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I am looking to hear your thoughts about brining dealerships and their inventory onto mobile phones.

1) “Hype or a necessity?” - Do you think dealerships should adopt a mobile marketing strategy and showcase their inventory on mobile phones? If so why?

2) Given the capabilities of a mobile phone (GPS, messaging, etc), how do you see mobile phone serving buyers and sellers?

3) If you were looking to adopt a mobile marketing solution, what would be your decision factors (cost, time, ROI, # leads etc.)?

4) What lessons have you learned from having a web site and how do you see these lessons apply to a mobile web site?



Tags: gps, marketing, mobile, sms, startegy

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I love it when a question has such an obvious answer - to clarify - I will list my answers per your questions:
1) Conventional advertising wisdom suggests maximum reach, frequency and consistancy of a message across all channels and the mobile channel is the newest, most directed and cost effective of the bunch!
2) Besides the real time "urgency" attached with any sale that is satisfied with an instant message tied to a desired product, customer's are hesitant to break through the digital barrier and become confronted by a "car salesman." The two way communication conducted on a cell phone is already part of our modern culture and, while they have the phone in their hand they might as well reply. More specifically, they are more likely to do so than if isolated by a PC screen or a flock of salespeople blocking the showroom entrance!
3)Yes to all of the listed items - with ROI being first. Any equation that results in an enhanced ROI will correctly factor in risk to reward and resources invested vs. return. Cost is irrelavant if it provides an acceptable multiple in return and the efficiencies associated with the mobile channel assure that human resources will be less taxed than any other means of communication to process the contact and sale. As for the number of the leads, any performance based fee will work with the potential volume only limited by the frequency and reach of the message across multiple channels.
4) Less is more - timing is everything and conversion rates determine closing ratios and profits. Mobile websites reduce wasted content and target the product and price - timing is INSTANT and the conversion rates are higher given the convenience of the reply.

And then some :-) Thanks for the insight!
Great point Matt,
Improved connectivity is one of the main benefits of implementing a mobile solution. We are in front of a PC only a few minutes/ hours a day while our mobile phone is always on and always with us. A leading mobile solution should capitalize on the connectivity aspects of mobile phone.

With that said, I have to tell you that a mobile device is also a very personal device. This means that the mobile solution must cautious about when and how to permit one person to send a message to another's mobile device. For example, we are very careful not to expose the buyer's/ seller's mobile number before they have agreed to do so. Furthermore, we learned to closely analyze the usage patterns of both sides to prevent the cases where phishers and scammers would get a hold of your mobile device.

Thanks for your comment!

I surf on my phone all the time. I am sure I am not the only one that seems to surf on the phone as much as at home some days. I will see a car on the road that has a URL advertised on it. In the olden days, I would have to remember the URL when I got home, or even that I saw the ad at all. Not very effective. Now, I see something like that that interests me and I whip it out....(the phone that is) and start typing the URL in. Sometimes I get lucky and can view the site. Thinking like the customer for a moment, I would be more likely to use a company that makes it easy for me to get information wherever I am.
Absolutely Doug, ease of use is a key and content on-the-go is what it’s all about. We came out with the (patented) concept of the GO CODE to address the issue you mention. GO CODEs are keywords that our dealers/ users choose as shortcuts. For example, instead of typing you can just send a text message with the word MYFORD to the number 48696. Less typing, and you will get back a link to a mobile web page that is optimized for your phone. We encourage our dealers to advertise their GO CODE as aggressively as they advertise their web page.
Who would you consider to be a mobile buyer and what type of content should a dealer publish (on mobile phones) to attract this user?
K.I.S.S. I would want to see inventory. Not much else. I try to get to the nitty gritty on the phone since speed is an issue. When I said I surf on my phone, I should have used a more specific term. I try to guess where the answer to my question is going to be and go as directly to it as possible.

I just heard about your product today. Very interesting. I look forward to learning more.
Hi Doug,

Shuki and Rich will be talking about Gumiyo on Auto Industry Insiders blog radio this Friday between 11 and 1 est. Go to and listen in and call in with any questions. I am more excited than you are to discuss their EXCITING exit on the Internet Super Highway!
I forgot to answer your forst question. Who is a mobile buyer. I think many of the people in this group might be mobile buyers. I think anyine who travels for a living would be excited about being able to shop from their phones. Otherwise, they have to break out the laptop with the mobile connection. Who has time for that anymore. I use an I-phone, which has been the most user friendly phone for looking at the web in my opinion. this leads me to think that anyone who CAN shop on their phone would do so.
Thank you for putting this so clearly, what a great quote: "..anyone who CAN shop on their phone would do so" :-) KISS is the key, get the user the exact info in a one page experience
We will be announcing an interesting integration tomorrow morning (or on Wed morning), I am looking forward to hearing your 2 cents after that.
A quick update, we announced today the availability of CARFAX vehicle history reports on mobile phones and our partnership with CARFAX.
Adding to Matt's comment - one needs to ask if dealer's mobile marketing initiative should be dealer/ seller focused or buyer focused... I say both ;-)

Thanks Matt, I think that the key would be to find the exact mix of buyer and seller mobile tools.
Hey Matt,

Just an FYI, Gumiyo is a new solution so of course you haven't seen it - but you will! Their recent link to CarFax and their ability to convert information from a a dealer's website into a text message is revolutionary! Remember, the "driver" could be in your lot dialing the Go number on his cell phone from a window sticker featuring a private number just for that vehicle with a picture, a price and a one click option to connect to the dealership.

Also, shoppers can be notified with responses to shopping requests drawn directly from a dealers website anytime - anywhere - on their cell phone. Aint technology fun!


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