Automotive Conferences You Should Check Out in 2018

Group of people sitting in a row and applauding at conference.

 

Canadian International Auto Show

Toronto – February 16-25, 2018

AutoShow 2018 is excited present attendees with fast and furious opportunities and experience throughout this 10 day event! Check out the AutoShow’s daily schedule for amazing event content including prizes, promotions, a list of engaging speakers, and special events each and every day! Dealers are invited to a Facebook-hosted VIP party night on February 15th, as well!

For more information, follow the link below:

https://www.autoshow.ca/

 

 

CBT Automotive Conference & Expo

Atlanta – March 7-9, 2018 

Considered the most comprehensive and information packed event in retail automotive, this event approaches all aspects of the industry such as Marketing, Social Media, Sales Strategy, Fixed-Ops, Leadership & Management, Technology and so much more.

For more information, follow the link below:

http://cbtconferenceandexpo.com/learn/

 

 

NADA

Las Vegas – March 23-25, 2018 

The need for dealers to understand digital technology and marketing, as well as the effects on their respective businesses is a top priority at NADA Show. To boot, there’s usually a Canadian party on the eve of the show’s opening! Things get rolling Friday, March 23 at 8:30-5, and things wrap up Sunday, open 8:30 to 4.

For more information, follow the link below:

https://show.nada.org

 

 

Auto Remarketing Canada Conference

Toronto – March 27-28, 2018

Learn from the best at this annual event that brings together the remarketing and used-vehicle industry for 2 days of learning, sharing and networking to optimize your business. Form powerful connections and attend workshops with top dealers and executive decision makes. If you are in the used-vehicle industry or the remarketing industry, this event should definitely be on your calendar! Early bird registration is now open.

For more information, follow the link below:

https://arcanada.autoremarketing.com/

 

 

Women & Automotive Canadian Leadership Forum

Toronto – March 29, 2018

This one day forum full of speaker presentations and panel discussions is an innovative, game changer for advancing women into leadership roles in the Canadian automotive industry. As more women join the automotive industry, it is key to provide them networking and career advancement opportunities that strengthen them into leadership and decision-making roles. A great opportunity to both network and achieve goals together. We were honoured to speak at the first annual Women & Automotive conference last year, and we look forward to seeing you there this year! Early bird registration is now open.

For more information, follow the link below:

https://www.womenandautomotive.com/

 

 

Automotive Conference & Expo

Niagra Falls – April 11-12, 2018

TADA’s Auto Dealers Innovation Series and Ontario Dealer Day have combined to bring dealers an exciting conference that features presentations from high profile industry leaders that are experts in new marketing strategies and technology. Fill your brain with empowering sales strategies, leadership, and a look into the future of the automotive industry that is ever-evolving.

For more information, follow the link below:

https://www.automotiveconferenceandexpo.ca/

 

 

DrivingSales Presidents Club

Ft. Lauderdale – May 6-7 2018 

This specialized event focuses on critical operation discussions with real-life experts, and solutions are provided for the most challenging issues. Take home actionable strategies for your dealership and engage at a deeper level with dealer executives pioneering new practices for their stores and groups.

For more information, follow the link below:

http://drivingsalespresidentsclub.com/

 

 

DrivingSales Canadian Dealer Forum

2018 date & location TBD

If you’re not into the traditional conference style and just want to learn best practices you can instantly take back to the dealership, this is a great opportunity for you.

“The Canadian Dealer Forum was designed to be a very practical conference – a true forum where dealership executive teams can create an actionable business plan. You will walk away with a list of tactics you can apply the next day to drive results inside your dealership.”

For more information, follow the link below:

http://canadiandealerforum.drivingsales.com/

 

 

Google Think Auto

2018 date and location TBD

 

 

Best Practices For Automotive

Detroit – September 11-14, 2018

This conference will unite all levels of industry professionals to create an innovative event built around learning, networking and peer collaboration. This is more of a hands on, interactive experience that will open your mind and leave you with fresh ideas and best-in-class strategies to optimize your overall business performance. To stay up-to-date on conference updates:  #BP4auto

For more information, follow the link below:

auto.bestpracticeconferences.com

 

 

DealerTalk

Montreal – (date TBD)

Calgary – (date TBD)

Toronto – (date TBD)

Vancouver – (date TBD)

Does your digital marketing strategy need a boost? If you want to learn about the latest creative and marketing trends, DealerTalk is the conference to go to. This year’s theme is Dealership of the Future, and is sure to be full of great keynotes (including Gary Vaynerchuk in Toronto) and networking. To make sure as many Canadians as possible can attend, they host the conference in Montreal, Calgary and Toronto.

For more information, follow the link below:

https://dealertalk.ca/

 

 

Western Canadian Dealer Summit

Las Vegas – November 1-3, 2018

WCDS is a must-attend industry event with the Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan Associations joining together for what is sure to be an information-packed conference!

For more information, follow the link below:

westerndealersummit.com

 

 

DrivingSales Executive Summit

Las Vegas – TBD

If you are looking for a progressive conference to give you help you with your strategic planning, DrivingSales Executive Summit is where you want to go. This event brings all of the most progressive dealers and vendors together to have industry-changing conversation. Last year, our very own Business Development Manager, Alecia Wilson, spoke at DSES about best practices for hiring and retaining staff.

For more information, follow the link below:

http://www.drivingsales.com/dses/ 

 

 

Google ThinkDealer

Montreal – (date TBD)

Toronto – (date TBD)

Halifax – (date TBD)

Vancouver – (date TBD)

Calgary – (date TBD)

Last year’s Google ThinkDealer events were extremely informative for dealers and us! Google discussed how dealers are currently spending their advertising budgets, and how they should be spending more of it online. Google also released their Dealer Playbook – a step-by-step guide for dealers on how to advertise on Google and generate more leads. If you would like a copy of the Google’s Dealer Playbook, just let us know and we will send it to you!

 

We will continue to update this list as more dates and locations are confirmed, and please let us know if there are any other events we might have missed! To keep up to date on events we will be attending and speaking at, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter!

 

Getting the Most From Facebook Lead Ads: Facebook Announces Lead Ad Improvements For Auto!

Do you remember your first version of Facebook? It might have looked a bit like this:

In the last few years, Facebook has evolved tremendously. Gone are the days where “pokes” were considered an acceptable means of initiating a conversation. Facebook has become a resource for people to connect and consume media. It has also become a predominate marketing platform. As such, its advertising platform has also evolved. One of the major developments in Facebook advertising was the introduction of Lead Ads.

Let’s Refresh – What are Lead Ads?

Simply put, when customers are compelled by your ad they can conveniently click on the call-to-action button to get more information. Clicking on these ads launches an unobtrusive, pre-populated form containing information that the user has voluntarily shared with Facebook. Most Lead Ad forms can be completed in as little as 2 clicks: the first click on the advertisement will launch the form; the second click will submit the form to the business page. This translates exceptionally well for the automotive industry, as Lead Ads allow clients to quickly and conveniently request information on specific vehicles, book a test drive, and even apply for credit.

If you’re not already using Lead Ads – you really should be.

The information collected from these ads lets dealers:

  • Capture the most important information for future marketing purposes.
  • Collect information for campaigns and contests.
  • Respond and follow up with leads.
  • Improve future ad relevance based on user interests and online habits.

By making form completion as simple as possible, it increases the likelihood that a customer will engage with your ad. However, we occasionally hear from our clients that Facebook Lead Ads don’t always generate the same quality of lead as they would if user were to actively navigate to their website and submit a form. This is logical; due to the simplicity of submitting a Lead Ad, users occasionally submit a lead on impulse while in the midst of watching cute cat videos and responding to Uncle’s inappropriate profile pic comments. It poses the question of whether users should occasionally be required to jump through hoops to submit a lead. However, doing so is counter-intuitive to purpose of Lead Ads. The objective of a Lead Ad is to intrigue users in the moment – encouraging them to engage with your business, take you up an offer, or enter a contest – with the fewest possible barriers. However, it’s not enough to set up a Lead Ad without proper targeting, messaging, and campaign optimization. But how do we enhance the performance of our Lead Ads, while also keeping it simple for the user?

Facebook has recently announced improvements to their Lead Ads for the automotive sector that will increase functionality to both the dealer and customer through features like:

  • Appointment scheduling which allow customers to book appointments and test drives.
  • A custom Thank You screen that lets dealers display a custom message or a link after the lead is submitted.
  • A full screen experience that will capture the user’s attention while also conveying a comprehensive message.
  • Dynamic ads that allow dealers to create personalized ads based on interests and preferences customers have demonstrated on your site, app or elsewhere on the web.

These functions will provide more tools in the effort to engage the customer on a meaningful level, helping to generate high quality, valuable leads. For more information on these improvements, visit: https://www.facebook.com/business/news/introducing-new-discovery-tools-for-auto

To learn how Strathcom can help improve your Lead Ad campaign, contact us today!

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/

Facebook Auto Summit

Facebook Auto Summit

Mobile Moves Metal

We may be heading into the second quarter of 2017, but we are still talking about how this is the year of mobile. On March 22, 2017, we were fortunate enough to attend Facebook’s first ever Auto Summit in Toronto where mobile was definitely at the top of all conversations.

The year of mobile has been going on since 2014, but it is still relevant as consumers’ buying habits continue to evolve. I remember a time when I wouldn’t dare to shop online, out of the fear that whatever I ordered wouldn’t be as good in actuality as it seemed on the website. Now, looking at this past Christmas season, I did 95% of my shopping online from my phone, and had it delivered straight to my desk. Talk about convenience!

Looking at the Canadian automotive industry specifically, the most recent survey done found that 74% of shoppers used a mobile device during some point of their purchasing journey. This just goes to prove that ‘the year of mobile’ is still a reality, and one that you as a car dealer need to take seriously if you want to win the online-sales game. And I’m not just talking about having a mobile-friendly and responsive website design – that should be a no-brainer at this point – I’m talking about being present throughout the entire online-buying journey and providing optimized ads and content that relates to your potential customers.

Evolving the mobile-first game is something Facebook continues to excel at. They have developed a number of ad formats for greater impact throughout the purchase journey, with new releases coming soon, all of which have been completely optimized for mobile. As Instagram continues to grow, a lot of these ad formats are moving over to this platform as well, including the ability to have ads in Instagram stories and having carousel and lead ads right in the Instagram feed.

Facebook Auto Summit

If Facebook and Instagram are the new digital newspapers and our thumb is the new remote control, how are you going to stand out and capture someone’s interest when they are essentially seeing a new screen every three seconds? This is where Facebook’s Creative Team’s mantra comes into play: design for mobile, build for people, and play more. Optimizing your content for Facebook is essential. This can be as simple as resizing an image to the appropriate ratio, or as complex as creating a new video asset to highlight your why-buys at the beginning as opposed to the end of the clip. When creating assets for Facebook, you need to think of them as people, not users. People have individual interests and needs that can be capitalized on. This is where you can start to have fun with your ads. Something that appeals to Mary, who is 38 with two kids and likes yoga, may not necessarily gain the attention of Thomas, who is 25 and likes to spend his weekends driving to the mountains; so don’t try to blanket them with the exact same message.

The main takeaway is that you can’t just be semi-present by only putting one foot in to test the waters. You need to think outside the box, put your money where your mouth is, create thumb-stopping creative, and measure your success. With over 18 million daily active users across Canada on Facebook, and one in every four minutes on mobile being spent on Facebook and Instagram, there is so much potential to differentiate yourself from the competition on these still underutilized advertising platforms. At the end of the day, don’t get stuck in social jail thinking that Facebook and Instagram are just about generating likes and shares. These platforms are here to help you generate leads! If you’re not sure where to start, give the Strathcom Media team a call.

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?”

DriveTribe: A New Network for Auto Enthusiasts

Imagine a social platform, dedicated entirely to motoring; a digital media platform balancing enthusiast and professionally provided content. The idea is far from revolutionary, however, if accomplished on a large scale it will certainly play an influential role in the online advertising of vehicles.

DriveTribe

Never has a startup received such substantial backing from such reputable individuals in its early formation. DriveTribe has received funding from not only notable entrepreneurs but also has backing by the ex-Top Gear trio, Clarkson, May and Hammond.

“The site plans to build an engine to send content that will specifically target the disparate communities that make up car fans — from petrol heads to classic car aficionados. A versioning engine and multi-variate testing system will trial ‘hundreds of different versions’ of content on different segments of users, defined by age, gender, location and interests, with ‘optimal matches’ pushed directly to peoples’ social timelines through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. There will, of course, be iOS and Android apps, as well.”

After receiving my invite just prior to public launch, I spent some time poking around the app. What at first seemed to be little more than Instagram dedicated entirely to vehicles, soon led to a realization of the platforms marketing potential. Essentially, DriveTribe will allow a new sort of content targeting engine to emerge as individuals will be providing direct automotive related information. Information which will be aggregated much like Facebook and will allow automotive advertisers to target look-a-like crowds and distinct individuals according to group information and interests provided.

It seems fitting that this new site will segment users into separate tribes. As “Tribe” marketing has become a norm in the digital age, rapidly updated real time information provides the ability for advertisers to display highly pertinent ads to targeted online social communities.

A sleek red sports cardriving on an open road

To make money, the startup doesn’t plan to pursue traditional online display advertising. Instead, the object is to go after native advertising, or branded advertising, similar to what Vice Media does, said Mr. Schmitt.

“I think that is the way that advertising is going. I have a lot of car advertisers coming to us,” he said. “It allows them to target their advertising.”

To learn more about DriveTribe you can visit their website, and for more information on all things automotive marketing you can subscribe to our newsletter!

 

 

Think with Google – Online Video Planning

Camera lens with lense reflections.

The Think with Google resource gives us online video planning tips for success with online videos. The first tip is to be mobile-minded. Google’s research found that viewers who watched an ad twice on mobile had – on average – a significant lift of 23% in unaided brand awareness, and 47% in unaided ad recall.

Think with Google also suggests to put YouTube alongside TV. But for most small to medium businesses, this might not be as easy as it would be for big-box businesses. So what’s the alternative? Put YouTube alongside Facebook. Not only are you adhering to the first tip, but you’re also choosing to advertise on a platform where people spend their time watching videos. When was the last time you watched a video on Facebook? The answer is probably yesterday or when you were on your coffee break.

Facebook is also more measurable than TV because you can track conversions from pixels and generate leads right from Facebook through their lead ads objective. In addition to the ability to generate leads, you can also track performance and measure key performance indicators to see if it’s all living up to your expectations.

online video planning tips

You can read the referenced Think With Google content here. If you would like more online video planning tips, check out or previous post about YouTube or give our Online Marketing Team a call; and don’t forget to ask about how you can get $500 in bonus Facebook ad spend!

Adjusting AdWords For Mobile Traffic

According to a Google study of mobile traffic, 96% of people use their smartphone to get everyday things done. To meet those needs, people will use search functions – the resource 87% of people turn to first. In moments of need, people turn to their smartphones.

Secondly, they found that 70% of smartphone owners who bought something in-store had turned first to their devices for information about that purchase. To tie it back to the previous finding, they found 92% of those who search on their phone made a related purchase.

So what does this mean for you?

This means that you need a strong mobile strategy. Smartphone owners utilizing searches are likely to make a follow-up action, and another after that, until they meet their needs. Having a strong mobile campaign in your AdWords will ensure you are taking advantage of this knowledge.

mobile traffic

What can you do to have a strong mobile campaign?

  • Mobile-only campaign
  • Mobile-specific bids – mobile bids are different from desktop bids, so why treat them the same?
  • Mobile-specific ads and extensions – with extended-text ads, you currently can’t make ‘mobile-preferred’ ads; however, the mobile-only campaign will make sure these ads show only on mobile devices. Use mobile CTAs as much as possible. If you have historical data on extensions (that’s good), use it as a starting point in optimizing your mobile campaign.

At the end of the day, your AdWords account should be built with a mobile perspective first. Need some advice about mobile traffic? Contact our online marketing team today!

Read the referenced Google material here: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/mobile-search-consumer-behavior-data.html

Geo-Fencing vs Geo-targeting

geo-conquestingThe terms Geo-Fencing and Geo-targeting, are increasingly being used, but are not clearly being explained and differentiated. We decided to shed some light on these two similar, but distinct terms.

Definition of Website Geo-Fencing
Geo-Fencing is essentially a virtual perimeter that you can draw around any location on a map to deliver dynamic content to visitors – it is a form of website personalization.

Great! So, Geo-Fencing = personalization. So, what does this mean for dealers? This means that dealerships can generate personalized content in real time based on where their visitors’ IP addresses are registered. Since we know where your visitors are physically located, we can leverage this information to provide visitors with personalized videos, photos, text, and calls-to-action that are relevant to them. This will ultimately provide your buyers much more value from their visit.

Continue reading “Geo-Fencing vs Geo-targeting”

Build a Desktop-Focused Campaign in a Mobile-First World

Yes, you read that correctly. Implementing a desktop-focused campaign can get you a better CPA – not alone, though.

Close up of elegant young business men standing against the wall and checking their mobile phones.

Every day, users search on the go with their mobile devices. You never know where people will be, so you can’t lock down one postal code or small area around your store. People search from everywhere, which is completely different from a desktop search. That’s why we need to be able to focus on mobile and desktop separately, and by making both a desktop-focused campaign and a mobile-focused campaign, we can achieve this.

AdWords accounts should be taking advantage of the ability for device segmentation. You should have campaigns that focus on both desktop and mobile search. You can do this by adjusting campaign settings so the mobile bid adjustment is set to -100%; this will make the entire campaign’s ads and keywords never show on a mobile device.

The next step is to clone that campaign and set up mobile-specific ad extensions, bids, and ad copy (and don’t forget landing pages if you don’t have a responsive website). This ensures that your keywords only activate the mobile ads in this campaign.

Now you have one campaign bidding for desktop and mobile at the same time and can focus your ad copy to speak to mobile users. In addition, you can see the value come from each device-segmented campaign at a higher level, whereas before you’d need to look at a segmented view in AdWords, which can be a bit of a mess to look at.

For more information, don’t hesitate to drop us a line or subscribe to our newsletter!