Thursday, March 26, 2009

How to Use MarketVisionPart 1-Data & Reporting

With the new release of our entire business philosophy coming at you quickly, I realized there are several basics I have failed to cover in the Diva blog. The next few posts are going to be focused on those of you that know or want to know us over at Tri-Auto and how to use some of the tools we provide. I LOVE talking to dealers & their sales people about how to most effectively take advantage of these things and am happy to join your pre-sale sales meeting via conference call to discuss them as well.
How to Use MarketVision-Part 1 Data & Reporting
This is going to be a level 200 course on MarketVision, if you don't know the basics, please check out the quick video here to see what it is and how it works. Getting started: 1. Go to and click "client Login" in the upper right 2. Click "new account"and fill in the quick info 3. Call me or Katy and let us know you've done this and we'll set you up with your online account. The account allows you to access all MarketVision data from your current sale and all other sales from the past. It also gives you access to "sign" paperwork online in the future Prepping the sales team: 1. Make sure to stress the importance of getting as much info as possible from the ups as they come in. These are going to be future lead lists, you need emails & phone numbers to follow up! BONUS TIP: Many dealers spiff their salespeople or have a contest for who can collect the most emails or phone numbers! 2. Double check that each sales person has their own key tag that allows them to scan in before each person they talk to. This is how we track which salesperson talked to which person. 3. The only way people can find out what they've won is by using the MarketVision kiosk, this should insure that every person scans in their mailer & inputs their info. Throughout the sale: 1. Log in, at the very least, every morning and check your reports. 2. From your log in page you can see, how much traffic you've had, how many people each salesperson has talked to, the number of incoming phone calls from the mailer, and how each zip code is performing. 3. Print off each salesperson's lead list in the morning and pass them out. During any downtime it would be a great opportunity to call every person they spoke to and thank them for coming in and answer any other questions they might have. 4. This would also be a good time to take a quick gauge on the closing ratio of each salesperson-if they talked to 23 people and didn't sell a car it might be a great time for a quick sales training session. At the close of the sale: 1. Figure your ROI, check the number of cars you sold against the MarketVision list--I imagine no other form of marketing can you help you find out exactly what you gained from it so quickly. 2. Figure your closing ratio--and talk to your team about ways to improve. 3. Print out entire lead list-either by sales rep or the master list--continue to follow up! (more on this later) 4. Have a wrap up sales meeting, share the data with your staff and give kudos to those that registered a lot of ups, had the highest closing ratio, got the most contact info, etc. 5. Take a hard look at the zip code report. After 3 MarketVision sales we'll do a formal analysis for you with recommendations, but even after 1 sale you'll see a clear line between which zips worked well, and which didn't. Most of the data is figured for you-but if you'd like help on looking at your ROI or closing ratio I'm happy to assist with both. So many dealers love the practical application of the kiosk throughout the sale, but a lot are missing out on all the great tools on the back end.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

MIA Direct Mail Diva

It's been a week since my last post, I've been extremely overloaded the past few days working out the final details on our BRAND NEW, top SeCReT program we've put together specifically for automotive dealers.
This program will absolutely change the way you look at mail and your entire marketing program.
Tomorrow we're rolling it out to everyone here at Tri Auto, so next week I'll be able to talk to all of you about it! I'm the saving the "what it is" for later, but will share the "who will benefit" now to get you thinking of if you fall into the category, or if you know someone who does.
Who might be a good match for this new program?
  • Forward thinking dealers who like to be early adopters, or be the first to hit the market with something.
  • Dealers that are still spending money to market themselves even in the current economic climate.
  • Groups with several locations looking to put together a program that allows everyone fair market share without stepping on toes.
  • Mid to large franchise dealers.
  • Dealerships that want to know exactly what results they are getting off of every marketing dollar they spend.
  • Management that is looking for ways of improving their marketing, closing ratio and sales person performance.
  • And finally, dealers with leadership that is open to discussing what's happened in the past, what's happening now, and what they want to happen in the future.

I'm so excited for this new chapter in Tri-Auto's journey as a company! This program takes everything we've already learned from MarketVision and harnesses its power to start taking the marketing at individual dealerships to the next level.

More to come...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day!

I'm not Irish--but how can you not love a day that promotes all things green? It seems today just about anything that can be died or dressed in the mossy hue--is. I've always been a big fan of the color as Kelly Green is the official color of the New Castle Chrysler High School Trojans. Yes, I proudly cheered for the only high school in the country with a vehicle manufacturer in the name for six years. New Castle's other claim to fame is the largest high school fieldhouse in the world-I mention this, only because, it's mandatory as an alumni to bring it up. In addition to my fascination with green, we also had a "baked potato bar" at lunch which was pretty awesome in itself. This St. Patty's Day I'm seeing things a little differently, with the current uptick in the market and used car sales continuing to increase--I think this "lucky day" may be just what we all need. Have some fun this afternoon - all of our luck is changing!
The Fieldhouse at New Castle Chrysler High School-Can seat up to 10,000 fans!
The Canal here in Downtown Indianapolis dyed this morning by the mayor:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Marketing to your Database

People call and ask me for the most effective mailing lists we can get our hands on. ...and we don't have it--you do! Your own, in house, sales & service database is really the very best list you can market to. If all you are doing is having the sales people put together some personal letters to a handful of people every month there is a huge opportunity for you! We recommend hitting your database once a quarter with some kind of sales offer and keeping up with them that often or more with service mailers. In addition to sending them mail via the Post Office--it's also a great idea to email them on a monthly basis. Email newsletters with info about vehicle maintenance, recipes & specials at the dealership are a great way to stay in touch and offer relevant information. Database mailers produce a higher ROI than any other type, if you haven't contacted yours, as a group, in the past 3 months--it's time.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Make the most of YOUR Direct Mail Week-Day 5

It's Friday, and "Make the Most of your Direct Mail Week 2009" is drawing to a close. I tried to keep these tips short & sweet, and things you can incorporate into any mailer with any company. Below is the most important thing of all.
Day #5 Tip
Set the tone for your team.
One of my first managers in this business used to say "speed of the leader, speed of the team." I love that. I talked to a dealer today that had 200 people in over the course of 2 weeks off of 10,000 pieces of mail. They sold "a couple" cars a week. He was complaining about how everyone coming in just wanted a gift and the mail just "didn't work." That was the leader of this group. If the leader accepts that 200 people through the door is a failure what kind of a response will he get from his team? These are not the glory days friends, things take a little work. If you don't think your team is able to turn some gift grabbers into buyers, than DO SOMETHING. Change the team, hire some outside help, but don't give up. As you go into your next mail sale make sure your attitude is positive about the possibilities for your sale, and you're able to relay that to your team. Happy selling!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Make the most of YOUR Direct Mail Week-Day 4

Day #4 Tip
Offer a gift, and make sure it's the right one.
Yes, life would be wonderful if you didn't have to offer a non-car related incentive to get people in. It's not happening right now, at least not on saturation mail. Bite the bullet and offer a gift, just make sure it's not janky. Exuberant gas rebates, 3 day/2 night vacation and $1,000 shopping sprees should no longer have a place on your mail. Try lotto cards, gold coins, blue tooth head sets or choose a certificate that is at least straight forward enough to work.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Make the most of YOUR Direct Mail Week-Day 3

Day #3Tip
Take as much time on zip code selection as you do your art work.
It never fails, a dealer will be meticulous for days about getting the message just right, then scribble out a few zip codes 10 minutes before deadline to send the "perfect" piece to. The message is just as important as who will be reading it. Take the time to talk through your zips with Katy (or whoever you work with on it), thinking about this for 20-30 minutes can make a real impact on the success of your campaign.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Make the most of YOUR Direct Mail Week-Day 2

Day #2 Tip
Do NOT waste money on 11x17 tri-fold mailers with a scratch off
The dream is over, they do not work. We're talking about .041% response rate on average vs. some products that average over 2%. Bite the bullet, pay double on the per piece costs and get 4 times the amount of people in the door.
That means for the same budget you spend on tri-folds you should be able to double your traffic by doing half as much mail. Want to talk to someone who is doing this? Let me know--I'll hook you up with a few.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Make the most of YOUR Direct Mail Week-Day 1

Happy Monday & happy Daylight Savings Time day! Getting up to get to the gym wasn't bad today, but boy...on my commute to the office (which is about 3.5 minutes), my head was bobbing. It's been all I can do to stay awake today! I hope you're all feeling more alert than I am.
Today we are kicking off "Make the Most of YOUR Direct Mail Week!" Next year I promise to get T-shirts made-haha. These will be very quick, easy posts with ideas to get the most out of your mail investment. I'd love to also here from you, what small changes have you made to make a BIG impact??
Day #1 Tip
Add Value Variable Data to every mailer you do!
Value variable data is personalization in one place close to the address panel. The total increased cost is typically $200-$500 depending on the company you work with, and most should have the capability. Just adding the person's name and directing a sentence right at them really helps response rates. If something had your name on it you'd probably look at it a little more too, right? Email me ( if you'd like to see an example of it.
Until tomorrow...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Post-It's add Pizzaz!

Here's a sticky idea! A Post-It. Adding a Post-It isn't a new idea, after all the "J letter" has been making its rounds for years, but now you can add them to the already popular oversized mailers!
Add a Post-It to our Oversized 9x12 inch envelopes or Jumbo 9.5x14 inch postcards and you've got a real winning combo. Just wanted to pass along this new idea as you think about March.
Check back monthly for our Hot Seller of the Month!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cut your advertising budget!

Things seem to be a little tight with everyone right now. Even dealers who are still growing are probably watching their budgets a little more than usual. One of the first places to cut seems to be the ad budget. I say - go to town!Cut all the advertising that isn't working. You don't even have to wait for an economic downturn to do this! That brings up the million dollar question (literally for some of you)-how do you know what to cut?How can you track all your different types of marketing? Here are a few ideas, and if you work with me, I can help you out with several of them for next to nothing. Just ask! 1. Add a different call tracking number to every form of advertising you do. Then (here's the hard part) take the time to look at the reports and see what type of call volume is coming in from each marketing form. 2. Add a landing page to everything too! A "landing page" is a fancy name for a website. It might be something like '' (this is not a real site!). When people go there it will take them to your website, but now you'll be able to pull a report and see how many people went there off your radio commercial. 3. Don't assume! Set a system in place to spiff your sales people or someone working as a greeter to really ask each person how they came to be at your store that day. Sometimes, you've done such a great job with name recognition that they really did just stop in, but a lot of the time, they've recently seen, read or heard something that made them choose you over the dealer down the road. 4. Use MarketVision on your mailers, almost 90% of our clients do! If you work with Tri-Auto and aren't taking advantage of this exclusive technology to track who is coming in, where they are coming from and what sales rep they are talking are missing out! We make mail the easiest marketing to track. After you know what's working, and what isn't. Why not cut your budget by eliminating the things that aren't producing for you, and taking some of the extra money you are saving to beef up the forms of marketing that are. How do you track!?