Strathcom Media Blog

Digital Marketing for Dealerships

GOOGLE THINK AUTO 2018: FULL REVIEW

think auto screen

June 21st has come and gone, and yet another Google Think Auto conference is in the books. Moving this hotly anticipated event from September to June was a solid choice by the Google team — can you blame us for thinking that? We live in Edmonton where it’s winter 10 months of the year and we were dying for some warm weather! Continue reading “GOOGLE THINK AUTO 2018: FULL REVIEW”

Google Think Auto 2018: A Quick Recap

Google Think Auto - Toronto Centre for the Arts, June 21, 2018
Google Think Auto – Toronto Centre for the Arts, June 21, 2018

June 21st was not only the summer solstice, it was also the day of Google’s 2018 Think Auto event. The scenery was a little different from the usual September setting, but we weren’t about to complain about the hot weather. Held at the Toronto Centre for the Arts for a second year in a row, the Google auto team did not disappoint with this year’s round of stats and insights! Continue reading “Google Think Auto 2018: A Quick Recap”

GOOGLE THINK AUTO 2017: FULL REVIEW

For those of you who enjoyed the brief highlight reel we released in September on Google Think Auto, here’s the full review. Enjoy!

Google Think Auto 2017

In September, we were fortunate enough to attend this year’s edition of Think Auto at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. The scenery of the event was different and so was the direction of the event. Instead of focusing on the four phases of the car buying journey, there was a ton of data presented on the the buyer’s persona. If you don’t remember what the four phases are, check out our 2016 recap of Think Auto for a good refresher. Continue reading “GOOGLE THINK AUTO 2017: FULL REVIEW”

Google Think Auto 2017: A Quick Recap

Google Think Auto 2017
Toronto Centre for the Arts, September 7, 2017

This past Thursday, we were fortunate enough to attend this year’s edition of Google Think Auto at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. Although the venue changed from the usual scene at Massey Hall and the direction of the event was slightly different by not having individual dealers out (check out our blog on the upcoming Think Dealer events!), the content was useful and provided a different perspective on our ever changing Canadian car buyer market. Continue reading “Google Think Auto 2017: A Quick Recap”

Google’s Top 5 Principles from Think Auto

Back in the fall, we attended Google Think Auto and gave you our key takeaways. Now Google has given us their top 5 principles from their 2016 Think Auto research!

Google talked to 5,000 Canadian car buyers while they were in the “thinking”, “researching”, and “buying” stages and found out how Canadians shop for cars and how dealers can reach them in the key moments of their buying journey. We have summarized the results of their research and what these results mean for Canadian car dealers.

customer buying stages

Continue reading “Google’s Top 5 Principles from Think Auto”

GOOGLE THINK AUTO 2016: Full Review

For those of you who need more than a brief summary of think auto here is the big one, enjoy.

Google Think Auto 2016

This year, Think Auto was held in the historic Massey Hall. While the venue was definitely cool, the seats left something to be desired. The event featured a lineup of well known Googlers that took turns presenting different topics. Think Auto followed a similar path to previous years and updated a lot of the data points. There was a strong message presented again this year that OEMs and dealers are not living up to what the customer wants. One dealer group executive who attended the event told me he wasn’t quite sure he liked Google presenting itself as “the supreme overlord telling us how shitty we are at our jobs. We sold more cars than last year didn’t we?” Anyway, his words, not mine.

Sam Sebastian, the managing director of Google Canada, opened the event with a discussion about change which really set the tone for the whole day. Due to the fact that there are a lot of stats at Think Auto, I am going to use a lot of bullet points, this will make it easier for you if you are only looking for the numbers. Continue reading “GOOGLE THINK AUTO 2016: Full Review”

Google Think Auto 2016

Google Think Auto 2016
Massey Hall, Toronto, September 8, 2016

Another edition of Google Think Auto is in the books and, as always, it was an insightful afternoon from the online powerhouse.  The theme of the event was change, but this always seems to be the case with technology.  Technology drives change and creates the expectation of change.  We have all been talking about Uber, Air BnB and Netflix for awhile now, but it still remains relevant to be cautiously paranoid about someone coming to our industry and turning it upside down.  We need to continue to push forward and effect change.

Speaking of change, this year Google made some changes to their Think Auto study. They expanded their study from 3,000 car shoppers to 5,000 car shoppers which means that they have deeper data than they have had in previous years. This was also the first year that Google included a dealer-specific segment.

Here are some highlights from this year’s study:

  • Online video is continuing to become more important for consumers but is still not being fully utilized by the auto industry in Canada. Since OEMs are not producing the content, it is up to individual dealerships to start creating the content that customers are looking for.
  • The average car buyer is making 3 dealership visits, but:
    • 40% visit one dealer only
    • 23% visit multiple dealers of the same brand
    • 37% visit multiple dealers and brands
  • Prices and Payments and Booking a Test Drive are pain points for customers
  • 65% of shoppers have emailed a dealer
    • About half of customers are not happy with the timeliness or the quality of responses
  • Google is going to have a Dealer Digital Excellent Award this coming year

We will have a more complete summary to follow with more detailed info and stats, stay tuned!

Google’s Think Auto Conference 2015: What We Learned

2015-09-25_15-12-22

As an exclusive Google partner, Strathcom Media was once again invited to attend Google’s 10th annual Think Auto event in Toronto. This conference brings together all the movers and shakers in the industry, including OEMs and Google Partners (like us!), to discuss trends, the current state of the market, and give those in the industry important info and advice.

Don’t worry about missing out if you couldn’t make it. We attended, took notes, and recapped the most important info here for you!

  1. Be an inspiration. It takes approximately 26 days of thinking about a new vehicle before Canadians seriously consider buying one. It’s crucial during this “thinking” phase to promote vehicle upgrades, new features, and sales or incentives to motivate buyers to move from just thinking about buying to researching new vehicles.
  1. Be easy to find. On average, Canadians spend 19 days researching different vehicle makes, models, features, and pricing using multiple tools like OEM and dealership websites, 3rd party reviews, online videos, and other car-related websites. At this stage, the last thing you want is your site to be dumped at the bottom of a random search result page, so make sure your potential customers can find you quickly and easily.
  1. Be a resource. Once customers are done with the heavy researching, they’re onto the purchasing phase, which typically lasts 12 days. It’s at this point that buyers are visiting dealership websites, using multiple Internet resources, traditional media, and the advice of friends and family to help them make a final decision. Most Canadian car-buyers fall into three categories: The self-server, the facilitator, and the hand-holder. These customers may have decided to buy at this point, but that doesn’t mean they’ve decided to buy from you. Seal the deal by providing the right amount of guidance and information specific to each type of customer and their needs.
  1. Be a partner. The journey doesn’t end once the vehicle is taken home. Nearly 2 out of 3 customers have their cars serviced by the same brand or dealer, and half of Canadian buyers choose the same brand for subsequent purchases. This loyalty is almost exclusively due to good customer service, so ensure lasting success by working with your partners to provide customers with an excellent overall experience.
  1. Be timely. Canadians are buying vehicles in less time. In 2014, it took Canadians 66 days to purchase a new car, but this year it’s down to 57 days. With those numbers continuing to fall each year, it’s more vital than ever to make sure you reach your customers before the competition does.

Google always has tons of useful information for everyone in the automotive industry, so check back here often to see what other Google events and conferences Strathcom hosts and attends, including our upcoming Google LiveStream Event on September 30, 2015!

 

Google Think Auto Conference Toronto Recap

Google Think Auto 2013

On September 12, Strathcom Media attended the 2013 Google Think Auto conference in Toronto, Ontario. As with every event that Google puts on, this one did not let down: it was a great venue and the presentation was packed with valuable information.

What did we learn that could help the Canadian car dealer? Here is a highlight reel of the most valuable insights from the day:

  1. More consumers are shopping different dealers on the same brand.

  2. It’s all about mobile!
    mobile

    • Mobile users are 50% more valuable than desktop users
    • 40% of mobile users research with a mobile device inside a dealership
    • What are mobile users looking at?

      • Reviews
      • Inventory (photos)
      • Location and contact information for dealer

    • Mobile opportunities extend beyond sales. Make it simple and fast to book service, order parts and build & price
    • Give mobile users the ability to book a test drive

  3. Use all digital channels
    No conversions? Use all the channels
  4. Customers are moving faster than retailers in digital use and wants
  5. It is better to try and fail than to fail to try
    Fail Better Samuel Beckett

    • Fail faster! Learn from mistakes and improve your business.

  6. Use free Google tools (Google Trends, Insight for Search, etc.)

One interesting insight was how everyone is trying to crack the social media code with limited success, and yet they are willing to spend big money on it. Paradoxically, we know mobile is what consumers use and want, but we do not focus on it. It’s time to change that.

Another great Google event!  We’re looking forward to the next Google event that we are hosting in Ontario in October 2013.  We hope to see you there.

Dealer Huddle III – VIP Automotive Event Recap

Dealer Huddle III March 2018, Facebook Canada

Last week, the Strathcom team was honoured to not only attend Dealer Huddle III, but to also be on the speaking roster. This year’s Dealer Huddle Automotive Event was hosted at Facebook Canada’s head office in the MaRS Discovery Building in Toronto, On. Dealer Huddle is a VIP Automotive event focused on the future of Canadian Automotive trends, and it brought together an impressive list of speakers for a room filled with dealers and students from the Georgian College Automotive Business School.

The morning kicked off with an exciting presentation from Josh Bloom, Head of Autos for Facebook Canada. He really hit home on the importance of focusing on mobile and even stated that 80% of Facebook’s revenue is generating from mobile. Josh had some great examples of how to utilize video on Facebook and what to try to make it stand out on a busy newsfeed. The whole idea behind video is to connect with your audience — make it personal!

I was honoured to present at the Dealer Huddle Automotive Event and to go up right after Josh. Although his Wakanda dad-joke fell flat (if you don’t get the reference, please drop what you’re doing and watch Black Panther right now!), I was excited to showcase how dealers can put Facebook into practice. In this industry, we are inundated with data from both Facebook and Google and it can be challenging to know what you should do with it all. In my presentation, I was able to showcase how to make that data work for you. We went through a number of real-life dealership examples showcasing how you can use Facebook’s ad formats and unreal targeting tools to ensure you’re getting the right message in front of the right audience. If you’re curious to see those examples, shoot me an email – alecia@strathcom.com. Main takeaways from my presentation during this Dealer Huddle Automotive Event were to get creative, test absolutely everything and to find the right advertising agency to partner with to execute your strategies.

Mike Blackmore was up next to give us all a behind-the-scenes look at his experience in the automotive industry so far. If you’re curious as to what a marketing career in Auto could look like, Mike is definitely the person to talk to. He has a ton of dealership experience and has been the Chief Marketing Officer for the Harms since 2010. Mike showcased a number of tips for how to manage expectations, what a ‘normal’ work week might look like. and how he constantly works to stay relevant.

Networking is such a huge part of any marketing or Sales role and Logan Kierstead ran us through some great examples of how we can go about it differently. When we think of networking, I think everyone’s first reaction is to tighten up, clench their jaws and start sweating a little bit. It’s safe to say that it’s an uncomfortable exercise, so what can you do to get around it? Logan’s tips were to think of what you stand for (being confident, approachable, friendly, etc.), be patient, be consistent, and more importantly, be authentic. Utilizing platforms like LinkedIn are great for introducing yourself to new people and building valuable connections with others in automotive industry.

Dealer Huddle Automotive Event

After lunch, we had Adam Biesenthal from the Drive Auto Group run us through the importance of building the right team at the dealership. Some of the stats he shared were quite daunting, like how 39% of Sales Consultant jobs end in termination and the average tenure in the auto industry is 2.5 years, and yet it takes up to 3 years for an employee to reach their maximum proficiency. So what’s the number one thing you can do to change this? Have an onboarding plan! Instead of throwing a new Salesperson on the floor with little to no training and expecting them to sell 15 cars in their first month, show them the ropes, introduce them to the staff, and maybe take them for lunch on their first day. Do something different!

Speaking of that… Brent Wees was up next to give a killer presentation on Doing One Thing Different Today! Sounds easy, right? We all think that we’re multi-taskers, but really, we’re just half-assing a number of different projects all at once and talking about how busy we all are. Brent’s five tips during this Dealer Huddle Automotive Event were to:

  1. Research like the wind – ask yourself, can I Google this
  2. One day, one focus – no one can multi-task
  3. Stories, not selfies – take a quick look at your Instagram feed; what story does it tell?
  4. Be Authentic – everyone can see through the bullshit
  5. Understand the brand – the body of work you stand for and not the props you use

To finish up this killer day, we had none other than Brian Sencich to hit the stage. As the Auto Client Partner at Facebook Canada, Brian gets grilled with questions on the effectiveness of Facebook on a daily basis. Continuing with Josh’s theme of mobile, Brian showcased how your phone is no longer just a piece of technology, it’s a piece of consumer behavior. We’ve come a long way from the Danny Glover-Lethal Weapon days when we were walking around with the equivalent of a car battery just to make a call. Now we have more power with our two thumbs than we’ve ever had before. In the past, you could never say that you were able to sell your house the second day it was on the market because your realtor was smart enough to post it on Facebook and it was discovered by someone interested in the post as they were scrolling on their newsfeed while sitting on their couch at home. Mobile is what ties everything together for consumers and Facebook gives you the ability to connect with potential buyers on a different level. If neither of these focuses are in your 2018 plan already, then you are already behind!

Special thanks to Jay Radke and R22.io for hosting this great Dealer Huddle Automotive Event and bringing so many of us from the industry together. We hope to see you all out next year!

Interested in learning more about setting up a mobile strategy for 2018? Are you sad you missed out on this killer VIP automotive event? If you said yes, then reach out to info@strathcom.com to get more information and be added to our event invite list!

Automotive Conferences You Should Check Out in 2018

Group of people sitting in a row and applauding at conference.

 

Canadian International Auto Show

Toronto – February 16-25, 2018

AutoShow 2018 is excited present attendees with fast and furious opportunities and experience throughout this 10 day event! Continue reading “Automotive Conferences You Should Check Out in 2018”

Think Dealer 2017 Events

Think Dealer 2017 Events

If you haven’t already heard, Google changed up their Think Auto event this year. Instead of bringing everyone across the country to the centre of the universe…Toronto… they decided to bring their wealth of knowledge across the country and host Think Dealer specific events in 5 cities between October 12th and November 9th. Lucky for us, we were still able to check out Think Auto and you can read up on our quick summary of the event here! Continue reading “Think Dealer 2017 Events”

Facebook for Auto Dealers: Meh, Myth or Legend?

We’re all familiar with Facebook and that 18 million of us Canadians visit the site daily, but what’s in it for the dealership? As a dealership, can you utilize Facebook and all of its data for more than likes and shares?

Some dealers have remained skeptical and think successful advertising on Facebook is a myth. However, after reading the data in Facebook’s latest study, that myth is busted. Continue reading “Facebook for Auto Dealers: Meh, Myth or Legend?”

Facebook Auto Summit

Facebook Auto Summit

Mobile Moves Metal

We may be heading into the second quarter of 2017, but we are still talking about how this is the year of mobile. On March 22, 2017, we were fortunate enough to attend Facebook’s first ever Auto Summit in Toronto where mobile was definitely at the top of all conversations. Continue reading “Facebook Auto Summit”

DriveTribe: A New Network for Auto Enthusiasts

Imagine a social platform, dedicated entirely to motoring; a digital media platform balancing enthusiast and professionally provided content. The idea is far from revolutionary, however, if accomplished on a large scale it will certainly play an influential role in the online advertising of vehicles.

DriveTribe

Never has a startup received such substantial backing from such reputable individuals in its early formation. DriveTribe has received funding from not only notable entrepreneurs but also has backing by the ex-Top Gear trio, Clarkson, May and Hammond.

“The site plans to build an engine to send content that will specifically target the disparate communities that make up car fans — from petrol heads to classic car aficionados. A versioning engine and multi-variate testing system will trial ‘hundreds of different versions’ of content on different segments of users, defined by age, gender, location and interests, with ‘optimal matches’ pushed directly to peoples’ social timelines through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. There will, of course, be iOS and Android apps, as well.”

After receiving my invite just prior to public launch, I spent some time poking around the app. What at first seemed to be little more than Instagram dedicated entirely to vehicles, soon led to a realization of the platforms marketing potential. Essentially, DriveTribe will allow a new sort of content targeting engine to emerge as individuals will be providing direct automotive related information. Information which will be aggregated much like Facebook and will allow automotive advertisers to target look-a-like crowds and distinct individuals according to group information and interests provided.

It seems fitting that this new site will segment users into separate tribes. As “Tribe” marketing has become a norm in the digital age, rapidly updated real time information provides the ability for advertisers to display highly pertinent ads to targeted online social communities.

A sleek red sports cardriving on an open road

To make money, the startup doesn’t plan to pursue traditional online display advertising. Instead, the object is to go after native advertising, or branded advertising, similar to what Vice Media does, said Mr. Schmitt.

“I think that is the way that advertising is going. I have a lot of car advertisers coming to us,” he said. “It allows them to target their advertising.”

To learn more about DriveTribe you can visit their website, and for more information on all things automotive marketing you can subscribe to our newsletter!

 

 

TADA’s Auto Dealers Innovation Series Recap

Auto Dealers Innovation Series 2016

This year’s event dove into marketing and sales strategies and featured presentations from several keynote speakers including: “Dragon” and innovation expert Bruce Croxon, Erin Elofson -Director of Auto and Financial Services at Facebook Canada, and Mike Badour – General Manger of Business Development and Direct Marketing at Canada Post.

Key Takeaways 

Bruce Croxon

Bruce Croxon spoke about how now is the best time to be a consumer and how dealers have the ability to reach the consumer through multiple places and products. Everything from Google to Facebook, cellphone to desktop. He said that dealers need to invest in core values that include teamwork, vision and planning, as well as make sure that they are measuring what is working and what isn’t working. Customer acquisition cost is key, and the importance of relationships between businesses and customers is coming back.

DD20_MichaelCirillo_HeadshotThe Dealer Panel discussed the customer journey and the use of technology. The panel  included the perspectives of dealers, vendors, and OEMs and was moderated by Michael Cirillo – Co-Host of The Dealer Playbook Podcast & President of Flexdealer. They determined that, when it comes to marketing, the old school vs new school argument doesn’t matter. You should never assume what level of technical experience your customers have; in other words, you should base your marketing on your customers’ habits, not their age. They also spoke about how customers expect an ‘instant process’ that matches the experience that got them to the dealer in the first place. The importance of price transparency in the online journey was also reiterated.

2._Erin_ElofsonErin Elofson with Facebook Canada told dealers to forget about fans and followers and to think of Facebook as a new channel to get buyers into your dealership. Out of the over 3.1 million mobile apps out there, 82% of the time spent on apps is split between only 5 apps, one of them being Facebook. Something that a lot of people don’t realize about Facebook advertising is the targeting ability. Since everyone logs into Facebook as themselves on all sorts of devices, Facebook always has the ‘real identity’ of users. Not only that, but Facebook can target people using the immense amount of data that they have about users, and they can use CRM and website matching. Also, since Facebook ads show up on your news feed without interrupting your experience, people tend to be more open to ads on Facebook compared to ads on YouTube, for example.

Mike_Badour-crop1-lgMike Badour with Canada Post spoke about how direct marketing is not only still relevant in a digital world, but actually complements other medias for a complete marketing plan. He also introduced Canada Post’s brand new Smartmail Marketing which uses Neuroscience to help businesses find new customers and increase the value of existing customers. Mike used Audi’s A8 launch as an example of a really cool mail campaign.

This was just a short summary of the conference, but as always, we learned a lot and look forward to attending next year!

AWS Elastic Beanstalk: Ideal for Automated Tasks

Throughout my time at Strathcom the Dev team has been presented with many interesting challenges. We have conquered some of them elegantly so that they won’t become a serious debt down the line and patched others with hopes of finding better tools to solve the problem later. My goal is that by sharing some of our successes and failures, you may be able to avoid the same pitfalls or find the right tool for the job before you. Let’s start with a recent experiment with AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

Almost like clockwork small seemingly one-off tasks come up again and again. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you have templated out the task so it only takes a few minutes to get it running. Your solution may even scale and tear down automatically. Even if you’ve done an absolutely fantastic job, what if you could get all of that in a system that had nearly nothing you need to manage? This is how we automated some of our maintenance tasks so that we never have to think about them again. They are easy to understand and, more importantly, maintain.

Using AWS Elastic Beanstalk to automate my task

Simple AWS Elastic Beanstalk setup

My ultimate goal was to be bottlenecked by a fear of bringing down one of our database servers. The prospect of being able to do that without affecting the end users experience was very attractive. I suspected that I could write a small uWSGI worker in one of our services and utilize all of the classes within the project that I needed – completely self-contained. This ended up taking about 100 lines of code including all setup and documentation. The endpoint itself is around 5 lines. Most magical of this setup is that you can put as many messages in the queue as you want and spin up instances to fit the time frame you need. In my case, I was able to pre-cache and size all of our new images for our users in about 4 hours (292k~).

Once the initial pattern was proven it was duplicated to deleting and redownloading corrupted images and in the future it will enable us to painlessly cleanup orphaned images. Most important to me it uses only existing production classes and code. If bugs are found in that code path we are one EB CLI command away from giving the workers the fix as well.

The Best Automotive Conferences to Attend in 2016

 

2016 Young Executive Society (YES) Conference – Vaughn, Ontario

March 29th

Held in the city of Vaughn, the Young Executive Society Conference is designed for the young, up-and-coming industry leaders that are seeking an opportunity for professional development and networking. This event takes place in the afternoon, starting off with lunch and ending with a workshop. Keynote speakers at this event include Ron Tite and Dave Fifield. Ron Tite is a branding and creativity expert, and Dave Fifield is an industry mentor currently with Wakefield Canada. If you are an automotive executive in the making, don’t miss out on this professional growth opportunity!

For more information, follow the link below:

https://www.aiacanada.com/event/2016-young-executive-society-yes-conference/#program_at_a_glance

 

NADA Convention & Expo – Las Vegas

March 31st – April 3rd

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention is the largest convention for franchised new-vehicle dealers in the world. This event includes hundreds of exhibits, dozens of workshops, and an opportunity to network with executives from major manufacturers. The NADA convention also boasts a star-studded list of keynote speakers including: Jeff Foxworthy, Karl Rove, Howard Dean, Peyton Manning and more. But why let me explain it to you when you can see the event yourself through the eyes of canines?

For more information, follow the link below:

http://www.nadaconvention.org/nada2016/public/enter.aspx

 

AR Canada – Toronto

April 4th-5th

Auto Remarketing Canada is an excellent networking opportunity for everyone in the remarketing and used-vehicle industry. Not only has this event seen higher attendance each year for nearly 10 years, but it also brings together hundreds of dealers and exhibitors alike. Participants get to network with industry leaders, attend workshops, and meet with top automotive companies exhibiting their products and services; all while learning about upcoming trends and strategic ways to apply them. Speakers include professionals from all over the automotive industry, including our very own President, Duncan Cochrane.

If you are in the used-vehicle industry or the remarketing industry, this event should definitely be on your calendar!

For more information, follow the link below:

http://arcanada.autoremarketing.com/

 

Women & Automotive Conference – Toronto

April 6th

Between 2010 and 2015, the number of women in the North American automotive industry has been rising. In the last 5 years, the industry has seen four more women as CEO’s and 10 more women in executive officer positions.

The Women & Automotive conference is a platform for women to discuss current opportunities and challenges that women are facing in the industry. Speakers will discuss ways for auto companies to recruit and retain women, as well as ways to develop more education, leadership, networking, and growth opportunities for them. One speaker is our very own Trish Rowsell who will be discussing ways dealers can utilize their Google Analytics data to get the most out of their marketing dollars in slow economic times.

The event will not only discuss women in dealerships, but also the emerging opportunities in manufacturing, finance, banking, insurance and supplier segments in Canada.

For more information, follow the link below:

http://www.womenandautomotive.com/

 

DrivingSales Presidents Club – Miami

May 4th – 6th

This event was created for Owners, Dealers, General Managers and other executives that are looking to gain deeper, practical knowledge from their peers rather than opinion leaders from other industries. Industry executives will discuss new practices that they are implementing, as well as common problems that themselves and other dealers are facing and how they are solving them. Since the topics discussed are only related to the automotive industry, attendees can be certain that they will leave with a real plan, derived from real problems, solved by their real peers.

For more information, follow the link below:

http://drivingsalespresidentsclub.com/

 

DrivingSales Canadian Dealer Forum – Vancouver

June 20th-21st

Similar to the DrivingSales Executive Summit, but with a Canadian twist. This forum brings together industry leaders to collaborate with each other and inspire each other. It also includes insights from professionals outside the automotive industry to provide a thorough and broad perspective on how dealers can achieve measurable results. Some conferences want to be innovative and revolutionary, this conference is designed to be a practical forum for dealers to develop actionable plans.

For more information, follow the link below:

http://canadiandealerforum.drivingsales.com/

 

Google Think Auto – Toronto

September 8th

Google is arguably the largest, most successful company in the world. Google brings their influence and knowledge to the automotive industry at their annual Google Think Auto conference. At this conference, Google representatives share their data and forecasts from a strictly automotive perspective. If you are going to listen to anyone about what to expect in your industry, Google would definitely be the one to listen to.

The location and date for Google Think Auto 2016 has yet to be announced, but check back with Google’s largest Canadian automotive partner – Strathcom Media – and we will get you all the details!

For more information, follow the link below:

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/topics/automotive.html

 

TADA Auto Dealers Innovation Series

Ottawa – September 13th, Toronto – September 14th

Formerly the Canadian Digital Dealer Conference, the Auto Dealers Innovation Series has evolved to incorporate a broader variety of insights including sales, marketing, leadership and development. This range of perspectives will give you the knowledge to grow your business utilizing more than just one department. Like its American counterpart – NADA Convention & Expo – there are several inspiring keystone speakers including: Erin Elofson from Facebook Canada and former ‘Dragon’ Bruce Croxon!

For more information, follow the link below:

http://www.tada.ca/AutoDealers-Innovation-Series

 

DealerTalk

Toronto – September 20th, Montreal – September 28th, Calgary – October 6th

Put together by Free For All Marketing and Kijiji, the DealerTalk conference teaches dealers the latest trends and innovations in online sales and marketing. The first few conferences were held in Toronto and, due to the popularity, in 2015 it was expanded into Calgary. The conference includes keynote speakers and networking opportunities designed to teach dealers new ways to market their business and generate more leads.

If you are looking for ways to improve, upgrade, or revive your marketing strategy, DealerTalk is a must attend. The date and location has not yet been released for DealerTalk 2016, but check back with us here at Strathcom and we will keep you in the loop!

For more information, follow the links below:

http://dealertalk.ca/

 

DrivingSales Executive Summit – Las Vegas

October 23rd – 25th

The DrivingSales Executive Summit in Las Vegas is an event curated for those Dealers, General Managers and decision-makers who have grown weary of traditional conferences and exhibitions. The goal of this conference is to inspire innovation among the top leaders in the automotive industry by being dealer driven as opposed to vendor driven. With nine keynote speakers with backgrounds in everything from marketing to the Navy SEALs, you know you will leave with a well-rounded set of new strategies and insights.

For more information, follow the link below:

http://drivingsalesexecutivesummit.com/

 

Best Practices for Automotive – Detroit

October 16th – 18th

What better location to host an automotive conference than the place that started it all – Detroit, Michigan? Not only is the location ideal, but the guest list will include professionals in nearly all aspects of the automotive industry: decision-makers, business process owners, analysts, support teams, and super users. If you prefer a more interactive conference, come to the Best Practices for Automotive conference for fresh ideas and strategies that can help improve your business performance.

For more information, follow the link below:

http://www.best-practices-for-auto.com/autona 

For more information on automotive events and other updates, subscribe to our newsletter!

Resist the Robots: Automatically Generated Descriptions and Videos Piss People Off

Merchandising your inventory to suit today’s customer is not just hard, it’s downright painful.

You need to take over twenty great photos of a clean car that just arrived as a trade-in or off the transport truck. It needs to be VIN decoded and have all the equipment and options added. People want a description that highlights the most important features, as well as the things they cannot tell from a picture, like the accident and service histories.

And now, more than ever, they are demanding video footage of every piece of used inventory. (Let’s not forget great video walk-arounds of new models, as well.)

Yellow robot trying to use laptop

So what are the most common strategies?

Some dealers have resorted to hiring full-time merchandisers, and to me that makes good sense. The best department stores and clothing retailers take it for granted that paying for merchandising is just the cost of doing business.

Some dealers feel like they cannot afford it. Others make their best attempt, and some just leave it be. Most, unfortunately, are the type who get lured in by providers with automated services: automatically generated descriptions and videos that are alleged to boost SEO rankings, engage consumers, and increase leads.
Continue reading “Resist the Robots: Automatically Generated Descriptions and Videos Piss People Off”

2 Upcoming Automotive Conferences You Won’t Want to Miss: AR Canada & Dealer Talk 2015

conferenceThere’s a growing tradition in Toronto: Once April rolls along, the hockey season ends abruptly and the automotive conferences begins in full force. (It’s okay Leafs fans, you could live in Edmonton like us, where the first signs of snow mean the Oilers are already thinking about the June draft.)

Coming up in just a few months are two such conferences in Ontario’s capital that Strathcom Media cannot endorse enough. They are chances to listen to some of the industry’s top thought leaders, network with your peers, and get all of your questions answered to prepare you for the year ahead. Continue reading “2 Upcoming Automotive Conferences You Won’t Want to Miss: AR Canada & Dealer Talk 2015”