Many of us have witnessed this first-hand, so it may not come as much of a surprise to lean that most businesses of all types, but especially those that sell big budget items, such as homes, cars and trucks An August 2009 research study shows that over half of all business professionals worldwide are using social technologies for professional business purposes. This is according to an August 2009 survey by Mzinga and Babson Executive Education.
The overwhelming majority of respondents were professionals across multiple industries, including automotive...
A whopping 86% said they had already adopted social media and Web 2.0 technologies for business purposes. Although almost every businesses uses social media, turns out there is a mix of reasons why. The breakdowns hold a few surprises... For example, 57% of the Automotive Marketers surveyed are already using social media to promote their business. While 39% (more than a third already!) of all businesses use Web 2.0 sites and applications for both internal associates and external client communication purposes. The Mzinga/Babson survey numbers show a low overlap of only 10% of the companies are using social media for BOTH Marketing and Communications. And, about 3 out of 10 businesses are using social media and Web 2.0 technologies for customer service and support.
Surprisingly enough, more than half of all businesses have assigned full-time and/or part-time employees that are 100% dedicated to working on social media strategies (57% of all companies). However, only 40% of the businesses surveyed had committed a percentage of their marketing budget dollars for social media.
The most commonly used method for businesses to implement social media applications, was by integrating the "widgets" or social media syndication functionality into their Website and/or Microsites... This tactic was cited by 61% of of the survey respondents. Creating business sponsored online community sites, and then installing third-party widgets were #2 and #3 in popularity among 40% and 39% of business professionals, respectively.
If you've been in the car business for any length of time, you have probably heard the phrase; "You cannot manage what you do not measure..." I would love to know who the person is that should be given the credit for first using that phrase! However, despite (or because of) the meteoric rate of adoption for the business use of social media, ROI related measurement still lags. Part of the problem may be that generally recognized key performance indicators have not yet emerged in this new area of digital marketing and customer relationship management. So, without any "Best Practices" established yet, it not too difficult to understand why 86% of businesses are using social media in some way at this time, but only 16% of those polled said they currently measured ROI for their social media programs. The gap between adoption and measurement looks even bigger when you see in the research report that more than 4 out of 10 businesses did not know whether the performance metrics tools they were using had any type of ROI measurement, or Key Buying Activity (KBA) tracking capabilities.
I have personally implemented full-scale Social Marketing Strategies at several dealerships and can attest to the difficulty in measuring the success of social media marketing... However, I have used both Omniture SiteCatalyst and Google Analytics in conjunction with DoubleClick Floodlight tags in order to measure Social Marketing campaigns that were partially driven by advertising budgets. These combined with using CallSource AdTracker phone numbers listed on the dealer's sponsored community, social network profiles, etc. give us more than just making a guess as to the effectiveness of social media campaigns. However, in a manner similar to the impact of online advertising in general, we have already seen that the majority of monetized ROI comes in the form of people coming to the dealership in person without a lead form, email or phone call.
Using a mix of hard data combined with assumption based analysis for ROI metrics is a better solution for right now. My next article should probably be about the Performance Reporting aspects of Social Media Marketing.
One effective campaign I have seen a couple of times from dealers using social media for traffic generation by distributing a coupon via a social network and monitoring its redemption. We did this for free oil changes, and the coupons even had the "Operation Code" that had been set up in the DMS, so that we could measure campaign driven traffic.
The best Social Media Marketers will learn how to assign a dollar value to more unique-to-social types of performance metrics, such as number of members, fans, friends and followers, as a means of adding a point of value to the total performance based metrics reporting that is used to measure ROI.
The Automotive Digital Marketing (ADM) Professional Community website is built on a perpetually growing"Viral Expansion Loop" Networking Platform and serves Car Dealers, Dealership General Managers and their management teams, including Internet Sales Managers, BDC Managers, Marketing Managers, Sales Managers, Service Managers, Service Advisers, Parts Managers, Fixed Operations Directors and their teams. Launched at the beginning of January 2008, ADM has emerged as a valuable and proven resource for the entire spectrum of automotive marketing and Internet sales related professionals. Interactive Media and eCommerce Professionals at car companies (OEM) and tier 1 and 2 advertising agencies who want to see, hear and read what the best Digital and Interactive Marketing professionals in the automotive industry have to say about relevant and timely topics visit ADM on a regular basis or subscribe to the many RSS feeds and content syndication services available within the ADM community.
Did you know there are now over 2,100 members on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? Have you reached out to connect with important ADM member contacts by asking them to be your Friend?
AUTOMOTIVE IMAGE AND PHOTO RESOURCES
Did you know that there are over 4,000 photos listed on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? And, do you know that many of these images are actually charts and graphs of the latest marketing trends and research? Did you know that many of these photos are actual ads used by dealers that worked exceptionally well? There have been over 4,000 photos uploaded and made available for use by all ADM members.
AUTOMOTIVE VIDEO FILE HOSTING
Did you know that there are more than 750 videos on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? Have you seen how many of those videos are actual examples of marketing campaigns and business processes used successfully by some of the leading and most successful dealers in America?
GET ACCESS TO AUTOMOTIVE ARTICLES AND PUBLISH YOURS
Did you know that there are over 500 blog posts on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? When was the last time you posted a blog entry and let important ADM industry professionals know what you are up to? Have you checked ADM for the latest articles published by writers who walk the talk? Members have created more than 500 blog posts within their ADM provided websites that feature online file storage and personalized blog hosting at no cost to ADM members.
SOMETIMES CONTROVERSIAL, BUT ALWAYS FASCINATING AUTOMOTIVE DISCUSSION FORUM
Did you know that there are over 500 forum topics on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? Have you checked the forum lately to see what your associates, clients and colleagues are saying?
Have you posted a forum discussion to see what other professionals have to say about the topic?
There have been over 500 discussions started and still active with ongoing comments and information being published daily within the ADM Forum.
SPECIALIZED AUTOMOTIVE PROFESSIONAL GROUPS
Did you know that there are more than 25 professional groups on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? Have you joined any groups so that you can send messages to all other group members?
EVENT CALENDAR FOR AUTOMOTIVE PROFESSIONALS
Did you know that there are Important Upcoming Automotive Digital Marketing Events listed on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? Have you posted what you or your organization considers to be important upcoming events on the ADM calendar so that other professionals will know about them, consider attending and register their intent? ADM members can create calendar events using the ADM site application that allows image and logos, links to registration pages, location maps that integrate with Google Maps, Outlook Calendar integration, invitation mailings using uploaded email lists, RSVP tracking and event management features and a whole lot more.
RADIO SPOTS AND AUTOMOTIVE PODCASTS
Did you know that there are more than 500 MP3 audio files on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? Have you checked out what other automotive professionals are listening to? Did you know that many of these MP3 files are automotive marketing and Internet sales best practice Podcasts, and examples of highly effective radio spots, along with powerful and engaging dealer website soundtracks?
ADM was created to serve as a resource for Automotive Internet Sales and Marketing Professionals working in the digital and interactive media space for dealers with automotive franchises, car companies and the associated suppliers and technology providers serving the auto industry. Both OEM and Dealer associates are among ADM's most prolific members.
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