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)
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.
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)
Richard Bustillo – Rick Case Honda Collision Center – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community
These “Automotive Management Minute” videos from Richard Bustillo should be mandatory for every dealer in America to watch… I love his style and each video in the series has been tremendously insightful in regards to managing car dealerships. Use the link provided to watch this Automotive Management Minute video from Richard Bustillo, General Manager of Rick Case Honda in Florida.