Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
I have been blessed to collaborate with a number of industry leaders on my approach.
I want to specifically thank Dennis Galbraith for partnering with me on the Automotive Zero Moment of Truth Study which started on October 25th.
We just finished Week Three of the six-week study with 125 dealers and the data, discussion, and strategies that we are uncovering is very exciting. For example, today's webinar was focused on how to improve the First Moment of Truth (FMOT).
70% of the dealers in the study were wasting a portion of their investments in Stimulus and ZMOT because they had poor phone handling and lead handling processes.
A group of the dealers got a failing grade, which impacts tens of thousands of dollars of investments a month.
The data showed that a small SHIFT in a dealer's budget (< $1,000) could ensure that they have a consistent process in place to hold their employees accountable for phone and lead handling.
The ROI of this random inspection was clear; with high employee turn-over, dealers can not afford to ignore independent measurement and coaching.
(Note to readers: If you have not had Jerry's company conduct an independent audit of your phone handling processes and Internet lead handling processes, it is the BEST investment you can make this month. http://www.phoneninjas.com)
At the 2012 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference, Dennis and I will be sharing specific processes and investments that will help dealers fine tune their digital marketing strategies for the year ahead.
Until February, I wanted to share some thoughts in advance to members of this community.
First, the diagrams in Jim Lecinski's book are more appropriate for consumer goods purchases and not completely accurate for car shoppers. Consumers who go to the supermarket to buy fabric softener will leave with that item purchased.
Consumers who contact a dealership or walk-in, do not always buy the first time. This of course if the reality that dealers live in each day. 65-75% of "Ups" walk out of the dealership without a car.
Car shoppers, once motivated by some stimulus event, will move between the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) and First Moment of Truth (FMOT) a number of times. The unsold leads and ups continue their online research until they buy, and will often become a FMOT for another local dealer.
Google research indicates that car shoppers are influenced by 18 difference online sources before they contact the dealership. This is a sobering statistic which begs the question for your dealership: "How Many of Those Influences Can We Control?".
The more dangerous question may be: "What are Those Influences Saying About Our Dealership?".
We have also been discussing the balance of "Stimulus" spending vs. investments in ZMOT, FMOT, and SMOT. Stimulus spending is Radio, TV, and Newspaper. This started a very lively conversation in Week Two.
In summary, a challenge was presented: If you don't have a Unique Selling Proposition and enough money to create the right frequency of stimulus, you may need to get out of Stimulus spending all together. Since only 4% of consumers are in the market to buy at any one time, short burst stimulus spending is very ineffective.
The second idea that was discussed that stimulus is best positioned for branding and not "sale" messaging. Wait till we discuss the data in February on that thought! Many car dealers invest in traditional media to push a short term sale!
Dealers who understand this pattern of behavior, come to some quick conclusions:
There are so many clear inspection points and strategies that are evolving from the Automotive Zero Moment of Truth Study that I can't wait until we have the final whitepaper completed and presented at DMSC.
In the meantime, get everyone in your dealership to read Jim Lecinski's Book by visiting http://www.zeromomentoftruth.com. Best of all it's free!
I also invite members of this community to join me at the 2012 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference prior to NADA 2012. Rooms are $69 per night and you can register online by visiting: http://www.digitalmarketingstrategies.org/
Ralph Paglia will be doing two workshops at DMSC, so come out and learn from the founder of this great educational community.
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing
Text PCGedu to 75674 get information on our upcoming conferences