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Start Texting Your Customers!

Have you heard of message extensions? With Google's new technology, you can send and receive texts from customers right through search ads. The phone’s SMS application launches automatically, and you are able to communicate one-on-one with the customer at hand. 

From answering questions to helping them schedule appointments, you’re building a relationship with your customers through these new ad formats.

Pretty cool, huh? 

We’d love to hear what you have to say. Comment below and follow us on Facebook.

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It's About Damn Time!

Finally. Google has recently wrapped up two new updates. Cross-device remarketing is definitely something that has been needed for businesses. It will now allow you to advertise your products across multiple devices.

You might be thinking, “couldn’t we do that on other platforms before?”, and the answer is yes. But now there’s one extra step that is letting businesses tie more consumer information together across devices. 

Watch this week’s Hard Facts with Samantha to find out what this means to you.

We’d love to hear what you have to say. Comment below and follow us on Facebook.

Website: http://www.ppadv.com

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http://www.bradleyondemand.com 856-546-2440


Sean V. Bradley, President of Dealer Synergy Interviews Dan Moore, Sr. Director of Marketing at VinSolutions. A leading provider of Automotive CRM and other solutions. VinSolutions attracts, sells, satisfies, and retains your customers more profitably. VinSolutions consolidates data from all areas of the dealership to enhance the dealer’s external marketing and internal dealership management. An industry-leading developer of Internet-based desking, automotive CRM and Internet lead management (ILM) software, VinSolutions helps dealers find, sell and keep more customer profitably. In addition to CRM, ILM and Inventory control products, VinSolutions builds award winning custom SEO optimized dealership Web sites, mobile Web sites, uploads and brands inventory photos and videos.

Want to learn more about Dealer Synergy? Check out http://www.DealerSynergy.com

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Self-Driving Cars, Wave of the Future?

       

          Google has said they are testing their self-driving car prototype this summer on the streets of California. Are we, as humans, ready to give up control of driving ourselves?

            If you were to visit Google’s page endorsing their self-driving prototype you will be greeted with some staggering statistics. The likes of which include “94% of accidents in the U.S. involve human error.” Their claim is that if building a car loaded with sensors, lasers, and cameras to detect movement in all direction it will greatly reduce the possibility of an accident. The prototype also has a rounded shape, which, will help maximize the sensor’s field of view.

            I will agree with the fact that these cars will give independence to those who normally would not be able to drive themselves. Even business professionals who spend much of their time on the road, it will allow them to travel and work at the same time. These cars will allow the passenger to program their desired destination. Which would allow the car to bring a friend home, then, return back to you without anyone riding inside. What about those of us who remain independent and want to feel the rumble of an engine, not the soft hum of a battery?

            For years now cars such as the Mustang, Camaro, and Subaru WRX have garnered a following of loyal fans, which created a cult affect. Their owners are very proud owners, some adorning their wardrobe with hats or shirts, which proudly display the logo. They want you to know; I’m a fan, this is my car, I’m a proud owner. Also meaning, I love driving this car. While there are perks for the self-driving car, I don’t feel as if it will eliminate the vehicles we operate, at least, not for a long while.

            What does this mean for us? Once the self-driving cars are released for public purchase, it means coming up with new and unique strategies for advertising and pushing your product.

 

If you are interested in discussing this, or, any form of advertising please contact us today!

 

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http://salemove.com 

The SaleMove Magic

Real-Time Movement

Faster and more instant than Google’s real-time analytics, SaleMove enables you to see visitors the second they enter your website- just as if they walked into your dealership. Don’t just see what link your visitors are looking at, observe them browsing (it's like sitting right next to them)!

Audio / Video Chat

You have your showroom & the phone to speak with your customers- now add a third line of high-touch communication. Connect with your customers using Audio & Video right on your website (no downloads or installation required). There is always the option for website chat but A/V is proven to be 10X more effective!

Shared Browsing

Have you ever found yourself describing your website to a customer on the phone (“you see that link in the top left near the About Us section...click there”)? Imagine that each of you had your own cursor and you could simply browse the website together- wouldn't that be easier? Don’t just push your visitor a link, customize a car or browse your inventory together (patents pending).

Statistics & Reporting

Monitor individual and collective performance. Listen to call recordings, view chat transcripts and understand your website’s real-time activity. Make adjustments to your staffing & sales strategy using all of SaleMove’s robust reporting capabilities.

In-Browser Experience

Instead of opening a separate window (think of today’s live chat providers) that drives attention away from your virtual showroom, SaleMove is always completely in-browser and a part of your customers’ shopping experiences.

One Line Activation

Activate SaleMove with one line of code (easier than Google Analytics). We also integrate with several top dealership website providers & CRMs so getting you up and running is super fast!

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ALERT~ Dealership Fined $500K! - BEWARE

Pirated Software Puts Dealerships at Risk

Pirated Software
We found pirated software in over 90% of dealerships when we completed our free technology assessment. Using pirated software puts a dealership at legal and financial risk whether you know it's pirated or not.
BSA, The Software Alliance, is targeting dealerships for violations because of their deep pockets. Recently, one dealership was sentenced to pay a $500K fine PLUS $475K to make their software fully compliant with the current laws. This could have been avoided by putting technology standards in place and adhering to regular updates for a fraction of the cost.

As the #1 Information Technology provider for the automotive industry, we are here to help your dealership.

To avoid an expensive and time consuming technology disaster, contact us today to get a Complimentary Technology Assessment of your entire dealership. This assessment will look for anything that could potentially be a target or violation of the BSA and protect you from getting hit with major fines or penalties.

Complimentary Assessement
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Brand Yourself "Sales People"


While the other sales people at my dealership were freezing, chasing fresh ups outside on the blacktop, I was warm and cozy, tucked away in my office - glasses first into my MacBook building my personal brand.  It's not that I don't enjoy following customers around in the cold at a 20% closing ratio, it's more so that I wanted to focus on customer loyalty and presenting myself to the general public in a manner that would bring them directly to me…without all of the chasing that is.  So why did I choose to build a personal brand?  What made me feel that this was the best course of action?  

Every time you turn around, you see marketing techniques for DEALERSHIPS to differentiate themselves to the consumer and make their dealership really "stand out." Why, as sales people, would we not want to use these techniques to our own personal advantage?  You ARE the dealership.  You do the business.  You are the business.  The business is You.  So why not market yourself like You, yourself, are the dealership?  Simple and selfish - maybe…But definitely effective.    

These days, consumers are more educated than ever.  (Thank you Google.)  They are looking for a fast, efficient, and easy way to their product and service provider.  They want an expert that is knowledgable, trustworthy, and professional.  They won't stop their search until they feel that they have absorbed enough content to feel like they can make an educated decision with the professional that they are the most comfortable with. The objective of personal branding is to turn yourself, literally, into a brand just like any other popular item or service. You want them to feel as comfortable buying a car with you, as they do when they are at the super market buying their dependable every day household items.  Think about it..When you find a certain type of toothpaste, laundry detergent, cleaning product, or deodorant that works for you, what do you do?  As long as that product consistently meets your needs the same way every time, you'll stick with that brand.  What's even better, is that you'll tell others about that particular brand that has never let you down.  And they'll tell their friends.  And their friends will tell their friends.  Fortunately, these days, that happens faster than ever due to social media platforms. 

So how do you get started? Well, start with YOU.  Sounds simple, but you have to do it right.  Be yourself.  People want to rely on a real person, not a man-made marketing tool.  Like I said, just be yourself.  Easier for some people than others, but if you have to, just spend some time getting to know yourself and who you really are.  Being genuine goes a long way, especially in this business.  Next, you need to understand exactly what it is that your brand does.   Chances are, your dealership has a  "Mission Statement," and this simply your individualized take on that.  It defines what makes you different from every other sales person in your market.  What do you have to offer that makes you stand out about the rest?  i.e. Speedy process, free vehicle delivery to the customer's residence or place of business, 24 hour customer help line, etc.  Find out what is most sought after by the customers in your target market and figure out a creative way to offer it.  

What is the first thing that pops into your head when someone mentions a common, popular brand?  Their logo.  Is a logo absolutely necessary when developing your own personal brand? No, but I think that they are really a lot of fun, and they definitely set you apart from the rest of the competition.  People love and recognize logos.  Like I said, it's the first thing that pops into their head when they think of any brand.  Choosing your logo can be tricky considering it is what ultimately represents you as a brand and service.  It can be something as simple as incorporating your name or initials into something, or as elaborate as the carpet in the Taj Mahal.  

That all sounds great and pretty easy, right?  But here's where it may get a little bit tricky.  CONSISTENCY. Your mission statement and what you decide to offer has to be done THE SAME WAY.  EVERY TIME.  EVERY DAY.  TO EVERY PROSPECT.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  WITHOUT FAIL.. FOR AS LONG AS YOUR PERSONAL BRAND IS YOU.  If you don't follow this rule, there is no brand called you.  You'll still be outside chasing fresh ups just like "every other" salesperson.  You also have to be patient, this doesn't happen overnight; however, if you do execute this rule correctly, you will have an inbox full of prospects, and customers lined up out the door to see you.  Keep exercising this rule, and you will become the brand that they (and all of their friends and relatives) depend on.  As long as you are as dependable and have the same consistency as that favorite household product, the customer will return again and again and again.  In the business we all know that return customers have the highest closing ratios, pay the most gross, and give the best CSI.  Still thinking about taking your chances standing in the huddle, outside in the cold, waiting for the "up bus?"  I didn't think so.  

Robert Wiesman is an automotive professional at Massey Hyundai, in Hagerstown, MD.  Learn more at www.robertwiesman.com and www.yourhyundaiguy.com -or- (888) 815 9409.

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Customer Service vs Technology: The Vendor Litmus Test

There's a trend in the automotive industry that is alarming. We hear this scenario played out almost every day and it normally manifests itself into one of two stages:

  • Stage 1: The Fresh Tech Hunter - When a dealership is tired of the limitations of their various vendors, they often go hunting for a replacement that has the latest and greatest automotive internet marketing technologies at their disposal.
  • Stage 2: The Better Treatment Hunter - When a dealership is tired of slow response times and vendors pointing their customers towards tutorials about how to fix their own problems rather than fixing it for them, they go hunting for a vendor that acts like it wants to keep their business by treating them better through customer service and tech support.

Why can't it be both? What happened to the days when vendors were forced to have strong technology and amazing customer service rather than today's trend which seems to force dealers to choose between one or the other?

Here are the descriptions of both types of vendors:

 

The Technology Trendsetter

It's the nature of the beast. Search, social, lead generation, website design, mobile, CRM - it seems like the technology is advancing too fast for most vendors to stay fresh. As a result, the bigger vendors are the ones who have the resources to keep their technology at the top. Unfortunately, they fall into a catch-22; by being large enough to have the resources to stay ahead, they are also faced with the big-boat-syndrome of not being agile enough to make swift adjustments when major changes occur in things such as the Google search algorithm or website coding advancements.

Having proven technology that works today and that will continue to work tomorrow is the only real solution for dealers that want to stay ahead of the curve.

 

The Customer Service Company

Technology is great, but it comes at a price. All too often, the vendors that are large enough to have the resources to develop the best technology have not been able to scale their customer service and keep it personal. Moreover, the trend towards the coveted big contract changes the focus of the vendor; when they land an OEM contract, their client is no longer the dealer. They now answer to the OEM. This is bad news for customers service at the dealership level.

Smaller companies tend to hold each individual client at a higher value than larger ones and must do whatever they can to keep their customer service at its highest level. Dealers might love technology, but if you can't fulfill their needs at a personal level and treat them as more than just a number, they'll still leave.

 

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

This is where the advice comes into play. Don't get wooed by technology alone. Don't settle for second-rate technology just for strong customer service. It's challenging to fill both shoes, but for a dealership to be truly satisfied with their vendor, they must take the time to find out how both sides of the coin work for that vendor.

This is where vetting comes into play. When taking a pitch from a vendor, be sure to write down all of the things that impressed you most about the technology. Test it out by finding dealers that are using the technology. Don't find 3 or 4. Find 20. Then call them. All of them.

When you call the other dealers, be certain to focus on the customer service component. The technology is important, but if their dealers have to waste too much time trying to get changes done to their website or are unable to have consultations on a regular basis with an expert at the vendor, they're probably not the right vendor for you.

Dealers no longer have to settle for anything less than the best of both worlds. For too long, they've trusted their vendors up until the point that they get fed up with the technology not working, the customer service falling short, or both. If you truly vet each potential vendor partner for both criteria, the result will be much better in the long term. It's not an easy process, but nobody likes switching vendors all the time. Find the right one right now and enjoy a long and mutually beneficial relationship with them.

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How Windows 8 Could Help You Sell More Cars

This past week, I made the risky move of upgrading to the newly released Windows 8 operating system; Microsoft’s bold attempt at upgrading their OS which has kept the same fundamental functionality for more than a decade. While slightly hesitant to upgrade before a service pack was available, I ultimately chose to take advantage of Microsoft’s limited time $39.99 upgrade offer. Talk about utilizing the "urgency" close right?


As I’ve played around with the new OS for the past few days, I’ve made some observations that may turn out to be a prediction of a new technological frontier for dealers who are looking to kick things into high gear... or I may just be out to lunch. Whatever your opinion may be, just go with me on this for a minute.

New Windows 8 Features

The most noticeable of all the new features for Windows 8, is the shiny new start screen which really acts as a dashboard to your most visited apps. Though some critics complain that Windows 8 is optimized for tablets, I haven’t had any problems finding my way around with a mouse.

Microsoft has redesigned the UI for many of their apps and have included some new apps, all of which come with a very streamlined and integrated experience. Among my favorites are the new music player app which comes loaded with the ability to stream full length music and a new “smart dj” tool that automatically creates a playlist based on an artist genre of your choosing.

How Dealers Could Benefit From Windows 8

Thanks for listening to me ‘nerd out’ for a second. Let me get to how car dealers could actually use Windows 8 to leverage new business and reach larger groups of car shoppers in their own home.

What got me me thinking was the newly added “Store” app which allows users to browse from a variety of both paid and free applications. Simply select the category of app you wish to download and you have the ability to select from hundreds if not thousands of apps to have installed on your PC. If you know your way around the app store or play market, this will be quite easy for you.

Imagine what would happen if you created a Windows 8 app that was compatible on both desktop PCs and Windows tablets? There has been a lot of talk around whether or not Dealers should develop iPhone and Android apps vs. keeping with dealership mobile websites, but think about the doors you could unlock by tapping into an even larger traffic source!

Let’s talk numbers. By 2008 (according to Forrester), there were 1,000,000,000 (Billion) PCs in use with a forecast of 2 billion in use by the end of 2015. It took 27 years to reach the 1 billion mark and will only take 7 years (from 2008) to reach 2 billion. If that’s not simply incredible to you consider that the average number of PCs needing to be sold year after year since 2008 is 142,857,142 in order to reach the forecasted target by 2015.

Now, have you purchased a new PC lately? Don’t they come pre-loaded with a Windows operating system? According to Amazon, every new PC sold between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 will receive a special upgrade offer of only $14.99, thus placing Windows 8 well within the reach of hundreds of millions of people.

Just To Get The Juices Flowing

Consider how many of the 142,857,142 PC buyers this year are also in the market to purchase a vehicle or are at least conducting some level of vehicle research. I’ll tell you what - that new Microsoft ‘Store App’ is pretty fun to navigate and somehow sucks you in just like Apple’s famed App store and Android’s Play Market, so imagine what competitive advantage you’d have by placing your dealership and your brand in front of the masses.

I envision a personalized shopping experience filled with user reviews, dealership videos, blogs and news. Since the app is installed on the personal computer, (and I’m just thinking out loud here), imagine if there was a way to have your app send notifications to your potential customer's calendar, email, social networks and more. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg and if done strategically, dealers could tap into a massive market of vehicle shoppers.

To take it one step further, though Windows 7 and 8 tablets don’t contribute much to tablet sales as of current, Windows 8 tablets are forecasted to help tablet sales increase by 4% according to Gartner. Apple still remains king of the mobile arena with roughly 60% market share, however,with an estimated 117,000,000 tablet shipments in 2012 alone, 4% works out to 4,680,000 (4.68 million) Windows 8 Tablet shipments and that is more than enough users to inject your dealership with some serious prospects.

In closing, let me say that there are many, many avenues to help drum up new business. I had the pleasure of attending Lon Safko’s keynote at AutoCon in which he enlightened us on the various social media marketing opportunities from Facebook to Second Life. I swear - by the end of his presentation there were multiple silent explosions in people’s heads, followed by smoke trailing out of their ears.

The point is that there are sooooo many ways to prospect for new business and technology, whether revamped or emerging provides you with more ways to reach out to potential buyers than ever before. Windows 8 is just another example of something you could use to leverage new business for your dealership.

What do you think? Kindly leave your comments below. Happy developing.

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