Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
“It seemed really simple to me. So in trying to make others understand, I wrote this great paper where I illustrated the idea, dissected it piece by piece, and gave step-by-step instructions as to how to make it work with detailed justifications and cost analysis each step of the way. But still they couldn’t see how simple it really was…. Why, why, why?”
We seem to love to take things that are fairly simple to understand and work hard at making them more difficult to understand. Point and counterpoint… If you squint real hard, you might envision the future, but with eyes wide open, you can see where we’re going right now.
I was featured in an article recently where I declared dealers should take Social Media on faith. It sounds naïve but it isn’t. It’s not a great leap of faith. It’s right in front of us. In fact, it’s not staring us in the face; it’s slapping us in the face. It’s only required to keep your eyes wide open, and accept what you’re seeing.
Traditional marketing, shotgun advertising, email blasts, or inbound marketing, push/pull marketing, conversion points, ZMOT… all great and interesting topics to explain what we should or shouldn’t be doing to get a customer in the door. All are important, as are SEO and SEM and landing pages and calls for action. They are all great marketing solutions and ideas for today. But they are tactics. What is the strategy and the long-term trend?
The long-term trend is a return to the very earliest basics, the most basic form of marketing, too traditional for traditionalists... it's word-of-mouth. The true value in Social Media is in turning a global marketplace into a small town. The small town created allows people to share their experiences with a product or company and recommend or reject them by word-of-mouth.
Definition: An unpaid form of promotion in which satisfied customers tell other people how much they like a business, product or service.
It’s the most credible form of advertising or marketing. The person recommending has no reward for doing so.
Social Media creates word-of-mouth marketing in various ways. The most obvious is Customer Reviews and Testimonials. But sites such as Facebook offer equally fruitful possibilities where a dealer can create social relationships with their customers and potential customers. They can become the experts that others turn to for advice and solutions. They can show they are part of a community and gain referrals.
New ideas do require a bit of faith. Without it, nothing new would come into being. When I’m discussing a new idea or project and I’m asked, “Who else is doing it?” I answer, “I hope nobody!”
Do you feel more comfortable with studies and polls? Steve Jobs said, “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new… You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
So when staring at 800 million Facebook users, try having a little faith. This is a new idea with hundreds of years of history. Waddaya think?
Written by Tom Gorham
Editor, From The Trenches