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Infographic: Top 100 Automotive Blogs Ranked by Quality of Posts

February 17, 2013 Leave a comment

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.

Top 100 Fashion blogs to follow

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.

English: Infographic on how Social Media are b...

Online Advertising Trends – October through December 2012 – Automotive Marketing

February 3, 2013 Leave a comment

Online Advertising Trends – October through December 2012

Marin Whitepaper Summary for ADM Professional Community Members

“Online Advertising Trends – October through December 2012”

Introduction

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.

Research Methodology

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.

US 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.

Facebook Findings:

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”:

Research Brief – Online Marketing Quarterly Benchmarking US Q4 2012

by Ralph Paglia

https://plus.google.com/105088448406697577568/posts

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Image representing Marin Software as depicted ...

Image via CrunchBase

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.

Dangers of Marketing Metrics Dependency – Automotive Marketing Professionals

December 10, 2012 3 comments

Dangers of Marketing Metrics Dependency

Dealer Beware

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… 

The Marketing Metrics Continuum provides a fra...
The Marketing Metrics Continuum provides a framework for how to categorize metrics from the tactical to strategic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Market-mix models
Market-mix models (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

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.

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