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:

  • check out our Volkswagen Webinar that we hosted yesterday here.
  • download our case study with Southgate Volkswagen and testimonial video here.
  • If you would like to compare us with the other two providers, you can do so right here.
  • If you would like to attend our second webinar on Thursday, August 10 to ask us questions in person, you can register here for English and here for French.

Volkswagen is sunsetting their partnership with DMT. If you are using a DMT website without a secondary site, you will need to choose a new provider. If you have any other questions, you can drop us a line at or 1 (888) 914-1444!

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:

The Nissan GT-R’s refined interior with updated technology in featured Rakuda Tan Semi-aniline Leather.
The Nissan GT-R’s refined interior with updated technology in featured Rakuda Tan Semi-aniline Leather.

First up, we have one of the gala favourites! The 2017 Nissan GT-R supercar has been revisited for further refinement on the interior to make it an amazing experience behind the wheel. Updated instrumentation, technology and connection give the GT-R it’s powerful feel. This track day superstar has received the necessary refinements to make it a road trip worthy contender too. Gone are the days of harsh low speed shifts and a bone jarring ride. Everyone is welcoming a new era of luxurious touring from Nissan’s peak vehicle.


Next up, Subaru was undoubtedly the best lit booth at the show. Perhaps a testament to their love of all things outdoors. They wanted everyone to see the meticulous details that have gone into their engineering. Such as their FA20 2.0L engine.

FA20 2.0L engine found in the BRZ Manufacturers: Take note of oil filter placement.
FA20 2.0L engine found in the BRZ Manufacturers: Take note of oil filter placement.

In a Canadian first, the Edmonton Motor Show was the first to receive the 2018 Subaru WRX! The new WRX remained the only Subaru viewers couldn’t enter though. It would’ve been nice to see the interior with the revised infotainment screen and optional Recaro seats.

2018 Subaru WRX
The 2018 Subaru WRX

Subsequently, Infiniti brought us their 2016 Team F1 R.S.16 car, and if you’re familiar with the driving of Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer you’ll be familiar with the Formula One R.S.16. This racing car was originally designed by the Renault Sport Formula One Racing Team as their competition vehicle for 2016.

The F1 R.S.16 was driven by the likes of Jolyon Palmer in the 2016 Formula One season.
The F1 R.S.16 was driven by the likes of Jolyon Palmer in the 2016 Formula One season.

Audi continued the great vehicles by showcasing the newly redesigned 2018 Audi S5. The revised 6 cylinder now produces 354hp, with the packaging to match. How can you not love those lines?

It was Ford’s set up was likely the booth that took most visitors by surprise. The Edmonton Motor Show falls in the same timeframe as the New York International Auto Show, and as a huge fan of all things cars I can’t help but compare the offerings of each. Normally if you happen to be both a resident of Edmonton and a fan of the automotive industry you’ll feel forgotten when auto season rolls around.

However, this year Ford made us northerner’s truly feel like a booming metropolis. Bringing not only their latest offerings but also the full quiver of performance vehicles (ST, RS, Raptor, Shelby), including the all new Ford GT.






Volkswagen brought along the Atlas, the company’s all new 3 row SUV. The Atlas is aimed to sit above the Tiguan as VW’s dedicated people mover. With its modern contour and excellent finish quality the car certainly took a fair share of attention on the opening night of the show.

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas will be coming to Canada in Summer 2017.
The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas will be coming to Canada in Summer 2017.

Finally, Mercedes-Benz showcased their great line-up including the Mercedes-AMG GT. With up to 503-horsepower and a V8 Bi-Turbo engine the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT is designed for performance. Few vehicles can give the driver such an aggressive seating position and get away with it. There’s a distinct reason this vehicle won the 2015 Motor Trend’s Best Driver’s Car. It is a vehicle that is all about experience.

The Interior of the Mercedes-AMG GT.
The Interior of the Mercedes-AMG GT.

The Edmonton Motor Show’s 2017 Precious Metal Gala was an experience with the amazing vehicles, great food and lively entertainment. Various vehicle manufacturers showcased their latest and greatest. We were excited to see everything on offer. We’re looking forward to next year already!

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 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!

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.

7 FREE Google Tools to Start Taking Advantage Of

website performance

Did you know that Google has several FREE tools that they have made available to all users to see how they are performing online?  Here are 7 of the best to help you be more effective online:

  1. Google Analytics: Probably one of the most powerful Google tools that you can use, and if you don’t have it on your website, you should. You can learn so much about your customers as well as track the success of your website.
  2. Structured Data Tool: This is Google’s tool for validating, microformats and other structured data. It handles HTML, marked up with microdata, RDFa, RDFA light and JSON-LD, by direct input or by fetching an existing URL. Translation? This tool separates the boys from the men in the SEO world and determines if your site is labeled properly for easy Search Engine Indexing.
  3. Google PageSpeed Insights: Simply type in your website’s URL, and see how fast your business site is working on desktop & mobile. The higher the score the better, but generally aiming for a 70 on desktop and a 50 on mobile are a good starting points.  Fast and optimized pages’ lead to higher customer engagement, retention and leads.  Pagespeed Insights help you identify performance best practices that can be applied to your site.
  4. Search Console: Another free tool that helps you understand what’s going on with your website. This is the primary mechanism for Google bots to communicate with webmasters.  This will help you identify issues with your site, such as having broken links or dead pages.  It can even let you know if your site has been infected with malware.
  5. Mobile Friendly Tool: In April, Google announced mobile-friendly ranking labels which boosted qualifying sites to the top of the page. Wondering how your site fares after this Mobilegeddon? Check it out.  This tool will simply give you a pass or fail grade – your site is either mobile friendly or it’s not.  Since the average person in North America checks their phone 150 times per day – mobile-friendly websites are the new entry fee to play in the industry.
  6. Google Trends: Trends is a cool tool that shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages. This is a goldmine for blog topics, social media posts and to keep an eye on your brands relevancy.  “Google Hot Trends” is an additional Google Trends which displays the top 20 fastest rising searches of the past hour in the United States.
  1. Google Alerts: Use this tool to monitor the presence of your businesses mentions online. Google emails you when new web pages are published that are relevant to the alert you entered. It will not catch every single page, but it does catch a good chunk of them, especially the ones from authoritative websites. Track your brand name, your competitors and your leadership team or sales staff.
  2. Test My Site: Similar to the PageSpeed Insights and Mobile-Friendly tool, Test My Site is an easier tool to help understand how your business is performing online.                                                                                                

If you have any questions about any of the above tools, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our Google Certified Representatives!

And for more tips & tricks like these, sign up for our newsletter!

Car Parts & Service: The Auction Your Dealership Is Missing Out On

The hard truth: winter is coming. And with winter, comes white walkers snow and ice that require consumers to switch from their summer to winter tires. Car parts and services search queries happen year round, but many queries see huge seasonal peaks that your dealership should be capitalizing on.  With the looming seasonal change upon us, is your dealership ready to face the long night?

Continue reading “Car Parts & Service: The Auction Your Dealership Is Missing Out On”

Hyundai Dealers Working with Strathcom: New Website, Endless Possibilities


When searching for a new website provider, what are some of the main things you consider? Likely design abilities and price are two of the top factors, but what else? There is so much to look at to get a well-rounded picture of what you will get from your provider. Do they have an inventory management system that works with your DMS? Can they syndicate your data to portals like Kijiji and Trader? These are just two of the many additional services you should be inquiring about. So aside from being able to take care of your inventory from on-boarding to sold, here are five more reasons why a Hyundai Dealer should consider Strathcom Media:

We Have Forged a Relationship with Hyundai Canada

Having a relationship directly with the OEM gives us the opportunity to test some of our latest products with them to showcase how they will benefit individual dealership websites.

For instance, at the moment Hyundai Canada is utilizing our Bounce Recovery Tool, which is a behavioural exit intent based tool to help generate leads from users who are about to leave your website.

Bounce Recovery - Hyundai

Hyundai Compliant Websites

Like Hyundai Canada, Strathcom is a firm believer in having clearly defined brand guidelines that highlight what makes you one-of-a-kind in order to create value and familiarity with your brand.

Another benefit of having a relationship with Hyundai Canada is that we are able to provide unique and progressive website designs and still follow the brand guidelines set out by Hyundai Canada in order to set yourself apart as a dealership, and ensure your benefit from the Hyundai brand equity.

Online Advertising

In case you haven’t heard, we are Google Canada’s largest online advertising partner in the automotive vertical. What does this mean for you as a Hyundai dealer? It means that we have a team of Google Certified Analysts with experience writing Hyundai ad copy that converts. We can help you generate more brand awareness, increase traffic to your website and generate more leads.

Looking at the Hyundai accounts that we currently manage, we were able to capture 87% of impressions in auctions for New & Used Hyundai inventory. Of the impressions we gained, our ads sat at the top of the page up to 92% of the time, averaging no lower than 2.4 in ad position rank in the Google Search Network.

Looking at some hard numbers, our average click-through rate was 9.2% (industry average is 1%), average cost-per-click was $2.79 and average cost-per-acquisition was $38.42, proving that we can and will help you succeed online.


As we all know, having an active blog on your website is crucial not only SEO, but for providing your readers and potential customers with valuable tidbits of information.

Our very own Megan Lepp does a great job of explaining why you should be blogging in this video.

If you don’t have time to watch the video, here are four reasons to start blogging now:

  1. Drive more traffic to your site
  2. Improve your search rankings
  3. Build trust and relationships with your customers
  4. Generate more leads

Not sure what to write a blog about? We can help with that too. We work with a number of Hyundai dealerships to bring their blogs to life.

Hyundai - BlogIncentives

According to Google’s 10th edition of the Canadian Car Buyer’s Journey, the top 3 motivators for people to consider purchasing a new vehicle are to get an upgrade, enhanced features and the available promotions/incentives.

The latter is something that you can help your potential buyer’s out with by presenting that information on your website. The original thought was that every month you should update the homepage slides with the current model incentives in hopes of relaying this information to consumers.  If that was the old way of displaying incentives, then what is the new way? Having them listed right on your Vehicle Description Pages!

Our Incentive Tool takes all of the current incentives available for that model and lists them on eligible inventory. You can now display cash, finance and lease incentives with different rates, terms and payments! All with absolutely no work on your end. Search interest for “lease deals” went up 20% in 2015, so if you want to make your Hyundai dealership competitive, having this information easily accessible is essential.

Hyundai 2016 Sante Fe Sport

Hyundai 2016 Sante Fe Sport               Hyundai - Incentives






So if you’re looking to differentiate yourself as a Hyundai dealer, getting in touch with Strathcom Media is the best place to start. We look forward to chatting with you!

Does Your Website Reflect Your Brand?

How do customers remember your brand? What jumps out to your consumers and sets your company apart from your competitors? What are the benefits that set your brand apart from others? These are the types of questions people responsible for positioning brands focus on.

Continue reading “Does Your Website Reflect Your Brand?”

Dealers, Avoid Car Jargon!

“DOHC with VarioCam Plus variable valve timing, 8 s., sequential automatic transmission”


How most customers react to car jargon

Every industry has its own jargon, and the automotive industry is no exception. In fact, insider jargon at car dealers is so prevalent that if you search “car dealer jargon” in Google, you will find endless jargon dictionaries to prepare customers for a dealership visit. Some believe that the use of jargon strengthens their sales presentation and their image by making them seem more technically savvy or more knowledgeable.

This is a mistake.

If you are looking for the source of a problem with a customer, there is a strong chance that it may rest on some misunderstanding, and this often stems from a lack of common vocabulary. If you’re not in the automotive industry, it’s highly unlikely that you will be exposed to the technical jargon used within dealerships, and even simple car jargon can be confusing.

Using car jargon just leads to frustration for both parties

If the customer has no idea what you are talking about, they often won’t tell you. Even the small portion of those who will tell you have lost valuable time trying to understand what could have been put in plain language.

So what’s the solution?

Unfortunately, since dealer jargon has been used for so long, sales associates often don’t even realize they are using it.  But to truly inform and engage your audience, pay attention to the terms you employ, the descriptions you use and the people with whom you are communicating.

If your messaging isn’t adapted to the person to whom you are talking, your client will not understand and they will end up being heavily disappointed and frustrated at the end of your interaction. Therefore, listen to the words your client is using and bridge the terms they use with yours. By demystifying the language used within the automotive industry, you will successfully build a sense of trust between you and the customer, and we all know trust is critical for sales success.

Women & Automotive Conference 2016

26216112171_84a074277f_bWednesday, April 6 was the first annual Women & Automotive conference at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, presented by Cox Automotive Canada. Speakers at this event included Erin Elofson from Facebook Canada, France Daviault from AIA Canada, and our very own Trish Rowsell. The goal of this conference was to bring together both male and female automotive professionals to discuss the challenges faced by women in the industry, and this goal was definitely achieved. There were over 200 attendees from all facets of the automotive industry including OEMs, fixed operations, finance, sales and more. There were also informative panels with an impressive line-up of speakers including representatives from Facebook, Canadian Black Book, and General Motors.

25677529574_6a1d86dc09_bOne inspiring keynote speech titled ‘Creating a Pipeline of Female Managers’ was delivered by Maria Soklis, President of Cox Automotive Canada. She discussed how reputable studies have determined that companies with the largest performance gains are those that have a pipeline of female managers as opposed to a token female executive stuck somewhere on the corporate ladder.


Trish spoke about how dealers can remain profitable in lean economic times and gave them straightforward, relevant strategies that they could take back to the dealership with them. Using examples from her industry experience, she gave dealers realistic and effective ways to decrease marketing costs and still reach, or even exceed their sales goals.

Even though the automotive industry has come a long way, there is still a lot of room for improvement. At Strathcom, we definitely know the value of having an equal workplace. Over half of our management team are women, and 75% of our sales team are women. We hope to see the number of women in the automotive industry continue to increase this year as it has been for the past 10 years, and we look forward to seeing even more attendees at the Women & Automotive Conference next year – April 5, 2017!  26216110231_0c84dd2f3f_b