Monthly Archives: September 2009

Online Spend in Social Networks seeing Significant gain even Automotive

According to a report by, Nielson 17% of all time spent on the internet goes to social networking and blogging sites this past August. Consumers have obviously made a huge change in how the internet has changed.

Of course video and text still rule the overall experience of the web. Obviously the desire to connect or openly express thoughts seems to keep attracting people and continues to grow use.

I came across these cool stats below. You can see that for Aug 09 to Aug 2010 online advertising spend on the most popular social networks grew from $49 mil to $108 mil. Which, makes sense because the percent of share went 9% to 15%.

year-over-year-percent

In particular, advertisers that want to connect with core fan bases, such as movie studios, and now car dealers catching on are allocating more  dollars to online communities like Facebook and MySpace,top-social-networking-site because hello- this is where your target car buyers are hanging out and this is how you keep them engaged!

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Email, Still the Best customer Communication- Imagine That

Hey I have a question for you, now that more and more dealers are getting a lot more aggressive in their online advertising, but of course history repeating itself you’re probably throwing money at all these multichannel channel campaigns and hoping something sticks right? With digital advertising chances are you might get lucky, but like most dealers you’re probably unaware of what channels your customer prefers. Do you really know how valuable those email addresses are?

Well think about it. Since the beginning of the email revolution its momentum hasn’t slowed down as you can see in the study below by ExactTarget it still holds it place as the most preferred way consumers wish to stay connected with companies they do business with even with the new text wave, nipping at its heels. Email works, why do you think spam all of sudden got a lot heavier this year?

(The majority (92%) of online consumers have opted-in for email marketing, making it the most popular channel for permission-based promotional messages across every age group)

(The majority (92%) of online consumers have opted-in for email marketing, making it the most popular channel for permission-based promotional messages across every age group)

It’s great that you might be doing digital advertising by way of SEM, SEO, Display, Social Media etc.. but how are you keeping your current and future customers engaged? Please say by to direct mail and hello email! As inexpensive as email marketing is now start to think of all those opportunities you had to proactively build your email list like, when a customer gets service done, when a  phone lead calls in, a parts inquiry, and the list goes on.

Good night and get rested for a productive day

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A Look into the Mobile Future Part Two

Picking up on where I left off in part One

“Everybody has a website, but not everyone provides a mobile experience right now,” “I predict by the end of next year if you pull your phone out and you’re in the Hilton hotel and it doesn’t tell you information about the Hilton, either your phone is broken or the Hilton’s broken. If you, as a business, own a location, you’ve got a huge opportunity to reach your customer.” For the automotive of course this trend will crawl a little a slower but like everything technological what I’ve seen thus far it will start as too farfetched, but my fellow dealers are being a lot more opened minded about emerging trends this may happen a lot sooner.

So what do you need to know to consider an advertising strategy to tap into these people on the go you ask? Let’s look at a couple emerging technologies that will affect the way people search on mobile devices.

To Mobile or Mobalize that is question

Many businesses are developing mobile versions of their Web site so mobile visitors can view their site content in a manner that’s optimized for the smaller screen. Take the scenario of that car shopper leaving a competitor dealer and searches for you on their phone. Or what if you have someone looking for service for their new Toyota, is you’re your site optimized for service mobility? From those two small scenarios alone if you answered no, then you may want to look into building a mobile site.

Mobile Evolution

Mobile Evolution

The alternative is to “mobilize” your site to be more mobile friendly. The iPhone, for example, allows for easy browsing of regular Web sites, but other phones have a hard time rendering the content in an easily readable way. Decide which is best for your site.

Whether you’re building a mobile site or mobilizing your site, always make sure that you are optimizing the site of course! The basic principles for normal SEO are generally applicable, but there are some things to know that will help you achieve higher rankings. But, more on that down the road and tips on dealer mobile sites.

Yours Truly,

The Automotive Diva

A Look into the Automotive Mobile Future

A Look into the Mobile future

For those of you who know me all know how passionate I am about the ever evolving technology and what it holds for us in the future. Coupled with how much I love the auto industry it’s exciting for me to brainstorm on how these technologies will be plugged into this space or how long it will take for consumers to apply these new technologies to their car shopping behaviors.

According to a recent Gartner report, mobile advertising is poised to grow 74 percent this year to $913.5 million. It’s then predicted to accelerate in 2011 and then reach $13 billion in 2013. The increased consumer use of smartphones is said to be the contributing factor for the explosion.

This of course is all across the board, but remember it all starts with consumer behaviors. Just to give you an example of what I mean by this is. For many years before the internet revolution dealers have relied on traditional marketing to throw out in the market to hopefully find buyers. Then as the internet came along and just a fun fact for you, it only took the internet 5 years to penetrate 50% of US households and it took T.V. and Newspapers over 75 years! So moving along in the timeline, with the internet becoming more of the norm companies came along to capitalize on this by uploading dealer inventory on their websites and promoting it heavily for consumers to shop for cars. The internet became a tool that contained CAR BUYERS that are in the market so it’s how do I get those buyers to come the dealers. So then of course came along third party lead gens, SEM done by the manufacturer and then dealers caught on in doing SEM for their own websites, etc etc… the list goes on. Now comes along the mobile market and with all the smartphone technology it allows consumers to take their internet on the go.

Now trust me I know it may be hard to picture that consumers will be shopping for cars on their devices. But take this scenario you’re out and about with some friends and you want to find a restaurant there are so many different GPS-aware apps out there to help you find places in your area such as, Yelp, Around Me, or Urban Spoon to choose from to fit your taste. And these apps will pull up those restaurants near you and may even allow for reviews and comments online.  Remember it all starts with consumer behavior and keep in mind how quickly internet searching evolves and is adopted by consumers. This all started with the search engines and then moving into the directories online and now we’re able to do it mobily. Take this same restaurant scenario and apply it to car shopper that just left a dealership and wants to research other dealers in the area.

Don’t you want that shopper to be able to find you? But, another note to leave on when they find you will they be able to view your inventory or view your site on their mobile devices? I will touch on this in part two.

Google keeps it silly simple, so should you.

I came across this timeline of changes the major search engines have gone through over the past 10 years or so.

Simple search from GoogleSimple search from Google

What struck me is that Google has been keeping it simple since the beginning – and they continue to be the dominant player online.

We can learn from this. Google is a great example of how to keep things simple. This KISS philosophy (keep it simple, silly) should also be applied to your business.

Yahoo: Search, plus…Yahoo: Search, plus...

Google’s success is because they concentrate on their core “search” capabilities, and don’t let themselves get distracted like their competitors do, with “overcrowding” their information. They keep their focus on what’s really important in what they provide: SEARCH.

What’s your business? What can you eliminate so that you can be focused on your most important capability?

Hmm…. Now there’s athought,

Yours truly

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