Automotive Advertising Agencies Focus on People Using Social Media Vs Product or Price

The role of the automotive advertising agency has changed to follow the new rules of the road on the Internet Super Highway. Newly empowered consumers are no longer limited to shopping for a vehicle using information provided by self serving auto dealers pushing information to them using conventional media like radio, T.V. or newspaper. Social media has allowed car shoppers to gather information from like minded customers before, during and after their shopping and/or buying experience. These online friends are playing an increasing role in the car shopping process and automotive advertising agencies are using them to influence buyers.

The new pull / push nature of the market powered by the Internet requires automotive advertising agencies to focus on people vs. product or price. Car shoppers are following their own agendas when pulling information from the world wide web that no longer requires them to rely on an auto dealer as the source. Today’s online shoppers prioritize people when selecting a dealership they are willing to do business with. That is not to suggest that product and price aren’t important. It simply suggests that all systems start and end with people and that people are the true asset of any auto dealer, automotive advertising agency or vendor!

The most obvious evidence of the priority that people play in the auto shopping/buying/service experience is the explosive growth that social media has enjoyed as a marketing media vs. conventional radio, T.V. and print that used to dominate the automotive advertising landscape. Automotive advertising agencies recognize that people have always preferred to do business with people that they like and social networking has expanded the spheres of influence of car shoppers/buyers to include their online friends.

The market is a conversation amongst friends before, during and after the car shopping/buying/ service cycle. Auto dealers that have friends in the social networking communities are more likely to be invited to participate in the dialogue. More specifically, automotive advertising agencies realize that it is difficult to befriend a building or a website! It is the people that work at the dealership to support their families that have the story to tell to their friends and who will earn the sale — not the Chevrolet, Toyota, Mercedes, etc. — or the extended service hours and weekly specials. Saturday service hours have no appeal if the customers don’t like or trust the people that they are handing their keys to. Having a friend in the car business is a relief that trumps the best process, product or price for the average car buyer.

Automotive advertising agencies also recognize that people play a role in both the real and virtual world showroom experience which will be reflected in the number of units sold and their job performance at the end of the month. First impressions are irretrievable and they are not limited to a large inventory, clean showroom or a dealer centric selling system that processes customers in sales and/or service. The atmosphere in a well run dealership reflects the morale of the staff in sales and service which directly impacts the customers that an automotive advertising agency drives to the dealership.

A smiling sales person, service writer, operator and cashier can’t be forced as a part of policy — much like customer satisfaction can’t be bought or taken for granted by simply offering the best price; it must be earned. It is earned when a dealer or manager appreciates the individual and team contributions of his staff — and tells them so on a regular basis! It is maintained by HR departments and hiring practices that select personality over prior auto sales experience with compensation plans that reflect individual contributions along with job descriptions and defined areas of responsibility that are managed and monitored by a caring management team.

Employee retention is directly linked to customer satisfaction and customer retention and neither can be taken for granted. Automotive advertising agencies are counseling their auto dealer clients to invest in their people before, during and after they are hired to compliment their investments in automotive advertising. It is their people that will represent their dealership and it is their people who will sell their cars and service to a growing list of friends and customers.

Automotive advertising agencies have extended their areas of responsibility to include their involvement in all aspects of day to day operations at an auto dealership. Most selling systems and related processes include a meeting and greeting, an initial manager T.O. to qualify the customer’s needs, an inventory and facility walk, a test drive, a feature benefit presentation, a desking procedure, a manager T.O., negotiations, an F&I introduction, a delivery procedure and service introduction. All of these steps are then supported by a state of the art CRM/ILM, DMS and follow up system. Unfortunately, all of these well thought out procedures are only as good as the sales person who entered the customer into the system and/or who is expected to follow up if not sold or who is relied on to solicit future service and referrals.

All of these actions reflect on the job performance of the automotive advertising agency and they must be addressed as part of their areas of responsibility. Automotive advertising agencies recognize that sales training is all too often limited to a few weeks immediately after the hire and/or some outsourced trainer hired to pump up the staff. Given the complexity of a well planned selling system — as described above — how can a new hire be expected to retain everything that they need to know? Add product information and an understanding of how human nature impacts the negotiation process and — once again — the investment in the people becomes self evident.

There is a paradigm shift taking place in the way that sales and service training should be applied at a dealership and it is up to the automotive advertising agency to insure that it is understood and applied. Forward thinking automotive advertising agencies have discovered that sales and service training can’t be limited to the new hires and or as needed to motivate the staff. It must start in the hiring process by selecting trainable personalities and then integrated into the selling system in such a way that the processes teach the sales person as much as the customer. Buyers and sellers must form a habit to listen and learn from each other before they can presume to sell or buy anything. A sales person does not need to know everything — they simply need to know where to find the answers that are relevant to the customer to move them through their buying decision.

Automotive advertising agencies often rely on new technologies to provide efficiencies applied to proven old world wisdom. New mobile sales applications are being developed that promise to provide a salesperson with the right information at the right place and the right time which will integrate training into the sales process. The key is to focus on the people part of the presentation supported by the processes, products and the price rather than the other way around.

Mobile Technology Meets the Automotive Industry

Mobile technology is not isolated to one particular sector. While tech-savvy individuals do put mobile technology to work everyday, it’s not solely them who enjoy the benefits of this important societal advancement.

More and more industries are learning that the future is mobile. Because of the growing ubiquity of mobile phones, there is no single industry that could not benefit in some way from implementing mobile technology. One such industry that can (and does) benefit from mobile technology is the automotive industry. If you’re involved in this competitive sector, then listen up: mobile technology can help you run your business more smoothly, and can also allow you to tackle problems with more creative and innovative solutions.

One of the most interesting aspects of mobile technology is the advent of QR codes. These codes are becoming more and more commonplace, and are by far the best way to get a consumer to a website landing page.

Here are just some of the ways by which QR technology can be put to good use in the automotive industry.

Custom-Designed QR Codes

QR codes are an excellent addition to any business. While they provide many ways for companies to get their target audience to a website landing page, the problem arises when you consider the sheer amount of QR codes that are bombarding consumers every single day. If you’re an automotive company who wishes to stand out, you’ll want a QR code that will be both iconic and memorable. That’s where custom QR codes come in. Now you don’t have to settle for a QR code that’s black, white, and mundane; custom-designed QR codes allow businesses to have codes that incorporate their logos, background imagery and chosen colors.

Specialty QR Codes

While fancy, aesthetically appealing QR codes are nice and flashy, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. That’s where specialty QR codes come in. This technology is not solely for bringing customers to a boring landing page – people need motivation to scan a QR code… And you need to provide them with a call to action to do just that.

Consider some of these innovative solutions that can be incorporated into the automotive industry.

Tag2pdf – You can use Tag2pdf to get vehicle information directly to a customer. QR codes can be placed on car windows; when scanned, the interested customer will have the option to be emailed all pertinent information about the car. This is easily the quickest and most efficient way to get comprehensive information about a product directly into the hands of a customer.

Tag2win – Customers can scan a Tag2win code to automatically be entered into a contest to win an automotive prize. This is a great way to spike consumer interest.

Tag2video – Tag2video provides an incredible opportunity for the automotive industry. These codes can be scanned to deliver a video right to your customers’ phones! The implications of this are obvious: instead of having a boring, static advertisement, you can bring things to life by showing them a video of one of your cars in action!

Together, specialty and custom-designed QR codes provide a comprehensive way of implementing mobile technology into the automotive industry. Make sure you take advantage of this cutting-edge technology and achieve your full potential in a world that is clearly going mobile. Don’t miss out.