Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Marketvision Reports - Purchase Timeframe

Purchase Timeframe

The kiosk asks the customers as they come in when they are in the market to buy. This is a multiple choice question. We find that when a machine does the "asking" the answers are often more honest than if a sales person asks. Dealerships use this information in different ways, depending on their sales process. A large complaint with using gifts on a mailer is that it brings in all "prize seekers" now that we have a way to track this we are looking forward to being able to improve these stats as we identify what products are bringing in more buyers. In the meantime this report helps you realize who is a customer now and who could be a customer in the future.

The second part of this question is prompted if the customer says they are in the market at all. It will then ask "Are you looking for a new or used vehicle?" This data is also then reported and can be used when working with each individual customer, to create additional targeted mailing lists and to determine which of your messages are driving which kind of buyers.

As always if you'd like to talk further about these new Marketvision developments, or the new ROI tools in the hopper please give me a call or shoot us an email!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Marketvision Reports - Service Analysis

Service Analysis

The second new report on the Marketvision kiosk is a survey asking about Service.  It asks "Where do you currently service your vehicle?" and provides the multiple choice answers below.  We will soon be removing the "other" field as an option because it appears the other choices would cover all our bases.  This does a couple of things for you - it provides a quick snapshot of your market to see where the service customers are going, allows you to collect emails from all of these people so you can email service offers out in the future, and finally you will be able to build specific mailing lists from this data for future marketing.

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Marketvision Reports - Media Measurement

We recently rolled out Marketvision 2.0, now that all of our clients have switched to using the new format I wanted to highlight a few of the new reports you can view online. For those that don't know you can log on 24/7 and see stats in real time on the website. In one quick snapshot you can see all the walk in traffic, all the phone calls and any internet leads received  throughout the sale up until the point you log on.

First up - Media Measurement

Marketvision now tracks all the different forms of marketing that is bringing traffic in the showroom.  We phrase the question so that customers can select more than one option - "Which of our marketing messages have you seen or heard?"  By beginning to take a look at what pieces of your marketing are actually being seen/heard & remembered you're able to allocate your budget to the hardest hitting areas, or take a look at new approaches for the channels customers aren't remembering.  Here's a sample from a recent event.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Powerful Words & Phrases for Direct Mail

I'm in a LinkedIn group focused on direct marketing.  Someone posted an awesome forum topic recently asking for the hot buzz words different marketers are using right now.  This got me thinking about some of the phrasing we use and have used in the past. 

Along with some ideas from the LinkedIn group, here are some of the top key words and phrases we have found to be most powerful, I'd love to hear from some of you on what you see success with as well!

First from the group:
  • Free, Yours Free, Free Gift
  • Reliable, Safe, Secure - Especially in this market, both automotive and economically, I like it!
  • "But wait, there is more..." "Did you know..."
  • "Call Now!"  "Act Now!"
  • You, Yours, Your Own - How can you lose when you make it about the reader?  so many advertisers lose sight and make everything about them.
From the vault here at Tri Auto:
  • Opportunity - "Your Opportunity is Here" "This is One Opportunity You Won't Want to Miss"
  • Creating a sense of urgency - "5 Days Only" "This Week Only" "Don't Wait, Hurry In" Just a side note on this one, many dealers and advertisers like to leave the window for response wide open in the effort to lengthen the amount of time for traffic to respond.  Without a sense of urgency things sit on counter tops for weeks, or get stuck in a purse or glovebox and forgotten.  Even if your urgency is vague (This Monday to Friday only) it will appear urgent to the recipient.
  • Win Big - "Win Big!" "You May Be the Big Winner" "Someone in Your Area is a Big Winner"
What words & phrases would you add to the list?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Best Direct Mail Strategy...Is to have one!

When I first started in this business almost exactly six years ago I was handed a somewhat up to date list of most of the dealerships in the state of Ohio and a phone. Sure, we had a little training - but a few hours in a conference room surrounded by glossy pieces of paper and some pricing sheets can't prepare anyone for what we do...but little can.

Those first few dealers I worked with probably signed up for different reasons...I caught them on the day they were planning to seek out a direct mail vendor, or they thought I sounded young, dumb & blonde on the phone (I was only 2 of the 3), whatever the reason they didn't agree to do a mailer with me because of my experience or knowledge. I like to think a lot has changed since then. But I know there are still those dealers out there that hop from one mail company to the next based on one piece, a short skirt or a low price. If it works for them - great, if not how about creating a strategy behind direct mail dance!?

Here in Divaland just this morning we were talking about how it feels like it takes working with a client for an entire year before they see the value in putting together a strategy for their mailers. They get their feet wet, realize we aren't idiots, eventually come around to taking suggestions and finally one of us says 'I think it's time we plan this thing out.' This post is really for anyone doing mail, but especially for those of you that know Marketvision and don't yet use a strategy.

So here it is - don't get too excited because it's simple. It's taking the time to do it that is hard.

1. Determine what zip codes respond to your mail and which don't. This typically takes 2-3 sales of just real data collection (which is easy using Marketvision, but can also be done by hand).

2. Take "good zips" and look for others that look like those demographically and add them to your master list.

3. Figure out how many homes there are and how often you want to do sales. Then divide the list evenly across all zips by the number of campaigns you are looking to do in the quarter. This makes certain you aren't blowing up your market and it keeps response consistent.

4. Find a good piece and stick with it. Look, I'm going to be blunt, if I'm telling you something is working then why change it? You can then use the same piece all quarter because no one is seeing it twice, easy right?

5. Put the plan in motion and continue tracking. The beauty of this is especially nice for dealers that do mail campaigns monthly or even weekly. You set it up at the beginning of the quarter once and then all you have to do is update dates throughout the quarter. Your piece & zips are already selected!

6. The result - mail with a strategy. You know who is getting your mail and when, and you know you're message is out there consistently. Every month a different group of people are in the market and are getting ready to be in the market - with a strategy you know they are seeing your message in that timeframe.

Obviously this is a simple list of things that actually require a lot of upfront work. The hard work pays off when you can just sit back and let your strategy plan out your mail. For Diva clients Katy does most of it anyway - give us a call today if you want to hear more.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A New Direction

I know, I know I've been gone a while...a lot less regular in posting.  To be honest I've been having a bit of writer's block.  Here's the problem - I try to always keep this blog pretty general, tips and tricks that you can use across all mail providers, not Tri Auto specific.  Today I realized the reason I'm struggling is we're becoming so much more than a mail company.  Now, let's not get ahead ourselves, I'm still the Direct Mail Diva - and our team here are still the experts when it comes to all things automotive mail.  We're just learning more about marketing in general and trying to offer our clients additional tools.

This is just a short and sweet way of saying, I'm back.  I'll apologize to the regular readers that stop by to fill up their cup with general mail knowledge, as many posts are going to start being a little more specific to Tri Auto.  By that I only mean I'll be talking about Marketvision a whole lot more because it's now the cornerstone of what we do, and there will be posts on additional services and working them into a mail strategy.  My hope is only that for our clients this becomes more meaningful and educational, and for anyone looking for a mail company this gives a truer picture of who we are.

As always, I really value your feedback, please feel free to shoot me an email or give me a call (317-644-5729) at anytime!  I'd love chatting with you.