Strathcom Media: Driving Passion with Mazda Dealers

mazda driving on highway

As a Mazda dealership looking to build your online presence, you are most certainly looking for the same type of innovation and high-level performance that your vehicles bring to the table. The Mazda brand is built, and thrives, on a passion for both driving as well as the development of cutting edge technology — Mazda’s SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY being a prime example of this. When working with Strathcom Media, you will be partnering with a company that strives for these exact qualities and will not stop until we’ve helped your dealership reach its goals.

In its 20 years, Strathcom Media has become a leader in the online automotive advertising world, and the is the largest provider of online solutions for your dealership. We operate within the Canadian automotive industry, and our passionate team works vigorously to ensure that your dealership is at the forefront of the competition. By listening to, and collaborating with, your dealership and its specific needs, we are able to execute strategies to generate the most qualified leads and develop top-tier websites to get your dealership operating at its peak.

red mazda driving through mountainside

So why should your dealership choose Strathcom Media? For starters, our websites are compliant to the Mazda OEM standards. We are also highly competitive in the online advertising space, being a proud Google Premier Partner, as well as a Facebook preferred partner. Our partnership with these two online superpowers allow Strathcom to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to applications and updates, not to mention our early access to trial programs and beta testing — before the general public. We work alongside Google to stay on top of current trends and developments in the marketplace which gives us unique insight in improving our Google advertising accounts, and gives us a leg up on the competition.

At Strathcom Media we are dedicated to building responsive websites that are both user-friendly and engaging, with SEO-researched content that will help you rank higher than your competitors. Transparent monthly reporting and dedicated account managers mean you will be able to follow both the performance of your website as well as your online advertising accounts every step of the way.

Innovation and performance is what differentiates Mazda from its competition — so why not team up with Strathcom Media, a company that prides itself on those same tenets. Strathcom will put your dealership’s results and needs ahead of our own in an effort to help you reach your online marketing goals. So choose Strathcom, and we can help you share that driving passion with Canada.

mazda in a showroom

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: Continue reading “Strathcom Media: Das Volkswagen Website & Online Advertising Provider”

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. Continue reading “Are you ready to Go Further?”

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: Continue reading “2017 Precious Metal Gala”

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”

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: Continue reading “CMS Update: Silent Salesman’s New Style”

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.

Affordable Luxury Vehicles: no longer a distant fantasy

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

Handsome men sitting in a luxury car at car dealership.

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

Audi                                     A3 32800               Q3 34600

Acura                                   ILX 29590             RDX 42190

Mercedes-Benz                 CLA 35300             GLC 45150

BMW                                   3 Series 39900       X1 38880

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The outlook for 2017 is very positive overall.

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

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

eMarketer’s Automotive StatPack, 2016

eMarketer has released their Automotive StatPack for 2016. This statpack gives an overview of digital automotive trends in 4 categories:

  1. Industry Sales & Transactions
  2. Ad Spending
  3. Buyers & Consumer Behavior
  4. Consumer Attitudes Toward New Automotive Technology

Below is a quick summary of the report; even though it contains primarily U.S. data, there are still trends in ad spending for OEMs and Dealers, as well as changes in consumer behavior that are relevant to the Canadian market.

Happiness of Buying a New Car Continue reading “eMarketer’s Automotive StatPack, 2016”

The Ford Bronco and Ranger Will Ride Again!

The Ford Motor Company announced on Monday at the Detroit Auto Show that the Ford Ranger will be returning again in 2019, followed by the Ford Bronco’s return in 2020.Ford Bronco Concept

Both of these models will be built at the Michigan Assembly Plant. The two models are expected to be built on a shared body-on-frame platform, which will create a midsize SUV and midsize pickup.  The Bronco has not been in production since 1996, while the Ranger is currently sold in other markets outside of the U.S. and Canada; we are likely to see the next generation of the model once it is available.

Ford Ranger ConceptFord has not speculated on technical details or images of the vehicles, yet, but they have suggested that the Bronco will offer some serious off road capability!

Ford is also planning to launch 13 new electric models by 2021, including hybrid models of the Mustang and the F-150.

Want to keep up-to-date with industry changes and insights? Subscribe to our newsletter!

 

Black Friday Deals Increase Automotive Sales for November in the US & Canada

Black Friday SalesNow that a week has passed since Black Friday, the stats are rolling in.

The Black Friday deals were so successful this year that they actually increased automotive sales by 4% for the month in the U.S. This makes November, 2016 the highest on record with 1.38 million units sold, beating the previous 2001 record of 1.32 million according to Kelley Blue Book.

Since 2013, sales during the weekend after American Thanksgiving have been nearly double the sales during a typical November weekend, according to car shopping site Edmunds.com. Prior to 2013, automakers only saw a 39% increase in sales that weekend.

For November, some automakers said:
— General Motors sales rose 10%. Its Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands all saw double-digit percentage increases in sales, while Chevrolet sales were up 8%. Full-size SUVs were strong sellers; sales of the Cadillac Escalade were up 25% while sales of the Chevrolet Tahoe jumped 31%.
— Toyota Motor sales rose 4%. Luxury Lexus sales were down 1 percent but Toyota brand sales rose 5%. Toyota Highlander SUV sales jumped 67 percent
— Ford Motor sales rose 5%. Lincoln brand sales were up 19 percent thanks to the new Continental sedan and the redesigned MKX SUV. Sales of Ford’s best-seller, the F-Series pickup, were up 11 percent as the new F-250 and F-350 went on sale.
— Fiat Chrysler’s sales fell 14%. All brands saw double-digit percentage declines except Ram, which was up 12%
— Honda Motor sales rose 6.5%, a November record for the company. Luxury Acura sales dropped 5%, but Honda brand sales were up 8%. Honda’s best-seller, the Accord sedan, saw sales rise 6%.
— Nissan Motor sales were up 7.5%, which was also a November record. Nissan brand sales were up 8%, helped by strong sales of the newly redesigned Armada full-size SUV. Luxury Infiniti sales were up 4%.
— Hyundai Motor sales rose 4%, another November record. Sales of the Sonata and Elantra sedans fell, but the Santa Fe and Tucson SUVs both saw double-digit percentage gains.

Row of cars

This is only U.S. data, but November was a successful month for Canadian dealers as well. Toyota Canada has reported that their hybrids and trucks have set annual sales records, Kia Canada November sales are up 20.5%, and GMC and Ford both reported double-digit rises in Canadian sales.

Black Friday may have a bad rap in terms of large crowds and crazy customers, but it appears to be a very successful way to boost sales boost in the automotive industry!

Audi Test Drive Cube

In the past, I’ve heard auto enthusiasts and journalists describe Audi’s as unresponsive luxury vehicles; painting them out to be simple point A to B vehicles, void of inspiration and personality. Personally, I’ve never thought that was the case, I’ve always been a fan. From a marketing perspective however, Audi’s recent “Test Drive Cube” program for their new flagship A8 is one of the more inspirational actions we’ve seen from a German Automaker in recent years. Audi described this as the first test drive that comes directly to the customer. The pilot program was first lunched in Holland with nearly 50 potential customers having packages from Audi delivered to their doors. The contents of these packages? A solitary black cube with the familiar “Engine Start/Stop” Button located on a single façade of the cube.

audi test drive

Once pressed, the button serves as a transmitter to the nearest Audi dealership. After the dealership receives the signal, an Audi A8 is delivered to the customer in precisely 90 minutes.

Audi called this program the “Audi Test Drive cube” as following its delivery, the customer received an exclusive 24-hour period with Audi’s new flagship A8.

With this pilot program, Audi saw a 100% response rate and a 24% conversion rate, meaning that nearly 1 out of 5 clients felt motivated enough either by the programs exclusive treatment or the vehicle itself. Following the remarkably good response of customers the program was expanded to numerous other countries. You can see the cube in action here.

Strathcom Media has been Chosen for the Kia Dealer Website Certification Program!


Kia Optima

All of us at Strathcom Media are extremely excited to be named a Preferred Website Vendor for the Kia Dealer Website Certification Program! Kia had great success in 2015/16 with the program and wants to work with only the best moving into 2016/17 to take the program to the next level.

How can a preferred partner help you with the Kia DWCP?

  • Preferred pricing on website products. Who doesn’t love a deal?  With three different website service levels you can select the product that meets your dealership’s needs.
  • We know what Kia is looking for and will ensure you get and maintain a high certification score.
  • Best in class insights and performance.

More specifically, how can Strathcom Media help you?

  • 19 years of experience and the Canadian automotive industry is all we do. We speak at every major automotive event, we train manufacturers, and we work with some of the largest automotive groups in the country. We have the expertise to help you succeed.
  • We are a Google Premier Partner and a Facebook Preferred Partner. This means we can provide you with a best-in-class online advertising solution.
  • World class website platform. Does your website have technology like Personalization, Geo-Fencing, Notepad, Silent Salesman, Inventory Management, Data Syndication and Dynamic Incentive tools? Ours do.

If you are looking for different results moving into 2017 give us a shout and let us show you what we can do differently.

The Purpose of the Halo Car: What is it Used For?

In an age of “hybrid synergy drive”, CVT’s and FWD, you may be wondering what purpose an archaic, performance-focused flagship vehicle can serve?

2016 Audi RS7 4.0T
2016 Audi RS7 4.0T

Often complex, under produced and over-engineered, halo cars can be described as a figurehead of a brand. They act as a symbol of a brands research, ability and image. One could argue it to be so much more than a symbol to a manufacturer, a flagship vehicle serves one of two purposes. Primarily, drawing eyes both young and old to a distinct brand. Additionally, a flagship vehicle can enthrall and inspire buyers into purchasing a brands comparable models. In doing so, a halo car helps sell a large number of “mainstream” vehicles to consumers. Whether they’re as common as a Miata, or perhaps as rare as Mercedes’ Maybach series, each serve a purpose.

2017 Toyota 86
2017 Toyota 86

Take the Scion FR-S (now Toyota 86), for example. This small performance coupe served the purpose of bringing in young, upcoming buyers, buyers who might be searching for performance and aesthetic appeal at the moment, but will likely find themselves needing to trade into something larger and more utilitarian down the road. This buyer has spent the last number of years building a relationship with Toyota, and Toyota now has a particular advantage when it comes time for the buyer to make that upgrade and buy a new vehicle.

Further, buyers may feel inspired by a flagship vehicle’s performance metrics or luxury offerings to the level at which it will influence their next purchase. An example of this would be those seeking an Audi RS Model after being influenced by the acceleration, looks, and overall presence of an Audi RS7. The buyer decided to pursue the closest option he could achieve – the Audi A7. The A7’s 333hp 3.0-liter turbo engine may not enjoy the same potency as the RS7’s 605hp 4.0-liter turbo engine, however the buyer has achieved similar styling, luxury, engineering and presence.

2016 Audi 3.0T
2016 Audi 3.0T

So what are halo cars used for? These distinct luxury or performance oriented vehicles serve a much more prominent role than simply portraying a manufacturers potential. These figurehead models ensure similar vehicles are sold in large numbers so dealers can facilitate in generating lifelong customers.

Why Honda Dealers Should Choose Strathcom Media

So, you have decided to have work done on your website or online marketing. But who should you leave in charge? Many dealers figure they’re going to wind up with the same end result no matter the provider. Wrong! Value is what counts, and we are proud to offer just that to our Honda and Acura dealers across Canada2017 Honda Accord Sedan

If you are unaware, we have been working with Honda and Acura Canada for the past 7 years on the Power Honda and CUV program and sending your certified used inventory to a number of different portals.

Our expertise in website design, online advertising, dealer tools, inventory management and much more makes us confident we can help you improve the results you are getting online. Why are we so confident we can help Honda dealers? It’s simple, we have proven ourselves to be a valued partner to Honda and a number of Honda dealers for over 17 years.

Here are a number of other benefits that Strathcom can offer you as a Honda or Acura dealer

Honda CivicStrathcom Media works with Honda to build websites that meet your brand guidelines, making it a smooth experience to develop a website that stands out and converts. You can also increase your online exposure through Strathcom as we can send your inventory to over 70 automotive and media portals across Canada.

Strathcom offers DMS automation and we are a Reynolds and Reynolds certified provider. If that doesn’t sound familiar, this means we can take the information from your DMS and drop it right into the back end of our easy loader market platform where you can adjust pictures, pricing and descriptions very easily.

If you are contemplating entering the online advertising world, or you’re not sure if your money is going to the right place, we can offer you a free online advertising review and we can develop a tailored strategy for your area. We would be happy to audit your campaign and let you know what’s working well and the opportunities available to you to improve your results.

Give us shout, we would be happy to sit down with you and answer any questions you might have!