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
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.
- Automotive Thought Leader Journal is out! Edition of 25 November 2012 (automotivesocial.me)
- What is Your Dealership’s Strategy for Pricing Vehicles? Video: Automotive Marketing Professionals (automotiveprofessionals.wordpress.com)
- Dealership Vendors “Free Live Chat Software” For Your Website – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community (automotivesocialcrm.com)
- Your Phones and Your Financial Statement – Automotive Marketing Professionals (automotiveprofessionals.wordpress.com)
- Social Media Reputation: Wielding Your Power Accounts Properly (soshable.com)
- Creating Your Social Marketing Strategy: Defining the Functional Requirements (automotivesocial.wordpress.com)
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.