Automotive Digital Marketing

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The ultimate market transparency is when buyers and sellers can see all buying and selling interest simultaneously. They can see the whole market in action. They can see every transaction as it closes. They decide when to buy or when to sell based on real-time market information. That's what happens in the stock market, but ..........

Do car dealers have the appetite for this kind of transparency?
Do dealers care about exclusive areas of responsibility or selling across borders?
How far will dealers go towards this new open market concept?

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Something I have discovered about quoting prices with Internet shoppers, is that when all the empirical research is done, the only lead response attribute that comes remotely close to making telephone contact in driving higher closing rates on Internet leads is sending a competitive price quote to the customer within 24 hours. Faster is better, and we still have the phone call as being critically important... But, all other response attributes studied, when matched back to RDR's within 90 days of a lead coming in, pale in comparison to sending price quotes to the consumer. The real question is not whether or not we need to send a "Request For Quote" what they asked for and were promised when they completed the lead form... THE REAL QUESTION IS HOW DO WE DO IT EFFICIENTLY! That's the dirty little secret that nobody wants to talk about... Preparing proper price quotes for customers, selecting alternative vehicle choices, pulling the numbers together and getting it all into the right spots in an email template can be a VERY daunting task when you come in on a Monday morning and see 24 new leads inside your CRM tool that are assigned to you!

In my opinion, the single greatest need for software development in the automotive Lead Management/CRM world right now is for streamlining and automating the mundane task of preparing a response to an RFQ lead... Every day we have ISS's and ISM's all over America repeating the same steps over and over that SHOULD be built into their lead management software as a "set up" using merge fields and whatever technology is available to take that repetitious brain damaging part of the job and simply make it easier...

At ADP, I am cheerleading and trying to convince people to take on this assignment, but it feels like rowing my Zodiac into the side of an Aircraft Carrier and expecting it to move. I have actually seen one of our competitors build something very sophisticated that accomplishes what we need as an industry, but right now it only works for Toyota dealers because it is all built out to the Toyota model number system. I would love to find a team of developers that would listen to this need and build the tool... Adam Simms is the owner of Sunnyvale Toyota and ran a VERY good Internet sales operation to begin with. He implemented the automated RFQ Lead Response system and their closing ratio went up by 4 percentage points... On 2,000 leads a month that came in as an 80 unit sales increase. Although he spent a ton of money building the system, he says it generated incremental sales whose profits covered all his costs within 4 months.

Now, THAT'S what I call a "Solution" to a problem using technology!
Hi Ralph,

RedNumbat is the solution to the 'dirty little secret' you have identified. It's an already built, plug-n-play product for all dealers, regardless of size, manufacturer, pricing strategy etc. Infinitely flexible and built for car dealers, we have done all the heavy-lifting. A simple flat monthly fee with no contract allows dealers to reach more website visitors and then 'touch' them. SImple.
No templates, and every RQF is answered every time for a specific vehicle.
I too have seen the system you are refering too. I think they have the basis to "change the game" in a positve way for the consumer, all the while helping the retailer with their processes!

For me this is the same dilemma we faced frequently when we both worked at Reynolds... Do we build it oursleves, partner with the start-up software company, or buy them?

One thing I know in my heart and mind... This is the biggest ignored problem in the Digital Marketing industry today!

The issue of the Big DMS Players buying them, is that typically the "big corporate mentality" buys up the "entreprenurial capital" in these deals, screws it up, and then the tool becomes less flexible, less nimble.....You and I have seen that way too many times... (Third Coast Media bought by ReyRey, then the entreprunuers left and started Clickmotive)
I would rather see companies partner with them, provide investment, but leave them alone in the sense of product building and delivery. By definition, the people working there are "entreprenurial" in nature, and they need to feel and work that way.
Makes sense... But, you know how much pressure EVERYONE has to grow revenue.
I completely understand the REVENUE issue, but both can be done. You can acquire companies, yet leave them alone and have them run their own business model.

Dealers do have a way of knowing what internet leads are closing in the marketplace today. They need to compare the lead to registration data. Way too many dealers
are saying that internet lead sources are not working, when in fact we find lead sources working in the marketplace, not just at that particular dealer. This would lead me to believe the dealer is partially the issue, not the leadsouce. Dealers also have a subjective view (gut feel) instead of an objective view. Lead Scoring with reporting via registration data is "transparency" of the leads, lead sources and brings about an objective view of the data. In turn, this data would tell a dealer to increase or decrease leads by lead source, and perhaps show a dealer that leads are closing in his area, not just at his/her dealership. Perhaps they could then turn internal to look at processes or outsourcing BDC etc.......... The 'facts' of the registration data
are proof more gut feel!
Bob, thanks for your interesting insight into lead scoring and accountability. The scientific approach is obviously a far more reliable measure of performance.


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