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John Gottschalk, VP of business development and strategy, FordDirect

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1 John Gottschalk, VP of business development and strategy, FordDirect
How Mobile/Online Technology and Social Media Will Change the Way We Buy and Sell Vehicles John Gottschalk, VP of business development and strategy, FordDirect @FordDirect_com @johngottschalk 

2 BUILDING AN ONLINE PRESENCE FOR TODAY’S AUTOMOTIVE CONSUMER

3 Targeting Today’s Auto Shoppers
As today’s shoppers become more familiar with and reliant upon mobile devices, auto remarketers need to make sure they are able to meet the demand for interactive, on-the-go experiences and information. Through social, mobile and local channels, remarketers can position themselves in front of customers, build their brand via mobile devices and engage with local consumers. As today’s shoppers become more familiar with and reliant upon mobile devices, auto remarketers need to make sure they are able to meet the demand for interactive, on-the-go experiences and information. This presentation will provide guidance on building online presence and leveraging social and online channels to your advantage. We will also discuss best practices for positioning vehicles online through social, mobile and digital channels.

4 Social, Mobile, Local The rapid adoption of mobile and tablet devices is leading to the rise of the “SoMoLo Shopper.” A consumer who regularly uses social networks, apps, smartphones and location-based services as part of their shopping lifestyle. 74 percent of smartphone owners use their phone to get real-time location-based information. This adoption rate is also reflected in the auto industry, with the majority of shoppers using their phone at the dealership to access vehicle information about pricing, model features and dealer inventory. The adoption of mobile and tablet devices is growing exponentially, leading to the rise of the “SoMoLo Shopper” – a consumer who regularly uses social networks, apps, smartphones and location-based services as part of their shopping lifestyle. Pew Research Center JD Power

5 FordDirect’s Digital Automotive Shopping Survey
To gain more insights on the automotive shopper, FordDirect surveyed automotive consumers on the ways they approach their shopping experience from online research to choosing which dealer to purchase from. The findings revealed the increasing importance for dealers to develop a strong online presence and reputation as the process of shopping for a new or used vehicle continues to evolve. To gain more insights on the automotive shopper, FordDirect surveyed automotive consumers on the ways they approach their shopping experience from online research to choosing which dealer to purchase from. -Conducted in December, 2012 -Gathered responses from more than 1,100 automotive consumers (20-60 years) who had purchased a new or used vehicle in the past year The findings revealed the increasing importance for dealers to develop a strong online presence and reputation as the process of shopping for a new or used vehicle continues to evolve.

6 Importance of Mobile Dealer Websites
Nearly 30 percent of shoppers surveyed access dealer websites using a mobile device (e.g., Smart phone, Tablet, etc.)

7 Social Media – The Ultimate WOM
Consumers are turning to social channels for insights on purchasing decisions – the new age of word of mouth marketing For the auto remarketer, what matters most is how consumers are using social when it comes to automotive shopping We already know that consumers are turning to social channels and have no doubt heard endless stats pointing to the popularity of social media and the frequency with which consumers turn to this community for insights on purchasing decisions. However, for the auto remarketer, what matters most is how consumers are using social when it comes to automotive shopping.

8 Social Media Presence Automotive consumers also turn to social channels to find out what others are saying about businesses, products and services. Equally important, they want to know what your business has to say in response 49.5 percent of customers are less likely to buy anything from a company when its Facebook page has several unanswered questions or complaints from customers. Convergys

9 Auto Shoppers and Social Media
Automotive consumers are drawn to social media to find information that is relevant and useful to them. 42 percent of consumers are interested in connecting with dealerships via social media for access to incentives like coupons. Consumers also said they visit Dealer Facebook pages to learn about local sales events and community events. Our survey found that the majority (42%) of auto consumers are interested in receiving information about deals and coupons on Dealer fan pages. We also found that many consumers are interested in receiving hyper-local information such as sales events and community events a Dealership is sponsoring. This tells us consumers are looking for information that is relevant to them and their surroundings.

10 1 1 4 2.1 #1 49% Importance of Customer Reviews XYZ dealership
Average number of review sites in sidebar on page 1 Average number of review sites on page 1 Average number of social sites on page 1 1 1 4 49% #1 2.1 Importance of securing your social reputation sites and working to monitor and respond to both positive and negative reviews. Consumer Ranking of review sites as digital info source Average # of review sites car buyers visited of consumers clicked on a review site from Google search results

11 Impact of Online Reviews
In FordDirect’s 2012 car buyer survey, what percent of customers said they were less likely to purchase a vehicle from a dealership that received negative reviews? 32 percent 47 percent 52 percent 63 percent 70 percent The answer is 63 percent. Reputation and trust have always been crucial factors in the car buyer’s decision on where to purchase a new or used vehicle. That hasn’t changed, but the way shoppers judge reputations and build trust has evolved radically in the Digital Era.

12 Reputation Management
A dealer’s online reputation was identified throughout the survey as a key influencer in the buying process: 63 percent of shoppers reported they are less likely to purchase from a dealer who receives negative comments online. However, even negative comments can be an opportunity for dealers to win a consumer over. 59 percent of auto shoppers said they feel more positive about dealers who respond to negative comments. Today the auto shopping experience begins long before the customer steps foot into the dealership, and the dealership’s online reputation can determine where a consumer ultimately elects to do business.

13 Selecting a Dealer “70 percent of Car buyers who visited review sites changed dealership selection based on reviews they read.” - Yahoo Search Marketing Study

14 Best practices for targeting today’s consumer

15 Your Online Presence

16 Own Your Online Identity
Google yourself: do you own your online channels, or are they vacant? Use free resources getlisted.org and knowem.com Be where customers are: Facebook, Twitter, Google Places, etc. Go beyond a basic website and develop site content that is interesting and engaging, such as video Start with the service department Know where your customers are Google your business. Do you own your online channels, or are they vacant? Be sure to populate all your online properties such as Google places, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube channels, etc. Take advantage of free resources such as getlisted.org and knowem.com which help you to evaluate your online presence by providing a score. Also important: know where your customers are – and be there. This increases your visibility, and is an essential first step in establishing your online presence.

17 SEO and SEM Claim your dealership on Google Places & link your Google Places page to your Elite website, setup a Google alert Encourage happy customers to visit your store on Google Places and write a favorable review Consider expanding the towns/region in the area tag to include other geographical areas you are trying to target Provide ‘SEO friendly’ copy Use consumer friendly content Include the name of your store, the makes that you sell, the areas that you serve, and a unique selling proposition Create custom homepage title tag Keep the title tag to about 60 – 75 characters Suggested format: Dealership | Homepage New, Used, {and Certified} Ford Dealer serving City 1, 2

18 Manage Your Reputation
Pay attention to customer reviews: do you know what customers are saying about you? If not, it’s time to start listening – and responding. Although tempting to ignore them, responding to negative reviews online is very important to a dealership’s brand. Not only are you potentially swaying a customer who had a bad experience back into your favor, but you’re also leaving a positive impression on future customers. Encourage and respond to positive reviews. Be proactive in encouraging positive feedback from satisfied customers. During our pilot 75 percent of customer reviews came back positive – all you have to do is ask! Do you know what customers are saying about you? If not, it’s time to start listening – and responding. As we saw earlier, auto consumers are strongly impacted by Dealer reviews, with 63% saying they’d be less likely to purchase from a dealer who had negative comments. Yet, as we also saw, 59% of consumers said they felt more positive about Dealers who responded to negative comments. Negative comments have a way of snowballing if no one is available to comment. By responding quickly, dealers reduce the chance for additional negative comments. You can also be proactive in encouraging positive feedback from satisfied customers. Encourage them to post a review, you can potentially offer them incentives like coupons or maintenance specials when they post a review on your site.

19 Example: Testimonial App with Reviews on Dealer website

20 Reputation Management Best Practices
Simply ask. Ask satisfied customers for testimonials that can be leveraged on your website or in marketing collateral. Use the reviews. Leverage a website feed to offsite reviews, feature reviews on your dealership website, develop blog content to highlight service success stories, and use testimonials in printed sales materials. Respond ASAP. By responding quickly, you greatly reduce the chance of additional negative comments. Act. Fix problems (offline and one-on-one) to regain trust with the dissatisfied customer, and communicate that others won’t have the same experience with your dealership. Challenge apparent falsehoods. If the commentary on a review site is false, offer evidence in support of your version of the facts. Ask satisfied customers for testimonials that can be leveraged on your website or in marketing collateral. For live customer interactions, you can even provide printed cards that link them to Google+ Local or a social review site like Yelp. In addition to a website feed to offsite reviews, you should also feature reviews on your dealership website. Develop blog content that highlights top service success stories, and leverage testimonials in printed sales materials. Negative comments have a way of snowballing if no one responds. Others will chime in, some commenting on the fact that the dealer isn’t responding, and layers of additional negative comments build upon themselves. By jumping in and responding quickly, you greatly reduce the chance of additional negative comments. Act. Even the best dealership has an “off” day. Could the review or comment be true? The best course of action is to fix the problem (offline and one-on-one, if possible) so you can regain trust with the dissatisfied customer, and communicate that others won’t have the same experience with your dealership. Challenge apparent falsehoods. If the commentary on a review site is false, offer evidence in support of your version of the facts and present them to the customer or the website publishing the statement(s) in an effort to prompt a retraction.

21 Social Media It isn’t just about the number of fans or likes; social media is all about engagement. Whether offering service coupons or discounts, inviting customers to a sales event or sharing an interesting article, businesses should aim to provide value and a call to action in their social interactions. Social channels aren’t self-sufficient. It takes time and thought to keep tabs on and participate in social conversations. But the ROI in terms of loyalty, preference, referrals and a positive reputation can be tremendous.

22 Buy time Talk back Gather insights Promotions
Social Media Tips Humanize Buy time Cadence Talk back Gather insights Talk back. Respond to customer messages, regardless of whether they are positive or negative in nature. Buy time. If you do not have an immediate answer to a customer question or problem, let the customer know you’re working on it. Thank the customer for the feedback and set and expectations for when he or she can expect a response. Humanize. Post fun or topical questions to your profile to humanize your dealership brand and differentiate it from competitors. Gather insights. Pose survey questions that gather valuable information for your business. For example, “What do you do when you’re waiting for your car to be serviced? What do you wish you could do?” can generate insights into service area features that would improve customer satisfaction. Cadence. Develop a regular cadence of posting content on social channels – do not allow your social sites to sit stagnant. Promotions. Everyone loves a sale. Create a tab and add coupons or sales specials, or link to your website where these are housed. Once you have a solid fan base, consider offering a Facebook-only service promotion and then measure the effectiveness. Promotions

23 Chat Dealers must strike a balance between physical sales interaction and the online sales interaction today’s consumers demand. Chat provides a convenient way to engage with customers and answer their urgent questions. It enhances customer satisfaction and can help drive new leads to the dealership. Our survey found that 27 percent of auto shoppers think it is beneficial to chat with Dealers online. 30 percent of Internet shoppers who engage in chat on a dealership’s site purchase a vehicle within 60 days. Dealerships that want to be where their customers are must find a balance between the physical sales interaction they’ve mastered and the online sales interaction qualified consumers demand. By implementing their own website chat solution they can strike this balance while ultimately maintaining a level of control over the customer experience. Dealer-answered and managed web chat options allow dealerships to integrate chats the way that best suit their business needs and style.

24 Chat – Best Practices Will insert once received from Melissa

25 Importance of Dealer Website
62 percent of prospective car buyers viewed a dealer website prior to purchase 40 percent of prospective car buyers indicate the dealer they purchase from is impacted by their visit to dealer’s website

26 Engaging Website Content
85 percent of customers will choose a dealership from which to purchase their next vehicle based upon their experience with a dealership’s website. Our survey found that consumers were most interested in viewing: Interior and exterior photos of vehicles Videos showcasing vehicle technology and features on Dealer websites Current inventory The survey also found that customers want access to useful content. Customize your website to your local area and to your customers – sponsor contests, giveaways and local events According to J.D. Power and Associates' automotive research, 85% of customers will choose a dealership from which to purchase their next vehicle based upon their experience with a dealership’s website In our survey, we found that consumers were most interested in viewing interior and exterior photos of vehicles and videos showcasing vehicle technology and features. On social media, the items that drove the most customer engagement were coupons, contests and local events. These tactics allow you to engage with customers and encourage them to take action – whether it is an online conversation or a visit to your dealership. J.D. Power and Associates

27 Video 70 percent of the top 100 search results listings now include video 87 percent of vehicle shoppers say video helps them better decide which vehicle to purchase Nearly 80 percent of vehicle shoppers would view a video on either the interior or features of the vehicle

28 Be Mobile Friendly As the adoption of mobile and tablet devices continues to climb, dealers need to meet the demand for interactive, on-the-go experiences and information. Invest in a website that is mobile-optimized Your customers are increasingly turning to mobile far before they’re considering stepping into your Dealership. Make sure they can access your information – including inventory, vehicle photos and video. As the adoption of mobile and tablet devices continues to climb and shoppers become more reliant upon them, dealers need to meet the demand for interactive, on-the-go experiences and information. The evidence is conclusive: Your customers are using mobile far before they’re considering stepping into your Dealership. Make sure they can access your information – including access inventory, vehicle photos and video. Invest in a website that is mobile-optimized – this will keep you in front of customers while they are on the go.

29 Website Checklist Offer a mobile site, in addition to your desktop site Ensure inventory displays are easy to navigate & informative Consider incorporating video into your inventory & research features Provide tools such as credit payment and trade-in estimators to help customers expedite their purchase Incorporate ‘call-to-action’ items on sites “Schedule service” instead of “Service scheduler” “Get ePrice Quote Now” button Incorporate social features & links

30 John Gottschalk Twitter: @johngottschalk
Questions John Gottschalk


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