The following list showcases an independently produced and ranked directory of the Top 100 Automotive Blogs selected for recommendation to visit, subscribe, join and follow them in 2013…
When the author (Ron Mays) who assembled and created the ranking for this list of the Top 100 Automotive Blogs and Networks for 2013 first contacted Ralph Paglia, we did not know what to expect. Ralph provided Ron Mays with the information he requested. When the list was announced and the below Infographic published, all of us associated with the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community were pleasantly surprised to see that the ADM Professional Community came in at number 10 out of 100 sites that were selected. The infographic Ron Mays and the CouponAudit team created to display this ranking of auto industry and car business networking UGC sites is available below.
An infographic by the team at CouponAudit
In above infographic, you can view the Top 100 Auto Blogs to follow in 2013. The team at CouponAudit ranked the sites shown according to quality of posts.
- INFOGRAPHIC: Audi, Mercedes Benz Lead The Pack On Facebook (allfacebook.com)
- What’s the Effect of Half a Million Customers? [INFOGRAPHIC] (blogs.constantcontact.com)
- Automotive Thought Leader Journal is out! Edition of 21 December 2012 (automotivesocial.me)
- Infographic: The State of Infographics (marketingtechblog.com)
- Turkey to inform automotive firms about its incentive system (worldbulletin.net)
- Three Effective Ways to Drive Free Viral Traffic to Your Blog (zacjohnson.com)
- Automotive Thought Leader Journal is out! Edition of 28 December 2012 (autoindustryprofessionals.com)
- New Year’s Financial Resolutions at an All Time High[Infographic] (turbotax.intuit.com)
- The World Series of Email Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC] (blogs.constantcontact.com)
- Acting Green vs. Buying Green [Infographic] (elocal.com)
“Online Advertising Trends – October through December 2012”
The following report posted below and the charts displayed are my synopsis and summary culled from a 26 page quarterly report provided by the people I work with at Marin Software, Inc. All contents of this blog post on ADM are the property of Marin Software, Inc.
The Research Methodology summary shown below is the best validation for conclusions generated by this report…
The fourth quarter has always proven to be the busiest for marketers — retailers in particular — because of the holiday season. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, advertisers faced increased competition resulting in higher costs per click.
As predicted earlier this year, we saw mobile traffic peak at nearly 22% of all paid search clicks on Google in the US; we saw similar mobile traffic levels in the UK and Australia. We continue to see staggering growth around the adoption of smartphone and tablets for search advertising.
As Marin’s customer base continues to expand globally, we have committed to expanding our analysis into new verticals and geographies to help provide more granular insights for marketers. In this quarterly report we included insights on paid search performance in Australia as well as industry-specific metrics for the Automotive, B2B, Finance, Retail and Travel verticals.
To uncover key trends for the fourth quarter of 2012, we sampled the Marin Global Online Advertising Index, which includes global advertisers and agencies that invest over $4.0 billion annually in biddable media through the Marin platform.
The Marin Global Online Advertising Index consists of enterprise-class marketers — larger advertisers and agencies that spend in excess of $1 Million annually on paid-search, display, social and mobile. As such, our data sample and findings skew towards the behavior of larger organizations and includes some of the world’s most sophisticated advertisers.
This study is longitudinal, focusing on a representative set of advertisers who have been active on Marin for the previous five quarters and measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) on a year-over-year (YoY) and quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) basis. Unless otherwise mentioned, all of the analysis in this study refers to trends in the search (versus content) network. Wherever possible, we used medians and indexed values—instead of absolute values—to more clearly highlight overall trends. This allows us to mitigate the effects of outliers and make the findings more representative of the performance of the typical Marin client.
For the Q4 2012 report, Marin refreshed our client index data pool. This could result in slight deviations from previously reported data but makes for more representative analysis and findings.
1. Overall Performance: On an annual basis, US advertisers saw paid search click volume rise by 31% accompanied by a 38% increase in impression volume. The higher impression volume may indicate the continued growth of paid search as marketers shift more of their advertising dollars online. Cost per click (CPC) increased from $0.96 in Q3 2012 to $1.01 in Q4 2012 — the higher CPC likely attributable to the increased competition over the holiday season. Marketers
saw a lower click through rate (CTR) year on year versus Q4 2011.
2. Google Maintains its Market Share for Search Spend: According to Comscore, 67.0% of all US-based search queries were conducted on Google during November 2012. During this same period, Yahoo! was at 12.1% and Microsoft at 16.2%. In light of having 67.0% of the overall US search volume, Google monetized its searches more effectively — accounting for 80% of paid search spend and 78% of all paid-clicks during the same period.
On a year-over-year basis for Google, we saw significant increases in click and impression volumes. Quarter over quarter, the average CPC increased by 11% — indicating increased competition over the holiday season.
On Yahoo and Bing, advertisers saw marked improvement in clicks. On a year-over-year basis, advertisers saw 25% higher click volumes along with a 22% jump in CPC and a 13% increase in the average CTR.
3. Industry Specific Trends: While it’s helpful to understand the broader context of how paid search is evolving at a macro level, the reality is that different industries can demonstrate fundamentally different trends. To that end, we looked at the behavior of seven different industries and uncovered some varying trends. This section provides insights on representative values for CTR and CPC across seven verticals to uncover industry-specific trends for key metrics in the
fourth quarter of 2012.
The Automotive vertical is the first bar on the left for each of the two charts shown below…
The four charts displayed below are specific to the Automotive vertical…
4. Device Targeting and Performance: While Desktops and Laptop computers still command the vast majority of search spend, we continue to see positive trends as marketers explore new platforms to extend their reach. Device targeting, in particular, is showing that smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly popular around the world. To provide context around usage patterns and spend allocation, the charts below show how click and spend share was segmented across our client base during the fourth quarter of 2012.
Smartphone and tablet devices accounted for a 22% share of clicks and 17% share of spend. Growth in consumer adoption has been a strong driver of click volume growth on mobile devices. Additionally, spend allocations on mobile devices are growing quickly as marketers realize solid performance across both smartphones and tablets. The following charts compare CTR and CPC across desktops, smartphones, and tablets for the fourth quarter of 2012.
While device targeting may not be relevant for all advertisers, marketers should evaluate their target demographic and, where appropriate, leverage the performance and cost effectiveness of targeting ads to tablet or smartphone users.
Across geographies, the CTR from Facebook campaigns is comparable. In regards to cost, advertisers in Australia experience a higher average CPC than their counterparts in the rest of the world.
Compared to the average CPC of paid search advertising, Facebook is seemingly a less expensive alternative, offering creative advertising options outside of the traditional search and display.
Additionally, with the release of mobile-specific targeting for Facebook ads, advertisers are starting to see a higher CTR for mobile ads versus desktop ads. We’ll continue to monitor this trend as more advertisers adopt the mobile-placement option on Facebook.
Download the Full Marin Report by Right-Clicking and “Save As”:
by Ralph Paglia
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.”
American Automotive Consumers still look first to their friends and family for advice regarding their major purchase decisions, according to a WSL/Strategic Retail survey.
69% of the Wall Street Journal’s respondents said that family and friends help them choose what to buy, up 13% from 61% last year.
Next on the list, manufacturer (OEM) and retailer (Dealership) websites, each used by 55% of the survey’s respondents.
The study notes that retailer websites (including car dealers), are a growing influence on consumers, having played second fiddle to manufacturer websites in prior surveys.
Traditional media such as TV and magazines are an information source for 42%, ahead of sales associates and e-mail messages from manufacturers and retailers, each at 32%.
It’s interesting to note that this study shows traditional offline media ranking behind digital and online resources as a trusted information source. This may be partly due to the increasing influence of online reviews and dealership ratings by automotive consumers… Considering the study’s bias from being funded by a TV advertising based consortium, revealing that digital media is more trusted than others is most notable. While that may be the case, the authors of this study point out that several other studies point to TV advertising in particular as most effective in influencing consumer purchase decisions.
Despite recent finding by other scientifically validated surveys that almost half of Americans engage with brands on social networks, just 26% of respondents to the WSL/Strategic Retail survey said they use social networks to find information about an item they’re considering purchasing.
If Millennials (16-34) can be used as a leading indicator for automotive marketing professionals, social networks may prove a more influential automotive consumer research and information source in the future: Millennials were 54% more likely than the average respondent to say they turn to social media for product information.
About the Data: The data is based on a survey of 1500 adults and 200 teens aged 16-65+.
Digital Dealer Compliance
As Pamela Vaughan so aptly describes, there are many reasons why all car dealers, General Managers and automotive marketing professionals should be aware of the pitfalls around being overly dependent on making decisions based on report data and performance metrics numbers…
Among many reasons I wanted to feature Pamela Vaughan’s article on the ADM Professional Community is my own direct experience working on teams that provide marketing services and advertising products to auto dealers. While working on such teams for many years (since 1997), I was privileged to collaborate with some of the brightest minds in automotive marketing. A standard operating procedure for such supplier and service provider based teams is to focus on researching a never ending supply of Key Performance Indicator (KPI) data and Reporting Analytics… Many hours and a high level of concentration are routinely invested in extracting the data points that make the products these teams provide to car dealers appear more effective than they may actually be for most dealerships.
Data Bias Logic and Justification
The logic behind these initiatives is similar to the old days of the Cold War with “Mutual Assured Destruction” (MAD)… Since each supplier’s perception is that their competition is doing it, they feel a tremendous amount of pressure to extract the compelling data that will empower their sales team in gaining a competitive advantage while seeking each dealer’s attention.
Although the data is usually factually true, I have seen far too many dealers exhibit a tendency to become overly dependent on supplier provided reports and metrics. This is then exacerbated by the far too prevalent tendency to focus on examples and “Case Studies” taken from other dealers which have been selected for the purpose of making a sales presentation or proposal.
The Most Relevant and Useful Marketing Data Sources
Like most automotive professional marketers, I am a firm believer in the appropriate use of Key Performance Indicator (KPI) tracking and reporting. However, it serves every dealer well to realize that the most important metrics are the ones the dealer extracts themselves, or by trusted managers using the same measurement tools and parameters each month.
The most relevant Key Performance Metrics (KPI) are the ones generated by the dealership when compared to the previous month, the same month a year ago, the YTD compared to the same time period a year ago. These are extracted and reviewed without filtering or withholding of data points that do not show what somebody wants to see reviewed by the dealer. As stated, my personal experience is that Marketing Reports and Performance Metrics that are reported to dealers by suppliers and service providers are completely factual, but they have been selected by design, and for the purpose of casting a favorable light on the products or services that supplier offers.
Beware of Supplier Built Reporting Systems
There is a growing trend for many of the more all inclusive dealer website and marketing service suppliers to create proprietary and inclusive reporting systems. These supplier provided reporting tools and apps remind me of asking a fox to report on the state of the hen house. I have seen several of them make use of such tactics as (for example) blending organic traffic with paid traffic, then dividing by the dollars the dealer spends within THAT SUPPLIER’S Search Engine Advertising (SEA or SEM) system. The assumption being that all traffic to the dealer’s website came from their own source of search advertising, which results in reports that appear to be a very low “Cost Per Visitor”… The dealer that views such reports will routinely confuse this metric with Google generated “Cost Per Click” data, incorrectly concluding that the supplier’s system is performing far better than it actually is.
Such systems also take advantage of OEM sponsored or third party provided Search Engine Advertising (SEA) programs to enhance what their internal and proprietary reports show the dealer. These types of supplier built data and KPI reports are being generated from “Bias Engineered In” reporting systems. This creates a compelling argument in favor of using independent and more reliable KPI reporting and tracking applications, such as Google Analytics. Reporting application such as Google Analytics, WebTrends or Adobe’s SiteCatalyst are a far better source of data for making marketing decisions. They are unbiased and more reliable for dealers to use.
Almost all supplier engineered, designed and built-in reporting system will BY DESIGN contain a bias towards making value added products and services sold by that same supplier look better.
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.