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Digital Down Low

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June 11, 2012
Filed under Features, Top Stories

Glenn Hancock, president/CIO, nizeX, Inc.

Email marketing
Email marketing has its place in business but for a very limited target audience. We’re finding that because of the incredible problem spam still represents today, that most companies still take a shotgun approach to trying to solve it.

Social media
I believe the entire social media craze is going to start becoming less and less important. … I personally feel most of the hype for using social media in business comes from the social media industry itself in order to help promote the idea to them to sell more ads.

Mobile
From an email and text messaging point of view, we utilize these areas throughout our web-based application Lizzy, and we do see those areas becoming more widely used accepted.

Websites
A lot of dealers don’t spend nearly enough time in this area of their business, and we do see that as a mistake. We do hope to see even more movement in sharing information and services on company websites and feel this is an important area to invest resources.

Online reputation management
Most customers, before they post something ugly on a website, probably contacted us directly and expressed those same feelings, and we failed to address it completely at that time. Spending more time up front listening to your customers and trying to do everything possible to address their issues would seem to us a better way to spend time and resources.

 

Jon Lintvet, vice president of product and chief marketing officer, ARI

Email marketing
Email marketing will continue to be a highly effective way to drive leads and sales both in-store and online. Make sure to look at your email analytics to help understand your dealership’s ROI on email marketing.

Social media
Even though the jury is still out on Google+ as a direct competitor to Facebook in the social arena, one thing to watch is how Google integrates its social data into its search results. Be sure to set up your Google+ page; the more Google knows about your business, the more traffic you’ll receive.

Mobile
Increasing percentages (about 15 percent) of visitors to your website are using a mobile device, so it’s important to have a mobile-friendly website. At a minimum, make sure your mobile website displays a map link, your hours of operation, a clickable phone number, your inventory and a contact form.

Websites
Content is king and making your entire vehicle inventory, parts and aftermarket accessories easy to find by users and search engines will help guarantee repeat visitors.

Online reputation management
Claim your Google Places and Bing Business pages. Also set up a Facebook business page, Twitter account and YouTube channel. These sites are popular top 10 listings for small business name searches.

 

John Vaughan-Chaldy, director of marketing, RoJo Max Opp Marketing

Email marketing
Create and maintain a consistent email communication with each customer while providing information that builds knowledge and trust about your dealership. Create a standardized marketing template and avoid overtly selling or promoting, i.e. “huge discounts,” “buy now,” “closeouts,” etc.

Social media
Accept that social media is marketing. Use it to make a personal connection, post feelings about a race or event and share what you think. Invite others to engage. Post interesting photos and show your involvement with your community.

Mobile
Stop thinking your customers don’t want to get text messages, and get started yesterday. Mobile SMS or text marketing is where it’s at — it connects you to your customers in a way they want to interact and it’s instantaneous. Use text to allow customers to make service appoints and send them special invitations to private sales.

Website        
Websites are not something you put up and walk away from — you must change service descriptions, keywords, event calendars, photos and graphics. This not only keeps them interesting for customers, but new content is what attracts the search engines.

Online reputation management
Vigilant attention and management to what is being said about your dealership deserves constant attention and immediate interaction. You get one chance to make a first impression; don’t let bad reviews or comments make that impression cost you customers.

 

Dave Valentine, National Sales Manager, PSN

Email marketing
Email is going mobile. Email open rates on smartphones and tablets grew by 82.4 percent this past year. By the end of 2012 these mobile devices will become the dominant platform for accessing email, as reported in Mobile Marketer.

Social media
With the new Timeline for business pages, the upcoming Facebook Offers for businesses and the newly released Facebook Pages mobile app, dealerships must view Facebook as a valuable marketing tool for building relationships and spreading their marketing message.

Mobile
Shopping experiences are happening on mobile. ComScore reports that 46 percent of mobile users perform shopping activities. Top activities include product comparisons, local store search, coupons and product details.

Websites
Websites are becoming more closely tied with social media, presenting increased opportunities for site visitors to share the content they are viewing across their social networks.

Online reputation management
Be on the lookout for a new update in Google Places called Google Local. Traffic Log Pro has recently indicated that Google Local will be targeting top-ranked businesses in local, urban areas to display on that area’s Google Place page.

 

Bill Lundberg, product specialist, 50 Below

Email marketing
Email marketing will remain an important part of any website marketing strategy. Although social media has been the big craze lately, email marketing continues to get the greatest ROI.  A dealer can send targeted email with little overhead.

Social media
Social networks are for building relationships, sharing current news and soliciting feedback on products and services. It shouldn’t be used to pitch a product; that’s better suited for email marketing.

Mobile
Everyone is seems to be getting a smartphone. Consumers find everything online using their mobile device. Companies that focus time on creating cool and useful apps will reap rewards in the near future. The only issue I see with mobile is network issues (speed & connection).

Websites
Websites are still a needed business destination. Customers still go online, whether it’s with laptops, desktops, or smartphones, to research a company, products and services.

Online reputation management
Sign up for Google Alerts for your business name and key products and brands.

 

 

Comments

2 Responses to “Digital Down Low”

  1. SMS text Marketing on June 12th, 2012 1:04 am

    I just came onto your post and found it quite interesting. I am also associated with SMS Marketing, SMS text Marketing ,text Marketing, text Messages marketing, and enjoy to read the stuff on the same as its rarely found on internet. Thanks again for writing such a good post.

    [Reply]

  2. Heather Blessington on November 15th, 2012 12:38 pm

    With all due respect, to call social media a “craze” is just silly. When social media starts to become “less and less important,” I’ll be out of business, so let’s see who is right here as time rolls on (hey, maybe I’m hyping it just to have a business!?)

    Social media sites were founded as follows:
    Facebook 2004
    Twitter 2006
    YouTube 2007

    The world woke up to the power of these social channels in what, 2009-2010? None of them even had ads available for the formative years.

    We are entering 2013, heading full speed into Cyber Monday which is heavily promoted by retailers through social media channels projected to bring in $1.5B — overshadowing Black Friday sales. Retailers wouldn’t buy ads if the eyeballs weren’t there so why should we not embrace this as an industry?

    Smartphones are the other reason social media is ingrained in our culture for good. Social channels are default installed on phones, people check their Facebook page before they get out of bed. Sure, the social channels may change, but they won’t go away, they will just improve and bring us more and more amazing tools to connect with friends, family and business (ever try Google Hangout?)

    Rant over,
    HB

    [Reply]

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