Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Coming back from DD10 my mind is a buzz with everything I learned, saw & heard. Me & about 1200 other people are probably suffering from information overload. Now we are processing it all, dissecting the session notes we furiously transcribed, sorting through the conflicting messages from vendors & presenters, trying to figure out what information & tools we gathered apply to us & how we can implement them to do what we all want....to sell more cars & increase the bottom-line. Wither you are a vendor or a dealer that is after all the goal of this industry.
Now I heard many dealers complain about the conflicting messages given to them. One session would say to forget about video that it has no place, another would say video helps you personalize your message to the buyers which helps you connect on that "missing" human level. Now everyone did agree that Social is here to stay & your store may not be if you don't use it. But no one could agree on what the "best practices" of Social Media are. No one could agree which way to go, quantity likes & followers or to focus on relevancy and quality. In the end you must decide, & sometimes through trial & error, which of these processes work for you. We now have an overall picture of what can be built & now we must decide which tools will work, the hammer & nails, the screws & screwdriver or a combination of both.
One thing that will happen too many over the next few weeks is they will come back a full of energy, roaring to go & implement everything they just learned immediately. Yes the point of the conference is for dealers to learn how to reach their potential buyers through digital verticals in the most effective methods possible with the greatest ROI. So what's wrong with going in & changing everything up is that is what you feel is best? Absolutely nothing! Sometimes the best way to achieve your goals is to take massive action.
So what is your plan?
Where will you start?
What do you need?
Do you have it?
What are your goals?
One more time what is your plan? .....
See where I'm going with this?
I have seen many dealers come back from shows/conferences/meetings & just attack things like gangbusters.
"OK we are going to send only video response emails from now on" What if the customer just wants to know your department hours? Is a video response really necessary?
"We will become proactive on chat & it will always be monitored" Who will train your staff to take a proactive approach with a website visitor & not scare them off by seeming "stalkerish? Who's going to constantly monitor the chat program, what if it's their day off? Can your chat program be monitored via a mobile phone?
"Our store needs to get on Facebook, YouTube & Twitter now!" First of all yes you do. But who will manage your pages? Are you going to outsource it or run it in-house? Who will write the content? Will you link your employees to your main page? Do you have a Social Media policy in place? Should you?
Many times when this shotgun approach is taken within a few short weeks the dealer gets frustrated because the results they wanted are not being seen, man hours have become less efficient, employees aren't doing what they were told because they feel it's too hard, too complicated or simply don't know how to do what is expected of them. They will get frustrated because it's not working. Some may make adjustments but many will simply give up & go back to their comfortable ways of how it's always been done.
Stop & identify & set clear goals & expectations.
Think about what you already have in place, what your priorities are. What do you need? Training? Software? New policies? Equipment?
Strategize & develop a plan of action.
Lastly remember nothing is perfect, constantly review where you are, what is working & what isn't & make readjust your strategy accordingly without ever losing site of your end goals.
It was once said to me that an airplane has a flight course to follow but during the flight they are constantly making adjustments here & there because of drifting off course. A plane never flies in a straight line & never 100% on course but barring & extreme circumstances they arrive at their destination.
Remember this as you are now implementing new ideas into your store & it is more likely that your will have success in reaching the goals & making the changes you want to see in your store last