“In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.”
You probably expected me to start off with the most popular Yoda quote, “Do or do not; there is no try” — but that’s not always true. We have plenty of dealers who try very hard to ‘do internet.’ But we also know that many of our contacts at dealerships work with a team full of people who all have different goals at stake, and are all asking for a variety of changes to their websites that they think will help accomplish those goals. By the time those ideas get back to the web team (content strategists and web designers), we’re often missing a few of the pieces of the puzzle. Don’t get us wrong — we’ll still do whatever we can to help, but it’s a lot easier to do that with a little extra information.
In the interest of keeping things positive (and celebrating one of the greatest movie franchises of all time), here are three Yoda proverbs that will help explain what some of our favourite dealership clients do, which in turn helps us to do the very best we can for them.
“All his life has he looked away… to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was… what he was doing.”
The best dealerships don’t fixate on solely the end goal or small details – they focus on the big picture. We often see dealers make a request to change something on their site that is an element of the design or content that is specific to a data-driven decision. For example, we sometimes get a request to change out a target keyword from a landing page because you prefer a different word in its place (ie. “used” vs. “pre-owned”), despite the data and keyword research showing that more customers search for the original word. We also receive requests to adjust large chunks of text to be bold (and on pages where other things are already bold) because the client “wants it to pop,” despite the fact that making all of the design elements stand out will result in nothing standing out.
What our favourite dealerships do: Tell us what the overarching goals are, and what other steps you’re taking to achieve those goals, so that we can provide you with a few options that would accomplish what you’re looking for.
“You will find only what you bring in.”
We’re sad to report that none of our team members were blessed with the power of clairvoyance. We do our best work when we are given as much information as possible. This applies on so many levels. We want to deliver you what you asked for on the first try – but we need a little bit more guidance first.
What our favourite dealerships do: Provide us with examples. If you see a landing page that you really like, don’t just try to explain it to your Online Marketing Manager (so that they explain it to us) — send over the link. If you see an ad that you like, how it looks or moves, take a picture or a video and send it over. Conversely, also tell us what you don’t like. We can find examples or design something for you, but until we have a better idea of things you do and don’t like, we’re really just making an educated guess.
“You must unlearn what you have learned.”
In asking the team about what they wanted me to include in this post, one of my favourite responses came from one of our web developers who said, “I just wish everyone would realize that the web probably evolves faster than their knowledge of the web does.” We constantly find this to be true — especially with search engine optimization and user experience. We have teams of people who are dedicated to researching, building out and trying new strategies, and testing – and we still learn new things that have changed and are constantly changing. Unless you are willing to live, breathe, and learn about how digital marketing continues to evolve, chances are good that some (if not all) of what you may have learned even a few months ago could be out-of-date.
What our favourite dealerships do: Trust us to be your partner. You hired us to be on your team, and we want to be a team player. Let us take the lead on this play, because we’ve been practising as hard as we can to make sure it’s well-executed and sets you up to score. We like being winners too.
Rather than just telling you to “do or do not,” I’ll leave you with this: “Always pass on what you have learned.” We are only as good at our jobs as our dealers are, and our dealers are only as good as what we can offer, and the best results for both sides comes from everyone sharing their collective knowledge.