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!


AutoRemarketing Canada’s Power 200

We are excited to announce that AR Canada has included Strathcom Media in their Power 200 list for 2016! We are honoured to be included with companies like Google, Honda Canada, BMO, Reynolds and Reynolds Canada, and many other businesses from various parts of the industry.  This list recognizes “the major players in the used-car and remarketing worlds” and includes “the industry’s heavy hitters” in nearly every aspect of the used-car and remarketing business. You can read the full article for yourself here!



Strathcom is Presenting at Auto Remarketing Canada and Women & Automotive!


Have you noticed how many companies have been talking about algorithms and personalization lately? Twitter recently announced that they are implementing an algorithm that – similar to Facebook – will personalize the content that users see. A few weeks later, Instagram made a similar announcement.

You may be wondering what personalization is and why so many  large companies are doing it. If you are going to be in the Toronto area next week, you’re in luck! Our president, Duncan Cochrane, will be presenting at the Auto Remarketing Conference in Toronto for the second year in a row.  He will be talking about Iteration and Personalization and what Strathcom is doing to provide personalization tools to dealers. With over 16 years of combined experience in sales, advertising and marketing, Duncan will show dealers how they can incorporate personalization into their website.

women-automotive_sponsorNot only is Strathcom attending the AR Conference for the second year in a row, but we will also be presenting at the first annual Women & Automotive conference in Toronto on April 6th. Given the current condition of the Canadian economy, our Director of Client Services, Trish Rowsell, will be discussing how dealerships can not only survive in lean economic times, but thrive in them. Trish has over 14 years of leadership experience in sales, promotions and marketing, so she has experience working in economic downturns and will teach dealers how they can make the most of their marketing dollars.

Strathcom Media is honored to have the opportunity to give these presentations, and we hope to see you there!

2 Upcoming Automotive Conferences You Won’t Want to Miss: AR Canada & Dealer Talk 2015

conferenceThere’s a growing tradition in Toronto: Once April rolls along, the hockey season ends abruptly and the automotive conferences begins in full force. (It’s okay Leafs fans, you could live in Edmonton like us, where the first signs of snow mean the Oilers are already thinking about the June draft.)

Coming up in just a few months are two such conferences in Ontario’s capital that Strathcom Media cannot endorse enough. They are chances to listen to some of the industry’s top thought leaders, network with your peers, and get all of your questions answered to prepare you for the year ahead. Continue reading “2 Upcoming Automotive Conferences You Won’t Want to Miss: AR Canada & Dealer Talk 2015”

Looking Ahead to 2015: Who’s Got The Keys to Your Digital Dealership?

In case you missed it, Strathcom Media President Duncan Cochrane had another article published in the November–December 2014 issue of Auto Remarketing Canada: “Looking Ahead To 2015: Who’s Got The Keys To Your Digital Dealership?” In this piece, Duncan shares the importance of owning your website data; are you handing away the keys to your digital dealership to a third-party provider? Who knows what else you may be relinquishing in turn.

Continue reading “Looking Ahead to 2015: Who’s Got The Keys to Your Digital Dealership?”