Archive for the “DealerRefresh.Com” Category

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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AdAgenyOnline.Net, a nationally recognized  automotive advertising resource / networking portal, reviews cutting edge automotive advertising technologies and vendor solutions on their hosted blog talk radio station — WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time.  This week’s Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising show, moderated by Philip Zelinger, the President of Ad Agency Online, L.L.C., will feature a review of InstaQuote in an interview with Carlos Diaz, the founder of InstaQuote and the C.E.O. of Caryote.  The show is scheduled to air live on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2011 between 12 Noon and 12:30 PM EST.

Philip shared his reasons for reviewing InstaQuote as a possible conversion tool for his affiliated automotive advertising agencies and his online audience of automotive advertising decision makers. “To price or not to price on an auto dealer’s website is a question that automotive advertising agencies have already answered with a resounding yes.  Customers demand transparency in their online shopping experience and price is a question that must be answered almost before it is asked.  Some auto dealers stick to the old school philosophy of posting MSRP with an offer to contact them for their best Internet price.  Their intention is to preserve gross profit and incentivize the online shopper to contact them so the dealer can explain why price isn’t as important as their product and excellent service.  Unfortunately, today’s educated consumer knows that the best price is only a click away and they can service their vehicle anywhere after their purchase.  Although, why would they go to the dealer that wanted to overcharge them for the vehicle in the first place?”

“I am reviewing InstaQuote for an Internet Sales Manager who contacted me to ask if they could provide an efficient way to instantly quote a competitive price to his online shoppers as well as in response to his leads sourced from various third party providers.  Frankly, I am not a believer in auto response based systems, however sometimes limited staff and resources force a dealer to choose between an automated response or no response at all.  The solution lies in a hybrid of a timely response with a competitive price followed by a personal reply to fill in the holes and establish a relationship with the customer.  Customers soon discover that most dealers will “meet or beat” any legitimate price so their objective  quickly converts to finding a dealership that they are comfortable with.  Price still matters but people and process are more of a consideration for online shoppers who are compiling their short list of dealers to visit.”   

“InstaQuote is able to quote 100% of a dealers’ new vehicle Internet leads from their own site, the manufacturers’ site and third party marketing platforms in seconds.  They use proprietary multi-point information matching to ensure quotes are generated accurately in a very comprehensive conversion tool on the dealers website using a manufacture-grade configurator that follows business rules defined by the dealer to respond to all inbound inquiries.”

“Perhaps the most unique value offered by InstaQuote is the customer friendly format that the price is delivered in.  In addition to providing the price on the vehicle selected by the customer, they also quote several comparable vehicles as well as providing information on the dealer including a convenient Google based map and directions to facilitate a visit.  When combined with a comprehensive follow up system integrated into a process powered by a motivated staff and efficient CRM I can see InstaQuote as a key ingredient in the sales process.”

About Carlos Diaz

In early 2001, after the “dot-crash”, Carlos Diaz, the founder of InstaQuote was forced to enter the car business as a means to support his family and like most others who first enter the “business”, the transition was not easy. Mr. Diaz had over 7 years of web development experience having worked for such companies as General Electric and UGO.  Carlos was ahead of the curve with in-depth knowledge of the internet and programming. Now armed with car sales experience, he was a perfect fit for the internet department which, at the time, no other salesperson wanted to be part of.

Carlos quickly excelled in achieving his sales goals. However, he still felt the process was too complicated, which was due to his dealership’s refusal to let him answer the number one question presented by all online customers, “What is your best price?”. This was when the idea of a system that could provide price quotes to customers without dealer interaction came to his mind. This was the birth of InstaQuote.

For the next few years Carlos worked for various dealerships. He also continued to evolve InstaQuote from a simple access database to a full featured website designed to help him increase his personal sales goals.

In 2003, while working for a Honda dealership in New Jersey and after achieving numerous awards from both the dealership and Honda, he was taken aside by the VP of Operations and asked what his secret to success was.  Nervously he told the VP about InstaQuote, who proceeded to immediately promote Carlos to Internet Sales Manager on one condition, that he allow the dealership to use InstaQuote. A few months later, and after helping increase the dealerships status to number one in the nation, Carlos was promoted to Director of eBusiness Development.  Carlos managed six Business Development Centers for 7 franchises,  all powered by his InstaQuote system.

About InstaQuote

• Caryote Technologies, Inc. is a privately held, Phoenix, Arizona based corporation.

• The name Caryote (pronounced car-yote) is derived from the words “Car” and “Coyote” which was inspired by an encounter with a pack of 3 Coyotes on the day the company was formed.

Products/Services

InstaQuote was originally designed and developed in late 2001 as a way to enhance the overall car buying experience. It offers the user the opportunity to use the internet as a means to avoid in-dealer negotiation of a vehicle.

The InstaQuote Philosophy

1. Provide a high-quality, intuitive, and engaging email based quote that offers the perfect balance of information and interactivity to satisfy the customers immediate needs and promote dealer communication.

2. Incorporate the latest web based technologies that enhance the overall customer experience.

3. Introduce industry leading features that promote dealer transparency, such as finance and lease payment options.

4. Provide easy-to-use dealer controls that feature simple instructions and familiar layouts that mimic their existing processes for price setting.

5. Allow for simple integration and implementation into any dealer environment, which complements and enhances existing sales processes.

About Philip Zelinger

Philip Zelinger is the President of Ad Agency Online and founder of AdAgencyOnline.Net.  He invested 25 years as a General Manager and Dealer Principal followed by his last ten years in the automotive advertising industry learning from the teams that he built so he can now presume to teach.  His role as a “Dealer Coach” is enhanced by his hosting a nationally recognized auto industry social networking portal and blog talk radio station – WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time.  As the author of two books on the auto industry, including “How To Sell A Car – a Career Guide to The Automobile Industry,” he is a recognized authority on market trends and developing technologies with the responsibility of selecting key vendors and applications for his dealer clients as well as forming strategic partnerships for his vendor clients to leverage their shared resources to bring their products and services to market.

About AdAgencyOnline.Net and Ad Agency Online, L.L.C.

AdAgencyOnline.Net reviews automotive advertising vendors and new technologies on several blog talk radio shows in addition to the Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising.  Other shows include “Auto Industry Insiders”  and “Automotive Advertising Experts.”  The shows attract automotive advertising agencies, auto dealers, auto industry vendors and O.E.M. representatives that listen to WAAOL to find vendors, applications and technologies to maximize the R.O.I. for their automotive advertising dollars.

AAOL is a national network of independent affiliated automotive advertising agencies linked by an online communication / distribution system developed by Philip Zelinger.  The proprietary operating system that powers AAOL was designed to reduce fixed and semi-variable expenses for full service automotive advertising agencies.  The developing technologies that enhanced the performance of the independent automotive advertising agencies linked by AAOL has served as the role model for the solutions suggested on AdAgencyOnline.Net and represented by AAOL to their affiliated automotive advertising agencies when serving their auto dealer clients.

Ad Agency Online L.L.C is focused on discovering and representing new automotive advertising vendors not yet recognized by the mainstream automotive advertising industry. Recent automotive advertising vendors represented by AAOL include; Argistics – AutoTransaXion, SiSTeR Technologies Video CarLot, DealMaker.Com, CityTwist.Com, Bulldog Marketing Technologies,  Gumiyo, Kihon Media, CarFolks.Com, Ai Dealer, Laser Stream Video, ronsmap and IntellaCar; to name a few.

Previous guests interviewed on WAAOL include a growing number of automotive advertising experts.  Past guests included, Clayton Stanfield from EBay Motors, Mark Dubis from CarFolks.Com, Jared Hamilton from DrivingSales.Com, Dale Pollak from vAuto, Jerry Daniels from Automotive Broadcasting Network, (ABN), Terry Alling from Kihon Media, Brian Ferris and Spencer Sterling from DealMaker.Com, Mike Parsons from Laser Stream Video, Brian Hoecht from Ai Dealer, Ralph Paglia from ADP and host to the auto industry social networking community ADM, Len Critcher from ecarlist.com, Tim Zierden from AAX, Jim Ziegler, consultant to the auto industry, Jeff Kershner, host of DealerRefresh.Com, Jeff Raab from the Detroit Trading Company, (DTX), Mike DeCecco from Dealer.Com, Ken Schwartz from CityTwist, Michael R. Spadafore from R. L. Polk & Co., Kevin Schwartz and Rick Rochon from AdSymetrix, Bruce Cerbone from Argistics, Scott Davis from Bull Dog Marketing Technologies, Matt Watson from VinSolutions,  Michael T. Fay from Colliers International Of South Florida and their C.A.R.S. division, Matt Brown and Zack Powell from TheDealerDashBoard.Com, Mark Burack from Liquid Motors, Pat Ryan, Jr. from FirstLook, Al Cantarella from AutoWebsitePlus.com, Michael Roscoe and Cliff banks from Dealer Communications, Steven Munyan from HireTheWinners.Com, Todd Mathews from WideStorm, James Crouse from CloudOne, Brian Story from VehSmart, Mike Martinez from izmocars and most recently Jim Hughes from IntellaCar.

For more information on Philip Zelinger, Ad Agency Online, L.L.C., InstaQuote or any of the preferred automotive advertising vendors previously reviewed on WAAOL contact Philip through AdAgencyOnline.Net.  Automotive advertising vendors, automotive advertising agencies and auto dealers that would like to be considered as a “preferred automotive advertising vendor” on AdAgencyOnline.Net and/or to hire/join Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. to represent them can contact Philip Zelinger at pzads@bellsouth.net, call him at 888-796-2228 or visit AdAgencyOnline.Net at http://adagencyonline.net.  To quote Philip Zelinger, “Help is only a click away!”  ###

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AdAgencyOnline.Net is an automotive advertising resource / networking portal supported by a national network of independent affiliated automotive advertising agencies that are linked by an online communication / distribution system developed by Ad Agency Online, L.L.C., (AAOL).  The social networking site was formed to address the fact most of the member agencies of AAOL don’t know what they don’t know about new technologies and applications being developed to leverage automotive advertising resources on the Internet.  Coincidentally, the very same social media that links the automotive advertising agencies of AAOL provides an even greater challenge for automotive advertising agencies who don’t know how to monetize social media.  However, even armed with that knowledge they are hesitant to apply new technology based solutions to leverage social media as a marketing platform for their auto dealer clients.

According to Philip Zelinger, the President of AAOL and host of the blog talk radio station — WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time — featured on AdAgencyOnline.Net, the solution can be found on the same social networking communities that they are supporting. “There has been an explosive growth in the number of social networking communities sharing best practices with automotive advertising agencies.  I created AdAgencyOnline.Net to follow the traffic onto the Internet Super Highway as a network of networkers who share my philosophy that a rising tide floats all boats.  My personal branding line — What are friends for! — is more than a position statement for my business, it is a way of life built on the power of networking.”

” I host WAAOL to platform new technologies and share best practices on shows like — Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising — that runs Monday through Wednesday from 12 Noon EST to 12:30 PM EST.  Lunch With Phil is an open business meeting for my affiliated automotive advertising agencies and auto industry professionals surfing the web to listen and learn from the automotive advertising experts that join me to answer questions in a problem/ solution forum.  I borrow some of my best ideas from my guests and I often learn even more from my call in audience.  Twenty five years as a general manager and auto dealer principal followed by 10 years in the automotive advertising industry provided me with enough experience to know what I don’t know — and these shows fill in the holes.  I still contribute my own original thoughts, but my role in my organization has been enhanced by my ability to access some of the best minds in the automotive advertising industry in the forums hosted on AdAgencyOnline.Net and the other auto industry facing social networking communities that I contribute to.”

Social networking communities allow automotive advertising agencies to review automotive advertising technologies and applications for their consideration without having to invest in their own trial and error processes.  Today’s Internet savvy automotive advertising decision maker can access a pool of knowledge and experienced successes and failures posted in social networking communities by some of the best minds in the auto industry.  The leveraged power of the pooled online resources provided by the extended network of friends in social networking communities  provide better resources that even the largest independent automotive advertising agency.

Most automotive advertising based social networking communities have unique personalities and profiles focused on specific areas defined by the rules that govern each community.  As a result, automotive advertising agencies are able to select portals to find relevant material in each community that is not duplicated in others.  For example, The Automotive Digital Marketing Network, (ADM), — http://AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.Com — has an earned reputation as an open forum to share best practices across multiple verticals in the auto industry.  Their members include representatives from O.E.M.s, auto dealership General Managers as well as Internet Sales Managers, cutting edge automotive advertising vendors and auto industry insiders who contribute different perspectives on common problems with a variety of diverse solutions.  ADM is often credited as being the source for AdAgencyOnline.net to discover bleeding edge automotive advertising applications that are not yet recognized by the mainstream media which are then reviewed on WAAOL for consideration by the affiliated automotive advertising agencies of AAOL.

Another more specialized social networking community favored by automotive advertising agencies is DrivingSales.Com — http://DrivingSales.Com.  This resource/networking portal focuses on vendor evaluations supported by posts that cover common issues in a problem / solution forum that evaluates key vendor solutions allowing auto dealerships to share best practices and rate their vendors.

DealerRefresh.Com — http://DealerRefresh.Com — is hosted by Jeff  Kershner and Alex Snyder in a more controlled environment described on the site as follows:  “DealerRefresh is for the car dealer Internet sales professional thriving for more information while looking to elevate their game. It’s also for industry professionals looking to keep up with the latest dealer industry news and trends.” 

InternetSalesManager.Org, (ISM), — http://www.InternetSalesManager.Org — is an equally respected site hosted by Brian Pasch, a recognized expert in search engine optimization, (S.E.O.).  ISM is known by automotive advertising agencies as the “Car Dealer Social Network.”  The unique strength of ISM is realized through their extensive use of reciprocal links to other sites that leverage a variety of automotive advertising resources for their online community.  A sister site formed by Brian Pasch, Sean Wolfington and David Boice — the Automotive Advertising Network, (AAN) — http://AutomotiveAdvertisingNetwork.Com — further evidences the power of networking provided by social networking and linked online resources.

Forward thinking automobile dealerships — such as the Kelly Automotive Group — have jumped on the social networking band wagon with their own social networking communities.  Chris Saraceno lead the Kelly Automotive Group in their formation of their own site — DealerElite.Net — http://DealerElite.Net — which is described on the site as follows:  “This community is an automotive dealer, vendor, trainer, manufacturer, car enthusiast, and customer social network. It is a place to share ideas, discuss industry best practices, and connect with other automotive professionals. It is where the best and the brightest in the automotive industry collaborate. Engage yourself now at Dealer Elite!”

New auto industry focused social networking sites are being introduced daily.  Perhaps the most noteworthy addition is a new forum hosted by Keith Whann, Auttr.Com — http://Auttr.Com.  The site features video content hosted by Keith Whann taking on the persona of “The Car Counselor” to share best practices on their featured platform called Auttr TV. 

Auttr describes their T.V. resource channel as follows:  “Now you can view auto industry related videos at the click of a mouse.  Videos featuring industry experts such as Keith Whann, The Car Counselor.  The Car Counselor has answered questions for dealers and consumers from across the country on a wide variety of topics related to motor vehicle dealerships and the car buying process.   You can also watch live presentations on Auttr TV.  And now, here is all of the information in one place for you.  Stay tuned for more information!”

Philip Zelinger elected to use blog talk radio shows vs. video on his automotive advertising resource portal — AdAgencyOnline.Net — http://AdAgencyOnline.Net.  In addition to sharing best practices, Philip reviews automotive advertising vendors and new technologies on several blog talk radio shows featured on the site’s blog talk radio station — WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time.  The shows include — Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising,  Lunch With Ralph Discussing Automotive Advertising and Automotive Advertising Experts.  Automotive advertising insiders are invite automotive advertising agencies, auto dealers, auto industry vendors and O.E.M. representatives to WAAOL to find vendors, applications and technologies represented by AAOL or featured as preferred automotive advertising vendors on AdAgencyOnline.Net.

Other social networking communities that provide resources for automotive advertising agencies willing to listen and learn include Dealer Advisor Nation — http://danation.ning.com/  — Auto Dealer People — http://www.autodealerpeople.com/ — and too many more to list.  Other portals offer information rich content such as Just Auto — http://just-auto.com/ — and the ever popular Automotive News with their new online publication — http://www.autonews.com/.  

A number of the vendors clients of AAOL provide automotive advertising agencies with ways to monetize social media for their auto dealer clients.  These solutions represent just a few of the many technologies and tools that can be discovered on the social networking communities recommended by AdAgencyOnline.Net that are supported by Philip Zelinger and AAOL.

ronsmap is a game changing marketing platform that provides consumers with a more efficient and comprehensive way to shop online for a new or pre-owned vehicle while providing auto dealers with consumer and market intelligence with their integrated application, SellersVantage. In addition to the proprietary inventory posting mechanism utilized by ronsmap, known as ontology semantic extraction, the site relies on direct data links from auto dealers and channel partners that have accounted for over two million six hundred thousand vehicles currently listed on their site.  When coupled with their social networking tool, vBack, and their unique Google Map like user interface, ronsmap allows consumers to find and compare all makes and models in their geo targeted market on one page and to solicit the opinions of online friends and family through linked social networks like Face Book.  Automotive advertising agencies have been searching for a cost effective, scalable method to monetize social networking and ronsmap promises to deliver it.

DealerMouth is a unique web site hosting service that allows auto dealers to manage and monitor the social networking activities of their staff.  According to Philip Zelinger, “Automotive advertising agencies have been challenged by their auto dealer clients to quantify the R.O.I. from social media.  The ability for auto dealers to offer their individual sales people and service writers their own websites to network with their spheres of influence in both the real and the virtual world allows auto dealers to leverage their  limited resources. Auto dealers have been forced to cut advertising budgets and staff to compensate for reduced sales volume and profit margins in a shrinking economy and DealerMouth could not have been developed at a better time.  Of course the challenge is to manage and monitor their staff’s online activities to prevent abuse of company time and/or to limit the contingent liabilities if an employee posts improper content or conducts illegal online activities from the auto dealer’s facilities.  DealerMouth allows the auto dealer and/or their automotive advertising agency to monitor online activities on their provided websites while offering the sales staff an online — why buy here book — to promote the salesperson or service writer to their friends, family and personal customer base.  This method of monetizing social networking fits perfectly into the new business model that Ad Agency Online recommends for our auto dealer clients.”

SiSTeR Technologies offers an automated video production platform — Video CarLot — that converts pictures on an auto dealer’s website into an indexed interactive video with human voice.  In addition to posting the videos on the auto dealer’s website to enhance their conversion rates and S.E.O. they push the videos through their dedicated API with You Tube identified by their individual URLs linked back to the sourcing dealers site as well as posting them on all third party marketing platforms used by the auto dealer.  More uniquely, they leverage social media by applying their vShock platform — a micro-site that hosts and displays similar vehicles from the auto dealer’s inventory to the one selected by the consumer — on a tab posted on the auto dealer’s Face Book page.  This easily accessed link to the auto dealer’s inventory from within Face Book allows the dealer to introduce their vehicles to the online community without having to post them on the wall in an obtrusive manner that is often shunned by consumers in social media.   

TeleTextSolutions is the automotive industries first full solutions Opt In Text messaging system. While this application was not initially designed as a social media tool, their unique mobile application allows automotive advertising agencies to embed their short codes into social media messages to track the R.O.I. for their auto dealer clients to easily source the results from their social networking efforts.  There are two main components of TeleTextSolutions.  The first encompasses using short codes and keywords in all forms of advertising — including social media.  This provides leads to the dealership and the ability to communicate via a web based text messaging system that can integrate with the dealer’s CRM.  The second is an Opt In Text communications for the Service Dept.  The main benefit revolves around dramatically reducing the time it takes to link up with a customer after they have dropped their vehicle off and then a new problem is found.  Phone tag is a major problem for Service departments that text helps to reduce thus increasing work throughput.

About Ad Agency Online, L.L.C.

Ad Agency Online, L.L.C., (AAOL),  is a national network of independent affiliated automotive advertising agencies linked by an online communication / distribution system developed by Philip Zelinger.  The proprietary operating system that powers AAOL was designed to reduce fixed and semi-variable expenses for full service automotive advertising agencies.  The developing technologies that enhanced the performance of the independent automotive advertising agencies linked by AAOL has served as the role model for the solutions suggested on AdAgencyOnline.Net and represented by AAOL to their affiliated automotive advertising agencies when serving their auto dealer clients.

Ad Agency Online L.L.C is focused on discovering and representing new automotive advertising vendors not yet recognized by the mainstream automotive advertising industry. Some of the automotive advertising vendors represented by AAOL include ronsmap, SiSTeR Technologies Video CarLot, TeleTextSolutions, DealerMouth, GetAutoAppraise.com, Argistics – AutoTransaXion, DealMaker.Com, CityTwist.Com, Bulldog Marketing Technologies, Kihon Media, CarFolks.Com, Ai Dealer and Laser Stream Video; with more being added weekly.

About Philip Zelinger

Philip Zelinger is the President of Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. and the founder of  AdAgencyOnline.Net.  He invested 25 years as a General Manager and Dealer Principal followed by his last ten years in the automotive advertising industry learning from the teams that he built so he can now presume to teach on forums like AdAgencyOnline.Net.  His role as a “Dealer Coach” is enhanced by his hosting a nationally recognized auto industry social networking portal and blog talk radio station – WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time.  As the author of two books on the auto industry, including “How To Sell A Car – a Career Guide to The Automobile Industry,” he is a recognized authority on market trends and developing technologies with the responsibility of selecting key vendors and applications for his dealer clients as well as forming strategic partnerships for his vendor clients to leverage their shared resources to help them bring their products and services to market.

For more information on Philip Zelinger, Ad Agency Online, L.L.C., the vendors on AdAgencyOnline.Net or any of the automotive advertising social networking communities referenced in this article and supported by Philip Zelinger contact Philip directly at http://AdAgencyOnline.Net.  Automotive advertising vendors, automotive advertising agencies and auto dealers that would like to be considered as a “preferred automotive advertising vendor” on AdAgencyOnline.Net and/or to hire/join Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. to represent them can contact Philip Zelinger at pzads@bellsouth.net, or call him at 888-796-2228.  To quote Philip Zelinger, “Help is only a click away!  After all, what are friends for!”  ###

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Automotive advertising agencies have learned that the Internet Super Highway is a two way street as evidenced by the growing number of automotive advertising focused social networking communities being hosted on the World Wide Web.  Philip Zelinger, the President of Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. and host of an automotive advertising resource / networking portal — http://AdAgencyOnline.Net —  created his self described network of networkers based on their shared philosophy that a rising tide floats all boats and supported by his personal branding line of — What are friends for! 

Philip explained his reasons for contributing so much of his time to support automotive advertising focused social media in a recent blog talk radio show, Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising, that airs on the blog talk radio station — WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time — featured on AdAgencyOnline.Net.  “I have borrowed some of the best ideas that I ever had.  It took me twenty five plus years as a general manager and auto dealer principal followed by 10 years in the automotive advertising industry to accumulate the shared experience and wisdom of my friends which obviously shaped my own success.  I am not suggesting that I don’t have any original thoughts, but I am confessing that my role in my organization is to find and filter out the best ideas that I can while eliminating the ones that have been proven not to work.  Lessons learned with other people’s time and money vs. mine or my client’s is more efficient than relying on our own trial and error process to review automotive advertising technologies and applications for our consideration.  The next generation of automotive advertising decision makers can now access that pool of knowledge with a few clicks of their mouse to access social networking communities that include some of the best minds in the auto industry.  My personal branding line — what are friends for — has taken on new meaning and leveraged power when applied to the extended network of friends I have made in social networking communities made up of like minded automotive advertising professionals who are willing to listen and learn from each other so we can all presume to teach.”

Many professional social networking communities focus on specific areas within the auto industry allowing automotive advertising agencies to drill down to find relevant data and material in each community that is not duplicated in others.  Ralph Paglia, for example, developed his Automotive Digital Marketing network, (ADM), as an open platform for best practices across multiple verticals in the auto industry.  Representatives from O.E.M.s, General Managers of auto dealerships, Internet Sales Managers, automotive advertising vendors and nationally respected consultants all participate in an open forum with a different perspective on shared issues that benefits the entire community.  New automotive advertising vendors that have developed bleeding edge applications that are not yet on the radar of the mainstream media are able to platform their applications in forums that surface solutions to shared problems.

Other automotive advertising social networking communities are more targeted in their content.  Jared Hamilton’s DrivingSales.Com, for example, focuses on vendor evaluations enhanced by relevant posts that cover common issues in the auto industry in a problem / solution forum that references key vendor solutions allowing dealership managers to share best practices and rate their vendors.

Jeff  Kershner hosts DealerRefresh.Com with more controlled content sourced from him and his partner on the site, Alex Snyder.  The purpose and history of the DealerRefresh is posted on the site as follows: 

“DealerRefresh is for the car dealer Internet sales professional thriving for more information while looking to elevate their game. It’s also for industry professionals looking to keep up with some of the latest dealer industry news and trends. 

Since the very first published article on March 15th of 2004, we’ve been writing and discussing (with even the occasional debate) best practices for leveraging Internet marketing and new age sales processes within the car dealership.  Prior, there was no other site that brought other automotive Internet sales professionals together in one virtual spot. For that reason, DealerRefresh was born; the very first website of its kind, dedicated to the internet sales and marketing professionals grinding away everyday at the dealership.  Over the years, DealerRefresh has grown and matured into what it is today and is now one of the most recognized websites within our industry.

From internet marketing best practices for your dealer, what works with SEO and car dealer search engine marketing, how online video fits into your dealer’s landscape to online reputation management for your dealership; if the topic has not been recently written about, check the archives or submit your suggestion of topic to discuss using Ask/Answer. And just released…the ALL NEW DealerRefresh Dealer Technology Forum.

DealerRefresh also hosts an array of guest postings. We love to hear from industry experts and other Internet Sales Managers that are passionate about their jobs and how they’re elevating their dealer to another level.”

InternetSalesManager.Org, (ISM), is another highly respected site hosted by a nationally recognized expert in S.E.O., Brian Pasch.  This automotive advertising resource portal has proven itself to be a valued resource for automotive advertising agencies billing itself as the “Car Dealer Social Network.”  Many reciprocal links to other sites that provide leveraged resources for members, such as the Automotive Advertising Network recently developed by Brian Pasch, Sean Wolfington and David Boise, also serve to differentiate ISM from other automotive advertising social networking communities.

Automobile dealership groups are also sharing best practices using social media.  The Kelly Automotive Group – with the guidance of Chris Saraceno – formed  a social networking community titled DealerElite.Net.  According to their description of themselves on the site, “This community is an automotive dealer, vendor, trainer, manufacturer, car enthusiast, and customer social network. It is a place to share ideas, discuss industry best practices, and connect with other automotive professionals. It is where the best and the brightest in the automotive industry collaborate. Engage yourself now at Dealer Elite!”

According to Philip Zelinger, “The latest — and perhaps the greatest — social networking site to be added to the World Wide Web is a new forum — Auttr.Com –being created by Keith Whann. The site features a unique platform to share best practices called Auttr TV which combines the value of video with quality content sourced from Keith Whann who has taken on the persona of — The Car Counselor.” 

Auttr describes their unique  T.V. resource channel as follows:  “Now you can view auto industry related videos at the click of a mouse.  Videos featuring industry experts such as Keith Whann, The Car Counselor.  The Car Counselor has answered questions for dealers and consumers from across the country on a wide variety of topics related to motor vehicle dealerships and the car buying process.   You can also watch live presentations on Auttr TV.  And now, here is all of the information in one place for you.  Stay tuned for more information!”

About Keith Whann

Keith Whann, is the founder of the law firm Whann & Associates LLC, located in Dublin, Ohio.

Over the past 24 years, Keith has become a leading national authority on motor vehicle and consumer protection issues.

Keith has conducted hundreds of seminars across the country and appeared as a featured speaker on a wide variety of topics affecting the industry. He has spoken at conventions and meetings for over 50 national and state motor vehicle industry related trade associations and regulatory agencies dealing with complex automobile industry issues. Many of Keith’s presentations have been filmed and broadcast on the NIADA.TV network, including the 2005 and 2006 National Dealer Compliance and Profitability Expos; which Keith developed and moderated. He has also developed numerous training and compliance programs for the motor vehicle industry. He is currently developing a series of tools and compiling various resource materials to assist motor vehicle dealers with business, legal and compliance matters.  For consumers, Keith is working on materials to help them understand how a dealership operates and tools to assist them in the car buying process.

Keith has authored numerous articles which have been published in trade journals including Used Car Dealer Magazine, World of Special Finance Magazine, Ward’s Dealer Business and Used Car News, to name a few. His monthly columns discussing compliance issues and providing legal updates to the industry appear in publications across the country.

In addition to his role as The Car Counselor to the motor vehicle industry, Keith serves as General Counsel for the NIADA (a position he has held since 1996), is CEO and General Counsel for Columbus Fair Auto Auction in Columbus, Ohio; and is the Compliance Officer for Finance Express.

Philip Zelinger hosts his own nationally recognized advertising resource/networking portal, AdAgencyOnline.Net, that reviews automotive advertising vendors and new technologies on several blog talk radio shows featured on the site’s blog talk radio station — WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time.  The shows include — Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising,  Lunch With Ralph Discussing Automotive Advertising and Automotive Advertising Experts.  These online open forums with automotive advertising insiders attract automotive advertising agencies, auto dealers, auto industry vendors and O.E.M. representatives that listen to WAAOL to find vendors, applications and technologies to maximize the R.O.I. for their automotive advertising dollars.

Ad Agency Online, L.L.C., (AAOL),  is a national network of independent affiliated automotive advertising agencies linked by an online communication / distribution system developed by Philip Zelinger.  The proprietary operating system that powers AAOL was designed to reduce fixed and semi-variable expenses for full service automotive advertising agencies.  The developing technologies that enhanced the performance of the independent automotive advertising agencies linked by AAOL has served as the role model for the solutions suggested on AdAgencyOnline.Net and represented by AAOL to their affiliated automotive advertising agencies when serving their auto dealer clients.

Ad Agency Online L.L.C is focused on discovering and representing new automotive advertising vendors not yet recognized by the mainstream automotive advertising industry. Some of the automotive advertising vendors represented by AAOL include ronsmap, SiSTeR Technologies Video CarLot, TeleTextSolutions, DealerMouth, GetAutoAppraise.com, Argistics – AutoTransaXion, DealMaker.Com, CityTwist.Com, Bulldog Marketing Technologies, Kihon Media, CarFolks.Com, Ai Dealer and Laser Stream Video; with more being added weekly.

About Philip Zelinger

Philip Zelinger is the President of Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. and the founder of  AdAgencyOnline.Net.  He invested 25 years as a General Manager and Dealer Principal followed by his last ten years in the automotive advertising industry learning from the teams that he built so he can now presume to teach on forums like AdAgencyOnline.Net.  His role as a “Dealer Coach” is enhanced by his hosting a nationally recognized auto industry social networking portal and blog talk radio station – WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time.  As the author of two books on the auto industry, including “How To Sell A Car – a Career Guide to The Automobile Industry,” he is a recognized authority on market trends and developing technologies with the responsibility of selecting key vendors and applications for his dealer clients as well as forming strategic partnerships for his vendor clients to leverage their shared resources to help them bring their products and services to market.

For more information on Philip Zelinger, Ad Agency Online, L.L.C., the vendors on AdAgencyOnline.Net or any of the automotive advertising social networking communities referenced in this article and supported by Philip Zelinger contact Philip directly at http://AdAgencyOnline.Net.  Automotive advertising vendors, automotive advertising agencies and auto dealers that would like to be considered as a “preferred automotive advertising vendor” on AdAgencyOnline.Net and/or to hire/join Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. to represent them can contact Philip Zelinger at pzads@bellsouth.net, or call him at 888-796-2228.  To quote Philip Zelinger, “Help is only a click away!  After all, what are friends for!”  ###

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AdAgencyOnline.Net is an automotive advertising resource / networking portal with an earned reputation as “The one stop site for all of your automotive advertising news and needs.”  SiSTeR Technologies is a preferred automotive advertising vendor on AdAgencyOnline.Net.  Philip Zelinger, the President of Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. and the host of the blog talk radio station featured on AdAgencyOnline.Net — WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time, introduced ecarlist as an approved reseller for SiSTeR Technologies during his Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising show.

SiSTeR pioneered the automated Video Walk A-Round industry in 2006 before the search engines and auto dealers recognized the preference by consumers for video when surfing the web to purchase a new or pre-owned vehicle.  Philip described SiSTeR Technologies as “The most dedicated, innovative and progressive provider of video for the auto industry that I have ever reviewed for my online audience of automotive advertising decision makers.  SiSTeR produces comprehensive video analytical reports and has demonstrated that auto dealers using its video applications enjoy increased conversion rates, more calls and lead submission exceeding 70%.”

SiSTeR uses proprietary technology that creates an individual Video Walk A-Round for every vehicle in the dealers’ inventory using existing pictures, data and text.  The production process is fully automated without placing any burden on the dealer.  One of the most valued and unique features of their process is that every vehicle is described using a  real human voice and the music and style of presentation are customized to fit the vehicle’s category.

Potential car buyers are served by the video clips presented through SiSTer’s proprietary 3DF player that is integrated with most web site providers and all of the major industry portals. Thanks to their 3DF technology, SiSTeR provides the auto dealer with valuable information to quantify their R.O.I. including vehicle comparisons and user behavior when they interact with the video.

Of equal importance to the auto dealer is the fact that the video clips are also uploaded to You Tube and indexed by Google.  SiSTeR pioneered the video search engine in early 2008 as the first video provider for the automotive industry that integrated with You Tube. Today, vSEO has become an industry standard as suggested in a recent article by Karen Bradley, a trainer and dealer consultant for Dealer Synergy and one of the few auto industry trainers certified to teach the Franklin Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Course.

http://www.automotivedigest.com/AutoUSA/AskTheExperts_Vol5Issue2.html

According to Israel Alpert, the C.E.O. of SiSTeR Technologies, “Many providers are trying to follow but none of them has the depth of expertise and experience that is required to achieve top position on Google’s search result.  We just introduced VidBrid  – a revolutionary technology that merges the vehicle presentation and the dealers’ branding with full motion video inserts that are perfectly synchronized with the voice over.  Our productions are not just boring picture stitching or infomercials that turn the audience away.  Our VidBrid technology not only captures the user’s attention but it allows the dealer and the service provider to customize the production to fit every vehicle and style as well as to include the dealers’ messaging, services and special offerings within the video production.  Differentiation is the key to successful marketing and SiSTeR has taken that wisdom to the next level.  Auto dealers are no longer limited to the same cookie-cutter, one production fits all video to market their vehicles and their auto dealerships.”

SiSTeR has developed a national network of distinguished resellers, service providers and promoters which now includes ecarlist.  Their expanding group of respected channel partners can point to direct engagement with large dealer groups.  It has already earned them a pilot program with a major OEM which should be announced to the public at the 2010 NADA Convention scheduled in Orlando, February 13th though February 15th, 2010.  With a combined network of over 600 sale people in the field supported by their philosophy and focus to stay on the cutting edge of video production and marketing to the auto industry they are recognized by many of their auto dealer clients as an innovative vendor partner who is extremely attentive to the auto dealer’s needs.

ecarlist is an automotive advertising vendor with a variety of applications that drew the attention of the automotive advertising agencies that support AdAgencyOnline.Net.  Their new reseller relationship with SiSTeR Technologies will enhance both platforms and provide added value to their shared customers.  ecarlist provides a comprehensive inventory management application and appraisal tool tied to internet sourced market data as well as web site designs and support services which will benefit by their integration of SiSTeR’s video platform.

Len Critcher, the President of ecarlist, was interviewed by Philip Zelinger on his blog talk radio show, “Automotive Advertising Experts” that aired on November 14th 2008.  The new relationship between ecarlist and SiSTeR Technologies developed after the two companies recognized the value of combining their applications to better serve their auto dealer clients.

About Len Critcher

Len Critcher is a dealer principal of eCarLink.com, a leading Internet dealership and CEO of ecarlist.com, a dealership software company in Dallas, TX.  For five years, eCarLink.com has consistently sold over 1,000 vehicles per year exclusively through online marketing.

Critcher has been profiled in Forbes Magazine, CBS News, American Way, and the Dallas Business Journal for his work.  He is often asked to consult dealerships on best practices in selling/marketing online. Critcher’s dealership is currently ranked #8 nationally of ‘pre-owned retailers’ by Auto Dealer Monthly.

About ecarlist

ecarlist serves +/- 500 auto dealerships, including the largest Chevy dealership and the largest pre-owned Lexus dealership in the nation.  They have been marketing their product for less than 2 years but they have recently expanded their offerings to include the following features and benefits described on their website http://ecarlist.com ;

Inventory Listing Management

ecarlist provides more than just inventory management capabilities.  They are one of the most powerful listing tools available.  ecarlist provides multiple ways to input inventory including feeds from a 3rd-party dealer service vendor, integration with an auto dealer’s legacy DMS, or vehicles can be entered manually making the process as painless and intuitive as possible.

Powered by Chrome Systems, one of the most powerful and accurate VIN decoders available, after the initial decode all auto dealers are required to input in most cases is the price, mileage and description (if desired).  Their VIN decode even provides available OEM colors and options for that particular make and model. Total and seamless integration with both CARFAX and AutoCheck allow the option to choose the source of a vehicle’s history report, and ecarlist is one of the first platforms to provide a quick-view CARFAX Highlights summary directly from the vehicle’s inventory page. No more wasting time opening and reviewing CARFAX reports!

ecarlist’s description builder develops a seemingly-customized description about a vehicle without spending all of the extra time. Simply choose the categories to describe, click the check box by the respective description and finalize the arrangement of the descriptions. One of the things that make their description builder unique is the ability to save custom phrases and paragraphs—no more opening up word documents to copy/paste favorite openings or

paragraphs.  Simply type them once, save them to the ecarlist description builder and access them for all future listings.  Their description builder will even update the year, make, model, price and mileage automatically into customized paragraphs, which will save even more time!

Auto Dealers can preview their ad and send their inventory to all of the major sites using some of the most recognizable and acclaimed templates available with just one click.  If an auto dealer prefers a unique, or more customized template, or they feel that there are some better web sites that they would like to use to advertise their inventory, ecarlist will help them achieve what will work best for their dealership.

With ecarlist’s integrated, ‘multi-site’ lead management system, auto dealers can view and reply to leads from many of the most popular marketing mediums directly from their ecarlist account. Auto dealers can choose to view leads based on date received or by vehicle. Even monitor all email communications in thread based formatting.

Email Lead Management

Their included E-mail Lead Management system also allows auto dealers to respond to customer questions, accept/reject/counter eBay Best Offers, and avoid unwanted spam e-mails, which will ensure that auto dealers only receive e-mails that pertain to their business.

Market Price Analysis

The days of only monitoring a competing dealer’s specials down the street are over. The dealership of today must understand the National marketplace and must buy/price their inventory accordingly.  There is an old saying, “profit is made on the buy, not the sale”. With ecarlist’s integrated Market Analysis system – dealerships are better equipped during the buying stage as well as the marketing and pricing stages.  Auto dealers can use ecarlist to assess trade values looking at many forms of data including Black Book and eBay Motors Market Data.  Auto dealers can compare inventory with ‘real-time’ VIN matched vehicles selling online and see exactly what competitors are asking.

A new feature to be added to ecarlist in the near future is their “Classified Market Analysis” including Auto Trader and Cars.com. Also, improved inventory monitoring and inventory price alerts.

Free Inventory Export to Multiple Sites

From eBay Motors and AutoTrader, to Cars.com and Edmunds, auto dealers can list their vehicles to all of the most popular online advertising platforms with just one click.

Free Window Sticker Creator

Auto Dealers can access customized window stickers and buyer’s guides, on demand, with their Window Sticker Creator. No more waiting for 3rd-party providers to put stickers on inventory, no more waiting for graphics companies to deliver stickers a week after they are ordered and no more paying someone else for something that auto dealers can do themselves for ¼ of the cost; simply click and print.

eBay LOCAL Integration

ecarlist is one of only a handful of eBay Motors Preferred Service Providers out of the 30,000+ vendors that eBay works with.

Free craigslist Integration

Auto dealers can easily send all their inventory to one of the world’s largest free, online marketplaces. With more than 7 billion page views per month and an opportunity to selectively market vehicles in most of the country’s largest metropolitan areas for free, craigslist is something auto dealers will definitely take advantage of. A full color ad, branded with  dealership banners will ensure that vehicles get the attention they need from potential buyers.

AutoTrader Tag Line

The eCarList AutoTrader Tag Line, provides the ability to precede each ad with a customer, sales-person specific greeting, that should increase the likelihood that a potential customer knows who to ask for to eliminate confusion on the showroom floor.

Integrated Lease Quoting System

Auto Dealers can populate their ads with auto-generated lease quotes using generic, make-specific or franchise-specific lease criteria (money factors, residuals, terms, etc.). No more manually entering terms on the back-end, no more guessing what the lease payment might be—ecarlist does the work for the auto dealer.

DMS, CRM or Other 3rd-Party Integration

Duplicate entry, switching back-and-forth between various web pages, reconciling an auto dealer’s inventory and corresponding leads all take up valuable time that should be better spent selling vehicles and making money.  That is why ecarlist works so diligently to provide integrations with all of the necessary sources that auto dealers utilize on a daily basis. However, ecarlist goes one step further by ensuring the data from/to these sources are seamlessly integrated into the auto dealer’s account, so the dealer can manage and access everything they need from ecarlist without compromising functionality or accuracy.

Manheim’s Online Vehicle Exchange (OVE) Integration

Lower transaction costs, guaranteed payment, exposure to a national audience of buying dealers…if an auto dealer wholesales any of their inventory, OVE is a necessity. eCarList is proud to be one of the first 3rd-party partners of OVE by providing their auto dealers the ability to list and manage their vehicles directly to this new auction marketplace. All auto dealer clients need to get started is an eCarList account and their Manheim user-name and password.

24-Hour Technical Support

At ecarlist, customer support is paramount. From their technical support and sales representatives, to their executive officers, their goal is that virtually anyone and everyone on their team is accessible when their dealer clients need them most.

Customized “Framing” Upon Request

Framing is a great way to make ads stand out, establish an online image and preserve dealership-specific branding. Additionally, framing decreases the likelihood that a dealership’s ‘likeness’ or vehicle photos will be used in a fraudulent manner by making it difficult for individuals to steal photos without spending a prohibitive amount of time editing them for use as their own.

VIN Explosion Back-up

Although, ecarlist took great care when researching and partnering with the most robust and accurate VIN decode company available, no VIN decoder has 100% success decoding VIN’s. That is why ecarlist is the first, and to their knowledge, only company around that cares enough about their auto dealer client’s time and the accuracy of their listings to employ a back-up VIN decode system. In the event an auto dealer’s initial VIN decode fails, eCarList will automatically generate a VIN decode request with their back-up VIN decode partner, VinPOWER.

A product overview of ecarlist is available by clicking on the link below:

http://www.ecarlist.com/product_overview.pdf 

About AdAgencyOnline.Net 

AdAgencyOnline.Net has and audience comprised of automotive advertising agencies, auto dealers and O.E.M representatives that frequent the site to take advantage of their free automotive advertising resources.  The  blog talk radio shows on the portal include the “Lunch With Phil – Discussing Automotive Advertising” the “Lunch With Ralph – Discussing Automotive Advertising”and the “Automotive Advertising Experts” show.  The shows run weekdays from 12:00 noon to 12:30 PM EST.  They all allow call-in questions to the guests or they can be downloaded anytime at http://adagencyonline.net/ or www.blogtalkradio.com/adagencyonline

AdAgencyOnline.Net provides solutions to automotive advertising agencies, auto dealers and O.E.M. representatives who turn to the automotive advertising site to solve common problems discussed on WAAOL.  AdAgencyOnline.Net also hosts an online Dealer 20+ Group sharing best practices with senior automotive advertising account executives from Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. who monitor the portal to offer free advice. 

AdAgencyOnline.Net has interviewed a variety of nationally recognized automotive advertising representatives in addition to Len Critcher from ecarlist since its launch at the NADA Convention in San Francisco in February of 2008.  Previous guests included Clayton Stanfield from EBay Motors , Mark Boyd and Mark Dubis from CarFolks.Com, Jared Hamilton from DrivingSales.Com, Dale Pollak from vAuto, David Wassmann from NeoSynergy, Jerry Daniels from Automotive Broadcasting Network, (ABN), Terry Alling from Kihon Media, David Marod from LeadConverter, Mike Parsons from Laser Stream Video, Brian Hoecht from Ai Dealer, Ralph Paglia from ADP and host to the auto industry social networking community ADM, Jim Ziegler, motivational speaker and consultant to the auto industry, Jeff Kershner, ecommerce director for The Mile One Automotive Group and host of the auto industry social networking forum DealerRefresh.Com , Jeff  Raab from the Detroit Trading Company, (DTX), Tim Zierdon from JMsolutions AAX™, Mike DeCecco from Dealer.Com, Ken Schwartz from CityTwist, Michael R. Spadafore from R. L. Polk & Co.  Kevin Schwartz and Rick Rochon from AdSymetrix , Jeffery Bennet from Argistics and Ron Morrison from ronsmap; to name a few.

For additional information on SiSTeR Technologies, ecarlist or Ad Agency Online automotive advertising agencies, auto industry vendors and auto dealers can visit the portal at http://adagencyonline.net/ , contact Philip Zelinger directly at 888-796-2228 or email Philip at pzads@bellsouth.net.  To quote Philip Zelinger, “Help is only a click away!” ###

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