Posts Tagged “driving loyalty”

Cedar Falls, Iowa: August 12th 2014, Driving Loyalty will be introducing their newly announced B2C and B2B Social Marketing Initiative at Autocon 2014 as an enhancement to their Database Marketing Platform. Autocon 2014 will be held at The Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas September 03rd through September 5th 2014.

Autocon 2014 has a unique reputation as a “Dealer Generated Conference.” Scott Davis, the President and Founder of Driving Loyalty, explained why he decided to exhibit at Autocon 2014, “They share our focus on relationship based selling and the power of networking. As a result, it is the perfect place to launch our new B2C Social Marketing Initiative that adds Social Media to our email, Direct Mail, PURL’s and outbound Call Centers to leverage established relationships for our auto dealer clients with their customers. Our B2B Social Marketing Initiative allows us to network with complimentary vendor partners to leverage our resources and improve the R.O.I. for our shared dealer clients from our combined products and services. Autocon 2014 features speaker sessions by many successful auto dealers, including some of our valued dealer clients, and exhibits by several of our B2B vendor partners, such as CallRevu, making our decision to participate in the conference an easy one.”

Auto dealers speaking at Autocon 2014 include Chris Saraceno, Vice President and Partner at Kelly Automotive Group, Bernie Moreno, President of The Collection Auto Group, Brian Benstock, General Manager and Vice President of Paragon Honda and Richard Bustillo, General Manager of Rick Case Honda. According to Scott, “The real world experiences and advice that these speakers provide represent a unique advantage over the typical vendor sessions hosted at competing auto industry conferences. I expect to be able to listen and learn as much as I will presume to teach.”

Auto dealers are attending conferences to gain access to auto industry insiders supporting these events. Next generation sales and service processes being introduced at Autocon 2014 are often powered by technology driven vendor solutions like Driving Loyalty and learning about them is worth the price of admission. Autocon 2014 also includes educational sessions on 15 different categories covering advertising, digital marketing, social media, retention, certified pre-owned and more. All-in-all, over 150 best practices will be shared over the course of the three days.

About Driving Loyalty, LLC.: Driving Loyalty has been operating out of their facilities in Cedar Falls, Iowa since. 2003. They started as a family owned operation but several industry savvy investor partners have joined the company supporting their expansion and shift to the more comprehensive solution they currently provide. Their automated database marketing platform is powered by proprietary software and algorithms that have proven successful for over 200 auto dealers. Driving Loyalty has been selected as “One of The Top Ten Companies To Watch” by AutoSuccess magazine for three years in a row.

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Cedar Falls, Iowa: August 04th 2014, Driving Loyalty, an auto industry focused technology vendor based out of Cedar Falls Iowa, announced that they will be exhibiting their database marketing platform at Autocon 2014. The self-described “Dealer Generated Conference” will be held at The Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas September 03rd through September 5th 2014.

Scott Davis, the President and Founder of Driving Loyalty, was quick to explain why he chose to exhibit at Autocon 2014 vs. the many competing venues targeting the lucrative auto industry, “I was impressed with their speaker list of auto dealers instead of the typical vendors that dominate other auto industry conferences. People like Chris Saraceno, Vice President and Partner at Kelly Automotive Group, Bernie Moreno, President of The Collection Auto Group, Brian Benstock, General manager and Vice President of Paragon Honda, Richard Bustillo, General Manager of Rick Case Honda, Jessica Germain, Director of Customer Experience for Germain Automotive Group and Raquel Case, General Manager of Rick Case Maserati, Alfa Romeo can provide real world experiences and advice that will help Driving Loyalty serve our dealer client’s needs.”

A growing number of auto dealers challenged by changing market conditions and consumer preferences are turning to conferences to learn about the next best thing to help them sell and service more customers. Autocon 2014 seems to have hit the right formula for success by focusing on auto dealers vs. vendors. Thought leaders in the auto industry including auto dealers and select vendors will host educational sessions focusing on 15 different categories covering advertising, digital marketing, social media, retention, certified pre-owned and more. All-in-all, over 150 best practices will be shared over the course of the three days.

Driving Loyalty is uniquely qualified to address the subjects addressed at the conference. Their automated database marketing platform is powered by proprietary software and algorithms that have proven successful for over 200 auto dealers. Their solution includes targeted email, direct mail, PURL’s, an outbound call center and a newly introduced social marketing initiative. According to Scott Davis, “Our platform covers every element of sales and service for an auto dealer to increase their customer loyalty, retention, certified pre-owned vehicles and improved profits. Virtually all of the subjects listed on the Autocon 2014 agenda are part of our process for our auto dealer clients.”

About Driving Loyalty, LLC.:Driving Loyalty has been operating out of their facilities in Cedar Falls, Iowa since. 2003. They started as a family owned operation but several industry savvy investor partners have joined the company supporting their expansion and shift to the more comprehensive solution they currently provide. Driving Loyalty has been selected as “One of The Top Ten Companies To Watch” by AutoSuccess magazine for three years in a row.

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Most dealers recognize the value of their data base of past and present customers.  Many even invest in automated marketing programs that rely on algorithms to target qualified customers and deliver equity alerts for vehicle exchange programs and properly timed service alerts based on factory recommended maintenance to improve customer retention and loyalty after the sale.

The following potentially missed opportunities to maximize the R.O.I. realized by managing your most valued asset – your customers – includes many that I have overcome and a few that hopefully my friends will add in their comments:

1) Cross promotions between sales and service and service to sales:  Most dealers have a process in place to introduce new customers to a service writer to schedule their first service appointment and anchor future maintenance to preserve their warranty.  (If you don’t, make this a two for one missed opportunity and set up a process to insure a T.O. to service that extends beyond your service hours.)

However, few dealers have a similar structure in place to monitor and manage sales processes in the service lane that remind customers when they qualify to trade-up their vehicle to a new or newer one.  Typically, this is due to a lack of data, resources or staff that can research and notify customers when they have enough equity to qualify to trade-in their vehicle with little or no money down for a new or newer vehicle for similar payments.

As mentioned in my introduction, vendor solutions like Driving Loyalty can automate this discovery and notice to the customer.  However, to take maximum advantage of their marketing platform, they suggest a proven process that includes a dedicated individual in the service lane to assist the customer with their decision to exchange their vehicle vs. paying for the scheduled service that brought them to your dealership.

Driving Loyalty reminds their dealer clients that when quantifying their R.O.I. from this process they should consider not only the front and back end profit from the new or pre-owned vehicle sale but also the value of acquiring a potentially qualified Certified Pre-Owned vehicle and the increased customer loyalty and retention realized by your efforts.

2) Social Media – Marketing – Networking: Many dealers have become frustrated with using social media/marketing to communicate with their customers primarily due, in my opinion, to unrealistic expectations.  Sourcing vehicle sales and service appointments from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinetrest, Instagram, Linked-In and a number of yet to be discovered consumer centric social networking communities is not be as easy as through conventional and digital media.  However, once again, technology driven vendor solutions can provide a realistic R.O.I. from your social marketing initiatives.

Next generation apps like HELIOS developed by xChange Automotive reside entirely within the Facebook environment and provide relevant/transparent information to a customer without distracting them from their more socially driven conversations.  HELIOS provides everything from contests for cash to integrated processes that host one on one discussions with their “friend in the car business” about a considered vehicle purchase or pending service need that can be shared with their online friends and family in a non-confrontational manner.  More uniquely, the customers never have to leave their comfort zone within their Facebook page and the dealer is able to deliver/receive the information directly through their CRM/DMS and established sales/service processes.

3) Dealer Reputation/Referral Platforms: Soliciting positive feedback and referrals from customers before. during and after the sale is an old school technique that has survived into today’s technology driven marketplace.  Word of mouth advertising, bird dogs and simply asking for a referral is common place, however, third party marketing platforms that profess to be consumer centric and dealer focused have often left consumers out of the formula.

Carfolks.Com is a site that has existed for some time that adds an additional feature/benefit for consumers as well as dealers on several levels.  As expected, they notify a dealer of a poor review to offer them an opportunity to address and resolve it, however, to preserve credibility for consumers they do not allow the dealer to eliminate the bad reviews.  Instead, they insure that the dealer has the last word vs. posting a string of unwarranted attacks with the expectation that the dealer will either resolve the problem or support their position in a positive manner.

More uniquely, they offer sales consultants and service writers a “free” page on their site so customers can post their comments directly with/about the people that they actually did business with. As a result, the dealer can identify where/who the problem/opportunity originated with so they can address the individual and either critique or compliment them.  In addition, the sales consultant or service writer can learn from their replies and hopefully develop a customer base that will allow them to improve their sales techniques and increase their income.  The resulting increase in customer satisfaction/retention is coupled with an increased employee satisfaction/retention which directly benefits all parties; the customer. the employee and the dealer!

I can continue listing other examples of how/why a dealer can/should focus on their past and present customers vs. constantly investing new advertising dollars to attract new ones.  However, now would be a good time to ask you for your thoughts on the subject and suggested examples of how we can all maximize the R.O.I. from our DMS and our collected list of customers.

After all, what are friends and Ad Agency Online 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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Forward thinking automotive advertising agencies understand that most changes in the auto industry are driven by technology; however, all of them are powered by human nature.   The evolution from word of mouth referral systems relying on relationship based sales processes to today’s consumer driven social marketing messages can be traced to their  common element; people like to do business with people that they like.

Auto dealers are constantly looking for ways to maximize profits and consumers are equally focused on getting the best possible deal.  The key to satisfying all parties in a free marketplace is to focus on what both sides have in common and it isn’t short term profit or price.

The market has decided that the most efficient technology driven solutions are only effective if they also improve the customer experience.  This has become more evident in today’s internet driven marketplace as social media has empowered consumers to gather the information they need to make a buying or servicing decision without having to rely on their local auto dealer.

Auto industry vendors have focused on providing consumer centric processes to complement social marketing initiatives.   Their common agenda is to prioritize the needs of the customer before those of the dealer with the confidence that they are not mutually exclusive. Read the rest of this entry »

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