After watching President Obama's speech to the Ghana Parliament, there was a CNN special report on Business Opportunity Fraud... There I was on Saturday morning listening to this report when the thought occurred to me that many of the same warning signs that consumer fraud investigators advise people to be aware of are uniquely applicable to digital marketing sales pitches I have received, witnessed, and try as I might to avoid, even participated in! Hyper-inflated promises of "sales results" are intrinsically bullshit in that each dealership still has to close the sale, negotiate a deal and then get car buyers approved for financing... It is my contention that no matter how good a marketing plan, startegy or tactic is, they simply do not actually sell cars... At best, a great marketing partner for a dealership will cause an increase in sales opportunities.
This is why the same marketing solution will help Dealer A increase sales by 50% can be applied to Dealer B with the result being a mere 5% increase in actual sales... Same marketing plan, same cost, same sized market, same make of vehicle... The difference is the dealership's sales OPERATIONAL CAPABILITY to convert increased sales opportunities into actual vehicle deliveries. So, what are some of theses bullshit sales pitches for marketing solutions? There is another post in this forum which attempts to explain the hype around search marketing false promises, but let's expand on that... I would like to list the claims that are primary indicators of sales pitch bullshit in the area of dealer marketing solutions, here's my list, and I would like to get some of yours!
1. Dominate the Search Engines -
Yeah, right... Just give me lots of money up front and I will make sure your dealership DOMINATES the largest and most valuable brand on the planet... Uh huh... for $5,000 a month YOU can dominate a $100 Billion plus company's listing of search results. The Bottom line is that the word DOMINATE in a supplier sales pitch is equal to BULLSHIT.
2. These Ads Sell More Cars
- Has anyone ever seen an advertisement that actually sells cars? because I have been selling cars AND creating, and selling, advertising for for over 28 years and have yet to ever see an ad that sold a single car... If advertising could sell cars, what would we need car salesman and sales managers for? And, likewise, if a dealer is buying advertising based on clicks (CPC and PPC), cost per thousand impressions (CPM), column inches, cost per spot, cost per ratings point, etc., then where does the promise of buying sales kick in... The Bottom Line is that when any company that sells marketing or advertising claims that ADVERTISING SELLS CARS this is an immediate red flag indicating BULLSHIT... So, why do so many solution providers say this so often? Not because it is the truth, but because it is what dealers seem to want to hear!
3. We Have The Secret Formula For Success -
If something is a secret and you actually sell it to enough dealers, who in their right mind would ever believe that competing suppliers would not get access to it? The reality is, there are more unique variations in techniques used to pitch and sell dealers than there are in dealer marketing and advertising to sell cars to the public! Most recently, I have seen this applied to the concept that if a dealer's website has more pages indexed by search engines, this is guaranteed to result in higher placement within organic search results... OK, so I have tried this myself and seen several disasters... For example, most dealers have redundant inventory, or more than one car with the same window sticker list of options and prices. This results in many multiple pages of redundant content. Multiple pages of redundant content result in a lower search engine ranking... BUT, it sure works great when I show a dealer his current web site has 200 pages indexed and a different dealer with my website has over 1,000 pages indexed. THEN, what happens to these inventory pages when the search engine spider comes back a month or so later to check for changes? If the vehicle has been sold, the URL is now a dead link... Wham, more hits to the dealer's search engine ranking. More hype... More BULLSHIT. Real content is like this article, the words and the sequence they appear in are unique and not repeated on additional pages just to create more page count. Lastly, since Google will only allow 3 pages MAXIMUM from a single domain to be listed within the overall search results for each search term... Well, wouldn't a microsite based strategy make a lot more sense than hundreds of pages within the dealer's web site that each contain the exact same content, except for the VIN and stock numbers?
OK, the wife is calling and I must get cleaned up for an outing to the Newport Music festival... What are some of YOUR favorite bullshit sales claims when it comes to suppliers pitching their wares to dealers?