Archive for February, 2011

Embracing Automotive Mobile Marketing in Car Dealerships

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Missy Jensen - DMEautomotiveAccording to a recent cell phone study by Pew Internet, “85% of Americans ages 18 and older own a cell phone, making it by far the most popular device among adults” and a great opportunity for car dealerships to utilize for automotive mobile marketing purposes.  Not too surprisingly, the study also found that a great deal of time spent on a mobile phone has nothing to do with talking!  A large majority of people use their mobile phones to text, as well as visit social networks, surf the Internet and take/share photos.  This type of behavior qualifies for a great opportunity to engage your target market in automotive sms marketing services for your dealership.

Since it is clearly evident that Americans have rapidly embraced mobile phones – and their various functionalities – dealerships should consider how to utilize mobile technology to improve automotive mobile marketing efforts.  Here are a few recommended automotive text messaging solutions your dealership should strongly consider implementing:

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Use Customer Service to Improve Retention at Your Car Dealership

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

As pointed out by JD Power and Associates, the automotive industry is continually challenged by fewer new cars sales and decreased service traffic.  In understanding the impact these two situations have on the bottom dollar, car dealerships are forced to evaluate all processes related to sales and service retention.Missy Jensen - DMEautomotive

Sales and service retention programs are critical to keeping your dealership top of mind with customers by delivering personalized, relevant and timely messages dependent on their position in the customer lifecycle.  However, let’s face it, your dealership can send direct mail piece after direct mail piece, email after email, and place newspaper ad after newspaper ad…but if your dealership fails in one critical area, no marketing effort will help.  What is that one critical area your dealership must not fail at?

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Practical Considerations for Email Marketing

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

After reading a recent Facebook post by Hubspot “that Tuesdays at 11am is one of the worst possible times to send your email campaigns,” I started to take notice of how I reacted to emails as they entered my inbox.  You see, like you, I’m not only a marketer, but I’m also a consumer.  My various email inboxes are also inundated with communications from retail stores to technology and social media related newsletters to automotive industry publications.   The marketer inside me wants to answer the question: Does when (specifically day of the week and time) I get an email really effect if I open it or not?Missy Jensen - DMEautomotive

Questions and discussions regarding email deliverability are not new…rather, they have been around since the beginning of commercial email.  I get asked the question, “What is the best time to send an email?” on a frequent basis.  I answer with the truth:  There is no concrete, definite or undisputed answer.  It’s not the most popular answer but if there were an optimal time, every marketer in town would send email at the same time…and what would that get them?  Nothing but a lot of competition for the readers’ attention!

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The Importance of Relevancy in Marketing

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Relevancy.  All of us in the automotive industry have heard about the importance of relevancy in our direct marketing efforts, almost to the point of ad nauseam, right? (Admittedly, I’m guilty as charged.) However, this past weekend during “the biggest show on earth” we were all reminded that relevancy is equally important in the traditional marketing world…specifically the commercial.Missy Jensen - DMEautomotive

Sure, most of us were easily entertained by the sentimental score of Star Wars and the cute pint-sized Darth Vader who tried endlessly to use the Force around his house, finally experiencing success when he starts his family’s VW Passat engine.  Others found themselves chuckling at a pug unmercifully taunted by a man holding a bag of Doritos or the dog sitter who has the dogs serve beer at the house party.  But there was one particular commercial that generated a lot of Super Bowl talk, both during the game and on Monday morning.

“Imported from Detroit” by Chrysler was, according to Brand Bowl, the commercial that generated the most buzz this year, even though it didn’t score as high as many of the other ads in the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter.  So, why did Chrysler, with the help of Eminem, garnish such attention?  Relevancy!

Playing upon key words that resonated with the audience, such as “to hell and back,” “hard work,” “conviction,” and “our story,” as well as graphic images that depict a city beaten down by the collapse of the auto industry, Chrysler’s message really hit home with many who have witnessed the trials and tribulations experienced by Americans as of late.  Unlike the other commercials that focused on lighthearted humor, Chrysler was one of inspiration and resiliency in the face of hardship.  Again, a message that many Americans could identify with…one they found particularly relevant in their lives.

The effect of Chrysler’s poignant ad on sales is still to be determined.  However there are signs of “life” for the auto giant, as “Chrysler 200” – the car highlighted in the commercial – was the most searched term on Google the Monday after.  Additionally, Kelley Blue Book reported that of the automakers that advertised during the Super Bowl, web traffic increased the most (213% to be precise) for the Chrysler brand on kbb.com.   They also reported a 1013 % increase in traffic for the Chrysler 200.  So perhaps Chrysler and Eminem’s reminder that the Motor City – and its people – are capable of producing luxury vehicles will ring true in such a way that it will pay off in the form of increased sales for the automaker.

Relevancy.  It’s a difficult thing to accomplish in commercials…especially during the “Big Game” when most people are expecting a good laugh and entertainment.  It’s hard to identify with a man who’s blocked in by a bunch of chimps or the house sitter who brings your grandfather back from the dead.  No…It’s not every day that together, a struggling car marker and a talented artist, attempt to reposition themselves for a come back…a message that resonates deep with the American people.

~ Missy Jensen, Social Media Manager at DMEautomotive

Bio:
Missy designs, deploys and maintains the social media initiatives for DMEautomotive in an effort to increase brand awareness, distribute company and industry news, provide updates on products and services and promote consumer engagement. Missy enjoys the process of learning; researching and watching projects come to fruition!

Prior to her transformation into a web specialist and work with DMEautomotive, she has 10 years of experience in the marketing and communications industry. Missy served as the Director, Handicapping & Communications for a regional golf association and helped successfully launch and maintain a cutting edge technology-based ticket resale program on behalf of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Missy attended St. Lawrence University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Psychology. She also holds a Master’s Degree from Miami University in Oxford, OH. She can be reached at missy.jensen@dmeautomotive.com and check her out on LinkedIn.

How To Improve Dealership Retention? Try Service

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Customer retention is critical to an automotive brand’s success.  This is particularly evident during a climate of prolonged economic recovery, in which each new-vehicle sale or automotive service is vital to a dealership’s bottom line.

A 2010 J.D. Power and Associates survey, conducted to measure repeat vehicle purchases within a brand, found that customer retention had remained stable Missy Jensen - DMEautomotivefrom 2009.  In 2010, 16 of the 34 ranked brands improved their customer retention rates from the year prior.  Of the remaining brands surveyed, customer retention either dropped or held steady over the same period.

So how can your dealership retain your customers?  Service.

After the purchase of a new vehicle at the dealership the responsibility for continued interaction with that customer falls on the service department.  Their ability to continue engaging a customer in service—and whether or not these same customers will purchase from your dealership again—will serve as a vital cog in customer retention efforts.

Here’s a few items to keep in mind:

State of Affairs. In order to properly implement a plan for customer retention, the sales and customer service departments need to take stock of what they’re currently achieving and what they’re offering.  By simply meeting with your customer service manager or asking your customers for feedback, your customer retention plan can gain traction for success.

Take Control of Offerings. After the sale, it is naturally assumed you’re meeting your customer’s expectations.  With that in mind, you can determine the strengths of your retention efforts and any additional opportunities that exist—and pursue them.  By utilizing multi-channel marketing (direct mail, email, voice broadcast, etc.) and real-time reporting that speaks to the full customer lifecycle, you can spur improvements to your retention campaigns.  In addition to a lifecycle centered marketing program, you should implement relevant seasonal initiatives .  Not only can you spur the customer to act upon an offer, you have a “set it and forget it”-type plan that’s virtually effortless to manage.

The Service Sells Itself. It’s almost certain that when a customer receives poor customer service or repair work in an automotive service department, they’re not going to return.   By the same token, those who receive exceptional service and repair work are more than likely to return.  Simply put, service after the sale is often the leading influencer on customers and whether or not they’ll continue to be a continued consumer.

Can your automotive dealership stand to improve on their customer retention efforts? If so, what areas need improvement?

~ Missy Jensen, Social Media Manager at DMEautomotive

Bio:
Missy designs, deploys and maintains the social media initiatives for DMEautomotive in an effort to increase brand awareness, distribute company and industry news, provide updates on products and services and promote consumer engagement. Missy enjoys the process of learning; researching and watching projects come to fruition!

Prior to her transformation into a web specialist and work with DMEautomotive, she has 10 years of experience in the marketing and communications industry. Missy served as the Director, Handicapping & Communications for a regional golf association and helped successfully launch and maintain a cutting edge technology-based ticket resale program on behalf of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Missy attended St. Lawrence University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Psychology. She also holds a Master’s Degree from Miami University in Oxford, OH. She can be reached at missy.jensen@dmeautomotive.com and check her out on LinkedIn.