dmunds and izmocars, as well as powering the country's biggest website vendors and portals, thousands of dealers using different types of imagery, everything boils down to process, intention, utilization and capture. Pictures (stock or actual) without the proper qualification, engagement, presentation, follow up and close will never matter much. If anything, the dealer with great photos and nothing else will likely deliver a better-detailed customer to the next dealer that actually closes them.
But here's the facts:
1. Inventory shot in-house, still and video, by qualified staff with a process is best
(process includes a checklist that is audited - the biggest issue is incorrect data ingestion, period)
2. How you shoot is second most important
A. Biggest failure to overcome: these images are used for marketing. Make them look good.
B. Use the same location, lighting, equipment and, if possible, background
C. Don't shoot any other cars in any frame
D. Consistency is the key (comparisons is one benefit, but significant ease is the other)
E. Eliminate interior photo mistakes: cover the windshield on all shots, especially if shot outside
3. Correct mapping and storing, as well as back-up, is critical with everything tied to stock numbers
4. Focus on 15+ shots if not 20+. If you're going to scrimp by do that on new, not used.
A. Used vehicle imagery represent one specific car
B. New vehicle shots can almost always be supplemented with OEM or web imagery
Now the trick is remembering to use images in any email that relates to stock, side-by-side comparison, feature/benefit questions, presentation and more. Let's not forget that vehicle purchases are emotional, so make them more so. Send a photo and make it the right photo.
There is another way to increase engagement but that's the million dollar idea and you'll have to call, write or email for. So in closing, it is critical to be responsible for and take your own photos and videos. If you need help (that should be about 90% of you) ask for it. Look at your photos and ask "what would I really think if I were a consumer looking at these?", try to remember your last eBay shopping experience where to seller didn't allow you to really see the damn product correctly and see what your competition is doing. Then do a better job, period.…
nt components for correct and accurate customer follow up is ridiculous. Then the mandates to create, train and employ BDC staff with 1960's training from inferior companies added fuel to the fire. Consider all of the different buzz word names we have gone through that make it impossible for inexperienced BDC or new salespeople to absorb. At the moment we need to be the most confident with a potential customer, we sound unprofessional and lost in the weeds. Do we really wonder why the senior sales staff despise data input? Some of us have had to evolve with all of this pay more do less thought process with the few players that have actually controlled almost every bit of data absorption and delivery for every customer online in automotive for over 25 years.
The reason for the pushback on Star was simple. ADF/XML actually performs correctly when a few lines of code are inserted to properly ingest the UTM data and insert it into ADF/XML creation. Source, medium and everything else delivered with a properly formatted UTM are there. To another point, every vendor was trying to claim that it was their product that produced the original Holy Grail "the lead" and they usually had nothing to do with it.Why did Google acquire the UTM? They will create them from your data set and the mistakes are minimal. We insist on creating them with one capital letter or improper punctuation and the source, medium, vendor id cannot be correct. Do you also think your analytics may be skewed because of this? Star would have stopped all of that.
I hope everyone reading this understands Todd's point. 360 Converge is correct and I will add that those who created incomplete platforms then charged the vendors to integrate great products the dealers needed to fill the void are in trouble unless they have a big plate of humble pie.
Renaissance is inevitable as they scramble to attempt to fix it. AI and innovation will return them to the drawing board where they should be.
Yes, I am on a rant but I support this train of thought completely.
As always, true industry leadership from Todd Smith and his team.…
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