No Bullshit Here! Google Comes to Edmonton

Google Event

June 23 was our first Google Event in Edmonton and it was a huge success! This event was special not only because it was the first event of its kind in Edmonton, but also because it was the official launch of our non-automotive division – The UnAgency. Check out our full blog post, as well as our band new UnAgency website here!

 

Western Canadian Dealer Summit Recap- Banff Sept 13–15 2015

western canadian dealer summit

Another great year in the books for the Western Canadian Dealer Summit that brings three provinces together to educate and entertain car dealers.  So what did we learn? Here is the highlight reel:

  • Claire Thomson from Google Canada gave us an overview of the newly released Think Auto Data. Overall auto shoppers are taking 9 days less to move from the thinking to buying stage and they are still not happy with the timeliness and quality of responses from dealers.  Claire reminded us that people are busy and that as a dealer you need to get it right online with the first interaction.  Mobile experience is still important and dealers need to focus efforts on mobile bid modifiers and location and call extensions.
  • Dealer Principal Tom White Jr. gave a top notch presentation on people, process and culture. At his dealership in Wichita they have flipped the org chart upside down and believe in what Tom has dubbed “servant leadership.”  Tom spends 80% of his time getting to know his people at their activity-based dealership.  (A Subaru dealership that happens to be 4th in the country while being located in a market with less than 500,000 people.)
  • Charlie Vogelheim from Motor Trend Audio gave by far the most animated and perhaps most honest presentation on the internet, 3rd parties and vendors. Apple Car Play and Android Auto are coming and all the big manufacturers have offices in Silicon Valley now.  Disruptive technology is on its way to the auto industry, get ready!
  • Jeff Cryder formerly of Lebanon Ford talked about online reputation management. The best question that he posed in my mind was Are your reviews a reflection of your excellent review process or of your quality service? Do not expect reviews for average service, nobody raves about average!
  • Ed Woiteshek from CarProof Canada talked about the think tank initiative that they have launched called Transparency Advantage. Car shopping has a long way to come and it is time to innovate or get disrupted.  The think tank is working on several initiatives with a lot of promise, go to TransparencyAdvantage.org to learn more.
  • Search Optics did an interesting survey of dealers and how they feel their digital strategies perform versus what they are spending. The insights presented were very enlightening for the dealers and provided some benchmarks for dealers to better understand how their own spend compares.
  • Yours truly was on a panel about data ownership and why it matters to dealers. Don Hansen, Emily Baum and Allan Chell presented very important arguments from different perspectives to create awareness about this topic for dealers.
  • Wrapping up the conference was Alan Bird from SCI Marketview who shared his “Driving Sales 2015 Most Valuable Insight” winning presentation. Alan and his team were able to prove with data that not only is the speed of a response important but that the quality of the response is extremely important at increasing closing rates.  (Auto-responders and weak response won’t cut it.) You need to focus on subject lines and greetings, answering and posing questions, giving prices and availability and your dealership value proposition.

It was a great conference and Jay Radke definitely deserves a shout out for hosting it again.  Looking forward to next year in Vegas!

Google LiveStream Event hosted by Strathcom Media in Calgary on Sept. 30, 2015

online-marketing-ideas

Learn how to boost your dealership’s profits with online marketing by joining us at Strathcom’s fourth FREE Google livestream event on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 in Calgary, AB. Almost 90% of consumers use Google to search for products and services, so you won’t want to miss out on this rare opportunity to get a leg up on the competition.

We’ll be joined by Matt Lawson, Director Google’s Search Ads Marketing, and Fred Vallaeys, Google AdWords Evangelist, who will answer your questions and teach you how get the most out of online marketing.

Bring your notebook, questions, and an empty stomach (a hot breakfast will be served!).

Click here to RSVP and get more information. Hurry! Space is limited!

World Cup BBQ

It’s the biggest game in the world. Every year, millions everywhere gather to yell, cheer, and pump their fists. Clutching to the dream that their respective clan will dominate, claiming glory to that golden cup.

FIfa World Cup

It’s one of the most fierce and competitive seasons known to man, characterized by blood, sweat, grass stains, and fans with a huge lung capacity. The never-ending sea of fans cheer and stomp their feet so loud, it echoes like thunder. The players hold the crowd’s breath captive as they dance across the field like a cheetah cornering its prey.

I have always been amazed that something so simple could bring so many people together. Hundreds of thousands of people, many who are complete strangers, put their differences aside and gather in unison to cheer, high-five, and clink drinks with each other with every play.

Today at Strathcom, we dipped our toes into the soccer world and partook in the celebration.

This included the old fashioned American burgers, German-style smokies with sauerkraut, and perhaps some German refreshment as well.

world cup bbq

We headed south of the border with some amazing homemade salsas and nachos. Don’t worry, we didn’t leave the Italians out either. We had vegetables with our veggie kabobs topped with dressing. Don’t forget the pitas, thanks to the Greeks.

fifa world cup bbq

pot luck food

Of course we had cake—is there a culture that doesn’t? We had a small detour to Switzerland and indulged in their infamous chocolate.

Nothing beats a beautiful day outside while partaking in one of the most celebrated games of all time.

Some of us took the initiative to dress the part, as well as some soccer dribbling practice during the feast while we allowed ourselves to digest.

Here at Strathcom, we gathered together as a team to share in the amazing culture of soccer the only way we know how. We ate until we could eat no more, and we have no regrets about that.