Time is Money!: Creating More Productive Habits

Time Is Money concept with hands typing laptop on the blackboard background.

When it comes to doing what we need to do –in order to have a high-performing dealership that both provides exceptional customer service as well as meets sales targets– we need to look beyond what we already do, and focus on other areas that indirectly impact our productivity and performance. Remember that old adage, “Time is money?” Well, lets save you some time and, by extension, money! Continue reading “Time is Money!: Creating More Productive Habits”

Taking Control: Improving the Millennial’s Car Buying Experience

Tattoed guy is listening to a podcast on his laptop

In our previous post, Driving the Market: What Millennials Look for When Buying Cars, we shared some insight into what can help you and your dealership best maximize your chances for sales success and brand loyalty–when it comes to one of the fastest growing, car buying-demographics.

Following up, we’re addressing what dealers can do to adjust their business practices for what millennials look for–their priorities and expectations–in order to increase the chances of this huge demographic driving off of your lot in one of your vehicles. Continue reading “Taking Control: Improving the Millennial’s Car Buying Experience”

V-Commerce: Giving a Voice to Consumers

hand holding an iphone utilizing siri

Before we delve into what V-commerce is, and how important it will be for both business and consumer, let’s examine the rapid pace in which the way of doing business has changed. E-commerce is moving at break-neck speed, and if you aren’t ready the result could be catastrophic for your business. Continue reading “V-Commerce: Giving a Voice to Consumers”

Driving the Market: What Millennials Look For When Buying Cars

Young and handsome hipster man, buying a new car with his girlfriend, from the car saloon.

How can you best maximize your chances for sales success and brand loyalty, vs. losing sales opportunities in both the short and long-term? For starters, this can be done by having a deeper understanding of the preferred car shopping experience that today’s customer is looking for, both online and offline, and then adjusting the dealership’s business practices accordingly. Today’s customer, who also happens to be the customer of tomorrow, are those who were born between 1977 and 2000 — commonly referred to as millennials. It is estimated that by 2020, 40% of new car buyers will be millennials; furthermore, according to a study by Brandwatch, 88% of current millennials use the internet to research a new car purchase.

Simply put, this means that a dealership’s sales and marketing team must ensure that their shopping experience, both online and off, is up-to-date.

So how can your dealership ensure that its online and offline experience is up-to-date for today’s potential customer, while staying true to your brand? It starts with understanding today’s customer, particularly the millennial, and doing what’s necessary to integrate the online and offline brand experience for them, in one seamless flow. And no, that doesn’t necessarily mean memes or viral videos (which, if used incorrectly, are the online equivalent of the giant inflatable green dancing tube man).

Continue reading “Driving the Market: What Millennials Look For When Buying Cars”

How To Avoid Scammers

Scam sign

We’ve all had it happen to us at one point in our lives; a deal too good to be true, a stranger that was just too nice. And there is a name for those people scammers! Scammers have been around for a long time, and will continue to operate in their shady ways if there are people and businesses around to scam. Often, if you have an online business, these scammers appear in the form of 3rd party companies claiming to be from Google and claiming they can improve your search ranking (or offer services that Google already provides for free).  Not only is this frustrating for small business owners, but Google isn’t too happy about it either. Continue reading “How To Avoid Scammers”

Cutting Their Losses: Ford Says Sayonara to Sedans

little boy waving out car window

“So long — don’t let the four-doors hit ya on the way out!”

A surge in SUV and truck demand in the U.S. has forced Ford to take the drastic step of removing nearly all cars from its model lineup. Ford fans will be saying goodbye to the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Taurus, and C-MAX.

Ford’s rivals, however, are still committed to maintaining their rank in a segment that continues to account for millions of vehicles sold each year. But Ford has decided to cut their losses, and stick to what they know best: trucks, trucks, a few SUVs, and more trucks. Continue reading “Cutting Their Losses: Ford Says Sayonara to Sedans”

Businesses, It’s Time to Go APE Over Google My Business’ New API!

Monkey going ape over Google API

Google’s omnipresent HAL9000-esque eye is trained on all things mobile these days, and when it noticed that local search on mobile devices is growing faster than mobile search overall, well, you better believe gears started turning. In response to the remarkable 50 per-cent annual growth in mobile search Google’s been adding new features to its SERP Knowledge Panel and Google My Business (GMB).

And then, an announcement! Google is introducing a new GMB Application Programming Interface (API). In tandem with this release, Google also revealed a new agency analytics dashboard and a new agency partner program. The API is designed to give agencies the ability to manage additional, diverse categories of business information, including merchant descriptions and Posts. For multilocational brands and small outfits alike, this new functionality promises greater control over a wide range of content. Continue reading “Businesses, It’s Time to Go APE Over Google My Business’ New API!”

Are You CASL Compliant?

Important Update:

The Government has decided to suspend the implementation of the provision known as Private Right To Action.  This is the provision that would allow lawsuits to be filed against individuals and businesses for alleged violations.

Check out this government page for more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2017/06/government_of_canadasuspendslawsuitprovisioninanti-spamlegislati.html

The government will be reviewing this, but the rest of CASL is still moving forward July 1.

Continue reading “Are You CASL Compliant?”

I Don’t Want To Give You My Email

I dislike getting my picture taken.

I’m not sure why, that’s just how I’ve always felt. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was to renew my passport, because not only can I no longer pretend I still look like I did 5 years ago in the last picture, but I had to spend a morning waiting in line at a government building after getting my picture taken. Luckily you don’t need to smile for the camera for these.

When I went to the studio, I told them I needed a simple passport photo, got my best neutral face ready, and picked up the debit terminal to pay. The girl behind the counter handed me a form and told me to fill out my name and email address first.

What? Continue reading “I Don’t Want To Give You My Email”

HeroConf 2017: Recap On 3 Days Of Non-Stop PPC

T-Shirt from HeroConf 2017 that says PPC Nerd

From April 17th-20th, I had the opportunity to attend one of the largest gatherings of PPC nerds in North America: HeroConf 2017 hosted in Los Angeles.  This was my first PPC conference and I had no idea what to expect, but I couldn’t have felt more at home at the conference among other people who live and breathe PPC.

It was a busy week filled with learning, networking, and free drinks. Despite all the fun, I came home excited to share my new knowledge with the Strathcom team. Here are my key takeaways about what to expect in the world of PPC in the future.

 

It’s Time to Move on From Last Click Attribution

Attribution Modeling was one of the hottest topics discussed at HeroConf. Speakers from all industries agreed that it’s time to ditch the last click model, and focus on other touchpoints that lead to a conversion. However, there is no magical way of knowing which model is right for you. Speaker Jeff Greenfield of C3 Metrics discussed the importance of not waiting around for the perfect model, but to test and test again. The only way to prove the value of attribution models is to test until you become less wrong. Attribution modelling is extremely important in the automotive industry as we move away from the standard sales funnel, to a customer journey with multiple touchpoints. By ignoring the touchpoints a customer reaches today, we may never see them again for another 3 years.

Integrate Your Paid Social & Paid Search Strategies

Continue reading “HeroConf 2017: Recap On 3 Days Of Non-Stop PPC”

The Blurred Line Between TV and YouTube: what it means for advertisers

As more and more people turn to YouTube for their entertainment, it is getting more and more difficult to track exactly how many viewers a TV program gets. For example, I think everyone has watched – or at least heard about – Saturday Night Live’s skit in which Melissa McCarthy impersonates White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer. We all know SNL airs on NBC on Saturday nights (duh), but is that when and where you watched it? Or did you watch it on YouTube?

Watching YouTube videos on smart TV with home media sharing technology.

In a recent Think with Google article, Google discussed how more viewers are watching TV programs on YouTube, and even casting what they are watching on YouTube to their televisions. According to their research, adults are 5x more likely to prefer online platforms over cable TV.

In another Think with Google article, they discussed how programs like ‘Carpool Karaoke’ on the Late Late Show with James Corden – despite being a successful TV program – frequently gets more views on YouTube than on TV.

“The blurred lines of video consumption have changed the way success of any TV show should be measured. That’s particularly true for us since we originally air after midnight. We’re in the relevance business. The first thing we do when we come in in the morning is look at how our videos performed on YouTube. Our executive producer, Ben Winston, says, ‘The overnight ratings just tell us who managed to stay awake past midnight. The YouTube numbers tell us which bits flew.’ I couldn’t agree more.

Case in point: Viewership of ‘Carpool Karaoke’ on YouTube regularly eclipses viewership on the show itself.”

So what does this mean for advertisers? It could mean that the money being spent on TV ads (about $72 billion last year) could be better suited for YouTube. This is one reason that YouTube is now rolling out a Web-TV service called YouTube TV. For just $35/month, customers can sign up for a package consisting of about 40 channels. It has also been speculated that YouTube TV will get about 2 minutes of ad time per hour to sell to advertisers.

It also means that Google’s targeting methods can now be utilized in the TV space, and Google can now sell their advertising in the network ad slots that would have typically gone to cable operators. But Google is insistent that they are not trying to take money away from TV, they just want to play in the TV space.

Will you sign up for YouTube TV if it comes to Canada? Will you be willing to spend $35/month? Let us know in the comment section!

What IS Attribution Modeling?

Ever wonder why the conversion data in your Analytics account is different from AdWords?  That is because of attribution modeling. An attribution model is a rule or multiple rules that are assigned to different touchpoints in a conversion path.  Consumers may interact with multiple touchpoints during their purchasing journey. Attribution models help marketers develop a better understanding of how to optimize their website and online advertising to facilitate a consumer’s conversion path. There are 6 Attribution Models: Last Click, First Click, Linear, Time Decay, and Position-Based.

Google Analytics

Last Click Model

The last click model gives all credit of the conversion to the last ad and the corresponding keyword. This model is best suited for when your advertising goal is to attract people at the moment of purchase, or your sales cycle does not include a consideration phase. This is the default model in AdWords.

In the automotive purchasing journey, car shoppers experience many touchpoints before they commit to a purchase. According to Google, a consumer can have over 900 digital interactions over a 3-month period. By only tracking with the last click model, we are missing out on the hundreds of interactions before the final conversion.

First Click Model 

The first click model gives all credit of the conversion to the first clicked ad and keyword. This model is helpful when tracking initial brand awareness. If you are trying to build your brand, this model will help track when your customers are first exposed to your brand.

Linear Model

The linear model gives credit of the conversion across all of the touchpoints in the path. For example, your Paid, Organic, and Social channels will all equally contribute to the conversion. You will use this model if you want to maintain a presence with the customer throughout the entire purchasing journey. All of your campaigns are equally important during the buying process.

Time Decay Model

This model gives more credit to clicks that happen closer to the time of the conversion. If a customer clicked on your Facebook ad a week ago and never converted, but converted an hour after clicking your paid search ad, your paid search ad will be given more credit to the conversion than the Facebook ad. Advertisers who run short promotions will find this model most useful to give more credit to interactions that happened during the days of the promotion.

Position-Based Model

Position-based model gives 40% of the credit to the first and last clicked ads, and spreads the remaining 20% across all other touchpoints. Advertisers who use this model value the first interaction that introduced the costumer to the brand, and the last interaction that lead to a sale.

Fractional conversion credits are available to accounts that follow an attribution model that attribute fractional credit for each conversion across multiple clicks. The fractions are represented as a decimal such as 0.33 or 0.5 to give an accurate representation of the credit of the keyword or ad.

At Strathcom Media, our advertising experts have the skills and the tools to track all of the necessary touchpoints to understand your consumer purchasing journey. Interested in making the most of your online advertising with attribution modeling? Contact our sales team today to get started on a smarter way to advertise online!

The Top 10 Super Bowl 51 Commercials

friends watching football on TV

Super Bowl LI featured the most exciting 4th quarter in the history of football, Lady Gaga jumping off the roof of the arena, and some really great commercials.  USA Today has released the results of their annual ‘Ad Meter’, where people can rate the commercials that were aired during the big game.  Out of the top 10, 5 were vehicle commercials from Honda, Kia, Audi, Ford and Buick.  Check out the top 10 below:

#1 2017 Kia Niro | “Hero’s Journey” Starring Melissa McCarthy

#2 All-New Honda CR-V 2017 Big Game Commercial – Yearbooks

#3 Audi #DriveProgress Big Game Commercial – “Daughter”

#4 Budweiser 2017 Super Bowl Commercial | “Born The Hard Way”

#5 Tide | Super Bowl Commercial 2017 with Terry Bradshaw

#6 Mr. Clean | New Super Bowl Ad | Cleaner of Your Dreams

#7 Big Game Commercial with Cam Newton & Miranda Kerr | Buick

#8 Super Bowl Baby Legends | Who’s Next? | Football is Family

#9 2017 Ford Go Further | Ford

#10 Inside These Lines

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!

Google’s 2016 Rewind

year in search 2016

Now that 2016 has almost come to an end, Google has released their lists of the top 10 searches this year for a variety of categories including People, Global News, Global Sporting Events and more. The Top Searches on Google this year were:

  1. Pokémon Go
  2. iPhone 7
  3. Donald Trump
  4. Prince
  5. Powerball
  6. David Bowie
  7. Deadpool
  8. Olympics
  9. Slither.io
  10. Suicide Squad

You can see the top searches in other categories here.

Google has also compiled the top YouTubers and the top searches for the year into two videos; check them out below!

YouTube Rewind: The Ultimate 2016 Challenge
Google – Year in Search 2016

 

Recommended for You

If you have ever shopped on sites like Amazon, eBay, or Expedia, you are likely familiar with the concept of recommendation marketing. However, you may not know just how effective this type of marketing is. In fact, Amazon’s recommendation engine generates 35% of their revenue and according to an article on Fortune.com:

“Judging by Amazon’s success, the recommendation system works. The company reported a 29% sales increase to $12.83 billion during its second fiscal quarter, up from $9.9 billion during the same time last year. A lot of that growth arguably has to do with the way Amazon has integrated recommendations into nearly every part of the purchasing process…”

Cropped photo of man using credit card to make payments Recommendation marketing is essentially upselling 2.0. Companies like Amazon, Expedia and Netflix track what you view and use an algorithm to determine which additional items you are likely to purchase/watch. A humorous example of this is the drug dealer example; when someone looks at a scale on Amazon, Amazon recommends a vaccuum-sealed storage container, rolling papers, and a spice grinder because these are items that are frequently purchased together.

How can auto dealers incorporate recommendation marketing?

One way is Dynamic Remarketing. This type of remarketing shows potential buyers ads based on the inventory they viewed on your site. For example, if someone viewed a Ford Explorer, you could show them ads for some other Ford Explorers in your inventory or other models that people tend to also look at; like the Edge, for example.

Another way is Website Personalization and Geo-Fencing. With these tools you can set rules that change the images, messaging and CTA’s on your site based on where the user is located and/or which pieces of inventory they viewed. If the user is a student at the local university, you can recommend vehicles under $10,000, for example.

young people view car ad

A third way is with lookalike audiences on Facebook. Lookalike audiences are when your CRM list is uploaded to Facebook and Facebook advertises to those that share similar characteristics to your current customers. Similar to how Netflix recommends shows to you based on what your Facebook friends watch.

If you want to get started on recommendation marketing or would like to learn more about any of these tools, drop us a line or subscribe to our newsletter!

The 25 Best Inventions of All Time

Outdated technology. Flat design - EPS 10, RGB. Effects used: transparency, blending transparency.

Since 2017 is expected to be a pretty pivotal year for technology, Inc. has made a list of their top 25 inventions from the last 5,000 years. On this list are things like the automobile, antibiotics, oil, and even beer. But the top of the list was the telephone, the radio, and the computer; Inc. noted that all three are “part of the greatest – and still just beginning – revolution in human history – communication”.

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!

 

 

Facebook Visits Strathcom Media!

Facebook logoSome of our friends at Facebook dropped by our office to share some information about their products as well as to answer some of our questions. First, they shared some of their statistics from the latest quarter:

  • There are 1.8 billion people on Facebook worldwide and 550 million people on Instagram.
  • In Canada, there are 22 million people on Facebook and 17 million of those users are daily users.
  • there are 3.1 million apps available on the App Store and 82% of time spent on apps is only spent on 5 of them; the most time is spent on Facebook.

One question that we asked Facebook was: “what benefit does advertising on Facebook have over ‘boosted’ or ‘sponsored’ posts?”. This depends on what your goals for online advertising are. If you want Likes, Shares, and Facebook Friends, boosted posts are what you are looking for. If you want leads and to sell cars, Lead Ads on Facebook are what you are looking for. If you are unsure of what the difference is between boosted posts and lead ads, here are some examples:

Example of a Lead Ad on Facebook
Example of a Lead Ad
Example of a boosted post on Facebook
Example of a Boosted Post

Now what everyone really wanted to know: What advantages are there to advertising on Facebook that you won’t get on traditional search engines – even Google. Facebook was pretty transparent on both the benefits and shortcomings of advertising on their platform. Search engines are the perfect place for a dealership to get in front of their customers at the last possible second of the purchase journey; keyword-based searches drive high-intent clicks and conversions. While Facebook doesn’t offer keyword-based search ads, they do offer something that (we think) is even better, identity-based targeting. Facebook wouldn’t share their secret sauce with us but it turns out Facebook doesn’t use the traditional cookie-based tracking that most people are used to when attributing actions or generating targeting buckets. Through their technology, Facebook is able to track their users through their actions and behaviors on the platform. Your likes, comments, uploaded photos, hashtags and more are all used to to help Facebook determine exactly who you are and what you’re interested in. Because they don’t use cookies, there’s no risk of lost data when a customer switches between devices or clears their browsing history. This revolutionary identity tracking algorithm takes the typical interest targeting accuracy from 62% to an astonishing 92%!

It’s not just how Facebook targets customers that helps win over our hearts. Facebook is Canada’s biggest media channel with the average person spending an average of 50 minutes a day scrolling through news feeds, profiles and groups – think of all the possible eyeballs on your ads!

If you’re as excited about Facebook advertising as we are, it’s time to consider adding it to your advertising repertoire. It’s not just for sharing cat videos or baby pictures. Facebook is a powerful website traffic and conversion driver that everyone should be taking advantage of. Get started with Strathcom today and receive $500 in bonus Facebook ad spend!

Google and Facebook Ban Advertising from ‘Fake News’ Sites

Hot off the trails of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, internet conglomerates like Twitter, Google and Facebook have decided to prevent websites that publish falsified content from utilizing their respective advertising networks. The decision came after the companies were criticized for allowing fake news and false advertising to spread throughout the internet without any credible fact checking.Twitter, Facebook and Google after the U.S. election

Facebook is used by over 1 billion users worldwide and has been considered a primary news source for many adults. This new policy only applies to advertising and does not affect content shared between users’ newsfeeds.

In the past, Google has implemented policies against false advertising and the spread of inaccurate media; for example, when Google restricted the advertising of counterfeit products and weight-loss pills.

The goal of Strathcom’s advertising efforts is to provide customers with a relevant and quality experience. We always strive to maintain optimal Google and Facebook advertising accounts.