Are you ready to Go Further?

Technology and innovation are the cogs that keep the automotive industry wheel moving forward, and Ford is no stranger to this. The evolution of Ford is taking them down new roads with the possibility of “no driver required” by 2021 as they plan to have a fully autonomous vehicle in the market1.

If Ford is bringing this type of ingenuity and forward thinking to the brand, shouldn’t you as Ford Dealers be looking to do the same for your dealerships? The answer is: absolutely and unequivocally YES! Now, you might be asking yourself how you should go about and do this, well search no further, we’re here to help! Your website is often one of the first places a potential customer will search to learn about what you have to offer. They might have started off with a Google search to get there, or perhaps they came across your business page on Facebook and read some great reviews before making their way to your website. At the end of the day, they are coming to your site and you need to be providing the right experience for them.

While you’re out searching for a new website provider, you need to think like a Ford VP would. Think about what’s going to get you ahead of the competition and keep you there. You need to look for a partner who isn’t okay with sticking with the status quo and who always searching for and developing the next greatest thing for your website. You need to look for a partner like Strathcom Media who is consistently bringing new products to the market and ensuring your website is future-proofed.

Some of the more recent technology launches with Strathcom Media include Personalization, Geo-Fencing, Notepad and Silent Salesman. These tools were designed to provide your potential customers with a unique experience tailored to what they’re interested in and what they’ve looked at on your site. According to a study by Janrain, 74% of people get frustrated when websites have content, offers, or ads that have nothing to do with their interests. Tools like Notepad and Silent Salesman use the concepts of scarcity and abundance to create a sense of urgency and to prey on our fear of missing out to help you generate more leads. #FOMO

Looking down the road, there are a lot of exciting products and improvements launching including:

  • Releasing modules for online retailing
  • Increasing lead conversion and generation through releasing a behavioral exit intent tool and a front facing appraisals tool
  • Adding more detailed information to our vehicle analytics tool;  Market Intel
  • Increasing the scope and features associated with website personalization
  • Launching our CRM product
  • Developing Market Radar a tool designed to identify proactive opportunities based on a user’s browsing history

White Ford Escape driving fast on a road in the city at sunsetAt Strathcom Media, we pride ourselves on being a one-stop-shop that is keeping the cogs of the website “wheel” turning and moving forward. We can help you drive more traffic to your website with Google and Facebook advertising. We can help keep visitors engaged on your site through easy to use designs that have been optimized for conversions and are jam-packed with useful information and the technologies we mentioned above. And we can help improve your online presence through our Review & Reputation and Social Media Management packages and much, much more.

If you are looking for an innovative and complete online solutions provider that is going to help you Go Further, drop us a line at info@strathcom.com.

 

1 https://corporate.ford.com/innovation/autonomous-2021.html

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!

Most Googled Car Brand by Country

Ever wondered what brands are most popular in other countries? The British based auto parts retailer ‘Quickco” analyzed the most searched car brands on Google throughout 2016.

The most Googled car brands

As we can see from the findings, nationalist tendencies seem to be more apparent in Europe than the anywhere else; with Sweden, Germany, France and Italy all remaining homegrown in their brand searches.  As always, a few nations failed to provide data for the study, it’s hard to imagine what brand North Korea might have made up for this study.

Perhaps for some, the biggest surprise was to see BMW (a relatively small company) take 2nd place overall. However, if you’re a follower of BMW on social media this global presence is something you likely comprehend wholeheartedly. For the past three years BMW has created dedicated social marketing campaigns (remember the ‘Drift Mob’ video?)  to assure brand reputation and user engagement. With over 19 million fans of BMW’s Facebook page, the online initiatives seem to be paying off both at home in Europe and abroad as BMW sits only below Toyota in Google searches across the globe.

The Ford Bronco and Ranger Will Ride Again!

The Ford Motor Company announced on Monday at the Detroit Auto Show that the Ford Ranger will be returning again in 2019, followed by the Ford Bronco’s return in 2020.Ford Bronco Concept

Both of these models will be built at the Michigan Assembly Plant. The two models are expected to be built on a shared body-on-frame platform, which will create a midsize SUV and midsize pickup.  The Bronco has not been in production since 1996, while the Ranger is currently sold in other markets outside of the U.S. and Canada; we are likely to see the next generation of the model once it is available.

Ford Ranger ConceptFord has not speculated on technical details or images of the vehicles, yet, but they have suggested that the Bronco will offer some serious off road capability!

Ford is also planning to launch 13 new electric models by 2021, including hybrid models of the Mustang and the F-150.

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Black Friday Deals Increase Automotive Sales for November in the US & Canada

Black Friday SalesNow that a week has passed since Black Friday, the stats are rolling in.

The Black Friday deals were so successful this year that they actually increased automotive sales by 4% for the month in the U.S. This makes November, 2016 the highest on record with 1.38 million units sold, beating the previous 2001 record of 1.32 million according to Kelley Blue Book.

Since 2013, sales during the weekend after American Thanksgiving have been nearly double the sales during a typical November weekend, according to car shopping site Edmunds.com. Prior to 2013, automakers only saw a 39% increase in sales that weekend.

For November, some automakers said:
— General Motors sales rose 10%. Its Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands all saw double-digit percentage increases in sales, while Chevrolet sales were up 8%. Full-size SUVs were strong sellers; sales of the Cadillac Escalade were up 25% while sales of the Chevrolet Tahoe jumped 31%.
— Toyota Motor sales rose 4%. Luxury Lexus sales were down 1 percent but Toyota brand sales rose 5%. Toyota Highlander SUV sales jumped 67 percent
— Ford Motor sales rose 5%. Lincoln brand sales were up 19 percent thanks to the new Continental sedan and the redesigned MKX SUV. Sales of Ford’s best-seller, the F-Series pickup, were up 11 percent as the new F-250 and F-350 went on sale.
— Fiat Chrysler’s sales fell 14%. All brands saw double-digit percentage declines except Ram, which was up 12%
— Honda Motor sales rose 6.5%, a November record for the company. Luxury Acura sales dropped 5%, but Honda brand sales were up 8%. Honda’s best-seller, the Accord sedan, saw sales rise 6%.
— Nissan Motor sales were up 7.5%, which was also a November record. Nissan brand sales were up 8%, helped by strong sales of the newly redesigned Armada full-size SUV. Luxury Infiniti sales were up 4%.
— Hyundai Motor sales rose 4%, another November record. Sales of the Sonata and Elantra sedans fell, but the Santa Fe and Tucson SUVs both saw double-digit percentage gains.

Row of cars

This is only U.S. data, but November was a successful month for Canadian dealers as well. Toyota Canada has reported that their hybrids and trucks have set annual sales records, Kia Canada November sales are up 20.5%, and GMC and Ford both reported double-digit rises in Canadian sales.

Black Friday may have a bad rap in terms of large crowds and crazy customers, but it appears to be a very successful way to boost sales boost in the automotive industry!

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.

The Purpose of the Halo Car: What is it Used For?

In an age of “hybrid synergy drive”, CVT’s and FWD, you may be wondering what purpose an archaic, performance-focused flagship vehicle can serve?

2016 Audi RS7 4.0T
2016 Audi RS7 4.0T

Often complex, under produced and over-engineered, halo cars can be described as a figurehead of a brand. They act as a symbol of a brands research, ability and image. One could argue it to be so much more than a symbol to a manufacturer, a flagship vehicle serves one of two purposes. Primarily, drawing eyes both young and old to a distinct brand. Additionally, a flagship vehicle can enthrall and inspire buyers into purchasing a brands comparable models. In doing so, a halo car helps sell a large number of “mainstream” vehicles to consumers. Whether they’re as common as a Miata, or perhaps as rare as Mercedes’ Maybach series, each serve a purpose.

2017 Toyota 86
2017 Toyota 86

Take the Scion FR-S (now Toyota 86), for example. This small performance coupe served the purpose of bringing in young, upcoming buyers, buyers who might be searching for performance and aesthetic appeal at the moment, but will likely find themselves needing to trade into something larger and more utilitarian down the road. This buyer has spent the last number of years building a relationship with Toyota, and Toyota now has a particular advantage when it comes time for the buyer to make that upgrade and buy a new vehicle.

Further, buyers may feel inspired by a flagship vehicle’s performance metrics or luxury offerings to the level at which it will influence their next purchase. An example of this would be those seeking an Audi RS Model after being influenced by the acceleration, looks, and overall presence of an Audi RS7. The buyer decided to pursue the closest option he could achieve – the Audi A7. The A7’s 333hp 3.0-liter turbo engine may not enjoy the same potency as the RS7’s 605hp 4.0-liter turbo engine, however the buyer has achieved similar styling, luxury, engineering and presence.

2016 Audi 3.0T
2016 Audi 3.0T

So what are halo cars used for? These distinct luxury or performance oriented vehicles serve a much more prominent role than simply portraying a manufacturers potential. These figurehead models ensure similar vehicles are sold in large numbers so dealers can facilitate in generating lifelong customers.

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!

Why Should Ford Dealers Choose Strathcom Media? Because Strathcom is Built Ford Tough

Model TFor over a century, Ford has been a driving force in the automotive industry by continuously improving their vehicles and manufacturing process as well as revolutionizing the automotive industry as a whole. The evolution of Ford has continued this year with the implementation of its new digital program: Digital Dealer Direct (D3). This platform offers services like digital advertising, dealer websites, integrated lead management, social media/reputation management, dashboard and reporting, and digital consulting and support.

Strathcom Media also offers these services, and there is a reason that Ford reps have been advising our current Ford customers to stick with us: our service, our tools, and our transparency cannot be beat. An automotive pioneer such as Ford needs a digital marketing partner that is just as innovative, and that can ‘Go Further’.

Meaningful Partnerships

We are a Ford partner, meaning that we integrate with D3. If you are using D3’s services, we will not charge you for the services they provide you; which means you can have a beautiful, customizable, responsive website for a lower price.

We are also Google’s largest automotive vertical partner in Canada. This gives us unique insights and knowledge on online advertising, search engine optimization, and more. It also gives us the opportunity to attend and co-host Google events where we can share these insights with you.

Progressive Tools & Technologies

We have spent years researching websites to find out what users are and aren’t clicking to ensure that they get more out of your site, and you get more valuable leads. We have the data and we know how to use it to improve your users’ experience and improve your conversion rate.

mustangWe have also just recently invested over a million dollars to develop new tools and an all new platform to ensure that you are ahead of the technology curve. These tools include geo-fencing, personalization, silent salesman, bounce recovery and more; all of which help you serve specific information, to specific users, based on their specific behaviors.

Excellent Service

We are committed to giving you the best service possible. Each of our Online Marketing Managers is Google Certified, so you can rest assured that they know their stuff when it comes to your online advertising. We are dedicated to answering your questions, solving your problems, and doing so in a professional, timely manner. This is why we reach out to our clients monthly to keep them in the loop and ensure that they are not having any issues.

Strathcom also has a guaranteed up-time of 99.9%, and our content changes have a guaranteed turnaround time of 2-5 business days (depending on the item). Should you have an issue, we won’t give you the run around. In fact, our president makes his personal cell number available to all of our customers, so you never have to wait to get in touch with someone.

Complete Transparency

Here at Strathom, we like to lay out exactly where every dollar of your online advertising budget is going and how it is benefiting you; including how many leads were generated, and where those leads came from. We also hide nothing by providing you complete access into Google Analytics, AdWords, and our dashboard. Does your current provider do the same?

The same goes for content changes. A lot of providers will tell you that they do unlimited standard changes, but what does that include? For our premium clients, we handle all of the work necessary to make your site look just right for no extra cost. For our core clients, we charge an hourly rate of just $120 per hour, which means you can have a landing page, for example, created for a portion of the cost that some of our competitors charge.

If you are looking for an innovative, honest, knowledgeable provider that is going to build your digital platform to be Ford tough,  look no further than Strathcom Media Inc.

Why a Nissan Dealer Should Choose Strathcom Media Inc.

Like Nissan, Strathcom is a company that values design, quality, innovation, and progression. Even when we are better than the competition, we still strive to improve. Those values have made Nissan the fastest growing automotive brand in Canada, and have made Strathcom one of the top automotive website, tools, and online advertising companies in Canada.

Strathcom started its relationship with Nissan as one of the few Nissan/Infiniti CDW (Certified Dealer Website) providers. Since then we have been giving Nissan dealers across the country the sites and tools that help them continually increase traffic to and sales from their websites. Though we ensure all creative elements align with Nissan and Infiniti guidelines to keep you compliant, that doesn’t mean your website has to be dull. Nissan understands that good design and a good first impression are important in the customer journey and because of that, they give us the freedom to make sure your site looks modern, professional, and fresh.

Some Nissan dealers still have dated designs, and that’s a shame! What they could have with a Strathcom site versus what they currently have is night and day. Let me put it to you this way: what truck is poised to be the king of the road in the coming years? You’re a Nissan Dealer so you already know the answer, the 2016 Nissan Titan, this thing is a beast. Cummins engine! 310 HP with 555 LB-FT of Torque! And it’s got to be one of the best looking trucks ever made! Your old 2012 Titan isn’t horrible. It gets the job done, it may have some issues but compared to the 2016 Titan, it’s not even in the same ball park. That is how Strathcom compares to the other guys. We are the best and we want you to be the best, and we are going to give you the tools to be the best.

What tools you ask? Well let me tell you…

  • What if you could put a virtual fence around your largest competitor so if people are in that dealer’s showroom comparing their inventory with yours they will see a message talking about why The Nissan Sentra is Better than the Honda Civic (assume it’s a Honda dealership), or a message saying bring in a business card from that dealership and get an extra $500 off your new car purchase? With a Strathcom site you can, it’s called Geo-fencing. It comes included at no extra cost.
  • What if you could personalize your website so that each user had their own individual experience? Think of how Amazon tailors the products they show you to what you have shown interest in, or how your Netflix screen will show you movies that closely suit your tastes whereas mine will show me movies that suit my tastes. If someone goes to your site and is looking at a Nissan Murano and then leaves and comes back later, suddenly the home page slider image is a Murano, talking about the top benefits of a Murano, and the sale you are currently having on Muranos is front and center, and scroll down and – whoa! – an offer to get an extra $250 off your trade in when you come and test drive a Murano today, SOLD! This is called Personalization, and  it comes included at no extra cost.
  • What if all of the vehicles a person has looked at is saved for them when they come back, automatically, and with pricing updates? With a Strathcom site they are. We call it Notepad, and it comes included at no extra cost.

 

I could do this all day but this blog can only be so long… Okay one more!

  • What if you could compare what you are pricing your vehicle at with the competition in your area, and see the average price that car is selling for, the average odometer on the car, and sell your vehicle quickly and for the highest profit possible? Well get ready to ditch that expensive vAuto software because with a Strathcom site you can. It’s called Market Pricing, and you guessed it, it comes included with the site!

The point is we give you the tools that literally no other Canadian website provider can. Tools that in 3 or 4 years every website provider will have, but with a Strathcom site, Nissan dealers have access to them today, and at a lower cost than what you are probably paying for your current website! Strathcom knows what dealers need to be successful, and more specifically Strathcom knows what Nissan dealers need to be successful.

Nissan has come a long way since our President Duncan Cochrane learned to drive in a Nissan Maxima Brougham, the question is, has your site grown with it?