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”

New Medium, New Rules

In a recent Facebook blog, Mark Rabkin, the VP of Core Ads at Facebookdiscussed everyone’s favourite media platform: smartphones. He mentions in the article that just as televisions were not just a modern version of the radio, smartphones are not just tiny televisions. TV was revolutionary because it gave every household a screen, smartphones give every person a screen, on their person, at all times.

This constant access to content means that advertisers have to create attention-grabbing, thumb-stopping content in order to capture and hold the small amount of attention consumers have. In fact, Facebook studied the Facebook activity of 537 participants as they watched the season premiere of a popular TV show. They found that during every commercial break, their Facebook activity rose.

Participant's activity on Facebook rose during comercial break
Rabkin, M. (2017, June, 8). New Medium, New Rules: Video Advertising in the Mobile Age

When it comes to advertising, Facebook clearly knows what they’re doing. Here are the best practices of some of Facebook’s top advertisers: Nestle, AirBnb, and Ubisoft.

Build brand new, short-form, mobile creative 

Whether it’s a carousel ad or a video ad, it has to be unique, designed for mobile, and reward people’s attention. Mark also suggests using mobile to echo the organic content people already like to consume.

Re-organize to test and measure ads on a weekly cycle, not every 6 months

You need to test and build quality creative on short notice. As Mark mentioned in the article, “mobile is evolving too quickly for a traditional, fragmented approach to work well”.  Having your creative and measurement streamlined with one provider is a great way to do that. Someone at the dealership might not have the time to whip up new creative on-demand but we have an entire team of experts that can take care of everything for you.

Don’t try to equate disparate platforms

Every mobile format has a different demographic with different expectations and behaviours, so it’s important that you design your creative based on the platform it is going to be viewed on. Mark explained this well when he said:

“a guaranteed 10 second ad break requires different creative than a video in a feed that may be seen for 6 seconds by the average person, but for 30 seconds by 10% of the audience. Facebook isn’t YouTube, YouTube isn’t Search, Search isn’t Snapchat“.

Measure results, not seconds 

It’s easy to get caught up in the amount of views or clicks. But remember, everything should revolve around your business goals and your bottom line. It can be tough to remember these kinds of campaigns take time to begin to generate results, but that’s why it is important to measure, track, and optimize. Traditional media seemed easier to advertise on because there really was no way of knowing how it was performing. Maybe a thousand people converted on your newspaper ad, maybe no one did, there is no way to know for certain.

Mark summed this up nicely by saying:

“it’s crucial to measure business value and results on a per-creative, per-platform, per-audience basis. An advertiser’s ability to measure the right things properly will be the biggest predictor of their mobile advertising success”.

If you would like to learn more about running kick ass mobile campaigns, drop us a line today!

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?”

Automotive Innovations – what are shoppers looking for?

It’s always interesting to see the new and upcoming technology that luxury automakers reveal at their auto shows. The technology that is released today could potentially be commonplace for vehicles in the future – and not only for luxury vehicles. This can be traced back to the early versions of the seat belts that Saab offered in 1958, the first implementation of ABS.

An automobile full of new technology and innovation

Continue reading “Automotive Innovations – what are shoppers looking for?”

Check Out Our Case Study on Facebook’s Website!

We have been talking about Facebook a lot lately, but that’s only because we understand its potential and we know to succeed on it. If you still don’t believe us, check out this case study Facebook published on their own site about yours truly.

With Facebook advertising, we were able to get this dealership group 68% more vehicle sales than the next best advertising medium in just 60 days. If you want to give Facebook advertising a shot, you can try it with us for 3 months and get $500 in bonus ad spend. Schedule your complimentary consultation today!

Facebook is more than Likes and Shares.

 

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?

I said “Why do I have to fill that out; can’t I just give you money?” She said that’s not how they do things, all customers must fill it out, it’s store policy. I was not given a reason why, but in the fine print at the bottom of the form was the typical text along the lines of “by filling out this form, I consent to receive further electronic communication”. Why? Must we complicate every benign transaction? I don’t like the idea that the next time I pop into a gas station for a pack of gum, they’re going to insist that I give them my personal information first. If I give my email address to the photo studio, they’re going to send me emails about their latest promotions, emails around Christmas trying to convince me to bring the family down for a shoot, emails about anything and everything – they’re probably even going to share my email address with the department store in which the studio is located, and I’ll get who-knows-how-many emails from them, too.

I didn’t say all of that, however, I just wrote down a fake email address without consequence. The perfect crime, right? She didn’t know it was fake, I got my photo, I left, and I won’t be receiving emails begging me to come back. If I need them, I know where to find them, and even then: unlikely. Like I said, I don’t like getting my picture taken.Frustrated male on his laptop at a desk in his room

Customers, and prospects, value their privacy.

The way customers want to interact with businesses is always evolving. Not so long ago, the newest and greatest thing to a customer was the ability to fill out a form on the website to submit their inquiry and get an email reply. Businesses then realized they should keep these email addresses for future marketing efforts, from e-newsletters to populating remarketing lists. Somewhere along the way, it became too much, and customers got sick of the constant barrage of emails from businesses they interacted with for a small fraction of time (and many they’ve never even heard of because someone may or may not have sold an email list to someone else).

We still tend to idealize form leads in the automotive sector. Sure, it’s great when a salesperson can get a neatly wrapped parcel in their email inbox containing the customer’s information and the nature of their inquiry written down for future reference. However, the rate at which form leads are being submitted is on the decline. Email is certainly not going away as a primary means of communication, but customers are increasingly reluctant to give up their email addresses. Some of the more distrusting prospects are even resorting to temporary email services, whereby a web service will provide exactly what it sounds like: a temporary email address which can both send and receive emails, giving no personal information away. Anyone who has worked in a dealership on the receiving end of form leads can tell you that plenty come in with the email address field full of gibberish text, or something like “asdf@asdf.com”, where users are hoping that the email requirement to get a free CarProof or trade appraisal is just a bluff, and the information will just pop on screen rather than having to come later from a salesperson. The distrust and frustration is plainly evident in how customers submit form leads.

woman sending emails from laptopOn the other hand, phone call leads are on the rise, as are live chats. It’s easier than ever for a website visitor to launch either of those instantly, and information without unwittingly subscribing to future emails.  Fortunately, different types of conversions can be tracked, and we can distinguish which phone calls are coming in as a result of clicking on an ad, to help businesses understand exactly where their leads originate. Strathcom President Duncan Cochrane expanded on this in his blog post discussing the different categories of conversions, and why it is necessary to know what exactly is being considered a conversion.

Many dealers still compartmentalize their incoming phone calls as being independent of online advertising, when they are in fact directly attributable to the campaigns, ads, and keywords which prompted someone to inquire.

It is also worth noting that CASL regulations are changing as of July 1, 2017, and it’s going to be more difficult to build and communicate with your email list.

But the point here is that we cannot get too attached to form leads as an indicator of effective online advertising campaigns. Unless your business has conducted intensive research, nailing down where every sale originates, calculating which source is most profitable, and has made some conclusions which no one else has yet… all leads should be valued. (#AllLeadsMatter). Therefore, our word of caution: completely altering a marketing strategy to gain a few more form leads, at the expense of what could be a large quantity of other types of leads, would be chasing a false positive.

Sure, you might capture a few more emails. But how do your customers feel about that?

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?

By personalizing your message

Advertise to your potential customers based on their interests, inventory they viewed, their demographics, and where they are in their sales journey. It’s the next best thing to saying “hey, so-and-so, I have your dream car in stock, come buy it!”

The most effective and affordable way to create personalized ads is through Facebook. Over 18 million Canadians are on Facebook every single day, and Facebook has more information about everyone than you can imagine. Not only that, but it takes 38.5% longer to fill out a form on a mobile device – time that people do not have – but with Lead Ads on Facebook, users can click on your ad (for a test drive, for an oil change, etc.) and the form will pre-populate with information that Facebook already has about that user. And speaking of saving time, we have built out an integration that allows your Facebook leads to automatically be sent to your CRM.

We’ll generate the leads for you, all you have to do is sell them a car.

Facebook advertising is just one way you can bring the dealership to the customer. If you want to learn more about personalization and how it can be used to generate more leads, drop us a line today!

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:

How You Structure Your Account

This article says it best by saying “If it doesn’t affect user experience, it shouldn’t affect quality or Quality Score”. Accounts should be set up in the way that you can best manage and optimize them.

Running Your Ads in Other Networks

If your goal is to drive more traffic, targeting the Google Display Network or Google’s Search partners in your AdWords account won’t affect your ad quality on Google.com.

Your Ad’s Placement on the Page

I want to highlight, underline and bold this sentence: Your ad’s placement on the page does not matter when it comes to ad quality. Having a high position on the page might have some benefits, but at the end of the day it does not necessarily effect the ROI of your ads. As mentioned in a different article by Search Engine Land:

“I can’t even count the number of times that I’ve been contacted by both clients and prospects with the statement, ‘Company XYZ is above me. We’re better than them, and we need to outrank them.’

OK… let’s take a beat and wrap our heads around what’s really being said here. While the statement seems logical, what is actually being said is:

Company XYZ is above me for the phrase I looked up. We’re better than them, and we need to divert all energies away from pursuing ROI goals and focus on one single vanity phrase.

What we need to remember is that none of this is actually about ranking for a specific phrase. In fact, the goal of our efforts is not rankings at all, but rather revenue. I don’t know about you, but if there were higher revenue from ranking in position 21 than position 1, I’d be working hard to get all our clients to the top of page three”.

All any advertiser wants is for their advertisement to result in a sale. Whether that advertisement is number one or number three on the page does not matter as long as it doesn’t negatively effect user experience and it converts.

So there you have it; 3 things that matter and 3 things that don’t according to Google. If you need more information about how you can succeed on Google or anywhere else online, drop us a line today!

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.

Unfortunately, some take it a step further. Over the past year we have seen more and more dealers boast about leads, conversions and cost per acquisition only to have no sales at the end of the customer journey (I don’t like funnels) to match the increased online performance.  So why is that? What we see are some providers calling anything a conversion or a lead.  Like what you ask? How about clicking through from a SRP to a VDP –  is that a lead?  What about VDP views or time spent on VDP? One dealer was even lead to believe by a provider that YouTube video impressions/views were a lead!  $0.11/conversion sounds great, but do you consider that a lead?

Close up of an lcd screen with statistics of a generic website on Google Analytics website. Google Analytics interface is a google tools that allows to analyze and monitoring website trafficNow I want to be clear, all of the above mentioned actions are definitely important to measure.  We track them and call them significant actions, other people will break it down into Micro and Macro conversions.  The point I want to make is you need to have a clear understanding of what your provider labels a lead, a conversion and a significant action and here is why: if you don’t understand or have complete transparency in your reporting you will focus on the wrong aspects of your business.

If your reporting tells you that online leads are raining in (like points from McDavid) but sales are not, you might focus on lead handling, sales process or something else when in fact the real issue is with leads and conversions.  So have the conversation with your partner and make sure the definitions are clear.

Couple warning signs to look out for:

  • If your partner will not give you access to Google Analytics, you should be concerned.
  • If your partner will not use Google Analytics, you should be concerned.
  • If your partner will not sit down with you monthly and review the reporting that they send you, should be concerned
  • If your partner will not show you the back end of Google AdWords or Facebook and show you how your money is being spent, you should absolutely be concerned.

For more information about leads vs significant actions, don’t hesitate to give our team a shout.

Reputation Management & How Dealers Can Use It To Make More Money

2016 was the beginning of the big push toward establishing your dealership’s brand and ‘brand management’, and it has only continued in 2017. What most dealerships seem to miss is the difference between their brand and their reputation (or that there is a difference in the first place).

Your brand creates an impression that makes a customer think or feel something when they think of your dealership. Your reputation is what gives your customers an expectation of your future behavior based on past experiences – either their own, or from other customers who have dealt with you.

Young Businessman using Tablet device in a car dealershipCustomers aren’t going to love your brand – they’re going to love you, and your reputation because that’s what’s tangible to them. The two pieces absolutely go hand-in-hand, but brand recognition alone is not going to spontaneously generate engagement; there has to be a reason why the consumer should pick you over your competitor.

You’ve probably heard before that the three major differences between businesses are product, price, and perceived value. Especially with new vehicles, you don’t have a better product than the next guy selling the exact same vehicle. Those identical vehicles cost the same amount from the factory, so if you want to differentiate yourself by price, you’re going to be giving up profit (and that’s clearly not a sustainable plan if you want to make money). That leaves only one option – perceived value.

Over and above an extra set of weather tech floor mats, or priority service appointment bookings, most customers just want to know that they’re going to be treated fairly.

86% of customers will pay more for a better experience

This is where your reputation comes in. When 84% of consumers trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation, reputation is the clear call-to-action for your dealership over the next one. If you’re spending any amount of money on a brand awareness campaign (print, radio, outdoor, television, branded PPC ads, and so on), why wouldn’t you care about what happens once the customer remembers who you are and decides to look you up?Businessman hand giving five star rating

And this is where we come in. Register for our Reputation Management webinar with Melina Beeston, our Manager of Dealer Development, to learn about how you can leverage your dealership’s reputation to make more money.

Tuesday, April 25 at 10:30AM MST

And remember, for every Strathcom Media webinar you attend, you will be entered into a draw for a signed McDavid jersey!