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.
The 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.
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.
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.
Then 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.
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 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:
- Lead generation is easier than ever on Facebook. Try Lead Ads for new, used, and finance campaigns
- 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
- 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.
- Build creative for mobile
- 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!