People around the world would have a different opinion on what the perfect website should look like, and that’s because a website’s design is based on people’s experience and perspective. One look may be liked by many, but it might not be by others. I tried going by the name Eugene for a bit and some people in the office actually started calling me that (and liked it for a bit), but ultimately, I think Cedric suited me best because that’s just who I am. I also thought I’d look good with a shaved head, but ask me again after I’ve had a pint of Guinness. There are many factors that contribute to successful web design. That’s why our team of well-rounded and knowledgeable designers and I compiled a bunch of tips to help you keep your website looking snappy and running smooth.
When I was young my parents had a red Subaru hatchback. We’d take that little car camping all over the backcountry, and we’d load enough stuff for a family of four to survive the wilderness for a weekend (and then some) on top of the roof–including a wooden canoe! Loaded up like that, her bumpers barely cleared the road and she sure didn’t win any awards for speed. But, she did get us to where we wanted to go… eventually.
When I was studying graphic design, I remember my instructors repeatedly mentioning –harping really– about “design consistency”. Since then, this principle has stuck in my mind and, as a designer, I understand how inconsistent design can harm your brand. Continue reading “The Importance of Design Consistency”→
At Strathcom, we make a point of taking our client’s concerns seriously, which means staying up-to-date with the Canadian auto industry that keeps our (and our clients’) bread buttered. Talking to clients in recent months revealed a widespread concern over one issue in particular: the looming prospect of American trade tariffs that may hold serious economic implications for Canada’s automotive sector.
With the long-standing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a target of considerable “gutting”, the big fly-in-the-ointment takes the form of aggressive tariffs on Canada’s steel and aluminum, effectively stabbing the very heart of our nation’s automotive sector. Taking aim at such a significant economic driver generates huge concern throughout Central and Eastern Canada.
To say that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has had a tough July is an understatement bigger than saying a nuclear bomb “goes boom”. First, they lost their leader Sergio Marchionne to complications following shoulder surgery, then to rub salt in the wound, July’s sales numbers arrived in what must have felt like a gut punch from an MMA heavyweight. While the entire Canadian auto industry struggled, FCA was one of the hardest hit with a 33.3% drop in overall sales compared to last July. While this slump surely won’t last, it does call into question the futures of the two automotive brands that FCA is named after, Fiat and Chrysler.
Fiat originally arrived in Canada back in 2009 to relative fanfare after its 25-year absence from the North American market. Sadly, that fanfare doesn’t seem to have translated into sales, as Fiat currently produces just 0.28% of all FCA sales in Canada. Dive into the statistics and you’ll see that sales shrank at a shocking 79% over the first seven months of 2018. That translates to overall sales of just 49 vehicles total in July— an unsustainable number by any measure.
Fact: today’s car shoppers do most of their research online before even stepping foot in a dealership. So the older generation can complain about “those darn millennials being on their smartphones” all they like, but those smartphones are influencing their purchasing decisions. According to Google, the average car shopper visits two dealership websites when researching a new vehicle. That’s why it’s now more important than ever to be highly visible on Google in the competitive and complex car industry. Many dealerships are multi-faceted, offering new and used cars as well as maintenance and repairs. It then only makes sense that their digital marketing strategy should equally be as dynamic—starting with an optimized online presence. And, without further adieu *drumroll*, here’s a few tips to optimize your dealership’s online presence. Continue reading “Optimizing your Dealership’s Online Presence with Google”→
It’s that time of year again! No, not for the Roller Derby Championship, but for the FCA Digital Road Show–which has been hitting cities since the beginning of April for all of their Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram stores. The Strathcom team was fortunate enough to tag along on five stops this year, hitting Barrie and Markham in Ontario, and Edmonton, Calgary and Grande Prairie in Alberta. The purpose of these stops are to get all of the FCA Digital Vendors in one room to help educate and bring new topics to light for FCA dealers. In other words, it’s a bit like vendor speed dating–we each get a table, and the dealers strap on their (metaphorical) quad skates to rotate through, every 20 minutes, and have a more personal, one-on-one conversation with each vendor. Continue reading “The 2018 FCA Digital Roadshow: A Recap”→
You did all the right things, talked to all the right people, and finally decided to utilize digital marketing–now what? Let’s not talk about budget, but rather the important question of what route to take. Do you use Google Ads or Facebook marketing? Which platform is going to give you the best bang for your buck? Which platform is ideal for your marketing needs? Is Strathcom trying to just sell me their service with this blog? The answer to the last question is a resounding “No!”, but the other questions aren’t quite as simple. Continue reading “Facebook vs Google: The Battle for Digital Marketing Supremacy”→
In the 70s people hung out at roller disco rinks wearing bellbottom jeans and big perms. In the 80s they hung out at the arcade, and acid-washed denim was all the rage. Fast forward to 2018 and all the cool kids are wearing morose, Zuckerberg-esque heather grey hoodies, sitting in independent coffee shops, spending their time on Google Analytics.
Okay, maybe not quite. But if you’ve been hanging around in Google Analytics lately, you’ve probably seen a few new things pop up. And while we’d never toot our own horn about how cool we are (*sound of crickets*), we do know a thing or two about Google Analytics. Cool or not, you can never say we’re not helpful, so here’s a quick summary of those new features and how they can make your life easier. Continue reading “Analyze This!: New Features in Google Analytics”→
June 21st has come and gone, and yet another Google Think Auto conference is in the books. Moving this hotly anticipated event from September to June was a solid choice by the Google team — can you blame us for thinking that? We live in Edmonton where it’s winter 10 months of the year and we were dying for some warm weather! Continue reading “GOOGLE THINK AUTO 2018: FULL REVIEW”→
How can you best maximize your chances for sales success and brand loyalty, vs. losing sales opportunities in both the short and long-term? For starters, this can be done by having a deeper understanding of the preferred car shopping experience that today’s customer is looking for, both online and offline, and then adjusting the dealership’s business practices accordingly. Today’s customer, who also happens to be the customer of tomorrow, are those who were born between 1977 and 2000 — commonly referred to as millennials. It is estimated that by 2020, 40% of new car buyers will be millennials; furthermore, according to a study byBrandwatch, 88% of current millennials use the internet to research a new car purchase.
Simply put, this means that a dealership’s sales and marketing team must ensure that their shopping experience, both online and off, is up-to-date.
So how can your dealership ensure that its online and offline experience is up-to-date for today’s potential customer, while staying true to your brand? It starts with understanding today’s customer, particularly the millennial, and doing what’s necessary to integrate the online and offline brand experience for them, in one seamless flow. And no, that doesn’t necessarily mean memes or viral videos (which, if used incorrectly, are the online equivalent of the giant inflatable green dancing tube man).
June 21st was not only the summer solstice, it was also the day of Google’s 2018 Think Auto event. The scenery was a little different from the usual September setting, but we weren’t about to complain about the hot weather. Held at the Toronto Centre for the Arts for a second year in a row, the Google auto team did not disappoint with this year’s round of stats and insights! Continue reading “Google Think Auto 2018: A Quick Recap”→
Before working for Strathcom Media, I’d never-before met such bold allies and merciless foes. I’ve witnessed a queen conquer faraway lands, weathered an attack from the Ice King, and watched a ruler’s dynasty overthrown. Since Game of Thrones’ season 8 premiere isn’t due until early 2019, I can’t help but see the Strathcom Media head office as a medieval battleground, wrought with schemes and maneuvering. Read on and hear about a new employee’s life at Strathcom Media — the Game of Thrones Edition.Continue reading “Strathcom Media: Beyond the Wall(s)”→
We’ve all had it happen to us at one point in our lives; a deal too good to be true, a stranger that was just too nice. And there is a name for those people — scammers! Scammers have been around for a long time, and will continue to operate in their shady ways if there are people and businesses around to scam. Often, if you have an online business, these scammers appear in the form of 3rd party companies claiming to be from Google and claiming they can improve your search ranking (or offer services that Google already provides for free). Not only is this frustrating for small business owners, but Google isn’t too happy about it either. Continue reading “How To Avoid Scammers”→
In a dealership a few kilometers away, there is a car waiting for you . . . *CUT*.
Okay, it may not be a movie, but you can bring just as much excitement to your ads with Instagram and, more specifically, Instagram stories. The days of television commercials and big billboards are coming to an end and the sooner you accept the change and move on with the future of advertising, the more likely it is for you to hit that quarterly sales goal — unless you want to be the next Kodak. That may be a little harsh, but it’s the truth as the entire world goes digital; Instagram is becoming the major platform to push your ideas and vehicles, and reach the right audience.
“Instagram has become the place for visual storytelling”
– an excerpt from the article Driven By Instagram.
“So long — don’t let the four-doors hit ya on the way out!”
A surge in SUV and truck demand in the U.S. has forced Ford to take the drastic step of removing nearly all cars from its model lineup. Ford fans will be saying goodbye to the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Taurus, and C-MAX.