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08/07/2007

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Steve Woodruff

Good stuff! A car dealer blog that was intelligent and informative would go a long way towards dispelling the notion that that particular dealer was just another typical retail outlet looking for the next transaction. And how easy it would be to set one up!

Valeria Maltoni

Kevin:

A lot of solid advice here. I think most dealers do stay in touch with mailers and surveys; the intent is good, the execution is poor. Mass marketing anything these days makes less sense especially when there are opportunities to be personal.

Also, they give up just before you decide on your next purchase. Have you noticed how over time the mailers are less frequent and useful? That's when as a customer I might be considering a new car -- not on your time line, dealer, which might be too short for my budget, on mine.

Patrick Schaber

Hey Kevin,
Great thoughts...I like the emphasis on post-sale. There seems to be alot of untapped potential there.

Kevin Dugan

Thanks everyone! Valeria - you are spot on about the communication dwindling the closer you come to needing another car. Coincidence? I think not!

Post-sale and online would seem to be two HUGE opportunties with untapped potential for dealers. We need a Jeff Jarvis to sound the alarm on this industry so more change occurs.

simplykyle

I loved this article! And I hope it gets around to the PR people in the automobile industry.

Eric Miltsch

Spot on comments about the urgent need for change within the car industry. Customers & buyers have been asking for changes for a long time.

We're taking on those dinosaurs with industry leading changes. The attention given to features in our CRM and our BDC has led to nearly half of our business being referral driven. Other differences like our monthly eNewsletter & online auctions help too.

Our community involvement is high priority as we look to support the communities we live and work in as well.

Launching our own blog was a no-brainer - the additional traffic and branding helped tremendously.

Even Spielberg would enjoy himself here...


Nicole Vickers

Car dealers should also change their marketing strategies based on the market trend and the preferences of their customers. Since social media is now an internet trend, why not use that as another communication medium between them and the public?

Delsie Maidens

You're right. Through the power of the Internet, car dealers can easily update customers with news about their vehicles and vehicle upgrades. Updated PR methods will also convince them better than old-school techniques.

Chris

Great article! In traditional marketing practices the chain of communication has to be maintained to be effective. The problem with this approach to marketing is that the communication is in one direction only with very limited dialog between the dealer, prospect or customer... not to mention expensive! In today's social climate it's in the dealer's best interest to establish a solid brand or image through Facebook, blog, mobile app or other online entity. The next generation of car buyers is totally online and conventional marketing methods will fall short in reaching them. The car buying conversation is taking place online and the dealers need to be in it.

mark

car dealership is quite interesting yet it needs a lot of skills to be effective. howevery, internet users can now grab offers and upgrades in just a few clicks which makes this modern world a lot better than decades ago.

Sean Carter

This is a very needed and helpful post! I had been very tired of the people I had to deal with at many places I was looking at cars in. They didn't see to be looking out for my needs. After I really did some research I found a car dealership in Texas that was wonderful and helped me find the right car for me.

Andy Sandleman

Great article you have. im planning to deal cars but im not quite sure if i have the capability on dealing these things. Any suggestion?

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Charlie - Breakdown Assistance

I think the issue is that car dealers don't change because their current method of sales is the only way they can sell. Gradual commitment is there forte! And you have two types of car sales people; 1) the salesman who just want to sell you a car even if he has to lie to you, 2) the salesman who genuinely cares about finding the right car for you whilst trying to secure a sale. However, it is very difficult to tell the difference between the two types nowadays...

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Brendon Ross

Couldn't agree more with your points. I work for a dealership and these are some of the things we have been trying to implement to become one of the best. The dealership model is somewhat of a monopoly model because customers have no other choice if they want to buy new than go to a dealership so in the minds of the dealer owners, why change? This is something that needs to change though. If dealers implement some of the tips mentioned they will get more customers than competition, shredding the old school model.

Very thought provoking post.

Cheers
Brendon

jimstout7878

It is nice to see that they have some customer loyalty benefits in play here. I would really like to get a car from these guys one of these days. I just gotta keep saving my nickels and dimes.

http://www.cashforcarsnow.com.au/cash-for-cars-now

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