Dealer Huddle III – VIP Automotive Event Recap

Dealer Huddle III March 2018, Facebook CanadaLast 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 – 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 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 to get more information and be added to our event invite list!

Decoding The New Consumer

Being a Google Premier Partner gives Strathcom access to events held by Google across the United States and Canada, and we got to take part in one such event in Vancouver on March 1st called “Decoding The New Consumer.”

With Google trainings and events, much of the info is about the data they’re willing to share about the trends they see in today’s consumers, and to no ones surprise, today’s consumers want accurate info and they want it now! Today, consumers are 80% of the way through their car-buying journey before they ever step into a dealership, so being in those moments to provide the consumer with what they are looking for can make or break your sales.

One bit of info I was surprised to see was that Google searches which contain “near me” – after years of increasing – are going down in frequency. Why? Because people expect Google to know where they are, so they don’t feel the need to say “near me.” If they search “Pizza,” they expect Google to know where they are, and show them the best option near them – no need to type it anymore. This is an ongoing trend Google is seeing where people are acting more natural with search; instead of ‘Googling something’ they are asking Google the same way they would ask their friends, which is outlined beautifully in this Google Home ad:

With the decrease in people searching “near me,” Google is seeing a 100% increase in people searching “where to buy.”

Next, Jason Fohlstrom took us through what Google and their A.I./Machine Learning arm DeepMind (they have an office here in Edmonton) are working on. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are two buzzwords you’ve probably heard somewhere in the last few years, but most people don’t know that A.I./Machine Learning already play a huge part in all our lives. They will affect 33% of all the world economic markets (that’s $24,000,000,000,000 – yes TRILLION!) in 2018. You’ve probably heard of it in use mostly with Google’s self-driving car project Waymo, trying to learn how to drive itself without causing an accident or killing someone. It has now driven over 5,000,000 miles completely on its own. This A.I./Machine Learning is actually available to everyone running AdWords today, whether it be through a/b ad testing, which AdWords will do by default with the ads in an ad group, and also through data-driven attribution, with which Google will be able to tell you which steps of the buying process should get the credit for a sale. This is better than giving all the credit to the last click in the process or through a linear model (which Strathcom uses) to give credit to all steps within the process. Smart Display Campaigns let you put in some creative, text and headlines, and your target cost per acquisition/lead, and Google will create the ads, figure out who would be the best people to show them to, and change the creative on it’s own as it gets more data on what the user is reacting to. They also announced targeting by life events, knowing who is going through a targetable life event like marriage, buying a car, graduating from college, etc, so we can show your ads to those people.

In the blink of an eye, Google can analyse 70,000,000 signals to show the right ad to the right person at the right time, which would be impossible without A.I and Machine Learning.

Decoding The New Consumer

Lastly, we had a workshop session where we saw how we could better pull audience data to create better audience lists, an audience list being a list of users who we can show specific ads to. One thing that was apparent from this session is that the journey is fragmented; people are not all taking the same road when it comes to purchasing, and the more signals we can collect, the better. At the event, Google announced that Map data will now be included in the in-market segment data, so when google A.I. is looking for the best person to show your Ford ad to, they can see that people search for a Ford dealership in Google Maps and opt to show that person your Ford ad. Another great stat Google shared was that 80% of a user’s time is spent outside of search. We know search is usually the main driver of leads, and that needs to be the first place an auto dealer should be, but considering only 41% of users will actually contact a dealership prior to visiting it, it’s also important to diversify your online advertising portfolio and get what you want to sell in front of the right person at the right time, even if it means that person isn’t going to send you a cold hard lead. What better place to do that than the second largest search engine, YouTube! YouTube has always been known as more of a branding play; you can’t expect to get many leads from it, but it is a platform that lots of consumers use in their journey, including for car test drives, car reviews, car walk arounds, etc, so if you want them to find your business, you should be there.

Google made another announcement at the Decoding The New Consumer event, and that is they will now have CPA bidding for YouTube, which means we can set a target cost per lead, that Google will try to reach using A.I.. You have to be reasonable with it though; if you say you want to have a cost per lead of $2, it’s not going to work. You should start with what you would be happy with as a cost per lead (which should be a little less than what the lead would be worth to you) and then Google will work toward that as well as work toward lowering that.

Many of these insights will be shared on eventually, so keep an eye out there and here on the Strathcom blog too for more updates on what’s happening in the online advertising industry!

Heads Up! You May Have to Book Days Off for these Events

Heads Up! You May Have to Book Days Off for these Events

Auto Remarketing Canada (March 27-28)

Auto Remarketing Canada Conference is a must attend event to ensure you are on the path of consistent learning and growing. Along with some key speakers, you will also get an opportunity to interact with other industry leaders, and network with vendors, whether it is by finding new means of getting your message across or re-hauling your entire marketing plan. In two compact days, ARC covers retail, remarketing and auto finance to further improve your performance in the industry. Learn new strategies to increase your leads and sales; connect with individuals from media, marketing, finance and other dealers; and discuss growth. Carefully selected speakers will talk about topics such as automotive financing, automotive retail technology, digital marketing and used vehicles.

Melina Beeston, a marketing superstar within our team, decided to put on her cape, fly to Toronto, and share her strategies to elevate your sales game. A growth marketer with over 10 years of in-dealer experience, Melina can guide you in your online pursuit of marketing supremacy. In the name of positive customer experience, you should definitely attend her session at 11:15am for which she will be talking about the 5 Ranking Factors That Matter Most For Local SEO. You can also register for the March 27-28 Auto Remarketing Canada Conference here!

Women & Automotive (March 29)

We live in a day and age where women are finally getting recognition for their work. Their voices are being heard and they are getting the respect that is long due. Given that the automotive industry is mainly a male dominant industry, it is great to see women stepping up and taking on key roles to not only further empower and educate other women, but also to push the sales goals. Women and Automotive is an event created to give these amazing women some extra push and confidence to use their skills to improve the auto industry. Women leaders from across the nation and various auto-related organizations will attend the event and speak to educate and empower the current and future women interested in the auto industry. Along with their own stories, they will discuss strategies to improve your presence in the industry. During and after the speaker series, you will also have an opportunity to network with the speakers and other attendees.

With some amazing women working at Strathcom Media, the choice of a speaker for this panel was difficult. With tremendous marketing knowledge and a passion for user experience, Carrie Oliva is someone who can aid in your pursuit of accomplishing the impossible. As the Director of Web Development and Optimization, she can powerlift user experience to new heights. She may not be Oprah, but make sure to catch the Carrie show at 11am, where she will be discussing How Networking Replaced Resumes – Making Connections That Matter, and perhaps handing out couple of business cards too.

We highly recommend attending both these events to help your dealership take its next step towards effective and efficient sales and marketing strategy. In an ever-changing industry, keeping up with the latest tech and sales information is ideal to ensure you remain successful among heavy competition. You don’t want to be left behind while your competitors are embracing the change and implementing solutions to get ahead in the game. If you have further questions or concerns, feel free to contact Strathcom Media and we will be more than happy to provide more information on these events, or you can go ahead and register for the March 29 Women & Automotive conference here!

Canadian International AutoShow 2018 – Recap

Canadian International AutoShow

The Strathcom team was ecstatic to attend the Canadian International AutoShow VIP night last week at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and to see so many of our clients and industry partners out for the evening.

Things started off with checking out the Facebook VIP Pit Stop party before the show at the Rec Room. Facebook put on an amazing event, as always, with a live band, great food and a gif center (check out our Instagram page, @strathcommedia, to see us in action). Two of our favourite highlights were the mobile oyster shucking bar, and the macaron station where you could get your face laser printed on a macaron flavour of your choice! The Pit Stop party ended off with a great speech from Joshua Bloom, Head of Auto at Facebook, showcasing how far the platform has come even in the last year alone.

From the Pit Stop party, we made our way over to the big ticket event at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. There were thousands of cars, trucks, exotics and more to check out and we definitely didn’t even scratch the surface. One of our favourite areas that we checked out was Ford’s. Not only did they have an awesome Lego building setup where you could build your own Lego Ford racer, and a life-size Lego Ford racer present, they were also showcasing a Ford GT Performance car that made us weak in the knees.

And what kind of AutoShow would it be without a heavy luxury and exotic section? The Canadian International AutoShow is on from February 16th to 25th and we definitely recommend checking it out if you’re in town. If Toronto is too far to venture, mark April 12th – 15th in your calendar for the Edmonton MotorShow.

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

Marketers are making the mistake of not integrating search and social strategies, or choosing to ignore social all together. Keynote speaker Jason Dailey of Facebook’s US Agency Development team stressed the importance of running a social campaign along with search ads, and how to properly run the content together.

To no surprise to anyone, mobile is the leader in performance marketing channels, and is the key platform to integrating search and social. Jason mentioned that people are on their phones from when they wake up to when they go to bed, and are less distracted by things around when consuming content on their smartphones (as opposed to TV).

The key to integration is recognizing that search and social advertising have the same outcomes, but with different signals. On social media, we can identify our audience based on their profiles and engagement, but cannot identify their intent online. Paid search allows us to discover our customer’s intent with keyword targeting, but cannot identify who they are as a person. Integrating social and search brings us to the middle ground of the two to execute a successful online advertising campaign.

Making Sure Your SEO & SEM Get Along

My favorite session of the week was keynote speaker Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive. Wil brought an exciting insight as an SEO expert on how paid listings should complement organic. As PPC analysts, it is so easy to forget why customers are using Google, and focusing too much on getting them in our sales funnel.  His key take way was optimizing for the real world, and making sure you answer the customer’s question. If your organic or paid listings don’t help the customer, another source will. A true example below shows that both ads on the top of the page have no mention of the price of a Toyota Rav4, and the answer is provided by a non-dealer website.  Making sure ad copy or ad extensions match the “why” of a consumer’s search will improve the quality of traffic SEO and SEM listings receive."how much is a rav4?" typed into Google Search

It would be difficult for me to include everything I have learned in a single blog post. HeroConf 2017 was a great experience and provided so much insight into how to succeed in PPC in 2017. Can’t wait to return next year in Austin!

2017 Precious Metal Gala

It’s not difficult to enjoy an evening of fine foods and entertainment, especially when it’s paired with a range of the best vehicles on offer. The Edmonton Motor Show’s 2017 Precious Metal Gala combined these things into a truly enjoyable evening.

The Edmonton Motor Show Precious Metal Gala

The Precious Metal Gala featured the best vehicles available by various manufacturers all in one place.  We were excited to explore the offerings. Here are some of the sights and highlights from the 2017 Gala:

The Nissan GT-R’s refined interior with updated technology in featured Rakuda Tan Semi-aniline Leather.
The Nissan GT-R’s refined interior with updated technology in featured Rakuda Tan Semi-aniline Leather.

First up, we have one of the gala favourites! The 2017 Nissan GT-R supercar has been revisited for further refinement on the interior to make it an amazing experience behind the wheel. Updated instrumentation, technology and connection give the GT-R it’s powerful feel. This track day superstar has received the necessary refinements to make it a road trip worthy contender too. Gone are the days of harsh low speed shifts and a bone jarring ride. Everyone is welcoming a new era of luxurious touring from Nissan’s peak vehicle.


Next up, Subaru was undoubtedly the best lit booth at the show. Perhaps a testament to their love of all things outdoors. They wanted everyone to see the meticulous details that have gone into their engineering. Such as their FA20 2.0L engine.

FA20 2.0L engine found in the BRZ Manufacturers: Take note of oil filter placement.
FA20 2.0L engine found in the BRZ Manufacturers: Take note of oil filter placement.

In a Canadian first, the Edmonton Motor Show was the first to receive the 2018 Subaru WRX! The new WRX remained the only Subaru viewers couldn’t enter though. It would’ve been nice to see the interior with the revised infotainment screen and optional Recaro seats.

2018 Subaru WRX
The 2018 Subaru WRX

Subsequently, Infiniti brought us their 2016 Team F1 R.S.16 car, and if you’re familiar with the driving of Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer you’ll be familiar with the Formula One R.S.16. This racing car was originally designed by the Renault Sport Formula One Racing Team as their competition vehicle for 2016.

The F1 R.S.16 was driven by the likes of Jolyon Palmer in the 2016 Formula One season.
The F1 R.S.16 was driven by the likes of Jolyon Palmer in the 2016 Formula One season.

Audi continued the great vehicles by showcasing the newly redesigned 2018 Audi S5. The revised 6 cylinder now produces 354hp, with the packaging to match. How can you not love those lines?

It was Ford’s set up was likely the booth that took most visitors by surprise. The Edmonton Motor Show falls in the same timeframe as the New York International Auto Show, and as a huge fan of all things cars I can’t help but compare the offerings of each. Normally if you happen to be both a resident of Edmonton and a fan of the automotive industry you’ll feel forgotten when auto season rolls around.

However, this year Ford made us northerner’s truly feel like a booming metropolis. Bringing not only their latest offerings but also the full quiver of performance vehicles (ST, RS, Raptor, Shelby), including the all new Ford GT.






Volkswagen brought along the Atlas, the company’s all new 3 row SUV. The Atlas is aimed to sit above the Tiguan as VW’s dedicated people mover. With its modern contour and excellent finish quality the car certainly took a fair share of attention on the opening night of the show.

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas will be coming to Canada in Summer 2017.
The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas will be coming to Canada in Summer 2017.

Finally, Mercedes-Benz showcased their great line-up including the Mercedes-AMG GT. With up to 503-horsepower and a V8 Bi-Turbo engine the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT is designed for performance. Few vehicles can give the driver such an aggressive seating position and get away with it. There’s a distinct reason this vehicle won the 2015 Motor Trend’s Best Driver’s Car. It is a vehicle that is all about experience.

The Interior of the Mercedes-AMG GT.
The Interior of the Mercedes-AMG GT.

The Edmonton Motor Show’s 2017 Precious Metal Gala was an experience with the amazing vehicles, great food and lively entertainment. Various vehicle manufacturers showcased their latest and greatest. We were excited to see everything on offer. We’re looking forward to next year already!

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.

The year of mobile has been going on since 2014, but it is still relevant as consumers’ buying habits continue to evolve. I remember a time when I wouldn’t dare to shop online, out of the fear that whatever I ordered wouldn’t be as good in actuality as it seemed on the website. Now, looking at this past Christmas season, I did 95% of my shopping online from my phone, and had it delivered straight to my desk. Talk about convenience!

Looking at the Canadian automotive industry specifically, the most recent survey done found that 74% of shoppers used a mobile device during some point of their purchasing journey. This just goes to prove that ‘the year of mobile’ is still a reality, and one that you as a car dealer need to take seriously if you want to win the online-sales game. And I’m not just talking about having a mobile-friendly and responsive website design – that should be a no-brainer at this point – I’m talking about being present throughout the entire online-buying journey and providing optimized ads and content that relates to your potential customers.

Evolving the mobile-first game is something Facebook continues to excel at. They have developed a number of ad formats for greater impact throughout the purchase journey, with new releases coming soon, all of which have been completely optimized for mobile. As Instagram continues to grow, a lot of these ad formats are moving over to this platform as well, including the ability to have ads in Instagram stories and having carousel and lead ads right in the Instagram feed.

Facebook Auto Summit

If Facebook and Instagram are the new digital newspapers and our thumb is the new remote control, how are you going to stand out and capture someone’s interest when they are essentially seeing a new screen every three seconds? This is where Facebook’s Creative Team’s mantra comes into play: design for mobile, build for people, and play more. Optimizing your content for Facebook is essential. This can be as simple as resizing an image to the appropriate ratio, or as complex as creating a new video asset to highlight your why-buys at the beginning as opposed to the end of the clip. When creating assets for Facebook, you need to think of them as people, not users. People have individual interests and needs that can be capitalized on. This is where you can start to have fun with your ads. Something that appeals to Mary, who is 38 with two kids and likes yoga, may not necessarily gain the attention of Thomas, who is 25 and likes to spend his weekends driving to the mountains; so don’t try to blanket them with the exact same message.

The main takeaway is that you can’t just be semi-present by only putting one foot in to test the waters. You need to think outside the box, put your money where your mouth is, create thumb-stopping creative, and measure your success. With over 18 million daily active users across Canada on Facebook, and one in every four minutes on mobile being spent on Facebook and Instagram, there is so much potential to differentiate yourself from the competition on these still underutilized advertising platforms. At the end of the day, don’t get stuck in social jail thinking that Facebook and Instagram are just about generating likes and shares. These platforms are here to help you generate leads! If you’re not sure where to start, give the Strathcom Media team a call.

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 Kitchener-Waterloo Breakfast Highlights

Baristas, hidden rooms, a cyborg moose, oh my!

cyborg moose at Google Kitchener-Waterloo

This week I had the privilege of visiting the newest and coolest Google office, located in Waterloo, to learn how dealers can capitalize on  their  fixed ops departments.  Here are just some of great stats that Google shared in their presentation:

  • $19 billion is spent annually on automotive parts and service in Canada
  • 80% of consumers who service their vehicle at your dealership are 2 times more likely to make a purchase from your dealership
  • Parts and Service queries peak in October and November

We also got to see some great stats from this year’s Think Auto Study:

  • 55% of buyers use their smartphones to research vehicle models while on the lot of a dealership
  • 56% of buyers purchased from a dealership with whom they had no previous relationship with
  • 77% of buyers are looking for vehicle promotions
  • Online video has a positive influence of 53% on car buyers in the market

For this particular breakfast, we were able to go on exclusive tour of the office along with our Golden Ticket contest winners. We will have another blog post including photos and some video of the office, so stay tuned! And to stay in the loop about our upcoming contests and Google events, please subscribe to our newsletter. Hopefully you can join us next time!

Highlights of DealerTalk 2016

This year’s edition of Kijiji’s DealerTalk went down at the Allstream Centre on Tuesday, September 20.  One of the changes for this year was having two streams that attendees could attend; one for sales and marketing, and the other for the executive level.  I personally thought this was a great way to provide attendees with the flexibility to attend what mattered to them most.

Jon Montgomery speaking at DealerTalk TorontoThe day opened with an inspiring keynote from Georgian College Alum, Olympic Gold Medalist and TV personality Jon Montgomery.  Jon is definitely a charismatic and fearless guy. Who else flies head first down a sheet of ice at 140km/hour? Or just hands his golf medal into a crowd and says: “I’ll get it later”?

After Jon Montgomery, dealers were invited to head to their first break out session.  Due to the fact that I can only be in one place at a time, I cannot give you a break down of all the sessions, but if you are looking for a bigger breakdown check out the site:

I checked out Alan Dickie’s presentation on how he uses video and Facebook for his business and how car dealers can do the same.  Alan is definitely an energetic presenter.  He opened with asking everyone in the room to go to Facebook and put in their status “if I can guarantee you $3,000 over what your vehicle is worth would you trade it in?”.  Towards the end of the session he asked the brave souls who did it what happened.  It definitely generated some buzz.

After Alan I checked out Susan Seto’s data driven presentation on what motivates Canadians to buy a car.  This was a jam packed session with a lot of charts.  Having just attended Google’s Think Auto event, I was interested in seeing what Susan had to say.  It’s important to note that Think Auto samples 5,000 individuals while, to my understanding, this data was based on 1,800 individuals.  Biggest difference in my mind was in the data on most important sources used when buying a car.  There was a little bit of overlap, but while Google says Search, OEM Sites, Dealer Sites and Reviews are where customers are looking, Kijiji – surprisingly – placed classified sites on the list and did not have a single mention of dealer websites.  Seems a little convenient, but then again, I sell dealer websites and Kijiji sells classified listings.  You’ll have to decide for yourself or trust Google!

After lunch I checked out Kyle Costa’s presentation which focused on some fundamentals that you need to get right and then some next level initiatives you can work on when you have the foundation laid.  I agree with Kyle’s mentality that other industries are being disrupted and our industry is ripe for the picking.  Companies like Carvana and Beepi are making an attempt to change the game and if you don’t step up, they will succeed.  Kyle provided real examples straight from the trenches that are working for him, not just ideas a consultant dreamed up and has never tried.

DealerTalk TorontoKevin Graff closed the day with an afternoon keynote which was very impressive considering he had only 30 minutes. Kevin had everyone agreeing that we can all sell more and provided us with five foundations to do this:

  1. Focus on Goals – if I called anyone in your store would they know their target?
  2. Share Results Constantly
  3. Accountability for Success – people play the game different when they know it matters
  4. Ongoing Training and Coaching – do you train every week?
  5. Make it Worthwhile

Overall, I thought that the day was well put on and well received by the attendees.  I also really appreciate the sweet K-Way jacket from Kijiji!