Automotive Digital Marketing

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by Monica Mendoza, Reputation Management Team Manager

Google continues in their efforts to create a better map. In recent months they began previewing their new Google Maps experience


How does this affect you?


Now, more than ever, you will want to get a handle on your dealership’s Google+ page. The new Google Maps experience prominently features star rating, review content, and other business information found on your Google+ page.


Below is an example of what consumers see when they use Google Maps to search for a business.




All of this information is being picked up from the Google+ page.




The quotes featured in the initial search are reviews found on the Google+ page as well.




Now that you have seen the information that your customers can see about your business, ask yourselves these questions:


  • When is the last time you logged into your Google+ page?
  • Have you fully optimized your Google+ page?
  • Do you have a dedicated resource monitoring and managing the reviews you get on your Google+ page?


If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it’s time to take action! You may want to start by designating someone at your dealership with the role of Reputation Manager.


The Reputation Manager will be in charge of managing and overseeing your dealership’s online reputation as a whole. If you hire a third party vendor, like automotive reputation monitoring and management tools. Your Reputation Manager will serve as the main point of contact for the vendor. Your Reputation Manager will need to be a leader at the dealership that can help message the importance of reputation management to the other employees, manage analytical data, identify areas for improvement in training and processes, and report progress and status to management as needed.


The duties and tasks of the Reputation Manager include:

  • Define how a dealership’s in-store processes need to be aligned to be ready to act on customer feedback.
  • Training dealership staff to ensure alignment of in-store process. This includes technical training on what Google, Yelp and other review sites are and how they help serve loyal customers and attract new customers to the dealership.
  • Check email alerts for new customer feedback and new public reviews on sites like Google and Yelp.
  • Review analytics to track and analyze how your reputation tools, process, and employees are performing.
  • Review survey and review results with staff, highlighting the positive and addressing the negative reviews.
  • Provide feedback to dealership management for improvements to customer care.

Search engines like Google are surfacing data about your business from 3rd party review sites like Google+. Dealerships that don’t optimize these sources of information are missing a huge opportunity to attract new customers.


Reputation Management is no longer just a good idea. It's business-critical. Implementing a reputation management process at your dealership and positioning staff that is dedicated to this effort is a must.


Is your Reputation Management process ready for the new Google Maps experience?


About the Author

Monica Mendoza joined Cobalt in January of 2012 with 15 years of professional experience in a career that has been focused on technology. She started first in IT where she managed and deployed global networks and then moved into Sales and Marketing for Microsoft advising companies on how to significantly increase their business productivity through the use of technology. Monica is now immersed in the auto industry and manages a team of Reputation Management specialists who advise auto dealers across the US on how to improve their customer relationships and engage with their customers in online communities through the use of social media technology.

Learn more about Cobalt's automotive reputation management solutions.


Views: 650

Tags: automotive, cobalt, digital, google, management, maps, marketing, reputation


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Join Automotive Digital Marketing

Comment by Alexander Lau on December 27, 2013 at 10:34am

Greetings and thanks to you Manny Luna!

Comment by Monica Mendoza on December 27, 2013 at 8:23am

Thanks Tom!

Comment by Alexander Lau on December 27, 2013 at 8:05am

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on December 27, 2013 at 6:48am
Great piece Monica!
Comment by Alexander Lau on December 27, 2013 at 6:48am

Since I've unsuccessfully used Cobalt RM at a super dealership in the past and since this is but a blatant advertisement for Cobalt, *cough I mean ADP (corporate nightmare, in business because of OEM compliance = backroom deals for both sides), I'll throw a backlink bone our way in terms of Automotive Reputation Management.

Automotive retailers needn't only focus on Google+ / Local  and Yelp in terms of their reputation management, there are a ton of 3rd party local and business listing sites out there. I would venture to say 75% or greater ignore a massive amount of non-automotive related 3rd party review sites.

In fact, recently, a Dealership GM had asked me to create an on-site review mechanism (in his eyes, reviews would pushed to 3rd party review sites (DealerRater, Women-Drivers, Edmunds,, etc.), which is laughable and unattractive in accordance with their business models, let alone opening themselves up to fraudulent reviews and SPAM). It goes to show you the ignorance of some of their "thought" leaders that are supposed to be driving business.

If you're serious about paying a fair rate and finding out more on how to properly manage your reputation and listings, etc., give me a shout. We don't charge corporate rates, but it's the same exact processes. Frankly there are far less middlemen, in fact none.


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