Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
The VALUE OF DVS CUSTOMER
I get the Boston Globe newspaper every day. I’ve been reading it since I was old enough to read. Friends of mine who are fellow members of the New England Motor Press Association write for the Autos section.
Being a car guy of sorts, I own more cars than I can fit into my garage. My most recent acquisition is a crystal-red 2015 Chevy Tahoe…getting ready for New England snow again. And yet, I NEVER read the new car ads or autos listings in the Globe. Being a baby-boomer, you would think that the paper is where I would go to find a car. WRONG. I might be too old to enlist in the reserves but, like most baby-boomers, I’m not strictly old school. I, like 95% of the adults in America, rely upon the web for my research; checking out specs and reviews on Edmunds.com, AutoTrader.com and AOL.com. To really get a feel for the new Tahoe, I also watch independent third-party videos when shopping for a new car. So, when I decided to retire my ten-year-old Tahoe, I never opened the Globe’s Autos section. Instead, I took a virtual test drive of the 2015 Tahoe, found a dealer with the one I wanted online, struck a fair deal and was driving my new Tahoe a few days later.
Now while old-school ads in the Sunday papers can run up to about $15,000 per Sunday or $60,000 a month for a full page that might actually just get used as a place to “go” for the new puppy, the actual effectiveness of spending all this money in the age of online video is highly questionable. Using a shotgun approach and missing 99% of your target audience seems like a big waste of money.
Fortunately, there is now a better way: The Dealer Video Showroom. Now selling cars for successful dealerships across America, this game-changing invention from the company I work at, WheelsTV, creates an interactive virtual test drive experience that is both entertaining and highly informative. It’s used by smart shoppers who don’t want to waste their time or the sales associate’s time “tire kicking.” With the Dealer Video Showroom, car buyers take virtual test drives on the dealer’s website, imagine themselves behind the wheel and then can contact the dealer, view inventory and get a great price. When they show up at the dealership, they know what they want and are ready to buy. Everyone saves time, the dealer spends about 1% of what gets spent in the newspaper and the sales associate takes far less time to make the sale. Today’s car sales process is all about quality, not quantity. Wasting money and time trying to reach the tiny portion of the newspaper reading population who are in the market for a car in the age of online video is just plain foolish.
So, How do you value a Dealer Video Showroom Customer?
How do you measure the value of a car shopper who has found your dealership on the web, entered your Dealer Video Showroom and taken a video test drive of one of the cars you have for sale?...How much more valuable is that same person if they click to view your inventory?...How do you value that same person if they contact you to request a price?...Finally, how do you value that same person when they purchase a car from you?
Place a value on each of these levels of buyer engagement and movement towards a purchase and you’ll quickly see the exceptional value of the Dealer Video Showroom. Today, every dealership must have independent third-party video of every make and model of new car on their lot. Car shoppers expect it. Video is essential to their staying on your website and buying from you. Give them what they need and you’ll sell more cars.
Jim Barisano is the CEO of WheelsTV, a video technology company that creates interactive virtual test drives now in use by leading auto dealerships across America. He can be reached at jimbar@wheelsTV.net or by calling 978-264-4333…You can also take a virtual test drive at wheelstvNetwork.com.