Automotive Digital Marketing ProCom

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A little background on our situation...

One of my many responsibilities at our dealership is to be in charge of our new and used vehicle photos. I have a guy who works for me that handles the job well, but it falls under my purview. As we all know, we have to be on top of our photos and videos as they are the first thing that most customers see when they view our inventory. Statistics tell us that the average shopper looks at anywhere from 11-18 dealers inventory before ever contacting the dealer, so the product we put out there is critical to business.

Our current practice is that we take the photos of our vehicles after our detail department gets done with them, upload them to our CRM and then put them on the lot. It is a full time job for my assistant and he does very well with it, however, right now we simply take the photos at the corner of the dealership.

This morning the Dealer Principle, a Sales Manager and myself sat in on a very impressive presentation on a photo booth with green screen walls and a turning platform. The setup allows you to take an entire exterior video in 52 seconds and then the software goes through the video and pulls out a still photo every at 10 degree turn. This gives you both an exterior video and still shots of the exterior in 52 seconds. That is significantly faster than we can do it without the equipment. They also have an option of a camera that can be mounted inside that rotates and follows the same process.

As you might imagine, the results from the controlled environment were excellent, but as with anything impressive, they come at a price.

I am curious about what you do, if you do your photos in-house. Do you just use your a corner of your lot (or some specific spot at your dealership) to take photos, or do you have a photo booth with the green screened walls? Maybe you just have an inside area where you take your photos. I am very interested in hearing your thoughts.

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Comment by Kent Lund on July 23, 2014 at 5:04pm

Up front I will admit, this is my business. For 20+ years we have been a Detroit based imagery supplier to the Big 3 world wide for their catalogs, literature and advertising.  Sheet metal is our life.  www.autophotobay.com

Approximately three years ago, a prominent marketer of used vehicles in Atlantia contacted us with a simple question. "How do we make our used vehicles look as good as the advertising vehicles in the marketplace?"  

For them, we designed, built and implemented a self contained photography "booth" capable of 50 vehicles per day-36 exterior views and interior 360' views. With barcoding, tracking and immediate uploading to their web site.  They are claiming an almost 50% increase in out state sales.  

We have continued development of custom photo booths to scale the capabilities, responding to the needs and requirements of the marketplace based on workflow. Some customers want total automation while others prefer to have a designated operator. We know that one size does not fit all-one trim level is not the right fit for all customers...

So my response to this question is a Yes!  You cannot afford not to.  We are excited about this new frontier. Your business/dealership can have flattering, factory-quality images that place your vehicles and your business in its best light every time, guaranteed. What better branding than visual consistency.  I welcome you and others who may have interests and questions about this new technology to contact me here or on our website http://www.autophotobay.com

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on June 28, 2013 at 11:45pm

Depends on the image you want. not a fan of green screen floating car, but industry wisdom suggests you want a neutral backdrop (and FLOOR), perhaps with some branding. If you're shopping other booth providers or want more ideas, check out http://web.autoexact.com/PhotoBooth.aspx

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