The Crossroad of Confidence and Clarity


Our industry is often overrun by buzzwords. One of my favorites a few years ago was branding, a classic because everybody wanted it but nobody knew what it really was.

The newest buzzword I am hearing almost every day is transparency. The definition of transparency is the 21st Century benchmark for “no smoke or mirrors; no games or gimmicks”. At the heart of creating a market where transparency thrives is the internet, for which the buzzword once was “information highway” – which is now unlimited lanes, no speed limit.

One fact well-founded in all shopper surveys is the growing number of hours spent on automotive sites. The amount of knowledge about a vehicle, pricing and all variables such as trade, lease rates and financing is available and utilized by every buyer segment.

The sense of confidence they feel must be respected for the time they have invested. Your processes must enforce their assurance by giving clarity each step of the way – all questions answered, all doubt erased: this is how we do things, this is why. The green light at the crossroad of confidence and clarity is transparency. If shoppers do not sense transparency, you will never see them.

About the author

John Paul Strong: As owner of Strong Automotive Merchandising, a company that increases traffic up to 1,000% for dealerships, Strong lives by the simple concept that your attitude affects your success. Without a positive mind set he would not have been able to grow the company over the last decade from just 10 to over 80 full-time employees. The rapid growth is thanks to his ability to keep the company on the forefront of technology, market changes and an infectious talent to motivate and keep employees striving to fulfill their potential. His beginnings in direct mail gave him the tools and skills to develop incredibly successful marketing plans. From there he moved on to traditional forms of media and has now mastered the dynamic world of digital and social media advertising. With over 150 dealers to please, Strong takes a hands-on approach and personal attention to detail in all aspects of marketing strategies. His expertise in plan development gives him a keen sense on how to maximize a dealer’s budget and ultimately increase their bottom line. Strong is a passionate speaker in the automotive industry. He has authored two books on creating next day traffic. He graduated from the Executive Education Program at the Harvard Business School. Strong received a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Montevallo. He lives with his wife and three children in Homewood, Alabama.


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