A Modest Request…

child dressed up as retro business man

In the wonderful world of web, we as consumers are exposed to subliminal messages and overbearing marketing lists that have become second nature. And while automotive dealers have a plethora of knowledge, having seen the industry progress firsthand, some of the marketing ploys they ask for get lost in translation due to the stimulus-overload we are already in the midst of. Simply put, there are too many features available on websites, and everytime we add a new feature something gets lost in the shuffle. We, as designers, are often tasked with creating carousel slides to catch the eye while there are better tools available. If you read my last blog, about trusting your designer, then you’ll remember that sharing your vision and goals is an important part of the process — but letting us help guide you with our professional knowledge is just as important. After all the main goal is to improve the communication from Dealership to Marketing Manager to Designer, culminating in getting the message through to the customer loud and clear. And as a former dealership employee, marketing manager, designer, and customer, I can tell you with all honesty that these lanes of communication could be improved. Continue reading “A Modest Request…”

Trust Me, I’m an Expert!

Closeup side view of group of late 20's multi ethnic team of web designers working on a project. They are divided into small groups, some working on a computer and some testing mobile platforms on digital tablets and smartphones.

 

Web Designer (noun)

a person who plans, designs, creates, and often maintains websites.

By definition, the title of web designer seems simple. Someone who makes and maintains websites. However, it seems like even the most expert of designers spend much of their time trying to predict what a client wants instead of creating beautiful pieces of art. What caused this? Continue reading “Trust Me, I’m an Expert!”

Automotive Innovations – what are shoppers looking for?

It’s always interesting to see the new and upcoming technology that luxury automakers reveal at their auto shows. The technology that is released today could potentially be commonplace for vehicles in the future – and not only for luxury vehicles. This can be traced back to the early versions of the seat belts that Saab offered in 1958, the first implementation of ABS.

An automobile full of new technology and innovation

Continue reading “Automotive Innovations – what are shoppers looking for?”

Online Presence: why it is vital in today’s car buying process

typing on a laptop

As consumers, we have more information at our fingertips than ever before. It’s no doubt that the research process during the car buying experience has changed dramatically. According to studies by Google, “consumers in their early research moment, such as which car-is-best or is-it-right for me moments, are signaling intent to visit a dealership within a week”. A visit to your website is ideally followed by a visit to the dealership. So, for automotive retailers, having a strong digital presence is crucial.

According to Google, the car buyers’ thought process looks a little something like this:

  • Which car is best?
  • Is it right for me?
  • Can I afford it?
  • Where should I buy it?
  • Am I getting a deal?
Which car is best?

One of the most impactful mediums for consumers looking to make a vehicle purchase is video. In fact, when buying a car, 69% are influenced by video opposed to other mediums such as TV, newspapers or magazines. When using the search network, the most common searched terms are “[brand/make] + reviews”, “[brand/make] + specs” and “best luxury cars”. 

Is it right for me?

After consumers have narrowed down their search, they begin their hunt to find out if the vehicle is right for their lifestyle and needs. This is where the consumers discover features/options and the interior/exterior aesthetic. This is mainly a visual process, and a majority of time is spent looking at photos. The photo searches of “[brand/make]” is up 37%  and 80% of these searches are now happening on mobile.

Can I afford it? Where should I buy it? Am I getting a deal?

After the first two questions have been answered, the consumer generally begins searching for a dealership. This is where the individual dealer’s web presence will become a factor. Dealers need to make sure that they are showcasing OEM incentives, internal promotions, as well as leasing/financing information. But most importantly, prices need to be shown because that is what the customer is ultimately looking for. Dealers should also make sure that their site provides a positive user experience; something as simple as having an unresponsive webpage can impact whether or not a user decides to visit the dealership.

Dealers also need to utilize tools such as Google+ reviews, automotive forums, Unhaggle, and other mediums that customers use to help them make their decision.car salesman congratulates a family for buying car

Despite the evolving methods of how consumers access information, the end of the process always ends at the dealership. As consumers come into dealerships equipped with their researched knowledge, they expect sales staff to also be product-experts. In order for manufacturers and dealers to fully understand the decision making avenues of the buyer, they must understand the small “micro-transactions” involved throughout the entire procedure. Having a strong digital presence in each of the avenues will always set a dealer ahead of the competition.

To find out more about how to improve your online presence and get more leads, give us a call today or subscribe to our newsletter!

The Top Super Bowl Ads on YouTube; by the numbers.

Every year, we look forward to Super Bowl commercials; so much so that the price of these ads has been on a steady incline over the last decade, despite less people watching TV. According to Variety, Fox sold 90% of their commercial spots by December. (For those unfamiliar with the NFL schedule, the teams playing in Super Bowl hadn’t been selected by that time). With demand like that, prices are undoubtedly high.

Football with Chip Bowl and TV Remote

For comparison, the average price of a 30 second slot during game 7 of the World Series this past year was just over $500,000. The average price of a similar spot during the 2016 Oscars cost around $2 million. Super Bowl 50 had reports of a 30 second commercial going for $5 million dollars! With prices like that, it’s no surprise that companies enlist advertising agencies with extensive repertoires to try and make the longest lasting ads. Despite ads only living on TV for seconds, they’re uploaded to YouTube nearly simultaneously and receive millions of views. And in more recent years, 90% of new ads are released on YouTube prior to the Super Bowl.

YouTube reports that brands whose ads are among the top 20 Super Bowl Ads on YouTube (2008-2016), reflect a 30% increase in subscribers in February after the release of a new ad. In fact, YouTube says that in 2016, viewers used televisions for YouTube’s services 3 times more than phones or computers.

Even though the Super Bowl is an American pastime, viewers from all over the globe go to YouTube to watch the ads. There has been a 28x growth in Super Bowl viewers from 2008-2016. The top non-American countries that tuned into the Super Bowl are: The United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Germany.

Below are the top 10 ads from 2008-2016. Thanks to geo-blocking, we weren’t able to get some of the orignal commericals, but you can still see why these ads got the amount of views that they did.

Budweiser Super Bowl XLVIII Commercial “Puppy Love”, 2014 – Anomaly
Clash of Clans: Revenge (Official TV Commercial), 2015 – Barton F. Graf
Volkswagen The Force: Volkswagen Commercial, 2011 – Deutsch
Budweiser Super Bowl Commercial “Lost Dog”, 2015 – Anomaly
Pokémon #Pokemon20: Pokémon Super Bowl Commercial, 2016 – Omelet
Mountain Dew Mtn Dew Kickstart: Puppymonkeybaby, 2016 – BBDO
Duracell: Trust Your Power – NFL’s Derrick Coleman, 2014 – Saatchi & Saatchi
Bud Light Super Bowl XLIX Commercial – Real Life PacMan, 2015 Energy – BBDO
T-Mobile #KimsDataStash | T-Mobile Commercial, 2015 – Publicis
BMW i3 2015 Big Game Commercial – Newfangled Idea, 2015 – KBS

Affordable Luxury Vehicles: no longer a distant fantasy

That luxury vehicle you dreamed of all your life may no longer be a dream, but a reality. Luxury automakers seem to be shifting towards a broader client base, no longer only catering to the upper class. According to a study by Lightspeed/Mintel, 24% of drivers say affordability is the most important deciding factor when purchasing a vehicle, followed by advanced safety features and driving performance. But these vehicles are not keeping their high-end equipment without some cost.

Handsome men sitting in a luxury car at car dealership.

Of course, the high-end equipment luxury vehicles come with does incur some costs. Some examples of entry level luxury vehicles are:

Audi                                     A3 32800               Q3 34600

Acura                                   ILX 29590             RDX 42190

Mercedes-Benz                 CLA 35300             GLC 45150

BMW                                   3 Series 39900       X1 38880

Manufactures such as Audi, Acura, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have mid-size sedans starting as low as $29,590 for the Acura ILX and SUV’s starting at $34,600 for the Audi Q3. These prices are clearly higher than entry level vehicles from domestic/import manufactures but they are significantly lower than the entry prices of the past. Not stopping there, luxury automakers are offering comparable finance and lease rates, Acura for example is offering a 0.9% lease rate over 36 months on their 2017 RDX’s.

BMW SeriesWith higher payments, it’s no surprise that debt has increased. In the December 2015 Financial System Report, compiled by the Bank of Canada, it states that 8% of Canadians’ debt exceeds 350% of their annual disposable income; the percentage of Canadians with this amount of debt was a mere 4% in previous years. However, with a decrease in entry-level auto prices, it could be reasonable to anticipate a drop in Canadian debt. 65% of Canadians say they would consider a luxury vehicle, even though only 39% believe luxury vehicles are worth the price.

When you dissect the data, 69% of men aged 18-44 would consider a luxury brand and 76% of Chinese Canadians would lean towards a high end brand. Brands such as Jaguar are capitalizing on this data and gearing vehicles towards these demographics. Specifically, the “New Generation of Jaguar” campaign promoted the new F-Pace compact SUV which was aimed at the 18-44 male demographic. Despite the MSRP starting around $50,000, it comes comparably equipped to equivalent domestic/import SUV’s around that price. The data also shows that women make up 42% of engagement on luxury brands and that 60% of women plan on purchasing a new vehicle within the next three years.

It’s great to see luxury manufacturers creating entry-level models and offering incentives for those who didn’t think a luxury vehicle was within reach. Perhaps in the future, marketing teams will acknowledge women as an active consumer base and shift their marketing tactics toward all genders.

What do you think – would you consider a luxury vehicle at their entry-level pricing?

Consumers in Canada and U.S. Set Record Sales in 2016

Despite the drop in oil prices that resulted in lower sales for Albertans, Canadian and American automakers had record sales years in 2016. For the fourth consecutive year, Canadian automakers have exceeded their previous year’s sales.

Despite the price of oil, vehicle sales continue to rise.

In the Canadian sales race, Ford took the top spot with a 9% increase in deliveries, ahead of FCA Canada, which was the top dog in 2015. Automakers are noting consumers’ change of interest, specifically the shift from passenger cars toward trucks and SUV’s. This shift has affected their investments on a factory level across Mexico and the United States. In 2016, Nissan’s Rogue crossover surpassed the Altima as their best-selling vehicle, and the Ford F-Series outsold their passenger cars.

Despite the booming growth in 2016, experts anticipate a slight decline coming up in 2017. Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc. expects a 3% decrease in sales for the Canadian Market. However, DesRosiers recognizes that a stabilizing and growing economy could push for another record breaking year in 2017. But no matter which way the sales go for 2017, experts agree that the Canadian auto market is not destined for failure, and sales likely won’t differentiate by more than 5%.

The outlook for 2017 is very positive overall.

Only time will tell whether the Canadian auto industry will thrive for a fifth year, or whether sales will decline. But one thing is for certain – it won’t break us. Douglas Porter, BMO chief economist said, “Even as the broader Canadian economy has struggled in the past two years, the consumer has just kept chugging along.”

What do you think the Canadian auto trends will be this year? Let us know in the comments below!