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5 Digital Must-Do’s for 2014, Part II

This is the second part of a two-part series. The first half was published earlier this week and can be read here.



by Dana Fornasar, Product Marketing Manager 


  • Must-Do #3: Manage Your Reputation

    Like mom always said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” If social media has taught us anything, it’s that customers have opinions about you and they’re not afraid to share them. One bad review can instill doubt in customers and drive them straight through your competitors’ front doors.

    This may be soooo 2013, but...stars sell cars. A recent Cone study found that 4 out of 5 consumers reverse a purchase decision based on negative reviews - especially when it comes to high-cost purchases like cars. Ouch! Let’s be can’t afford to have a less than stellar reputation these days, so investing in a reputation management program is a “Must-Do” for 2014.

    To explore more about the do’s and don’ts on the most popular review sites, the top myths in automotive reputation management and more compelling data on the proven impact of reviews on the car-buying process, download The Street Smart Guide to Automotive Reputation Management.



  • Must-Do #4: Align Your Advertising to National Offers

    Auto manufacturers spend billions of dollars every year to advertise their brands and models. They write big paychecks to sell the toughness of their trucks and the sexiness of their sedans. This advertising raises brand awareness and piques consumer interest in brands and models. If you’re not capitalizing on that spend, you’re missing out.

    63% of consumers start the automobile shopping process with a brand in mind. Now I know what you’re going to want your dealership to stand out from the rest, you want to sell YOUR story, not your manufacturers. And the good news is can do both.

    To get that perfect balance, you need to speak to those consumers who are already considering your brand—and then you hit them with WHY they should buy that brand from you. You can run campaigns that are aligned to the national promotions and still stay true to yourself. Don’t take our word for it. Carter Motor Group’s Jennifer Moran shares how she’s used this tactic (and others) to increase sales at her dealerships in this dealer-driven eBook and webinar.

  • Must-Do #5: Get In Sync

    Imagine you’ve been wanting to upgrade your phone to the latest model, but you’ve been waiting for the right price. You’re reading a tech blog one day and learn that you can upgrade for only $50 at your favorite electronics store. Before you drive to the store, you check their website…after all, this sounds too good to be true. You arrive at the store’s site to find a different offer or (worse yet), no offer at all!!! Odds are, this experience will keep you out of the store. Not only will you lose confidence in that tech blog, you might also lose trust in and loyalty to the brand. You’re not going to fall for the ol’ bait n’ switch again!


    This is how your consumer feels when your prices & specials aren’t in sync across the many online, offline and in-store channels that together create a shopper’s experience with your brand. It’s easy to see how this happens…it’s not easy juggling the multiple touch points at the dealership on each offer and managing copy across advertising formats and marketing platforms. But the bottom line is—when customers are exposed to inconsistent or erroneous information, it erodes their trust in YOU. Not something you want to happen when you’re looking to have a spotless reputation.

  • Extra Credit

    And for you over-achievers out there, we have one more suggestion—this year, embrace 
    multichannel marketing.

    Adopting a multichannel approach will help go a long way to ensuring that the experience shoppers have with you and your dealership is consistent and compelling. I know we talked about this a lot in 2013 and you’re probably tired of hearing about it… but it’s only because we care.
    And because it’s effective. In fact,studies show that companies that use a multichannel approach have greater brand recall, are more positively perceived and see more unique web visitors. And dealers can experience as much as a 40% increase in sales as a result of mastering multichannel methods.

    So instead of choosing between channels …envision using a marketing strategy where multiple channels are all working hand-in-hand to deliver results. Display ads and great SEO drive shoppers to a website where glowing reviews beckon customers to choose you.

    Kumbaya….and you’re welcome 2014.

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About the Author

Dana Fornasar is a Senior Product Marketing Manager for Cobalt's Digital Advertising solutions. Her first car was a royal blue 1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle. Dana’s VW sadly met its demise during a sorority caravan en route to a Pearl Jam concert in Atlanta, where it fell victim to what was later confirmed to be the first and only rear-end collision caused by a flighty sorority girl. Blaring from her blown-out speakers at the time of the collision was ironically Pearl Jam’s newly released song Rearviewmirror. True story.


She brings 10 years of digital marketing experience to Cobalt. Before joining Cobalt, Dana worked with advertising & marketing teams at Expedia, Microsoft, and Paramount Pictures. Feel free to reach out to Dana at

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Tags: 2014, 5 Digital Must Do, Advertising, Car Dealer, Cobalt, Digital Marketing, Part 2


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Comment by Alexander Lau on February 27, 2014 at 7:02am

Blatant corporate sales pitches should be followed up with dealer-supporting, cheaper (more reliable) small company sales pitches such as...

It's a matter of laying down the foundations for a proper digital marketing strategy and measuring everything along every step of the way. R.A.C.E. = Reach, Act, Convert & Engage. Give me a ring, we are much cheaper than ADP.

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