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December 11, 2009 Leave a comment

I am checking out how the WordPress 2 app works on the new iPhone 3Gs and so far everything seems to be working. On Christmas day I wrote a blog on ADM Community reflecting my musings and observations about how social networking and UGC sites have impacted both me and the car business. Judging from the multiple comments in response, my perspective on how social media sites have allowed automotive professionals to connect and collaborate is not only a refreshing break from the steady stream of B2C dribble, it also rings true! When you get a chance, go to www.ADMPC.com and check it out…

[Sent from Ralph Paglia’s iPhone]

Find more photos like this on Automotive Avenues Community

The Automotive Avenues Customer Testimonials are from “Comment Cards” used at time of delivery, and then scanned for display on the Automotive Avenues Community site as images in their Original Hand-Written Format. This is an automated slide show that appears on top of a column full of Automotive Avenues customer reviews and ratings direct from DealerRater.com.

Find more photos like this on Automotive Avenues Community

Read more…

Clunker Results May Point to Market Shift

September 11, 2009 Leave a comment

‘Clunkers’ Boosts Ford, not Chrysler and GM
Government rebate program boosted sales to levels not seen in a couple of years. This aided an industry already seeing some signs of recovery. Dealers have reported shortages of some small cars. Many ‘Clunkers’ buyers were already in the market for a new car.

Automotive Social Marketing Reputation Management Should be Included in Dealership Advertising Budgets

With the rapidly emerging predominance of User Generated Content (UGC) activity on Social Networks, photo and video hosting sites, and various types of blogs as a percentage of total consumer online activity, it would seem to be only a matter of time before car dealers realize the necessity of creating online dealership communities made up of members who contribute to site content, dialogue and the exchange of information and assets. Despite the low cost, and even no cost access to various Web 2.0 User Generated Content sites and resources that all dealers have access to, there are costs involved to do it right, and there is a lot of time consuming work to get it right. Let’s face it, nobody works for free and neither do people asked to get a dealership social marketing strategy off the ground and put into place… And then there is maintenance. The fact is, conventional old school advertising campaigns don’t engage people any more, they just interrupt whatever customers are doing and at most, if done really right, they entertain customers. By approaching the tactical implementation of a social marketing strategy with a relatively small monthly budget, dealers can:
1. Have a dedicated URL that enhances SEO for their Dealership Community
2. Remove advertising on their Community site and use the space for their own ads
3. Enroll in a Dealer Review program and use filtered content widgets and RSS feeds for Reputation Management
4. Sponsor various contests and awards to encourage customers to actively participate in the dealer’s community
5. Use Search Advertising to attract customers and drive dealership community enrollment
7. Sponsor various events and club activities that are announced on the dealer’s community site

From what I have seen so far, the most successful dealership UGC communities will attract and engage a healthy mix of existing dealership customers, dealership employees, dealership suppliers, OEM field staff and prospective dealership customers from various sources of traffic. I will use this article to display a list of dealership community sites that I believe best represent this emerging form of online customer relationship and reputation management. As time goes on, my intent is to keep this article updated with the addition of more dealership Web 2.0 UGC community sites as they are created and I find out about them.

Find more videos like this on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community (ADM)

Check out the following dealership created online UGC communities based on Web 2.0 site platforms… The recently created Tysinger Dealership Community was was built by an ADM member, Richard Klepach:

1. Ford-Community.com
2. SandersonCommunity.com
3. San-Tan-Ford.com
4. TysingerCommunity.ning.com
5. Beck Toyota Scion Community at BeckToyota.ning.com
6. The Upstate Honda Enthusiast Community – Breakaway Honda; Greenville, SC
7. The Boston Cadillac Community created by ADM Professional Chris Fousek
8. My Jeep Community at MyJeepCommunity.com from Westbury Jeep in Westbury, NY
9. The Boston Honda Community at HondaGallery.ning.com created for Honda Gallery of North Reading, MA.
10. The Acton Toyota Community is a great example of getting dealership employees to participate.
11. ADM’s very own Amy Rothenberger has created an exceptionally well designed Mazda Community site.
12. A new Online Automotive Community at http://www.FordCommunity.com is from Rich Ford of Albuquerque.
13. Check out http://www.MyDubSpace.com created by ADM’s own Ken Nix!
14. Check out the 7 Store Kenny Ross Auto Group Community at http://www.KennyRossCommunity.com which is set up with all the optional Ning Premium Services including ownership of the Advertising space and revenue stream.

MyDubSpace.com is an online social network of new and classic Volkswagen, Owners and Enthusiasts.

The Tysinger Community site is very impressive. Richard set it up for his dealership’s customers, employees and suppliers… There are so few people that really understand the value in creating an online dealership community when it is not just to sell, sell, sell today! I know that Tysinger’s customers, the dealership employees and the suppliers that the Tysinger stores use will appreciate the work on Richard’s part.

It would be great if Richard would publish on ADM anything that he sees or notices in regards to making a dealership Web 2.0 type site work or not work… I will participate as much as I can, and will be sure to let anyone in Tysinger’s area know about their dealership community, and their efforts at carving out a new customer relationship development and management model…

For the SandersonCommunity.com site, I downloaded about 10,000 names and email addresses from their ILM, then uploaded them into the Ning invite system and sent them out… If I had to do it over again, I would have broken up those 10,000 emails into 10 separate files and spaced out the invitations at 1,000 per week for 10 weeks.

The Ford-Community.com site is the best example I have yet seen of a dealer leveraging the power of DealerRater.com’s customer review data feed that pushes positive reviews to dealer designated websites… Perfect for the Web 2.0/UGC applications such as a dealer community built on the Ning platform.

Wendell Dossett is an active ADM Professional who has created an online community for his dealership’s customers, employees and suppliers. The Beck Toyota Scion Community is brand new and holds a ton of promise, especially given the social networking chracteristics of the typical Scion owner… We are looking forward to hearing from Wendell about what works and what doesn’t with this new genre of dealership website.

THIS ARTICLE WILL BE UPDATED PERIODICALLY WITH ADDITIONAL DEALER COMMUNITY WEB 2.0 SITES ADDED TO THE LIST ABOVE

Find more videos like this on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community (ADM)
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About the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

The Automotive Digital Marketing (ADM) Professional Community website is built on a perpetually growing”Viral Expansion Loop” Networking Platform and serves Car Dealers, Dealership General Managers and their management teams, including Internet Sales Managers, BDC Managers, Marketing Managers, Sales Managers, Service Managers, Service Advisers, Parts Managers, Fixed Operations Directors and their teams. Launched at the beginning of January 2008, ADM has emerged as a valuable and proven resource for the entire spectrum of automotive marketing and Internet sales related professionals. Interactive Media and eCommerce Professionals at car companies (OEM) and tier 1 and 2 advertising agencies who want to see, hear and read what the best Digital and Interactive Marketing professionals in the automotive industry have to say about relevant and timely topics visit ADM on a regular basis or subscribe to the many RSS feeds and content syndication services available within the ADM community.

NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES
Did you know there are now over 2,100 members on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community?
Have you reached out to connect with important ADM member contacts by asking them to be your Friend?

AUTOMOTIVE IMAGE AND PHOTO RESOURCES
Did you know that there are over 4,000 photos listed on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community?
And, do you know that many of these images are actually charts and graphs of the latest marketing trends and research? Did you know that many of these photos are actual ads used by dealers that worked exceptionally well? There have been over 4,000 photos uploaded and made available for use by all ADM members.

AUTOMOTIVE VIDEO FILE HOSTING
Did you know that there are more than 750 videos on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community?
Have you seen how many of those videos are actual examples of marketing campaigns and business processes used successfully by some of the leading and most successful dealers in America?

GET ACCESS TO AUTOMOTIVE ARTICLES AND PUBLISH YOURS
Did you know that there are over 500 blog posts on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community?
When was the last time you posted a blog entry and let important ADM industry professionals know what you are up to? Have you checked ADM for the latest articles published by writers who walk the talk? Members have created more than 500 blog posts within their ADM provided websites that feature online file storage and personalized blog hosting at no cost to ADM members.

SOMETIMES CONTROVERSIAL, BUT ALWAYS FASCINATING AUTOMOTIVE DISCUSSION FORUM
Did you know that there are over 500 forum topics on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community?
Have you checked the forum lately to see what your associates, clients and colleagues are saying?
Have you posted a forum discussion to see what other professionals have to say about the topic?
There have been over 500 discussions started and still active with ongoing comments and information being published daily within the ADM Forum.

SPECIALIZED AUTOMOTIVE PROFESSIONAL GROUPS
Did you know that there are more than 25 professional groups on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community?
Have you joined any groups so that you can send messages to all other group members?

EVENT CALENDAR FOR AUTOMOTIVE PROFESSIONALS
Did you know that there are Important Upcoming Automotive Digital Marketing Events listed on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community?
Have you posted what you or your organization considers to be important upcoming events on the ADM calendar so that other professionals will know about them, consider attending and register their intent? ADM members can create calendar events using the ADM site application that allows image and logos, links to registration pages, location maps that integrate with Google Maps, Outlook Calendar integration, invitation mailings using uploaded email lists, RSVP tracking and event management features and a whole lot more.

RADIO SPOTS AND AUTOMOTIVE PODCASTS
Did you know that there are more than 500 MP3 audio files on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? Have you checked out what other automotive professionals are listening to?
Did you know that many of these MP3 files are automotive marketing and Internet sales best practice Podcasts, and examples of highly effective radio spots, along with powerful and engaging dealer website soundtracks?

JOIN ADM AND GET ACCESS TO VALUABLE RESOURCES
If you are interested in visiting and perhaps joining the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community, go to: http://www.AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com

The ADM Professional Community is all about car companies and their dealers using the web to drive more business opportunities through increased showroom traffic, more unique visitors to Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 websites, rising volumes of incoming phone calls, and more Internet sales leads from qualified buyers that positively impact total sales volumes.

ADM was created to serve as a resource for Automotive Internet Sales and Marketing Professionals working in the digital marketing space for Acura, Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet, Chevy, Honda, Nissan, GMC, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Lincoln, Mercury, Mini, Jeep, Volvo, Saab, Hummer, Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, Saturn, Lexus, Porsche, Hyundai, Kia, Suzuki, Subaru, Volkswagen and other automotive franchises. Both OEM and Dealer associates are among ADM’s most prolific members.

Used Car and Truck Sales Managers, OEM Certified Pre-Owned Program and Automotive Remarketing Professionals have access to a treasure trove of data, files, best practices, strategies, tactics and great contacts within the industry available to them at ADM.

ADM is also proud to serve as an online meeting place, professional networking resource and auto industry best practice exchange for automotive suppliers, marketing service providers and advertising agencies who provide car dealer Internet sales and web marketing solutions. ADM members include high ranking executives from such companies as ADP Dealer Services, JW Thompson, Zimmerman, The Cobalt Group, The Reynolds and Reynolds Company, BZ Results, ADP Dynamic Websites, Dealer.com Automotive Websites, Dealerskins, Izmocars and Izmo CRM, TK CarSites, Autobase, DealerTrack, Arkona, Clickmotive, Xi Group, vinSolutions, Reynolds Web Solutions and other dealership technology suppliers and vendors.

Why ADM for Car Guys and Gals?

June 14, 2009 4 comments

Ralph Paglia created this automotive professional network and community of Internet sales and marketing thought leaders, practitioners and suppliers as a service to his auto industry colleagues after having a negative experience with a site that portended to be an automotive professional community…

In December 2007 Ralph had joined an online community set up by the owner of a small automotive software company. When Ralph joined this web based community of automotive professionals, there were about 45 members. Ralph invited friends and colleagues using his Outlook Contact files and soon his invitations resulted in over 200 of his contacts joining the community. On January 2, 2008 Ralph Paglia went to log into the web community and received a message that he had been “Banned” from the community!

When he realized what had happened, Ralph decided to create an online community of automotive professionals that would be open and unfettered, providing a voice for all automotive marketing and sales professionals who want to communicate with others in the auto industry without fear of intimidation, being banned, suffering the indignities of censorship or being deemed not worthy due to who they work for or what their roles are in the auto industry…. Unlike many sites commissioned with serving automotive professionals, we keep ADM “wide open” in both heart and mind, with little moderation and even less censorship. From its inception, the ADM Community has been about letting people reveal their true nature, their thoughts, beliefs, strategies, practices, ideals, contact info, business propositions and tools… The ADM guiding principle being that as adults in the car business, we know when we are being sold, we know when we are being worked, and we know bullshit when we see, hear or read it! I hope that Tom Lesard is looking down, and is proud of me, the 25 year old green pea General Manager that he mentored…

This online community is dedicated to Thomas Lesard who was my boss from 1982 to 1984 while I worked for the De La Fuente Automotive Group in San Diego, CA. In 1982 Tom Lesard made me promise to return in kind the leadership and mentoring that he so generously provided me with. I had asked him how I could repay him for teaching me how to REALLY interpret dealership financial statements from a management perspective. Tom’s life, and those of two passengers, was cut short when the plane he was piloting crashed on approach to the general aviation airport in Kearney Mesa. I know that nobody misses Tom as much as his family, but here it is 25 years later and I am still making a conscientious effort at keeping the promises I made to Tom… Such is the lasting impact of true leaders.
Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community (ADM) Launched at the beginning of January 2008, by the 4th of July 2008 the ADM Professional Community had over 1,000 active registered members… By the end of April 2009 the ADM Community boasted well over 2,400 active registered members and over 10,000 Unique Visitors each month… All of whom come to the site to gain insight, guidance, wisdom and to see what other automotive professionals are doing, and decide whether the guidance received might work for them.

That’s why ADM was created, to provide an open source of strategies, tactics, email templates, phone scripts, reporting spreadsheets, SEO practices, job descriptions, pay plans, images, videos and, well, anything else that we can think of that could help any of us do a better job of finding customers and selling more cars!
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Because, if we all share these tools and insights for the purpose of raising the overall level of professional capability in the auto industry… In the end, we will have accomplished a lot, including making all of us who participate in the ADM Professional Community “experiment” more successful, better paid and most importantly, the beneficiaries of a greater degree of professional respect from our colleagues and coworkers within our chosen field of endeavor… Selling cars and making stars!

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