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Notes From The GM eSummit: Think Like a Customer!

I recently had the privilege of attending the GM eSummit, where I attended workshops and presentations from the auto industry’s top minds – all focused on helping GM car dealers dominate the digital landscape. During the trip to Fort Worth, I met a ton of interesting people and learned a lot about the full range of web tools that dealers have access to. Without giving away the farm (you’ll have to go there yourself), I want to give you a look into how useful the conference can be, as well as share the recurring themes of the speaking circuit.

Melissa McCann-Tilton of Cobalt Group kicked off the GM eSummit with a bang by showing us a display of all automotive searches around the world in real time. Watching queries for “Chevy Cruze” and “Courtesy Chevrolet” fly across the screen as real customers searched for them seemed like something out of The Matrix. Melissa shared Cobalt’s data to show how three buyer personas use the Internet to buy a car in three very different ways.

David Kain spearheaded the eSummit’s discussion panel with industry thought leaders from Digital Air Strike, Naked Lime, Better Car People, and more. This roundtable provided insight into the most successful dealer operations, as well as an honest conversation about the value of social media.

Flagship speaker Todd Smith of ActivEngage spoke about the most revolutionary digital strategies on the digital front from all industries. Todd told the audience that emotional responses trump logic and reason during the purchasing process – and how some of the best brands in the world are tapping directly into these emotional triggers. It was a really fascinating presentation on the psychology of sales.

The common idea echoed through all of these presentations is how to think like a shopper. With an understanding of how people buy, you can make better decisions to give them exactly what they want when they search for your dealership. Try going through the buying process on your own website. Search for your dealership the way a customer would. Pick a vehicle and try and find it on your own inventory page. Think like your customers.

Stephen will be heading to the GM eSummit in Chicago next. Catch up with him there by following @on Twitter!

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Comment by Joshua Michael Friedman on August 27, 2012 at 6:11pm
Great to read, as I am in Chicagoland presently, looking forward to the session. See you there!

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