“The City of Brotherly Love.” “The Birthplace of America.” “The Place with the Weird Sports Mascots.” Auspicious nicknames are befitting of Philadelphia indeed, and in this fine city did an equally auspicious event recently take place: Hero Conf 2019. We had the pleasure of attending one of the online advertising industry’s largest conferences, at which thought-leaders from all over the world gather to share, challenge, and provoke the eager minds of the equally global attendees. Featured topics were wide ranging, from cutting edge theories on consumer behavior to optimal campaign setup for up-and-coming advertising platforms such as Quora, Reddit, and Amazon (if you can even call them up-and-coming anymore). As with previous years, the conference was spread over several days, with the bulk of the sessions taking place over a 2-day, inspiring, information-crammed, PPC marathon – and we are happy to share a summary of some of the event’s themes and takeaways for you here! Continue reading “Hero Conf 2019 Wrap Up”→
In today’s modern world, what with all of the online-dating and microwave dinners, certain habits—good manners if you will—have fallen by the wayside in favour of instant gratification. Why go see a movie when you could just open up Netflix? Hell, just the other day I heard a commercial over the radio for a certain fast-food chain’s app where you could pre-order your food so you “wouldn’t have to wait” for it. Pardon? It’s fast food. Call me old fashioned, but if you can’t wait the 45 seconds after pulling up to the window and paying for your burger—you’re probably a bigger part of the problem than the solution. But I’m getting sidetracked. My point is, when someone shows these good manners and old fashioned values, it sticks out. So when our friends at Google’s Toronto office offered to host us, and a few other industry leaders, we jumped at the chance.Continue reading “Great Hosts, Better Events: Google Toronto & Strathcom Media present Google Connect Premier”→
It was almost a day like any other, only that myself and another member of the Strathcom team flew to Toronto to take in Facebook Marketing Pro Expo–an event designed to showcase Facebook’s offerings to select advertising agency partners. Only the best agencies from all over Canada took in the half day event in the beautiful West Toronto event centre, The Glass Factory. In a move to improve the agency relationship, which will in turn improve the client relationship, Facebook introduced Facebook Pro: their new Marketing Partner program.
How It Went Down
The event itself was a great opportunity for Strathcom to network with companies Facebook has partnered with to improve advertising on the Facebook platform. One such provider is Shakr, a tool that lets you build out multiple ads with different content seamlessly, utilizing a user friendly, what you see is what you get-style interface. Along with these networking opportunities, the event offered the chance to connect with Facebook creative consultants to discuss ad creation best practices, and to converse with Facebook engineers to discuss the platform (and any issues that our agency has encountered). While lots of companies claim they’re always trying to improve user experience, we were able to actively influence the platform–which should net you real results! There were several lectures that our team attended, broken down by agency business practices: creativity, technology, and customer relationship management).
Some of the key takeaways from the creativity lecture were:
Facebook’s creative shop works with 7 million advertisers to support agencies. Facebook itself works with 5,000 advertising agencies.
On the advertising platform 4 million accounts use Instagram stories every day, and 3 million users are using Facebook and Facebook Messenger stories daily. If you aren’t already utilizing this tool, get on it.
Good creative makes people do three things: think, feel, and do.
From the technology lecture there was one standout highlight–the impact that attribution modelling can have on a business’ advertising strategies. Facebook Analytics will now show you more in-depth, key insights on your customers. You will be able to look at customer’s journey, and opportunities to reduce drop offs.
Marketing science helps businesses grow by transforming marketing practices, grounded in data science. One of the key takeaways from this lecture was the measurement journey that a department –grounded in a scientific approach to marketing– would use to measure success. This journey to better marketing requires you to have the right mindset, to test assumptions, and to create a long-term strategy that leaves room for growth. Facebook’s suggested format for this is:
Track the correct metrics. If they aren’t furthering your business’ goals, you may not need to focus on them.
Understand the results that Facebook is currently driving.
Optimize Facebook; have it work harder for you.
Determine how Facebook fits into your media mix. Spend the appropriate time to see the appropriate ROI. How does something like cross-device behaviour impact your marketing goals (which will impact your future marketing decisions).
Inform your media spend with better data! This goes back to tracking the proper metrics, and making sure they align with your goals. How much of your budget is allocated to specific channels?
These are all decisions that will help to build a successful Facebook marketing plan.
Unfortunately, like the holiday season, the conference was short and sweet. By lunch we had been filled with knowledge and Facebook branded products, and we headed toward the exit. It may have only been a half day conference, but we’ll see the impact of what we learned playing out for a long time. Fortunately, there was a little time before our flight back to our snowy home of Edmonton, so the two of us took in the West Toronto streets and dined on delicious hot ramen. The perfect way to end a chilly 23 hours in Canada’s little NY.
My Takeaways From This Year’s Call-To-Action Conference
In our industry, more than others, we are consistently challenged to break through the noise and engage individuals in a way that converts them to customers. This means creating better content.
The 5th Call-To-Action Conference, hosted by Unbounce in Vancouver, BC, was full of insightful and actionable ideas about the ever changing marketing landscape. From AI generated pages to a step-by-step walk-through of landing page audits, there were new things to learn and relearn throughout the conference.
I recently attended the UnWorkshop event put on by MDA for Edmonton and Calgary automotive dealers. The moderators for the event, Jay Radke and Michael Cirillo, keep these events more hands on and collaborative—and less about being presented to.
This event was focused on local SEO with Darren Shaw, founder of the Edmonton agency WhiteSpark, and he performed a live audit in each city for one of the dealerships attending. Darren focused on 5 key areas during his audit, Google My Business, Reviews, Citations, Website, and Links. Below are a few key takeaways from the conference.Continue reading “MDA UnWorkshop Recap: All About Local SEO”→
It’s been a whirlwind of a month for me, what with travelling to Calgary, back to Edmonton, and then off to Grande Prairie for the FCA Roadshow— but July also includes my favourite reason to travel in the summer: MozCon. MozCon is a 3-day digital marketing conference in Seattle, WA that is hosted by Moz, a software-as-a-service business that creates SEO products. This was my fourth time attending this conference, and second favourite visit overall–only beat out by my first experience. Before we jump into my biggest takeaways for this year, I wanted to touch on my first experience (since I’ve never had really had a chance to talk about until now), so that you can understand why this particular conference really stands out from the rest.Continue reading “There’s No Place Like… MozCon 2018”→
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”→
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”→
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”→
The 2018 PPC Hero Conference (aka “Hero Conf” for those who prefer to abbrev) has come and gone, and we had the pleasure of traveling down to Austin to attend. As one of the largest online advertising conferences in the industry, Hero Conf attracted attendees from all over the world for a jam-packed three-day PPC marathon. With keynote speakers ranging from heavy-hitters such as Pinterest and Optmyzr, and breakout sessions hosted by some of the best and brightest minds working in the industry, obviously there’s no way to convey every detail of an event so rich in content and actionable information in one blog post. But we wanted to share snapshots of this year’s iteration, both in content and ambiance. Continue reading “Hero Conf 2018 Wrap Up”→
Well, another year and another Edmonton Motorshow has passed us by, leaving a small hole in this author’s heart. For car-lovers, the excitement of actually seeing and touching the latest automotive machinery just can’t be replicated by the manufacturer’s “Build & Price” pages or endlessly trolling Kijiji for vehicles you in all likelihood will never own.
This year’s motor show was again a fantastic smorgasbord of economical hatchbacks, looming heavy-duty pickups, and ratified high-performance metal. Picking just five vehicles to represent the very best of the motor show was no easy feat, especially with the car enthusiast inside of me demanding I pick only the most powerful and most expensive machinery available.
Nevertheless, I’ve managed to shorten the list to just five vehicles that stood out from the rest for all the right reasons. So enough babble, let’s get down to business.
On March 28 in Toronto, specialists from across Canada came together for the annual Facebook Summit conference. It was a half day event which consisted of amazing speakers and great food – a full day of learning. After visiting multiple auto-related conferences, training and events, this was a refreshing change for this author as the conference had more of a general outlook about online presence, especially Facebook. Here’s what we learned at the Facebook Summit Toronto 2018 conference.
Auto Remarketing Canada Conference is an annual event that brings together dealerships and vendors from across Canada to learn and network. It is a two-day event with sessions across various stages with multiple vendors offering their magical services. Strathcom Media had four people present at the event, with each of us trying to do a double duty of [wo]manning our awesome booth and attending sessions, and of course, one of our very own was speaking at the event as well. Here’s our Auto Remarketing Canada 2018 recap.
Everything: Content and Social is an event put together by Digital Summit, a U.S.-based event company that specializes in marketing events throughout various U.S. cities. Strathcom attended this conference for two reasons: the first being it was close to Toronto, only four hours of driving; and the second being we enjoy learning and want to learn as much as possible from industry leaders in marketing. This was an eight-hour conference that occurred on March 23, 2018, with industry leaders from companies such as DocuSign, Best Buy, National Geographic, City of Detroit and Verizon speaking at the event. The event was set up in a two-stage format with speakers talking about various online marketing topics. Let me start this Everything: Content & Social event recap with the first thing I learned and that stuck with me from the conference: be relatable. Continue reading “Everything: Content & Social Event Recap – Training Day In the Motor City”→
The Edmonton Motorshow has been Edmonton’s premiere automotive event for the last 42 years. With over 750 vehicles on display, there will be a lot to look at this year during The 2018 Edmonton Motorshow! In addition to all the great activities and events, there will be a few noteworthy vehicles you’ll want to check out. Let’s take a closer look at what this event has to offer. Continue reading “A Sneak Peek at the 2018 Edmonton Motorshow…”→
Bearing in mind that it is your OEM’s booth at the Motorshow, it is important to plan ahead in order to maximize your presence and differentiate yourself from the other dealers fighting over the same pool of visitors. We recommend using a multi-platform approach that targets users in several online spaces before the Motorshow even begins. We can use the Google Search Network to reach users searching for your dealership, your OEM, your models–or even for the Motorshow itself. We can use the Google Display Network in conjunction with Facebook and Instagram to drive awareness of your dealership’s presence at the Motorshow. For example, we can create ads that target audiences interested in your new and updated models featured at the Motorshow, and present them with your dealership’s messaging. Additionally, it’s possible to send visitors of your website a specific message about your presence at the Motorshow, where it is likely that someone interested in a new vehicle may already intend to visit. By leveraging online advertising early, we can get out ahead of your competition and advertise your dealership’s presence at shows.
Setting Yourself Apart with Promos
So, you already market your dealership as a place to find a great selection of vehicles and get a great deal, but so does everyone else! Likewise, other dealerships will be vying for the attention of potential customers at the Motorshow. Set yourself apart by advertising special event-related promotions for visitors who stop by and sign up with one of your Sales team members. For example, you can advertise limited time discounts like “the first 50 people to sign up for a test drive with our new model at the Motorshow get a voucher for $2,000 off their vehicle purchase,” or “enter to win a draw for a free detailing package/free tire swap and storage for a year… when you post a picture of yourself with our Sales Manager Dan at the Motorshow,” etc. The potential promotions are endless! Additionally, during the Motorshow, we can drive traffic directly to you at your OEM’s booth by using online advertising targeted at visitors who are already at or near the event!
Following Up After the Show
Put your Sales staff at the Motorshow to work using the event as an opportunity to collect customer contact information for future follow up. This information is invaluable for creating custom CRM lists to market specific offers to customers who visited you at the event. Your ads can link customers to a specific landing page containing a voucher for an additional incentive offer that can only be redeemed at your dealership. We can also use customer information to create custom target audiences of people who are similar to, and who share similar characteristics with, those who visited you at the Motorshow. It is likely that these people are further along in the buying process and will be more receptive to your special-incentive-based advertising. Additionally, it would be a good idea to write a blog post to engage with customers who were unable to chat with your Sales staff at the Motorshow; here too, we can target users who view this blog with messaging demonstrating your expertise and willingness to help. For example, “Missed us at the Edmonton Motorshow? You can still test drive our new model today!” Even after the Motorshow has wrapped up for the year, we can help you reach out to and retain customers from the event with your targeted message!
There are many ways to use online advertising to maximize your exposure when leveraging a special event like the Edmonton Motorshow. We recommend using a multi-platform advertising strategy targeted at potential customers before, during, and after the show–a strategy that uses event-specific advertising and incentives to differentiate your dealership from the competition. Strathcom Media has over 20 years of experience in the online automotive market and can work with you to develop and deploy an online advertising strategy that matches your specific goals. Make your dealership’s presence at this year’s Edmonton Motorshow a success with Strathcom Media’s digital advertising solutions. Get in touch with us today to learn more.