quotes include tax, tag, title, related dealer fees and even take into consideration all applicable rebates, interest rates and trade-in values.

Similarly relevant alerts regarding factory recommended service and seasonal specials in parts and service insure that customers are kept up to date on their investment in their vehicle.  At the same time the dealer is assured that their relationship with their customers will exist after the sale in synch with their ongoing social marketing efforts.

Next generation conversion tools will eventually accommodate vehicle sales without customers having to visit the dealership.  However, until these complete transactions on an auto dealer’s website are more widely accepted telephone processes must be updated to preserve these more fragile online customer relationships.

CallRevu is an example of a technology based platform that allows an auto dealer to monitor and manage their in-bound telephone processes to insure that they preserve customer relationships earned through their social marketing initiatives.  The dealership’s telephone processes are first evaluated to insure that all calls are distributed timely and to the correct parties.

Once best practices are established CallRevu delivers real time alerts to key personnel at the dealership advising them of any dropped calls or those that may have been misdirected or otherwise mishandled.  The result is better customer satisfaction, retention and improved profits through delivery of a more consistent customer friendly sales process that converts online friends into real world customers.

Until brick and mortar dealerships are completely irrelevant, and that time may come sooner that many auto dealers might expect, auto dealers must protect relationships that are initiated online as they mature into guests at their real world facility.   IntellaCar is a next generation sales and marketing platform that resides on an iPad that is uniquely qualified to blur the line between the virtual and the real world.

Today’s consumers visit an auto dealership armed with more information than most of the sales consultants that greet them.  IntellaCar empowers sales consultants to compete with these more educated customers by providing them with the same credible third party information that their customers have discovered during their online shopping spree.

Sales consultants are able to access IntellaCar throughout their sales process.  After completing a brief customer profile information is sorted by order of relevancy to fit the customer’s needs.  Vehicle selection, inventory walks, test drives, appraisals and even final negotiations are similarly supported by the IntellaCar platform insuring a consistent customer friendly process.

The result is an easy transition from the online virtual world powered by consumer centric social marketing messaging to an equally customer friendly experience on the showroom floor.  Brick and mortar dealerships aren’t dead yet, and they will always have a place in the sales and service process for customers and dealers alike, which reinforces the value and need for IntellaCar and technology driven sales and marketing platforms like them.

Mobile applications also support online shopping and service experiences that connect real world showrooms with their online counterparts. DealerAppvantage is a dealer branded mobile application that protects and preserves customer satisfaction and retention at the time of delivery.

Customers are able to download DealerAppVantage onto their smart phone to stay in touch with the dealership after their purchase.  Alerts are delivered through the app to remind customers of their factory recommended service at the dealership.  More uniquely, consumer centric content such as local gasoline prices and other information designed to improve their ownership experience is always available.

The hosting auto dealer also benefits from this ongoing connection to their customers when the time comes for them to consider exchanging their vehicle for a new or newer one.  The ability to preserve relationships with customers without trying to time the market with a sales message is yet another example of how auto dealers are preparing to support these online relationships even after they visit their dealerships and take delivery of a vehicle.

Auto dealers are shifting their focus from brick & mortar dealerships to online showrooms powered by social marketing.  However, the transition requires links between proven old world processes and next generation technology driven solutions that prioritize customer relationships over short term sales and profit objectives.

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