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…”

Spam & Regs: GDPR and What It Means for Your Business

Shot of a young businessman looking angry while using a computer during a late night at work

E-mail, or E-mbarrassed

Well, this is embarrassing.

According to the 2018 Radicati Email Statistics Report, the average person has 1.75 e-mail accounts. And I have six. Six! That I can remember. And that isn’t including any ultra-regrettable, junior high school e-mail addresses I signed up for in the halcyon days of the internet, and have been trying to forget ever since (in my defense, sk8er_boi_98@hotmail.com was created well before Avril Lavigne hit the scene).

Now I suspect that number of 1.75 e-mail accounts per person is a touch low—dragged down by everyone’s Nana & Pop-Pop who have an e-mail so that they can use Facebook to comment on large corporations’ posts asking how their grandchildren are doing, but I digress. I have six e-mail accounts that I use fairly regularly, which means that on May 25th, 2018, I probably set a personal record for most e-mails received.

“Damn you, GDPR!” *shakes fist at the air*

Continue reading “Spam & Regs: GDPR and What It Means for Your Business”

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!”

Increase Brand Awareness & Sales with Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a strategy that focuses on indirectly targeting an audience through a (relatively) influential individual — hence all the bikini models telling you to buy their favourite brand of Fit Tea. As one of the fastest growing marketing trends of 2018, this is something that all businesses, including dealers, can explore and integrate into their sales and marketing strategies. Of course, this strategy only works if it is integrated in a way that highlights the influencer’s profile and sphere of influence; in other words, play to your audience. Continue reading “Increase Brand Awareness & Sales with Influencer Marketing”

Marketing Personas & Their Impact on Your Advertising Plan

marketing personas meeting

Marketing personas are a way for your dealership to connect on a personal level with your potential consumers. These personas allow you to relate to a consumer’s personality to create a positive interaction with your brand and its vehicle models. Personas can take some research and in-depth questions to really understand both who your audience is, and what speaks to which target demographic. Through this blog, you can see if a marketing persona approach fits within your advertising plan.

Using personas creates a very targeted approach to engaging potential customers who are interested in your dealership. Since there are many different personalities in the world, you will have to find a common theme and group individuals together based on their similar responses to your questions, as well as their characteristics. Continue reading “Marketing Personas & Their Impact on Your Advertising Plan”

Are You Effectively Using Your CO-OP Budget?

As a dealership, you want to utilize all the support you can get from your manufacturer in terms of co-op incentives for advertising. Traditionally, dealerships get co-op for what they spend on print, television and radio advertisements. What you may not know is that this can apply to all or a portion of your digital advertising as well. This co-op advertising partnership helps alleviate some or all the cost of advertising online with your local dealership(s).

Online advertising can be broken down into Google paid-search advertising, display advertising, remarketing, Facebook advertising and a few other platforms. Engaging in your co-op partnership for online advertising allows you to reduce the cost of advertising with more control and have all your advertisements tracked to produce the most ideal leads for your dealership. With online advertising you will be able to curate your ads to be tailored to an audience that is searching for that message. Your advertisements will be highly targeted to display in front of customers that are already engaged in looking for your products or used to re-engage visitors that have viewed your website previously.

Effectively Using Your CO-OP Budget?

Below is a breakdown of various OEMs’ co-op incentives and how Strathcom Media can help you with effectively using your co-op budget.

FCA: FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, You Tube, Facebook/Instagram

Reporting Requirements

  • Dealership must be a part of the FCA program

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Vehicles, Location, General, Finance
  • For Finance Models there are some strict rules that FCA requires the dealership to follow

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • No strict postal codes or areas to target

Tactical Required?

  • No tactical required for FCA dealerships

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • 33%, 40% or 50% depending on what tier your dealership is in the program

MERCEDES-BENZ

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/Instagram

Reporting Requirements

  • Must be enrolled in the MBCA program

Eligible Business Models

  • Passenger Vehicles, Certified Pre-owned, Vans, Smart

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, there are strict postal codes and areas to target

Tactical Required?

  • In display advertising only for Mercedes-Benz

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • Varies, please reach out to your OEM Rep for co-op amounts

NISSAN

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook/Instagram, Bing

Reporting Requirements

  • Strathcom Media Invoice, Live Ad Example, Confirmation of Publication

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, Fixed Ops, Certified Pre-Owned, New Sales (New, General, Location)

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, there are strict market areas for each dealership

Tactical Required?

  • No tactical required for Nissan

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • 50% co-op allocated

INFINITI

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/Instagram

Reporting Requirements

  • Confirmation of Publication, Strathcom Media Invoice, Facebook: Ad Screenshots

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales, Certified Pre-Owned, Fixed Ops

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, there is strict primary market area with Infiniti

Tactical Required?

  • No tactical required for Infiniti

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • 50%

KIA

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Twitter, Facebook/Instagram, Bing

Reporting Requirements

  • Confirmation of Publication, Display advertisements must have Kia Canada logo

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales (New, General, Location), Certified Pre-Owned (Maximum 25% of Spend), Conquesting (Must be Kia specific landing page)

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, Kia has a strict primary market area

Tactical Required?

  • Strongly suggested that tactical be used by Kia

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • Varies, please contact your OEM representative for details

HONDA / ACURA

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords only

Reporting Requirements

  • Confirmation of Publication, Strathcom Media Invoice

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, Location, Fixed Ops, (New, General Honda/Acura), Used Honda/Acura

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • No strict areas or postal codes to target

Tactical Required?

  • Tactical required in Display ads only for Honda/Acura

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • Varies, please speak with your OEM rep for co-op details

FORD / LINCOLN

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/Instagram

Reporting Requirements

  • Google Requirements: 1. Internet Affidavit 2. Keyword Report – showing run dates and the cost per keyword Placement Report 4. Strathcom Media Invoice with Display and Banner charges (if running display advertising) on one line, Paid-Search charges on a second, and our management fee on a third line 5. Live Ad Example
  • Facebook Requirements: 1. An invoice that includes the run dates and total cost of the Ford ad(s) and itemizes the agency fee OR a Facebook Billing Report along with a Billing Statement A Facebook Campaign Report showing legible ad creative(s) and clarifying the run dates and cost of each ad. If your Campaign Report does not include a legible image of the ad(s) a screenshot of the ad(s) live on Facebook must be provided

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales (New, General, Location)

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, Ford has a strict primary market area

Tactical Required?

  • Tactical messaging is required by Ford

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • Varies, you can reach out to your OEM for accurate details on co-op amounts

JAGUAR / LAND ROVER

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/ Instagram

Reporting Requirements

  • Confirmation of Publication, Strathcom Media Invoice, Facebook: Ad Screenshots

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • No strict postal code or area targeting

Tactical Required?

  • No tactical required for Jaguar/Land Rover

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • Varies, please talk with your OEM representative for further co-op details

TOYOTA

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/ Instagram, You Tube, Twitter, Bing

Reporting Requirements

  • Keyword Report, Live Ad Example, Strathcom Media Invoice

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales (New, General, Location), Fixed Ops

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, there is a strict primary market area to target in

Tactical Required?

  • Tactical messaging is needed for Toyota

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • 50%

HYUNDAI

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/ Instagram, You Tube

Reporting Requirements

  • Strathcom Media Invoice, Confirmation of Publication, Screenshot of display/Facebook ads

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales (New, General, Location)

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, there is a strict area of responsibility to target

Tactical Required?

  • Tactical messaging is strongly suggested for Hyundai

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • 50%

LEXUS

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/ Instagram, You Tube, Twitter, Bing

Reporting Requirements

  • Strathcom Media Invoice, Live Ad Example, Keyword Report

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales (New, General, Location), Fixed Ops

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • No, there are no strict postal codes or areas to target

Tactical Required?

  • Tactical messaging required for sales only with Lexus

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • 1:1

GM

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/ Instagram, Twitter, You Tube

Reporting Requirements

  • Confirmation of Publication

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, Fixed Ops, Certified Pre-Owned, New Sales (New, General, Location)

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, GM has a strict area to target

Tactical Required?

  • Tactical messaging is strongly suggested by GM

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • 50%

MAZDA

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/ Instagram, You Tube and You Tube Production Costs, Twitter, Bing

Reporting Requirements

  • Stratcom Media Invoice, Live Ad Examples, Keyword Report

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales (New, General, Location), Certified Pre-Owned

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, there are strict postal codes and areas to target

Tactical Required?

  • Tactical messaging is required by Mazda

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • 50%

PORSCHE

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/ Instagram

Reporting Requirements

  • Confirmation of Publication, Stathcom Media Invoice, Facebook: Ad Screenshots

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales, Certified Pre-Owned, Fixed Ops

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, Porsche has a strict primary market area to target

Tactical Required?

  • No tactical messaging is required by Porsche

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • Varies, please inquire with your OEM representative for co-op amounts

VOLVO

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/ Instagram

Reporting Requirements

  • Confirmation of Publication, Strathcom Media Invoice, Facebook: Ad Screenshots

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • No, Volvo does not have a strict area to target

Tactical Required?

  • No tactical is required by Volvo

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • Varies, please speak with your OEM rep for amounts allocated for co-op

Strathcom Media looks forward to helping you with effectively using your co-op budget to start reducing your cost of online advertising. It is time to utilize your co-op partnership properly and leave less money on the table! Contact us to make Strathcom Media your valued ally in advertising online and start generating warm leads with your OEM’s money instead!

Mobile Advertising In Canada Going Into 2018

 

eMarketer.com recently published their report on Mobile Advertising in Canada and to no ones surprise, mobile is exploding. I wanted to condense and share some of the findings, but if you wanted to purchase the full report from eMarketer.com, you can find it here.

Before I get into the numbers, I wanted to give you an idea of what the end game for mobile is. Mobile has evolved to be a part of our lives; our phones are with us – for the most part – 100% of the time. Because of this, how much we use our phones to complete activities in our daily lives will only increase. It used to be just to make calls, then text as well, then email as well, then surf the internet on the early (crappy) mobile web browsers, then apps and so on. We even have the ability to track our health on our phone, and in a relatively short period, probably 10 years, when you go to the doctor’s office, you’ll just hand the doctor your phone, and it will have all your medical info and readings it has been taking since your last visit. Many companies are working on how the mobile phone will replace desktops, which – other than for work – have been declining in sales. Unless you need a desktop to run high powered programs like video/image editing or PC games, you’ll soon just have your phone and a couple monitors at home/work that you plug directly into.

 

Alright… onto the info:

Continue reading “Mobile Advertising In Canada Going Into 2018”

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?”

Boosted Posts are Bullshit.

There is no mincing words here: boosted posts are bullshit.

It’s definitely an enticing idea, sure – you get that notification that gives you a little digital pat on the back that the Facebook post you made earlier is performing better than 75% of the posts on that Page, and you can boost it for $X and reach up to blank-thousand more people.

And that’s when you mark the notification as read, and step away from the computer. Don’t click on it, don’t pick a number of days to boost it for, and don’t plug your credit card in.

We can give you any number of answers as to why it’s a bad idea, but here’s the only one that matters: Continue reading “Boosted Posts are Bullshit.”

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”

Advertising in the Age of Ad-DHD

People are busy. With work, family, social media, and a plethora of other distractions it is getting more and more difficult for advertisers to get people to notice their ads; let alone retain people’s attention long enough for their ad to actually be recalled. Think of it as a kind of ADHD… Ad-DHD.

As people's attention spans decrease, their ability to recall ads does too.

 

According to Google, users who watch ads for more than three seconds are more likely to recall, recognize and consider your brand. This may not sound like a long time, but to keep someone’s attention for more than 3 seconds is a lot more difficult in this day and age.

In a recent Google Livestream, Google talked about the new currency: time. Google also discussed how the Old Mantra was ‘get the customer to the dealership‘ and the new mantra is ‘bring the dealership to the customer‘. So, how can do you bring the dealership to the customer? Continue reading “Advertising in the Age of Ad-DHD”

3 Misconceptions About Ad Quality According to Google

In a recent edition of Google Best Practices they laid out the difference between auction-time quality and the 1-10 quality score. Regarding your quality score, here are 3 things that matter:

  1. The User’s Device
  2. Relevance
  3. Performance on Related Keywords

Hands typing on laptop computer - there are several misconceptions about quality score on Google

I don’t think that there is anyone out there that can argue that these factors do not effect your quality score. But here are some factors that, contrary to some opinions, do not matter: Continue reading “3 Misconceptions About Ad Quality According to Google”

Clarity on Conversions: what is actually being reported to you? Leads?

Do you know exactly what your online providers call a conversion? What they call a lead? If you cannot definitively answer that question it might be time to have a chat with them.  Although there seems to be endless oversight in the automotive industry, there is no industry standard for what we call a lead or a conversion.

hand holding mobile smart phone at blurred car for sale in showroom background

Most people would agree that a form completion, email, text, chat or clicks-to-call all represent a lead as a consumer is engaging directly with your business. Sounds fair. Continue reading “Clarity on Conversions: what is actually being reported to you? Leads?”

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”

Social Advertising in a Mobile First World

mobile devicesThe mobile consumer experience is rapidly changing. Consumers are checking their favorite social media platforms on their smartphones when they wake up, and before they go to bed. At this point, it is no secret that your business needs to be reaching customers on social media. How does your business stand out from the other content your customers are consuming daily? The optimal consumer experience consists of three things: using the power of videos, content consumption, and the quality of engagement. Continue reading “Social Advertising in a Mobile First World”

AR Canada 2017 Recap

April 4th wrapped up 2017’s Auto Remarketing Canada Conference at the Westin Harbor Castle in Toronto. This year brought hundreds of progressive dealers and vendors together to discuss new innovations and the future of the automotive industry.

AR Canada sign Continue reading “AR Canada 2017 Recap”

A Few Fun Facts About Car Brand Fans

Auto Brands & Demographics

Have you ever wondered where your favorite automotive brands fit within market niches? The Auto Insurance Centre has your answer; their study was conducted using over 114 million Facebook brand fans from across North America. Continue reading “A Few Fun Facts About Car Brand Fans”

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”

Our Visit with our Friends from Facebook

met with Facebook to discuss the benefits of Facebook advertising

On Wednesday we were visited by our friends Brian and Nim from Facebook. We discussed the many reasons that dealers should be advertising on Facebook, and how we can improve our current Facebook campaigns. Here are some of the key takeaways from their visit: Continue reading “Our Visit with our Friends from Facebook”