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I admire your passion for the field you have chosen. I accept many of the basic premises from which you make your claims. I understand that in any relatively new field that statistical support will likely be short.

When we market a vehicle for sale to our consumers and miles per gallon is an issue, we must present numbers to support our claims, simply saying “it gets good mileage” is not enough information for many consumers. When presenting the features and benefits of a vehicle and we pop the trunk, it’s ok to say “it’s a big trunk” but we must be prepared to say just how big it is. In areas of opinion like appearance and ride, we do well to keep in mind that what we find as comfortable and attractive may not agree with everyone’s tastes. We must always be aware of the subjective areas of our presentation.

 If we as marketers of a vehicle begin to fall short of answers to the consumer’s questions, the one thing we can’t do is become frustrated and call into question the consumer’s intelligence by inferring that he/she is 'failing' to see the value that is obvious to us. The consumer stops listening immediately. It’s over, it’s done. The better salesperson/marketer will be patient and continue to attempt to make the value obvious to the consumer. When we fall short on answers, become frustrated with the consumer’s inability to see the value we see so clearly, we can not shortcut the process with inferred threats…..”your world as you know it will come to an end if you do not buy this vehicle”, we need to call it quits and go back to flipping burgers.

I am often slow to respond and understand the value in anything “new” these days. My not understanding does not make something bad or undesirable; it just means I have not arrived at the same conclusion as the presenter yet.

Marketers of Social, my world as I know it may well end if I do not soon see it your way, I’ll give you that. A well seasoned marketer understands that the key to his/her success (transferring my dollars to your bank) lies in her/his ability to help me understand the value. A rookie gives up and tells me I don’t get it and infers my stupidity. 

For the record, there are several vendors and consultants who are presenting fair and balanced arguments for Social that make a lot of sense to me. When they are relying on gut or assumptions in support of their claims, they say so. When numbers are available, good or bad, they present them. These vendors and consultants have my attention. They are long on patience and short on threats.

My opinion and a buck will get you a coffee most places.

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I really like what you said!  I am an online marketer but I don't focus on one specific area, ie: social, pay per click, organic search but I agree with what you are saying.  A good marketer can't grab on to each new 'thing' and hype it up to be the end-all-be-all.  Many of the recommendations I make don't have oddles of hard data to back it up and I do sometimes ask my clients to make reasonable assumptions as to the end value but I would never call or imply that they are stupid if they arrive at a different conclusion.


Here is a good example, I might tell a client that by increasing their web traffic by say 500 visitors a month for relevant search terms they can expect to convert at least 10%-20% of those new visitors to paying customers. If we don't track these visitors using custom phone numbers, landing pages, completed forms or other methods then we do have to use some good old common sense and assumptions.  If someone doesn't feel comfortable with my conclusions or theirs are different then we just move on, telling a client that they are stupid is.....well, that is just really STUPID!

I just had this experience with a sales rep.  The assumption that, because we don't have everything done YET digitally (just started this gig 8 weeks ago) means that I'm not smart . . . well, that's the worst step to make with me.  Especially when your experience with Internet anything is over three years old AND you've only been trained by your company.  I won't call myself an industry pundit, but I'm not uneducated, either.  The last place you'll get anywhere with me, for example, is telling me my Google Places is wrong (as also happened today with a different person!) and is not very smart--but you don't KNOW as a rep that Google has made so many changes in the last three months alone.  By the way, I demonstrated it is NOT wrong.  And so on.


There's lots to pick digitally, but when everything is individually visible to the microscope you lose sight of the whole animal.  I'm here to help sell vehicles.  EVERY digital aspect is NOT a *911* event.  Sometimes, when a particular auto advertising rep comes condescendingly around--one who never sold cars, ever, by the way--and tells me we are "wrong" . . . well, let me say this:  We're putting dollars on the table by being more right than we were, and it's incremental every day.


Hats off to you, Thomas.  I wouldn't want to tangle with you on this, nor would I try.  You're on the money.  LITERALLY on the money.





Wrong in digital marketing is often just a matter of opinion marketing is not an exact science it is more an art and I agree that experience often trumps all.  When I make marketing recommendations I always do it in a respectful way and make sure to include as many decision makers as possible because I think it is important that everyone has a chance to ask questions and add in their own bits of wisdom.


Any digital marketing person that thinks they have all the RIGHT answers is not going to help your business in the long-run.

Keith - I would just like to be a fly on the wall when someone peddling "Social Media Snake Oil" makes a presentation based on the flaws he was able to find in your dealership's strategy and execution... I've worked in dealerships where such an approach by a vendor COULD have resulted in various forms of violence and bodily harm!


And... Come to think of it, those stores were in Texas!

Ayup there, Pardner' Ralph.  We here in Texas have a saying for them there kinda' charlatans:


"Git a rope!"



I recently had a so-called "SEO Guru" pitch our group on his services.  He came in and went into his pitch by stating that our stores had low "SEO scores."  He presented numbers in the 70's and 80's so my obvious question was, "are you presenting us with our website grader scores?"  He said, "yes, that's where I got these scores from."  I went on to explain that I had only been here for a couple of months but the previous six stores I managed all had scores in the high 90's on At that point, I pulled out the website grader score for his business which I had run prior to his arrival.  His website's score was an 81! It was a complete coincidence that he used website grader as the basis of his presentation but talk about coming to a business unprepared!


Note to all SEO guru's, not all car dealers are rubes and easy pickings. If you have something of value to bring to the table, I'm happy to listen but you had better come with something better than our website grader scores. Stop treating all of us like we are stupid.  We make decisions based on facts that can be substantiated. Save us the "magic pixie dust" or "secret SEO sauce" presentations. If you mention any kind of "Google Page One" guarantees, we'll ask you to politely leave the building.



I love your post and any unsuspecting SEO consultant that runs across your path will be toast.  



And by the way you know...I practice what I preach...not that is not biased...but since you brought that up, my blog on Automotive SEO scored well:




I also checked by company site....mmmmm...looks like dealer's who want a market dominating SEO strategy have a lead it time to call the company that demonstrates SEO best practice for themselves?




It may be time to call Brian but there are other sources to look at in addition to Websitegrader, like




  Search Engine Optimization Company | NJ Web Design & SEO Specia...

Title Relevancy


Meta Description:

PCG Digital Marketing, an award-winning internet marketing company in New Jersey, specializes in NJ SEO (search engine optimization), pay-per-click ma

Description Relevancy:

72% relevant.

Compete Rank:

#4,972,334 with 62 Unique visitors per month


Wiki article on

SEO Score:91%




Website Title:


Title Relevancy


Meta Description:

Davison, MI New, Hank Graff Chevrolet Davison sells and services Chevrolet vehicles in the greater Davison

Description Relevancy:

92% relevant.

Meta Keywords:

hank graff chevrolet davison, new, chevrolet, davison, mi, 48423

Keyword Relevancy:

100% relevant

Compete Rank:

#387,034 with 3,605 Unique visitors per month

Quantcast Rank:#757,879


Wiki article on

SEO Score:98%


Just to note, HGD does and always have done our SEO in-house.

This is off the topic of the thread but since we are making a commercial out of it I thought I would add a counter point to where it is going.


I chopped off the bottom of each sites profile on


672 (Unique: 316, Linked: 272)
23 (Alt tags missing: 10)
I generally prefer to look at the actual facts from sources I trust as being reliable:

Social Media in the Marketing Mix:
Budgeting for 2011

In 2011, four out of five US businesses with 100 or more employees will use social media marketing. That’s a dramatic change from 2008 when just 42% of companies marketed via social media. As consumer usage of social media continues to increase in the US and around the world, marketers have transitioned from cautious engagement to full deployment.

Social media spending is also increasing, as marketers move beyond experimenting to include it in all their marketing planning. The companies leading the way with social media are giving it a place at the table next to—and sometimes in place of—traditional media such as TV and print. These marketers are also integrating social media initiatives and budgets into brand marketing, customer relationship management and communications.


Although spending is rising, the ROI challenge remains and is a heightened concern for 2011. After a few years in the spotlight, social media needs to prove it can help increase sales. Otherwise, spending increases may be curtailed.


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