Strathcom Media: Das Volkswagen Website & Online Advertising Provider

Volkswagen driving down a highway

Over the past few months, Volkswagen Canada has been searching across the country for the best website and online provider for their dealers. Strathcom Media is thrilled to announce that we have been  selected as one of their 3 providers.

Volkswagen Dealers – if you would like to learn more about Strathcom Media and why you should consider us as a provider, you can:

  • check out our Volkswagen Webinar that we hosted yesterday here.
  • download our case study with Southgate Volkswagen and testimonial video here.
  • If you would like to compare us with the other two providers, you can do so right here.
  • If you would like to attend our second webinar on Thursday, August 10 to ask us questions in person, you can register here for English and here for French.

Volkswagen is sunsetting their partnership with DMT. If you are using a DMT website without a secondary site, you will need to choose a new provider. If you have any other questions, you can drop us a line at vw@strathcom.com or 1 (888) 914-1444!

Are you ready to Go Further?

Technology and innovation are the cogs that keep the automotive industry wheel moving forward, and Ford is no stranger to this. The evolution of Ford is taking them down new roads with the possibility of “no driver required” by 2021 as they plan to have a fully autonomous vehicle in the market1.

If Ford is bringing this type of ingenuity and forward thinking to the brand, shouldn’t you as Ford Dealers be looking to do the same for your dealerships? The answer is: absolutely and unequivocally YES! Now, you might be asking yourself how you should go about and do this, well search no further, we’re here to help! Your website is often one of the first places a potential customer will search to learn about what you have to offer. They might have started off with a Google search to get there, or perhaps they came across your business page on Facebook and read some great reviews before making their way to your website. At the end of the day, they are coming to your site and you need to be providing the right experience for them.

While you’re out searching for a new website provider, you need to think like a Ford VP would. Think about what’s going to get you ahead of the competition and keep you there. You need to look for a partner who isn’t okay with sticking with the status quo and who always searching for and developing the next greatest thing for your website. You need to look for a partner like Strathcom Media who is consistently bringing new products to the market and ensuring your website is future-proofed.

Some of the more recent technology launches with Strathcom Media include Personalization, Geo-Fencing, Notepad and Silent Salesman. These tools were designed to provide your potential customers with a unique experience tailored to what they’re interested in and what they’ve looked at on your site. According to a study by Janrain, 74% of people get frustrated when websites have content, offers, or ads that have nothing to do with their interests. Tools like Notepad and Silent Salesman use the concepts of scarcity and abundance to create a sense of urgency and to prey on our fear of missing out to help you generate more leads. #FOMO

Looking down the road, there are a lot of exciting products and improvements launching including:

  • Releasing modules for online retailing
  • Increasing lead conversion and generation through releasing a behavioral exit intent tool and a front facing appraisals tool
  • Adding more detailed information to our vehicle analytics tool;  Market Intel
  • Increasing the scope and features associated with website personalization
  • Launching our CRM product
  • Developing Market Radar a tool designed to identify proactive opportunities based on a user’s browsing history

White Ford Escape driving fast on a road in the city at sunsetAt Strathcom Media, we pride ourselves on being a one-stop-shop that is keeping the cogs of the website “wheel” turning and moving forward. We can help you drive more traffic to your website with Google and Facebook advertising. We can help keep visitors engaged on your site through easy to use designs that have been optimized for conversions and are jam-packed with useful information and the technologies we mentioned above. And we can help improve your online presence through our Review & Reputation and Social Media Management packages and much, much more.

If you are looking for an innovative and complete online solutions provider that is going to help you Go Further, drop us a line at info@strathcom.com.

 

1 https://corporate.ford.com/innovation/autonomous-2021.html

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!

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 signThe conference started with our very own Melina Beeston who discussed how dealers can use their online reputation to make more money. 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. If your Google, Facebook, Yelp and DealerRater accounts are plagued with negative reviews, your customers are going to view them as recommendations to not work with you. If you missed Melina’s presentation or would like to learn more about the value of Reputation Marketing, we have created an eBook that can be downloaded here.The Sign outside Melina's session at AR Canada

We also attended a great panel session on Selling to New Immigrants to Canada that was hosted by Todd Bourgon from TADA, Justin Poy with the JP Agency and Amin Tajani with Weins Canada. They brought up some excellent points on how highlighting student lease programs can be especially beneficial for new immigrant students coming to Canada for a short period of time. This information isn’t usually a primary focus on dealer websites, and could be a great way to help differentiate yourself. They also touched on how having a number of sales people who can speak different languages isn’t the most important piece to making a program like this work, it’s about understanding the culture of your customers walking through the door. If your dealership is in an ethnically diverse community, it would be beneficial to have your sales team take some time to read the local newspapers for those communities and learn what is important to them when doing business.

Duncan and Alecia at the Strathcom booth at AR Canada

Then we attended another great panel about the subprime auto finance market in Canada which had representatives from Autonum, Equifax, Carfinco and Scotiabank. They discussed how negative equity is a growing issue and how when it’s coupled with longer terms, you are continuing to delay the customer from coming back to purchase again. Repeat customers is what you want! Educating the client as you go through the process is crucial as well. There is still a belief that if you’re sending an application to multiple lenders at one time, that it will hurt their credit score, when in fact it will only count as one credit pull if it falls within a certain time frame. The average customer’s credit application gets sent out 3.3 times before a lender is selected, so it’s important to educate your customer as you go.

Maria Soklis with Cox Automotive CanadaThen Maria Soklis, President of Cox Automotive Canada, held a General Session about disruptions like digital retailing, mobility and shifting customer preferences are changing the automotive industry. She said that unless dealers want to be the next Blockbuster, they need to embrace these changes and be as proactive as possible. She mentioned companies like Carvana and Tesla that allow customers to buy their vehicles without ever stepping foot in a dealership.

Although the concept of eCommerce in auto was common throughout the entire conference, it is not something that dealers should be rushing into; at least not until it is perfected.

Near the end of the second day, Josh Bloom, Brian Sencich and Nimalan Bala from Facebook hung out at our booth to answer any questions that dealers had about their advertising platform.

Facebook pop-up banner

1-on-1 sessions with Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the 1-on-1 sessions at our booth, it was time for Josh’s Keynote Session where he showed dealers why they need to advertising on Facebook, best practices for advertising on Facebook, and how to get started.

Josh Bloom with FacebookJosh began the session by asking dealers to imagine a platform they could advertise on that everyone uses, and that everyone uses every day. That is exactly what Facebook is. There are 18 million Canadians on Facebook everyday; to put that in perspective, 4.47 million Canadians tuned in to watch the last Super Bowl on CTV, CTV Two and TSN combined.

Mobile phones have become the new TV, radio, billboard, newspaper and direct mail: all on one device. And which app do the most people spend their time? Facebook.

For those that are already advertising on Facebook, Josh emphasized that ads should be designed for mobile devices as that is where most people are looking.

Here are the 5 ‘Go Do’s’ Josh listed for dealers:

  1. Lead generation is easier than ever on Facebook. Try Lead Ads for new, used, and finance campaigns
  2. Plan the work and work the plan. Plan to reach 50-70% of your target audience 2-3 times per week to drive conversions on your website and drive leads
  3. Add the Facebook Pixel to your site. It allows you to: measure conversions and see how your customers are moving between devices before they convert, optimize delivery and show your ads to people that are likely to convert, and build audiences by retargeting website visitors.
  4. Build creative for mobile
  5. Measure everything

He ended his session by listing several providers – including Strathcom Media – that can help dealers succeed with Facebook advertising. And right now, Strathcom Media is offering $500 in bonus Facebook spend – ask us about it today!

We enjoyed attending this year, and we’ll see you on April 9 and 10 next year!

 

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.

Using Facebook fans as the sole input, the study managed to find some pretty interesting things regarding demographics of car brands. Though ‘page likes’ and ‘fans’ do not necessarily translate directly into vehicle sales, it does determine what type of individuals are willing to be subject to a distinct brand’s marketing and social-media presence, and the study gives us further insight into brand image and consumer perception.

Imports dominate Facebook in the U.S.: with Mercedes Benz (19.4 million), BMW (18.9 million), Ferrari (16.2 million), Nissan (13.5 million) and Lamborghini (11.7 million) rounding out the top five. It isn’t until 10th place that we see our first domestic brand appear: Jeep.

The annual income of car fans on Facebookthe gender of car fans on Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond simply tallying the number of fans each manufacturer has on Facebook, the study has managed to dig deeper thanks to information available through Facebook profiles (as shown in the images above and below). Each brand’s ranking has been segregated by varying factors like age, gender, annual income, ethnicity and politics, etc.


What is your favourite car-brand? Find out where your favorite automotive manufacturer fits from here:
http://www.autoinsurancecenter.com/the-average-fan-of-car-brands.htm

Sources:

https://www.cheersandgears.com/forums/topic/83831-age-demographics-car-brands-with-the-oldest-buyers/

http://www.autoinsurancecenter.com/the-average-fan-of-car-brands.htm

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/news/industry-news/canadians-vs-americans-top-10-differences-in-auto-ownership/article18800449/

CMS Update: Silent Salesman’s New Style

technology updates with a laptop computer.

Here at Strathcom, we are constantly working on new features and new ways to provide the best experience for our clients. Here are just a few things that we updated in the last week:

New Silent Salesman Styling

Our Silent Salesman tool is just one of the tools we have added to our new website platform. Inspired by Amazon and Expedia, this tool uses scarcity tactics to create a sense of urgency for potential customers viewing a piece of inventory on your site. Last week, we updated the styling of this tool and we added arrows to indicate when the price of the vehicle as recently increased or decreased.

example of update made to the silent salesman toolexample of update made to the silent salesman tool
Incentive Pricing Calculation Fix

You and I know that manufacturers change their incentives every month, but that doesn’t mean your customers do. Our OEM incentive tool automatically pulls incentive data and displays it on your SRP as well as your VDP – it even breaks down the Cash, Finance and Lease information for you. Last week, we deployed an update to correct a small calculation error that some feeds were seeing.

example of our Incentives tool

example of our incentive tool

example of our Incentives tool

 

 

 

For more information on both of these tools, give us a call today or subscribe to our newsletter!

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!

How are You Not Running a Paid Search Campaign for Your Dealership Yet?

While there is a good chance that your dealership is currently running a Paid Search Campaign, there are still (surprisingly) a good portion of dealerships that aren’t.

There can be many reasons for deciding not to: lack of marketing dollars, lack of expertise, lack of knowledge, lack of time, etc.

Nowadays, it goes without saying that businesses have a plethora of digital marketing options to choose from, but I’d like to make my case on why dealerships can’t afford not to be running a paid search campaign. Continue reading “How are You Not Running a Paid Search Campaign for Your Dealership Yet?”

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

Most Googled Car Brand by Country

Ever wondered what brands are most popular in other countries? The British based auto parts retailer ‘Quickco” analyzed the most searched car brands on Google throughout 2016.

The most Googled car brands

As we can see from the findings, nationalist tendencies seem to be more apparent in Europe than the anywhere else; with Sweden, Germany, France and Italy all remaining homegrown in their brand searches.  As always, a few nations failed to provide data for the study, it’s hard to imagine what brand North Korea might have made up for this study.

Perhaps for some, the biggest surprise was to see BMW (a relatively small company) take 2nd place overall. However, if you’re a follower of BMW on social media this global presence is something you likely comprehend wholeheartedly. For the past three years BMW has created dedicated social marketing campaigns (remember the ‘Drift Mob’ video?)  to assure brand reputation and user engagement. With over 19 million fans of BMW’s Facebook page, the online initiatives seem to be paying off both at home in Europe and abroad as BMW sits only below Toyota in Google searches across the globe.