Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers and their Managers
Personalize your landing pages
Are you selling cars or are you selling yourself?
When you create a landing page for one of your vehicles, are you creating interest and trust? Why not utilize one of your salespeople to illustrate that vehicle and gain the personal engagement that only a real person can engender?
Try personalizing your dealership with real people. Show what their other customers have said about them with real reviews and testimonials. Let the customer see this person they might buy that next vehicle from and why they should come to you.
Wadaya think? Let me know.
Written by Tom Gorham
Editor, From The Trenches
Nice thread Tom -
You know we have been utilizing video for a little over six years now in just about every shape or form & personally I feel that you need to have some form of a "entertainment/informative" aspect to your website nowadays. Something that will not only enhance your site but that also adds a significant "stickiness".
I create these for our New vehicles; http://www.douglasvw.com/cars/new-2013-Volkswagen-Tiguan-Summit_Uni...
and I can`t tell you how many times someone walks into the stores and says, "Hey..... I know who you are" when they see me. I agree it does establish a trust and a certain level of comfort when the customer recognizes some they saw on a site. Or if I jump in on the deal, it really adds to the validity if they`ve already seen me from their home or work computer.
Thanks Ken. Our videos are nowhere near as nice as yours but I'm very interested in marketing the brand within the brand. This guy I featured here is no showman, of course, but his videos have about 60,000 views so far on YouTube. I introduced him to a customer not long ago and the customer said the same thing you just mentioned. "I know you. I've seen you on the Internet."
I really love what you do at Douglas!
Hiya Tom - That video looks fine, nothing wrong with that at all. In my opinion the thing that works very well is that videos such as these shot at the dealership add significant validity and sincerity as they are done by actual people that work there and not by some actor with canned lines. These are actual people who indeed could & may in fact actually sell you the vehicle that you are interested in. Real VALUE shown by REAL people.
Keep it up!
There is definitely a value in this. It takes a very forward-thinking store to do this.
Tom LaPointe, thank you for commenting. I have noticed a common thread running through our customer reviews. That thread belongs to the employees who interacted with the customers. I never read, "Great facility!" or "Good free coffee and large screen TV!" These things are important but...
I do read about how well the employee created a great experience. If you are going to market a great reputation, you can't ignore the very people who create that reputation through great customer service. Tying THEIR reputation to that of the store also demands high standards from each and every employee.
Tom, I'd love your thoughts on this... Can automotive take a page out of the Real Estate marketing book? Think about how much time and effort is spent by a Real Estate agent to personally brand ALONGSIDE the brokerage house. Prudential, Century21 and Remax are all reputable companies, but I've interacted with some not so great agents from those companies along the way. Kim Jones is my Realtor and I'd enthusiastically refer her to anyone I knew that needed her services. Kim is more than a Realtor to me, she's also become a close family friend.
My confidence to work with her is rooted in the organization she represents AND her personal professionalism, trustworthiness and approachability. As a consumer, I need both the individual and the company backing them to be highly regarded in order to alleviate my purchase fears. If Kim worked for a shady agency I wouldn't have worked with her no matter how much I liked her personally; if Kim was shady, I wouldn't care at all about the reputation of the broker. These two things go hand in hand.
I know the comparison isn't Apple's to BHPH's (see what I did there ;)), but is automotive retail really all THAT much different?
Ryan, it's so interesting that you asked that question. I often draw upon my past experiences in real estate. I had my license years ago in Ohio. As a realtor working for a broker, I put my photo in the newspaper every week and was reimbursed "for part of it" by the broker. We were considered private contractors. Ive told sales staff that in many ways, they are also in business for themselves and should treat their careers that way. You are correct that the reputation of the salesperson and the company they work for are entwined.
Tom, your point is well made... Over and over again I keep seeing various reports, metrics and marketing studies that show customers being more responsive to HUMAN BEINGS than to inanimate object, even those as compelling as a car or truck. I have often said, and continue to recommend that dealers leverage their investments in payroll and human resources by getting employees more involved in public facing venues... A great way to start are customer reviews and ratings pages which showcase reviews that are for that specific employee. DealerRater provides a nice easy to use compilation of reviews and a personalized bio for each sales person... Why would anyone NOT use these personal branding and customer communication tools?
Ralph, thank you. Just a moment ago, I was looking at a site Lindsey Shaker put up (and shared in the comments of one of your articles) to "brand herself" as a sales associate. http://www.lindseyshaker.com Kudos to her! There is so much dealers can do to utilize the strengths of their employees as representative of their dealership and vice versa.
Tom, Great thread. Love your point about "marketing the brand within the brand." And is there a better medium to do it in than video?! There's tons of compelling data regarding the impact video has on engagement levels online. (Check some 2012 numbers out) But even more importantly, there's no better way to provide a face to the brand. Especially when it's done authentically, like you've done here. Ken's point about the trust and validity that comes when you see REAL people, not actors, is a great one. Personability beats polish every time! Thanks for sharing this unique tactic!
Cobalt, thank you for your comments and for your tweet to this post! I borrowed the phrase "marketing the brand within the brand from Ryan Leslie of DealerRater after reading one of his posts. I was impressed with the idea and we are working to develop it further here at our dealership.
Bobby, thank you. Our most valuable resource is our people.
I believe the hardest part is not in convincing the dealer, it's convincing the salespeople and service writers that they are important to the marketing of both themselves and the dealership. The speed with which they seem to absorb that concept is akin to osmosis. It takes persistance and constant reinforcement.