Allow me to share my New Year’s Star Trek resolution since it is made in the vein of the show’s famous opening lines:
The final frontier…this is the journey of the dealership website. Its year-after-year mission: to explore the digital world, to seek out and produce new business, to boldly go where no man has gone before!
My resolution, with bold language not many have used before: For the automotive industry to quit pretending that it understands effective digital marketing!
2015 has the potential to be the crossroads where overall marketing emphasis moves discernibly from traditional to digital. For many, the pendulum has already swung toward increasing Internet share. The problem isn’t with making the move. It’s committing to the move.
Too many dealers spend tens of thousands of dollars a month in electrical bills, cleaning crews and landscapers to make the physical facilities stay in top-notch shape. Yet they balk at spending a few hundred dollars when it comes to adequately maintaining a website with the latest offers and specials – literally the bare minimum for a chance; yes, just a chance – for online shopping consideration. This initial investment protest comes before you even allocate enough to effectively manage the SEM, SEO and video efforts
for a website that gets 20 times more traffic in a month than your dealership.
It is time to start treating and valuing your website like a true and distinct facility and stop thinking about the Internet as a simple line item that costs you too much money. In fact, it is past time! Over the last five years, the dealers who have believed and bought in to the Internet as a facility have devoured market share in contrast to those who prefer to remain Internet dormant.
The Internet as it is today may not be the final frontier, but where you are regarding the Internet, presence and performance is a process that needs evaluation and evolvement to achieve leadership. For the remainder of 2015, this newsletter is going to focus specifically on effective points to raise your digital facility and presence to a powerful position. Our goal is to provide you with observational skills to judge your website and implement change for the better. Our intention is to show you how basic steps can become quantum leaps.
What is the mission of your website? We paraphrased Captain Kirk by saying to explore strange new worlds, is to seek out and produce new business. “Strange new worlds” means: The reach of your website is infinite. “To seek out and produce new business” means: The ability to grow your customer base 20 times the potential of walk-in traffic. We look forward to flying this mission with you.
John Paul Strong
John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 140 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive Merchandising.