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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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Have You Checked Out New Dealer Marketing Magazine Website? – Automotive Marketing Professionals

October 3, 2012 Leave a comment

 

DealerMarketing.com Reveals New Website

DealerMarketing.com – new website for Dealer Marketing Magazine ready for viewing.

 

The reason I am asking for ADM Members to visit and comment on the new Dealer Marketing Magazine Website is that I was very impressed by what their team has created, and the partnership between the ADM Professional Community and Dealer Marketing Magazine has been so beneficial to ADM members.  Please visit their new site and post your reactions, likes, dislikes and comments regarding the redesign below this forum post…  Also, be sure to check out my latest article in Dealer Marketing Magazine about the Fall auto industry conference season: www.dealermarketing.com/automotive-convention-circuit-for-2012-2013…

 

SEATTLE, WA — DealerMarketing.com, the premier online source for Best Practices and How-To articles for the Auto Dealership Industry is proud to announce its new website. With their new website and partnership with AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com (ADM), DealerMarketing.com is the go-to resource for dealers and salespeople that want to increase their sales and profits.

 

“We are proud to announce our new website,” said DealerMarketing.com publisher and founder, Brett Stevenson, “Our new site, combined with our partnership with ADM, will create a one-stop shop for dealers and salespeople that want to increase their profits and connect with other dealers.”

 

With their new site, DealerMarketing.com has not only created a compelling site for dealers looking to learn how to grow their profits, but also a place to connect and trade ideas with their new Community Forums and Video Channel. Their new forums allow members to connect and chat or learn from experts. Simply join the Community and find the right forum.

“The goal of the new DealerMarketing.com is to be a resource for dealers,” explained DealerMarketing.com Editor in Chief, Michael Bowen, “We aim to be the gold standard for online dealership resources.”

 

About Dealer Marketing Magazine

When Dealer Marketing Magazine began in January of 2002, it was based on the idea that auto dealers could benefit from the experience and advice of expert marketers across the country. Since that time, Dealer Marketing Magazine has become the leader in automotive marketing information. Dealers from all parts of the United States have enjoyed and benefited from the content of the magazine each month.

 

Dealer Marketing Magazine was started by ad agency veteran, Brett Stevenson in Seattle, Washington. A team of auto marketing experts, led by Editor in Chief Michael Bowen, currently produce it. The Dealer Marketing Magazine staff is dedicated to providing auto dealers nationwide with a relevant one-stop resource for their advertising, marketing, sales, education, and business development needs.

 

Dealer Marketing Magazine and DealerMarketing.com are business tools designed to give dealers an edge over their competition. Our expert columnists educate dealers on how to create a compelling television advertising campaign, how to increase F&I penetration, how to market the parts and service department, and how to manage and monitor online dealership reputations, just to name a few.

 

Ralph Paglia

Editor-in-Chief

Automotive Digital Marketing

Professional Community

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Google: Friend or Foe to Auto Dealers – Automotive Marketing Professionals

September 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Google: Friend or Foe to Auto Dealers

I owe Mark Mark R Dubis a big thank you for redirecting my attention to this post, and more importantly, the PDF file of the eBook that Chuck Barker wrote as a result of his research.  Since the early days of dealers directing customers to post reviews of their sales and service experience on Google, I have been skeptical of the practice, taking a lot of criticism for being contrary to where every other consultant seemed to be taking dealers.  My reasons were quite simple, Google is consistent at one thing… Constantly changing the rules, algorithms, features and functions of their apps.  Ever since I got burned by Google’s killing their Google Audio program in May 2009, I have held a healthy skepticism for any process that places the dealer overly dependent upon a Google App that may easily be terminated at any time.  It is easy to tell which Google Apps should be overly relied upon: Any Google App That Does NOT DRIVE REVENUE! So, for example, Gmail is safe, it generates enormous amounts of revenue from advertising and the many fee based users, such as myself.  Google Adwords is a sacred cow, of course… But, those business reviews were NOT making Google any money and that is why I have warned dealers NOT TO DRIVE REVIEWS INTO GOOGLE unless their customers choose Google from amongst many choices… Anyways, download the newly attached PDF from Chuck Barker, read it and you will gain a more balanced perspective on Google’s role as a dealership marketing resource.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Reliability Perceptions are Changing – Not Good for Toyota – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

August 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Reliability Perceptions are Changing – Not Good for Toyota – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

The top five high-volume brands have each dramatically reduced their problem incidence since 2005.  In fact, Ford’s is now nearly on par with long-time industry leaders Honda and Toyota.

Every Time You Google an Angel Gets Its Wings – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

August 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Every Time You Google an Angel Gets Its Wings – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

However, I looked in my pocket today, and I found “Zuzu’s petals” . . .
and so think about this, all you professionals, and let me say “Hat’s
off to you all!”. �You are the best and the brightest here on ADM, and
I’m very proud to be a part of this, the best online community for
Automotive Marketing Professionals in existence. �When I look at our
roster of 5k members, I see names from those who minted this
marketplace, to those who lead the way to online success like no others.
�I’ve added both great knowledge and great friends by being here.

Ancira Nissan in San Antonio

January 6, 2010 Leave a comment

AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.wordpress.com

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]

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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.

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