I had the pleasure of watching a very informative webinar last night that really brought home the importance of having a robust dealership presence online. I truly enjoy studying the shift in advertising from the traditional way of doing business to the modern way of doing business. I've seen dealerships that had all the right brands under one rooftop but sell 70-90 units a month while their competition sells over 200 units a month; due to the fact of poor leadership, nonexistent online presence, horrible culture and negative online reviews about the dealerships service dept. (a service customer is 7 times more likely to buy at the dealership that he/she uses for service) just to name a few. The days of just building a multi-million dollar facility and waiting for the customer to come is over!! We know that by the time the consumer actually gets to your store (unless a real pro made contact during the ZMOT and you never seen the consumer) they are no longer at the point of interest but now at the point of sale. Look at these alarming numbers:
- In 2006 the average consumer visited 4.1 dealerships and conducted 68% Internet research.
- In 2011 the average consumer visited 1.3 dealerships and conducted 84% Internet research and some conducted over 90% Internet research depending on the brand.
- In 2000 dealer ad spending was newspaper 52%, Internet 4.6%, T.V. 15.5% and radio 14%
- In 2010 dealer ad spending was newspaper 22%, Internet 23.7%, T.V. 20.1% and radio 16% (and of course we know that Internet ad spending is much higher now in 2012).
And when I have sales people that are friends of mine call me and tell me how slow it is and how they only got 5 cars out and it's the 25th of the month; yes some are LAZY however, some are at a store that in 2012 the owner and GM does business like it's 1980.
SEM and SEO is such a interesting subject that if you want to bring value to your store it's imperative that you study these ideas because when you begin to talk with your owner or GM about what you're studying you will become a valuable asset at your dealership or the competition will hear about you and start calling you. Good luck and good selling....