Not Your Typical ‘Trust-Fall’ Kind of Company…

Some companies have corporate retreats where everyone falls into each other arms in order to build trust. At Strathcom, we believe there is no better way to strengthen trust within our team than to throw axes (at targets, of course!)


After work one day, we headed over to The Rec Room in Edmonton for axe throwing and dinner (a delicious gourmet poutine station) to get a little break from the daily grind and to do some team bonding.

gourmet poutine from the Rec Room in Edmonton

We definitely recommend giving axe throwing a try if you haven’t already, and know that if we can throw an axe and hit a target, we can definitely hit your advertising targets as well!

Google Externship

Last week, Strathcom Media had the pleasure of hosting an exclusive 2-day “Google Externship” with Googler, Caitlin. As a first-time Edmonton-visitor, Caitlin was pleased to learn more about our Canadian culture and hear that Edmonton (yes, just Edmonton) was hosting 9 sold-out Garth Brooks concerts!

During her time with us, she was able to share her expertise of Google products and optimizations in order to help us improve some of our AdWords accounts. In addition to doing deep dives into specific accounts, she also provided us with insider tips and tricks on how to improve efficiency in our daily tasks and shared new insights and different ways to use Google products.Close-up view of Google apps on an Android smartphone, including Chrome, Gmail, Maps.

We all know the importance of Google and its impact on our daily lives. Whether it’s to learn more about a topic or to settle an argument, anyone can just “Google it” and find everything they need. In fact, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and the use of search engines is expected to increase by another 15% in 2017. Additionally, 84% of new car buyers and 68% of used car buyers use Google in their shopping journey. Also, 75% of users do not scroll past the first page of search results, hence the importance of advertising.  As a Premier Google Partner, Strathcom understands how to get you noticed on the search results page.

Our ad operations and sales teams greatly benefited from Caitlin’s visit and we are now refreshed and ready to smash your advertising  goals out of the park!

A Look Back at a Successful Year

2016 was a very successful year for Strathcom Media.

We strengthened partnerships, made new partnerships, and even developed and launched a brand new WordPress website platform.

New Website Platform

Last year we had a dream. A dream that resulted in us investing over a million dollars into developing a brand new website platform that was jam packed with new tools for dealers.

Less than a year later, we began moving our dealers onto our all new WordPress platform with technologies like Personalization, Geo-Fencing, Notepad, Silent Salesman and more. This new platform is faster, more secure, and more user friendly so dealers can spend less time making changes to their site and more time selling cars.

New Opportunities with Google

We spent a lot more time with Google in 2016, and even achieved Premier Google Partner status!

In addition to Google breakfasts and hangouts in Vancouver and Toronto, we also held our very first Google event in our hometown of Edmonton, Alberta in June. We also held a contest in September to bring 6 lucky winners to Google’s newest & coolest office in Waterloo, Ontario!

New Partnerships

In 2016 we became a Provider for the Mercedes-Benz Canada Dealer Website Program, and a Preferred Website Vendor for the Kia Dealer Website Certification Program.

We also became a Facebook Marketing Partner and recently hosted our very first Facebook webinar for FCA dealers!

New Conferences

In addition to speaking at conferences like AR Canada and DSES, we also had the opportunity to speak at the first annual Women & Automotive conference in Toronto. We also attended several events including Western Canadian Dealer Summit and ThinkAuto.

We were also included in AR Canada’s Power 200 List for 2016!

New Office

And finally, last month we packed up and moved just up the road into our new office. A new location means a new atmosphere, and a new atmosphere means fresh ideas for the new year.

Thank you to all of our customers for their support, and we look forward to what 2017 has to bring!

Facebook Visits Strathcom Media!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Strathcom Media is one of a few Chrysler Digital Certified Providers in Canada, but what makes us the number one online advertising provider for your dealership?2017-Chrysler-300

We are a recognized Canadian Premier Google Partner. Why is working with a Google Partner better?

Google Partners are well-versed in all things AdWords and must continuously meet Google’s standards to maintain partner status. Being a Premier Google Partner means Strathcom employees have certifications that are current and they are on top of the rapidly changing developments in Paid Search. This means we offer a competitive advantage to our clients and that you are receiving the highest quality customer service.

Being a Premier Google Partner also allows Strathcom to test Google’s beta features. When Google releases a new application or update, Strathcom gets to take part in beta programs before it is available to the general public.  This means that your dealership can leverage the advantages gained by using Google marketing features before your competition even has access to it!

Google encourages ongoing experimentation and requires Strathcom to demonstrate that we are actively doing split testing on ads to ensure the use of different keywords and messaging. A Google Partner that doesn’t continue to maintain Google’s standards can have their badge removed.

We are also a Facebook Preferred Marketing Partner, which – similar to being a Premier Google Partner – means that we have access to more insights and access to more training from Facebook. In fact, on December 3, we will be co-hosting a webinar with Facebook to discuss ways that Chrysler and other FCA dealers can take advantage of the slick tools that Facebook has to offer. If you are a Chrysler dealer, you can register for this free webinar here. If you are not a Chrysler dealer, we will be hosting Facebook webinars with other OEMs in the future, so stay tuned!

2017-chrysler-pacifica-first-drive-review-car-and-driver-photo-665923-s-450x274Aside from being a Premier Google Partner and a Facebook Partner, what sets Strathcom apart from other companies? First, Strathcom is focused exclusively on the Canadian automotive industry. Our knowledge and experience gained in this industry over the years allows us to know firsthand how advertising online has changed and we have adapted with it. With our knowledge, we can help you improve the results you are getting online, get an edge online in the  automotive industry, generate more leads and increase your brand awareness.

We also offer transparent monthly reporting on account performance, such as impressions, clicks and conversions. Our Paid Search analysts hand write a monthly report which outlines achievements and recommendations for your account. Reporting data is pulled directly from your Adwords and Google Analytics accounts – which you will also have full access to!

The best part? We are a Chrysler Digital partner that can help you claim co-op dollars through online advertising. Not sure what you need? Work with us to customize a campaign to your dealership. Mix and match Social Media, Search, Display, Remarketing, and even Hyper (re)Targeting packages until you get exactly what you want.

For more information, please visit: and register for our Facebook Webinar for FCA Dealers.

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.

Play Games, Heal Kids: Strathcom Participates in Extra Life

Extra Life

On November 5th, we locked ourselves in the office to play video games non-stop for 25 hours (THANKS Daylight Savings).


To raise money for the Stollery of course!

This was our 5th year participating in Extra Life – an organization that consists of gamers doing what they do best to help sick and injured children at their chosen Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Players commit to play games for 24 hours, and they ask family and friends to support their efforts by donating or spreading the word!

So far, the Strathcom Team has raised $2,875 dollars (we are still tallying cash donations as well as funds raised from our bottle drive). If you would like to donate, you can follow the link below; any donation over $25 gets a tax receipt!

Worldwide Digital and Mobile Ad Spending is on the Rise!

After eMarketer’s latest update to their 2015-2020 forecast, the key points put focus on the growing spend and digital and mobile’s impact.

They are now predicting that ad spend is going to rise faster than previously expected. Having grown to $550.51 billion, global ad spend saw an increase of 7.2% in 2016. Digital ad spend is set to climb 20.3% to 194.60 billion for 2016. The increased jump is due to the recent Summer Olympics in Rio followed by the US presidential election.

From 2015 to 2020 ad spend growth is expected to maintain between 5% and 9% increase per year. eMarkerter also expects that by 2020 $724.06 billion will be invested in advertising.

Consider how to target the mobile market

Continue reading “Worldwide Digital and Mobile Ad Spending is on the Rise!”

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!

Facebook Automotive Partners Summit

We were one of only a few Canadian agencies invited to attend the 2nd Facebook Automotive Partners Summit in Menlo Park, California on Tuesday.  It’s always great to be recognized by a world class company like Facebook (it’s also very nice to leave the snow behind in Edmonton and hang out in Silicon Valley) but the greatest value comes from the industry-specific training and advanced learning that Facebook provides us.  So, here is the highlight reel of what we learned.

Facebook office in California

It was a jam packed day with over a dozen speakers covering over a dozen topics, as well as a tour and happy hour (more on that later).

First off, the technology that Facebook is working on and putting out is pretty slick, check this video out: This isn’t going to revolutionize the auto industry, but it gives you an idea of what they are capable of and that Facebook truly can reach everybody. Just wait until Oculus is full swing!

I’ve said this before and I am going to continue to say it again: Facebook is not about likes and shares. It is about highly targeted advertising, to relevant people, with a variety of ad formats.  We know that consumers go on a journey when they buy a vehicle.  Facebook enables you, as a dealer, to provide impactful advertising from consideration to ownership. So, what does this look like in terms of format or targeting?

  • Local awareness ads and videos with broad targeting focused on reach
  • Carousel ads to showcase inventory or features of vehicles with in- market auto data or website retargeting and look-a-like audiences
  • Lead ads for test drives and website clicks to VDPs with MAX in-market auto data and/or website retargeting
  • It doesn’t end with sales though, there are huge applications for fixed ops
  • Messenger is going to be big, not sure how big, but it is going to be big and it is going to have an impact in the auto industry
  • The other takeaway that I found very interesting were the abilities Facebook offers you to market to a multi-cultural nation.  Obviously this is very applicable in Canada, take advantage.

Facebook office in CaliforniaBeyond the great information and data presented, it would be a shame if we didn’t talk about the campus. Security is tight so don’t show up just expecting to have lunch with Zuck’.  Once you are in, it is like digital Disneyland; in fact, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg sits on the board of Disney and had them come out to help create the community.  It is truly amazing, and the California weather doesn’t hurt either. They have everything that you would expect your typical Silicon Valley company to have: cafeterias and food, a bike shop, a spa, a bank (of course), an ice cream parlour, a BBQ smokehouse, a woodworking shop, and a pop up shop that local businesses from Palo Alto can occupy so that Facebook can support the local economy.  Watching people work on their laptops while eating ice cream truly makes one envious.  One of the most interesting and important parts of Facebook HQ, in my opinion, is that it is located in the old Sun Microsystems campus and left they some of the logos around to remind everyone how quickly everything can change.  It is a good message for all: keep pushing forward.