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Showroom dance a snooze for savvy shoppers

October 8, 2012

Customers who shop at your dealership are smarter than you might think. The article below, from, offers some telling information about how buyers are really using your dealership.

How do you handle comparison shopping at your dealership?

Study: Shoppers Catch on to the Showrooming Dance

You think you see a customer on the lot looking over a white sedan, checking the price and sizing up the car.
Think again.
Chances are good that they’re actually using a smartphone to compare your white sedan with a blue one across town. In fact, according to J.D. Power and Associates (JDPA), 59 percent of new car shoppers who use a smartphone to research their purchase do so at the dealership lot in order to check prices, search inventory and compare models.

They are not comparing white sedans at the same dealership. This latest trend, reported on August 15 and again on September 11, was underlined in last week’s JDPA 2012 AutoShopper Study and is yet another example of how mobile technology is changing the way people research and interact with dealerships. Indeed, the act of “showrooming” — when consumers use their smartphone or tablet to check prices and compare competitive products at a retail location — has grown from 15 percent of mobile shoppers in 2009 to 59 percent in 2012.      READ FULL ARTICLE


WorldDealer Joins Toyota as Participating Provider

September 13, 2012

Exciting news to share with our readers – WorldDealer recently became a Participating Provider of Toyota! This has been a longterm effort, and we are marking this milestone by sharing it with our friends, fans, and customers. Thank you all for your support – we appreciate each and every one of you, and we look forward to all that the industry of retail automotive marketing still holds for us down the road!

Do you tweet? Is it worth it?

August 31, 2012

Read this great article from Driving Sales recently:

“The Romney Campaign Believes In Twitter. But Do You?”

A portion of the article appears below, and it makes some good points. Twitter can be an extremely powerful marketing tool. The audience is broad and varied, and if you have the funds (as Romney does) to buy promoted tweets, your reach can be enormous. On the other hand, it can be difficult to turn viewers into buyers. Plus, social media is risky.

So what’s a dealership to do: tweet or not tweet? What does your dealership do?

Excerpt below – click the title to read the full article on!

The Romney Campaign Believes in Twitter. But Do You?

No one will ever buy a car off Twitter. And no one, it’s assumed, would vote for a presidential candidate based on the contents of a tweet or the value of a promoted trend. So outside of being a breeding ground for dissatisfied customers and people who crave attention, what the heck is Twitter good for?

According to the Romney campaign, quite a bit. Enough, at least, to invest as much as $120,000 in a promoted trend on the day Romney speaks at the Republican National Convention (RNC). By doing so they will ensure that the Twittersphere is afire with chatter about his candidacy. Indeed, as reported by ClickZ, the #BelieveinAmerica Promoted Trend that posted Thursday morning (followed later by #RomneyRyan2012) has thus far created quite a stir.

$120,000 Twitter’s Worth
Here’s how it works: You pay Twitter around $120,000, and, for a day, your hashtag appears at the top of the Trends box on the left side of the page. You then ship off a few promoted tweets to the good people at Twitter, who promote them to the top of the stream as illustrated below. It makes no sense to purchase a trend without the support of tweets with which to sell your message. You can also buy Targeted Tweets, which allow you to send specific tweets to a subset of your followers, defined by location,  devices and platforms.

Twitter on
It’s a simple recipe: take an event — say you’re speaking at the RNC. Add $120,000 or more, mix with a message that appeals to the broadest possible audience and serve up warm. You’re sure to get loads of positive and negative chatter, and lots of comments that have nothing at all to do with your brand, product or message. In fact, if you were to call Twitter the “Super Bowl” platform for social media, you might be right. The platform is uniquely designed to raise awareness and spread the word about an event, news, or other timely “in the moment” flashpoints. Consider, for example, the launch of the 2012 Beetle: The purchase of a Promoted Trend on Twitter the day of the vehicle’s launch resulted in Super Bowl levels of awareness. According to Twitter, there were close to 30,000 mentions of VW on the day of the reveal; the car and the brand had a reach of over 40 million impressions. At the time, it was one of the most successful branded tweets in Twitter history.


How to win fans and influence next-gen customers

August 15, 2012
A recent study by DMEautomotive (DMEa) found that the best way to keep customers coming back after they purchase a vehicle is by providing two rather ordinary services:  prepaid or complimentary maintenance plans, and top-notch customer service:
“Our survey provides fresh evidence that both prepaid and OEM-provided maintenance plans have a powerful impact on dealer service retention,” said Doug Van Sach, Vice President of Strategy & Analytics at DMEautomotive. “With nearly 3 in 5 consumers reporting they are likely to continue servicing at the dealership after their plan expires – compared to average dealer post-warranty retention rates of 22% to 40% (depending on vehicle make and age)
PR Newswire (

How is your dealership doing in these areas? Now is a good time to check in with your service team and sales staff and make sure your customers are satisfied!

Full article from prnewswire below:

Maintenance Plans Keep Consumers Servicing at Dealership After Expiration (via PR Newswire)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Aug. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — DMEautomotive (DMEa), the industry leader in science-based, results-driven automotive marketing, today released key findings from its new national consumer survey1 that provides insight into the state of prepaid (PPM) and complimentary dealer and…

Read more…

More Shoppers Skip The Test DriveThan You Think

August 13, 2012

We all know how huge of a role the internet plays in the car-buying decision process. Most consumers hit the web to help them comparison shop, narrow down to particular makes and models, and ultimately choose a dealership to approach when they’re ready.

But recently a surprising study was released which reported a shocking number of Americans are skipping what used to be considered the most important step – the test drive. This number climbs even higher in Canada,  by the way. The study, conducted by Maritz Rsearch, surveyed 80,219 Americans who had recently purchased a 2012 model-year car. After tallying the votes, Maritz discovered that 11.4% of respondents didn’t choose to take a test drive before purchasing. In Canada, that number rises to 25%.

Why is this? It would seem wise to test drive a vehicle you intend to spend thousands of dollars on, and potentially drive for many, many years to come. Many people immediately thought of the ‘Millenials,’ our current generation young people prone to using the internet for just about everything. But in fact, the answer may have more to do with older generations – Baby Boomers, and even their parents, who became accustomed to one brand of car and remained loyal to it throughout the years. After all, if you’ve been driving a Ford for 45 years and intend to buy another, a test drive seems irrelevant.

So what does this mean? Will the younger generations become more accustomed to buying without trying – or will the opposite occur: a new wave of people with a wealth of information at their fingertips who will ask more questions, weigh the decision more thoroughly, and test drive not one but perhaps several different models?

Information from How Many Shoppers Skip The Test Drive? More Than You Think.

How to be Creepily Direct

July 31, 2012

A recent Porsche advertising campaign is both impressive (32% response rate) and a little disturbing. That’s because this marketing idea sent Pfaff Porsche brand reps directly into the most trendy, upscale neighborhoods of Toronto, where they took pictures of a gorgeous Porsche – right in front of the targeted buyers’ houses. The image of the brochure then left in each person’s mail box was of their house with a Porsche parked in front, under a large banner saying “It’s closer than you think.”

It’s hard to say if this marketing tactic is taking invasive tactics a bit too far, since none of the homeowners targeted seemed offended. In fact, the percentage of those people included in the campaign who called their Porsche dealer to book a test drive after seeing the ad was unusually high. Either way, Pfaff’s marketing agency Lowe Roche has caused a stir among dealerships and marketing professionals, who are heralding this latest innovation as the first ‘instant mailing.’ What do you think of their idea?

Article info and image from   How to Make Direct Mail Even More Direct In Five Easy Steps

See also: Pfaff Porsche: Instant Direct Mail

Answer The Phone!

July 24, 2012

A recent article on Dealer Refresh raised an important issue: answering the phone! It might seem basic, but according to new research from a large study just conducted, about 39% of the most valuable phone leads that you drove to your dealership were in fact left stranded on the phone. So what can be done? Read on for some eye-opening information, and check out for a few tips on where to go next to correct this issue.

How do you handle phone calls after you’ve worked so hard to push customers to contact you?

Dealerships Ignore More Than a Third of Their Customers

Posted by Mike Haeg  |   Monday, July 16, 2012 

I have got great news for all of the GMs, GSMs, Internet Managers, Corporate Marketers, and even all of those vendor partners out there serving the dealership. Did you know that 39% of the valuable phone leads that you drove to the dealership were left stranded on the phone?

Isn’t that great!!

Doesn’t it pump you up to know that more than 1/3 of all the hard fought, expensive phone leads you actually get to convert to a phone call are left hanging on the phone?

Our trained Humanatic call reviewers listened to almost 2M inbound sales calls (1,956,624 to be exact) over the past two months from 346 dealerships and tried to answer one very simple question:

Did the caller get to speak to a qualified person who could help them?

The study spanned dealerships across the country from several different dealer groups and independents. There were large dealerships and small dealerships included, and the result was consistently the same. Once the shopper takes the initiative to pick up the phone and convert, dealerships do a poor job of connecting these shoppers to someone who can help them. The biggest contributor to the 39% was callers asking for a specific employee and not being reconnected if that employee not available. News Flash People!!! – the requested employee is almost never available!

Believe it or not, this is actually really good news for a couple of different reasons. Let me explain.

You are driving calls!

The fact that you have calls that can be stranded is tangible evidence that your marketing efforts are working. In all but pure eCommerce, a call conversion is the most valuable conversion out there. In fact, according to an ATG/Oracle survey 67% of online shoppers will call for any purchase greater than $100. In a car deal where the number is 50 to 500 times that dollar figure, you can assume that number goes up to over 90%.

If your sales lines are ringing then you have inventory that people want to buy and perhaps even more importantly, a marketing approach and messaging strategy that displays your inventory in a way that people are responding to. So go ahead and pat yourself on the back for creating the calls that were stranded. But really think about what that number means. If your dealership is moving 200 units a month, just think about all of the opportunities that you are leaving on the table. Whatever your top line revenue was last month, think about what it might have been if this number was 91% instead of 61%.