The role of automotive advertising agencies is changing along with the auto industry that they serve. Philip Zelinger, the President of Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. — a national network of independent affiliated automotive advertising agencies and the host an automotive advertising resource / networking portal, http://AdAgencyOnline.Net — has taken an active role to educate automotive advertising agencies and their auto dealer clients about their changing roles in a consolidating auto industry that is shifting onto the Internet Super Highway vs. local car rows.
Philip is a nationally respected automotive advertising expert and highly sought after speaker and supporter of real world venues in the auto industry such as The Digital Dealer Conferences, NADA Convention, JD Powers Conferences, OEM Dealer Meetings, Dealer 20 Groups and automotive advertising classes at Northwood University. He is also a regular contributor to online social networking communities in addition to his own http://AdAgencyOnline.Net including http://AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.Com , http://DealerRefresh.Com, http://DrivingSales.Com, http://www.InternetSalesManager.Org, http://Auttr.Com, http://DealerElite.Net, Dealer Advisor Nation — http://danation.ning.com/, http://www.autodealerpeople.com/, http://Just-Auto.com/ and Automotive News with their online publication, http://www.autonews.com/; to name a few.
Philip summarized his advice to his affiliated automotive advertising agencies to reinvent themselves and their offered products/services to their auto dealer clients on his recent blog talk radio show, Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising, that is featured on the blog talk radio station hosted on AdAgencyOnline.Net — WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time. “The only constant in the auto industry is change. Of course human nature is also a universal constant, but since that is the fuel that powers most change in the auto industry it is already factored in and considered when I counsel my affiliated automotive advertising agencies to look to consumers for the answers.”
“Radio, T.V. and newspapers are no longer the media of choice for today’s Internet savvy consumers. B2C messages online are filtered out in favor of C2C conversations in social networking communities that now dot the landscape on the World Wide Web. Automotive advertising agencies must reinvent themselves as the resource that auto dealers rely on to navigate them onto the Internet Super Highway because that is where their customers are. Keeping ahead of new technologies and applications that integrate selling processes between the real and the virtual world showrooms and inserting auto dealers into the conversations that make up the online marketplace must be job one for automotive advertising agencies who wish to serve their auto dealer clients in today’s challenging auto industry. Radio, T.V. and print production has a shrinking role in an automotive advertising agency’s tool box and leveraged online production resources will eliminate them altogether in the near future. Similarly, agency commissions earned from conventional media analysis and placement are being absorbed into the media providers as value added services for their auto dealer advertisers. At the same time, automotive advertising budgets are being shifted to online digital marketing platforms with more verifiable sourced R.O.I. that is far superior to conventional media. The writing is on the virtual wall and automotive advertising agencies must either read it, write it or accept their diminishing value in tomorrow’s auto industry.”
The Internet has empowered consumers to bypass auto dealers and even their most strategically placed marketing message in favor of online information resources that are not dependent on automotive advertising agencies or auto dealers for their content. Initially, third party aggregators captured online auto shoppers attempting to avoid real and virtual world auto dealerships by collecting inventory from hundreds of auto dealers anxious to get their inventory in front of today buyers for new and pre-owned vehicles. Consumers quickly realized the limitations of looking at vehicles in this kind of dealer-centric platform and the technology driven evolution of online marketing platforms soon provided more consumer-centric solutions.
A newly emerging online marketing platform that is quickly earning a reputation as a game changer is http://ronsmap that launched their Beta platform on March 01st, 2010. The site has a unique user interface that mirrors a Google Map using a geo-targeted platform with pins representing every new and pre-owned vehicle for sale in a consumer controlled radius from their home or office. ronsmap eliminates search engine fatigue by replacing pages of vertical lists of individual vehicles displayed as a result of a typical search on Google and other search engines — and/or on the now dated inventory marketing platforms like AutoTrader.Com — with a horizontal map that displays every vehicle in the same position at the same time.
An even more unique advantage offered by ronsmap that favors consumer preferences is their ability to allow site visitors to select vehicles to drop into their short list for direct comparisons in price and product. This new feature places all of the auto dealers and their vehicles on an even playing field with the customer in charge of the process of elimination to select a vehicle — and a dealer — that fits their needs without having to listen to a sales pitch from even a well meaning sales person.
Finally, ronsmap allows auto dealers to monetize social media with their integrated Ask-A-Friend / Tell-A-Friend feature that invites car shoppers to share their vehicle selections with their online friends and family to assist them in their car shopping experience. These C2C conversations pushed from ronsmap to Face Book and other social networking communities replace previous unsuccessful attempts by automotive advertising agencies to post B2C messages on the same social media platforms.
Automotive advertising agencies need to know about sites like ronsmap that offer a variety of free services including free vehicle listings and even basic leads with a guaranteed R.O.I. and a way to earn a seat at the social media table More relevantly, they need to tell their auto dealer clients about them to justify their agency fees!
Other technology driven applications automotive advertising agencies need to tell their auto dealer clients about that will allow them to sell more vehicles and service for less money and with less staff include DealerMouth.Com with their dealer hosted personal web sites for their staff, TeleTextSolutions with their dashboard tool that integrates telephone and SMS text messaging for more comprehensive and cost effective follow up, SiSTeR Technologies and their Video CarLot that provides an automated video production platform that converts the pictures on an auto dealer’s website into fully indexed and interactive videos using human voice pushed onto the search engines through their dedicated API with You Tube and a Face Book application that allows an auto dealer to display their entire inventory on non-offensive tab within the customers Face Book page, Argistics with their customer interaction platform that allows online shoppers to initiate a two way video conversation from within an auto dealer’s website that can accommodate a turnkey online transaction without having to drop the glass wall that empowers online shoppers to move forward in the negotiation process and GetAutoAppraise which provides site visitors with NADA sourced values for their trade-in while selecting suitable vehicles from the auto dealers online inventory to find a car to replace the one that they are selling.
Any one of these new online conversion and marketing tools can develop a superior R.O.I. to even the best written and placed conventional automotive advertising messages and/or online digital marketing campaigns. Philip Zelinger summed up the value of these technology driven solutions and their importance to automotive advertising agencies who need to justify their agency fees to their auto dealer clients in today’s consolidating auto industry. “Investing twenty five years as a General Manager and Auto Dealer Principal followed by operating a national network of independent automotive advertising agencies taught me the importance of protecting the bottom line; first for my clients and then for myself. Many automotive advertising agencies still operate under the assumption that if they bring enough bodies to the front door then they have earned their fees. In today’s consolidating auto industry; not so much!”
“Reduced sales volume and profit margins coupled with increased expenses demand that automotive advertising agencies must increase their areas of responsibility to include internal selling processes using systems to increase efficiencies across all departments in an auto dealership in both their brick and mortar facilities and their newly developing virtual showrooms. You have to be in it to win it and for the foreseeable future the game is being played on the World Wide Web. The most active lanes on the Internet Super Highway are those that lead to social networking communities that share information between automotive advertising agencies and auto dealers as much as they do for their customers. After all, what are friends for!”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him at 888-796-2228. To quote Philip Zelinger, “Help is only a click away! After all, what are friends for!” ###