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Automotive Digital Marketing – Spread the Word about this Professional Community

January 24, 2013 3 comments

Automotive Digital Marketing – Spread the Word – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

 

Spread the Word – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community  Find more videos like this on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

JD Rucker writes: Automotive Digital Marketing, better known by many in the automotive industry as simply ADM, needs your help. As a community that specializes in highlighting the best practices and strongest techniques that dealers can use to improve their online marketing, ADM has proven time and time again to be the highest venue to exchange ideas, discuss strategies, and share stories. Let’s spread the word to every dealer we know at 20 groups and everywhere else to expand the community. The stronger the community, the more useful it will be for all of us.”

Ralph Paglia responds: JD Rucker… You rock! I doubt if there are any ADM Professional Community Members who are unaware of JD’s support for this community, but let me share these observations with our community.  For quite a few years, JD has consistently been one of the auto industry’s staunchest supporters of raising the overall levels of professional knowledge and expertise among people in the car business.  He has called me on numerous occasions to discuss the strategies and site management tactics designed to grow the actual “COMMUNITY” concept that ADM is based upon.
Even when JD and I were direct competitors, debating each other on the conference circuit, he was and remains one of the highest integrity leaders I have had the privilege of working with in the car business.  JD Rucker specializes in, and is passionate about driving all of us to ask more questions, push our knowledge and skill sets a little higher each day and being one of my mentors and proponents of so many strong and enduring principles that I and a growing number of others believe in.
When it comes to doing what is best for a dealer client, I have personally received many messages and calls from JD encouraging all of us in the supplier side of the business to stay focused on what is best for the client and to drop our petty competitive attitudes when the opportunity to collaborate and deliver better results to a dealership presents itself.  Watching this video while speaking to JD on the phone has been a moving experience for me… And, he is right… let’s get more dealers and car biz pros to participate, post, comment and become ACTIVE members of the ADM Professional Community.  Each of us will grow and benefit from the experience and our efforts to support and encourage continuous improvement of our craft.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Digital Dealer Compliance – Automotive Marketing Professionals

January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Digital Dealer Compliance – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

 

Digital Dealer Compliance

Dealership compliance concerns have traditionally focused primarily on the sales and finance processes. However, the unprecedented growth of digital marketing, social media, and online reputation management has invited new regulations and created additional legal challenges for dealers to contend with. Following are six areas that dealers should pay close attention to in 2013:

Advertising Online – Internet advertising may be handled by any number of people in the dealership, such as a used car manager, internet manager, marketing director or perhaps an outside vendor. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state regulators have been taking a much more aggressive stance in examining and challenging internet advertising. It’s vital that anyone who is responsible for writing and posting advertisements online be well aware of state and federal advertising regulations.

A particular area of concern is social media. Despite the fact that social networking tends to be a low-keyed, casual type of communication, advertising regulations still apply. For instance, if inventory is posted or prices/payments are quoted on a social media site, it’s likely that the posts will be deemed to be advertisements and will be subject to disclosure and truth in advertising regulations. A good rule of thumb is to have any information that could possibly be construed as advertising reviewed by upper management or a qualified professional before it is posted online. Remember, advertising violations can be easy for regulators to identify and difficult to defend against.

Online Reviews – The FTC’s updated Endorsement and Advertising Guidelines require companies to ensure that their posts are completely accurate and not misleading, and planting or allowing fake reviews is a violation. Reviewers must never endorse a product or service that they have not used personally or create any other form of false endorsement.

Dealers may also face liability if employees or vendors use social media to comment on the company’s services or products without disclosing the employment or business relationship. The FTC has indicated that companies are fully responsible and liable for all inappropriate actions of their employees and their vendors.

Regulations also require that any reviewer provided with any form of compensation for posting a review must fully disclose the source and nature of any compensation received. So, if a dealer gives away free oil changes or gas cards for reviews and the reviewers fail to disclose their compensation, the dealership may face liability.

Social Media Policies – Social media applications have soared in popularity and it’s important that dealers control the information that’s coming out of their business. Policies and procedures should be put in place to spell out how employees are expected to conduct themselves within social media.  A social media policy can help take the guesswork out of what is appropriate for employees to post about a company to their social networks.

In addition, there are a number of legal considerations that every company should be aware of when establishing their social media policies and procedures, such as social media use in employment decisions; potential overtime claims; harassment, discrimination and defamation claims; and copyright and privacy issues. Beyond legal risks, employees can harm a company’s reputation by disseminating controversial or inappropriate comments.

Contests and Sweepstakes – Sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways have become increasingly popular among dealerships, especially on sites such as Facebook. These promotions can be a great way to get word out about your company, increase your social media presence and develop leads. However, entry into a poorly considered sweepstakes or contest can be a trap for the unwary dealer. These promotions are governed by a variety of federal and state laws as well as social networking sites’ terms of service. Failure to follow pertinent statutes and regulations regarding promotions can lead to government inquiries, civil enforcement actions, adverse publicity, and even criminal penalties.

Text Message Marketing – A recent high-profile lawsuit involving a large dealer group that allegedly failed to honor text message opt-out requests ended in a $2.5 million settlement. Text messaging is subject to a number of federal and state restrictions and the rules are extremely confusing. These regulations can be much more difficult to deal with than telemarketing or email regulations – primarily because many consumers are charged for text messages and the government feels that they should be afforded additional protection against unwanted solicitations. It’s wise to always consult knowledgeable legal counsel before launching a text marketing campaign.

Online Privacy – Dealerships typically collect a great deal of personal information from their website visitors through contact forms, online credit applications, etc. What many businesses fail to realize is how vitally important it is to properly handle any Personally Identifiable Information (PII) collected from consumers through their sites. The potential penalties are substantial. It’s important for dealers to examine their policies for handling consumer privacy online and to review the policies with their employees and vendors to ascertain their understanding. The FTC has penalized a number of companies for failing to follow their own published privacy statements.

 

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

 

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A Promise Made Should Always Be Kept – Automotive Professional Community

November 30, 2012 Leave a comment

A Promise Made Should Always Be Kept

A Promise Made Should Always Be Kept

A Promise Made Should Always Be Kept
My office here at home faces the street and across the road I see two men building a home that is every bit 5000 square feet. Everyday no matter what the weather may be, the men brave the cold and the rain to accomplish the task of building the home. Yesterday I walked over to speak to the men to ask them why they braved the elements day in and day out to finish the home. They both just laughed and said that they had made a promise to the owners that they would be in the home by Christmas and once they give their word and make a promise there was nothing not the cold, not the rain, nor the snow that could keep them from breaking it.

I thought to myself, “What a powerful message these men have to teach us all.” The power of a promise kept is not only thought provoking but simply powerful in itself. What an unbelievably simple yet powerful message that these two men can teach us all when it comes down to running our business. No matter what business we run, a small mom and pop store or a multi-million dollar dealer group, couldn’t we all learn or build upon the powerful message of a promise kept?

If you own a dealership or manage a dealership have you ever sat back and simply observed to see if the promises that you are making to your customers are being kept? If you are not keeping your promises, maybe its time to figure out why, because promises matter to your customers. If your dealership or business does not deliver on the promise that you made, your business will not matter to them anymore. This reigns true no matter what your business may be and more importantly, with our social media crazed life that we now lead, lashing out online about the broken promises that your business made will have instant ramifications to the credibility of your dealership or business.

There is no time like the present to take the necessary steps to make sure that your business is keeping their promises, because if you do not the consequences can be so severe that no reputation management company can help with. So if there is one lesson I have learned this week its how powerful your promise can be to your customer and how keeping your promises can help with every facet of your business.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Car Dealers Go On Offensive Against Negative Reviews

May 24, 2010 1 comment

Car Dealers Go On Offensive Against Negative Reviews

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Car Dealers are taking a particularly aggressive stance against anonymous reviews found on such sites as Yelp or Ripoff Report by actively trying to connect the data dots to identify the author.

Once the dealer has identifying information in hand it might thank the poster for the good review – perhaps with a gift basket. In the case of a negative review, the dealer or manager might send an email asking for either a reconsideration or a chance to readdress what was wrong with the person’s stay, according to the AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com editor in chief, Ralph Paglia.

Fraudulent Tactics

Most ominously, ADM Professional Community members report that a negative review could earn a poster a black mark in the car dealer’s DMS database. Such tactics, though – on both extremes – could backfire against the industry. Efforts by the dealer to pressure a guest to remove a negative review – or reward a guest for a positive one – would be seen as fraudulent by both Yelp and DealerRater says Chip Grueter, owner of DealerRater (via the ADM Community).

That said, Car Dealers should try to answer negative reviews even if they don’t know who posted them, Jim Jensen, a former general manager turned consultant and the author of the dealer-based “Where’s The Comparison Example” Mystery series, now an ADP Dealer Services Director of Consulting, states:

“Some would say that online reviews deserve even more time than OEM surveys, as the feedback is just as – if not more – valuable, and the impact is public.”

His advice:

  • Respond to any feedback that is damaging to your dealership’s reputation, even if simply to acknowledge the issue and apologize.
  • Respond to positive reviews occasionally to show you’re listening, but don’t feel obliged to reply to each one.
  • Responses should come from the highest level – but not necessarily from the owners themselves. “As a rule I discourage dealership owners from responding. They have too much at stake and aren’t always as diplomatic as managers.”
  • Respond as soon as possible – the longer a complaint is left to fester, the more business it will drive away. Just make sure you have all the facts and the response is thorough.

Don’t Be Afraid

Finally, don’t fear negative reviews, a Forrester Research report advises. Forrester recentlyevaluated 4,000 reviews in the Automotive Sales and Vehicle Repair and Service categories on various consumer rating sites and found that more than 80% of the reviews were positive – and the negative reviews were generally considered helpful to consumers. While the data was derived from retail Web sites, Forrester says these findings are applicable to any vertical site from travel to auto, financial services, or healthcare.

Negative reviews are also helpful to the companies themselves, according to Ralph Paglia, Director of Digital Marketing for ADP Dealer Services (and ADM Professional Community). While many car dealers might fear negative reviews, it is this type of specific feedback that has oftentimes uncovered valuable business opportunities with many of our clients.

“It was through the power of customer reviews that Ford of Kirkland was able to uncover a huge unmet need in the Seattle area for Ford F-350 trucks, he said: equipped with multi-purpose shelving and dual rear wheels. “Ford of Kirkland developed what ultimately became their most successful promotion campaign to date – the “Mount Ranier” Special Edition Ford F-250 Super Duty line of trucks.”

[Sent from Ralph Paglia’s iPhone]

Ralph Paglia
Director – Digital Marketing
ADP Dealer Services
cell: 505-301-6369
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