Thursday, February 18, 2010

Marketvision 2.0

The new generation of Marketvision is here!  This technology continues to grow - and it's helping our clients be smarter about their marketing.

So what's new?
  • Different templates. - you can choose between 3 different templates for the kiosk with more coming quickly.  We consult to find out which set of questions best fit the data you are trying to capture for your dealership.
  • Increased online reporting. - you can still log in and see all the data from the sale in real time but now you can see when people visiting your dealership say they are in the market to buy, where they get their vehicles serviced and what marketing messages in addition to direct mail are being noticed.
  • Easily upload data into your DMS or CRM.  No double entry, scan the barcode on the mailer and it captures name & address - it then prompts the customer for their trade - in, phone number & email. 
Want to see more?  Email us today for a sample sale report!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Text Messaging and Automotive Advertising

What an awesome time we live in! Marketing is truly changing every day, and although I'm sure that can be said for other time frames as well - few saw as many changes in media as the last decade.

Obviously Social Media is all abuzz (as it should be) and email marketing is coming in to its own, along with more ways to personalize messages and target specific demographics every day. Many dealers are ahead of the game when it comes to all of these mediums. One area I haven't seen a quick adoption in is the use of text messaging.

How can you use Text Messaging in your marketing?

1. Build your list. Before you can just start blasting out text deals you have to have a list of people that have "opted in" to receive those messages from you. Include text offers on all your marketing - in the short term it will increase response for the current campaigns you are running, for the long term you are building a strong database of customers who have opted in to receive future marketing from you in this format.

2. Be consistent. Continue to use text messaging as an option to correspond with you and your dealership. Over time it will give your customers more flexibility and allow you to collect more opt ins.

3. Send relevant messages. Once you start using Text Messaging for outbound campaigns be smart about it. Send messages that people are happy to receive - like discounted oil changes or a sales special exclusive to your texting customers (that is actually worth something).

4. Don't be a stalker. If you've dated in the world of text messaging you know many people abuse this communication channel. Just like email or social media (and any other media for that matter) don't jam things down your customers throats. Be there, and be available but don't overdo it.

Give us a shout today to talk about specific text messaging offers you can start using in your current marketing tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Text Messaging & YOU

I have a confession to make. As a company we rolled out Text Messaging services about six months ago, and honestly I haven't talked to more than 5 dealers total about it. Sure, it sounds sexy to talk about adding a text messaging campaign to your current marketing plan, but I wasn't sold on how it can actually help dealers - and if I don't think it will help, I'm not going to offer it.

That is, until recently. Our Marketing Director has sent me over several case studies on how texting has brought in a ton of great leads for dealers (you can check them out here and here). In addition to these, real life examples of success I'm learning about the other applications and how this can fit into a long term strategy for dealers.

Here's the 20,000 foot view on what adding Text Messaging to your campaigns can do - I'll blog later on the week with more specific ideas.

1. Communicate with your customers the way they want to be communicated to. Think about even in your personal life - when people want to get a hold of you do they call, email, text, hit you up on Facebook? Your public is the same way. Texting gives them one more, convenient method to contact your store, and receive marketing messages from you.

2. Build a database for the future. When we add an offer to one of your current marketing campaigns "Text to win," "Text for a $15 oil change," etc. anyone who texts in to receive the offer is also "opting in" to receive future texts from you. As you build a database of people who has opted in you'll be able to start sending outbound messages to those folks with additional service & sales offers.

3. Offer something new in your market. Very few companies in general have hopped on the texting bandwagon, and even fewer dealers are in the game. This is an inexpensive opportunity to be one of the first in the market to offer this type of marketing.

4. Work texting into the advertising you're already paying for - TV, Radio, Mail, Billboard, etc. Click here to listen to a radio campaign with texting!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Toyota Recall Opportunities

I probably should have blogged on this last Friday, but better late than never!

As everyone now knows the domestic manufacturers are trying to capture market share from industry giant, Toyota, as they struggle through the current recall situation. This is proving to be a marketing opportunity for both Toyota dealers and those franchises that are offering incentives to Toyota owners. So how can you capitalize? 
Toyota Dealers
Yes, it seems strange to think of this as an "opportunity" and, let's be honest, it's not the type of opportunity you hope for - but why not take advantage anyway?
  • Get your message straight. How is your dealership handling the recalls? What are you saying to customers that call in upset or scared? Figure out what your response is to this challenge and make sure everyone in the store knows it.
  • This is a perfect time for text messaging! Consumer have to "opt in" to receive texts from your dealership - and right now they want to hear from you! Include a text message in all your marketing right now - "Text TOYOTA to 5555 for up to date information on the recall" or "TEXT TOYOTA to 5555 to hear about our exclusive incentives for our loyal customers" for example. You'll be reaching out to your customers, keeping them in the loop, AND building your text messaging pipeline for future sales and service offers.
  • Show your customers you are still there for them. I've honestly been really shocked at the way Toyota has handled this on a corporate level. There should be more dialog between the vehicle owners and the company - even though corporate isn't doing this, you can. Send out a letter to all your customers. Be up front with them about where you are and what you're doing to be sure they are taken care of. Why not go ahead and throw in a sales and service offer while you have their attention?
  • Set up a landing page. A landing page is like a mini website, and for many dealers it's much easier to put up a landing page versus overhauling their entire website. Get the page set up with what you know now concerning Toyota's response to the recall, include your own dealership response as well. Then include this website on all your marketing directing questions there.
  • Create a PR position for the near future. Who in the dealership is excellent with customer service and very good at listening to people? Give them all the info and make them the "go to" person for any customer calls or questions regarding all things Toyota right now.

 Domestic Dealers with National Incentives
  • Get the word out! The media has decided not to make a big deal out of the current incentives for Toyota owners you guys are able to offer. Include it in all your marketing and make it easy to understand. Katy and I were just working on disclaimers for one manufacturer and it confused us even when it was typed out in black and white.
  • Add your own incentives to differentiate. Extend the $1,000 to used cars (if this is legal in your state) or throw an extra $500 on the new car deals. You've done the first step of educating the consumer on the manufacturers incentives - now give them a reason to take advantage of them at your store!
  • Target owners of the vehicles you are able to give incentives on. This varies by manufacturer, obviously, but send mailers to those that qualify for the program.  Email us to find out how many names are in your market.
  • Send the right message - don't be vultures.
We have mailers ready to go for these situations.  Give me a call at 317-644-5729 or shoot us an email.  The window for all this marketing is very short, get on it this week!