It's been a while, maybe to long! Considering what is happening in the market, it's time to get back on track with the folks that power the industry (yes, besides consultants!). This is another mix of providers touching different aspects of marketing and services that hopefully give you a leg up (if not a whole body length or two).
You've heard it here before and you'll likely continue to hear it: accountability. I've not yet met a vendor that tells you everything. Even the most up front company will tell you that they can/do something and then shuffle (some like mad) to get it done, even if they know how to do it. Not only do I expect this, the challenge of new things for clients makes some companies tick, while many just hide.
More than ever, dealerships want the services they pay for to get the customer in so their sales staff can "close 'em". Just leaves you to guess that many salespeople still believe that they shouldn't have to work for the close.
Mobile Web: Face it, you have to do it, it's absolutely here (if not passing the auto industry like a freight train), consumers want it and technology is changing faster than prices for NBA Finals tickets right now.
Advanced Mobile Solutions has a great platform they're rolling out for automotive. They know mobile, understand that life-on-the-go will extend beyond iPhones and Android Phones very soon, have the backbone to support it and want to push the ball forward. Many of the platforms I've seen for dealership inventory are lacking. This company has some great promise...oh, yes they can also do your mobile/text marketing so you can have one vendor doing both correctly http://www.advancedmobile.us
Widgets: Plenty of people still question the staying power and how steadfast of a marketing tool having some real estate of a consumer's desktop is, let alone if they'd download it. Outside of iGoogle and the 'techie' folks, many believe that this market is absolutely huge.
Already featured last December in a "Week At IM@CS", DealerBug needs to be checked out seriously (yes, by you!). This versatile tool allows great presence, branding, analytics and adaptability. It's not a question of when you need it, only how will you use it. They're delivering customized widgets for everything from pre-order vehicles (like Camaro), to car clubs (Mustang, Corvette, IS-F, EVO, etc) and developing inventory-based communication. Relevancy and timeliness has a new home on your customer's screen http://www.dealerbug.com
Live chat has developed into a tightly debated sector of consumer engagement on dealership website (and now even on videos and ads playing on non-dealership properties like YouTube). No matter what, dealerships that do it right...get the results.
ActivEngage happens to be where IM@CS believes the market is right now for car dealership live chat (ie real-time car sales folks). Every time there seems to be a wrinkle in the 'get-em-on-the-website' process, this company appears to have the iron for the job. I've been impressed this year in watching the value that they continue to provide http://www.activengage.com
Hopefully we'll keep this section of the blog a little more alive. Please give some feedback on any companies that you believe should be featured or if your experience with any ones that are featured has been less than desired (in all fairness).
Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results