Advertising/Marketing

Shift’s free BMW contest open for entries

SAN FRANCISCO - 

Online used-car marketplace Shift has announced that next month, the company is set to gift one California resident any BMW listed on Shift.com (provided the vehicle is priced at $20,000 or less) as part of its current California BMW Giveaway contest.

Californians interested in entering the contest can visit the Shift Facebook page, where on July 10 the grand prize winner will be announced as well.

Contestants must be over the age of 18 to win and entries will be accepted until July 9, according to Shift.

In addition to the grand prize, Shift has collaborated with Navdy, Turo and YourMechanic to give dozens of participants partner prizes on June 26.

“We are excited to announce our BMW car giveaway,” Shift chief executive officer George Arison said in a news release. “In just two years, Shift has become the No. 1 seller of used cars in the Bay Area and BMW has consistently been our number one selling car. This contest is our way of saying thank you to our loyal customers.”

Additionally, the contest's grand prize winner can also opt to apply $20,000 towards the purchase price of any BMW they choose.

Auto/Mate integrates DMS with DealerMine's 360-degree CRM solution

ALBANY, N.Y. - 

Auto/Mate Dealership Systems's DMS is now fully integrated with automotive CRM and BDC solutions provider DealerMine.

DealerMine is a 360-degree automotive CRM solution designed to advance revenue in both the sales and service departments.

The solution’s CRM can handle prospecting, lead management, desking and campaigns for sales departments and help drive traffic and maximize dealer’s shop capacity through service scheduling, online scheduling and telephony solutions, according to Auto/Mate.

"We welcome DealerMine as an Open/Mate partner," Auto/Mate president and chief executive officer Mike Esposito said in a news release. "DealerMine's CRM solution provides way more than just contact management; it provides dealers with the actionable data they need to increase their competitiveness at every stage of the sales and service cycle."

Additionally, Auto/Mate said it currently offers seamless integration for third-party vendors with its Open/Mate program.

"Auto/Mate is an advocate of open standards integration as a way to increase competition, lower prices and improve the quality of products offered by all vendors," the dealership DMS software provider said.

Dealer Teamwork secures U.S. patent for digital marketing tech platform

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - 

Dealer Teamwork recently announced that it has received a United States Patent for its Merchandising, Personalization and Optimization Platform (MPOP) technology that creates, distributes and publishes contextual marketing campaigns.

The new patent covering Dealer Teamwork’s MPOP technology grants valuable intellectual property protection for the company’s processes regarding methods and data formats connected to developing marketing campaigns using transaction data.

"This new patent shows Dealer Teamwork's customers that while we provide a successful software platform, we're incorporating innovative technologies to ease marketing implementation and seamlessly facilitate the distribution of transactional data to their respective marketing channels," Dealer Teamwork chief executive officer and co-founder Sean Stapleton said in a news release.

"We ensure the highest level of accuracy and ease for our customers to publish transactional data — better enabling them to provide the necessary signals to search engines and deliver the most relevant content to in-market shoppers, and therefore help grow dealers' businesses," he added.

Used-car shoppers spend bulk of buying process online

CARY, N.C. - 

Used-car buyers who shop online spend 62 percent of the car-buying process there: online.

That's according to Cox Automotive’s latest Car Buyer Journey Study, which examines consumers’ car-shopping behavior during the car buying process and how they use their time.

Cox Automotive found that during the chunk of time car buyers spend online, they research and shop across multiple devices, creating multiple marketing opportunities for dealers, according to the company.

A total of 53 percent of all respondents who shop online use multiple devices when shopping, such as both desktop and laptop computers, smartphones and tablets.

Eighteen percent strictly used mobile, according to the study.

Among those who go online, a breakdown on their usage on each device:

Desktop/Laptop: 79%

Smartphone: 56%

Tablet: 32%

Again, car shopping on multiple devices means multiple marketing opportunities for dealers, Cox Automotive said.

Dealers have an opportunity to create unique ways to communicate a consistent overall message with content specifically designed for each device that consumers use, according to the company.

Car shoppers are getting introduced to the dealership before they actually go to the dealership, Cox Automotive's Scott Hernalsteen said in a phone interview with Auto Remarketing.

“After they’ve done all their research online, they’ve made a pretty solid decision,” said Hernalsteen, who is Cox Automotive Media's senior director of research and market intelligence. “So even though they’ve entered the process undecided, by the time they get done with their online work they have a really strong idea of what they’re going to purchase — three-quarters of the time they do purchase from the dealership what they were intending to purchase.”

The study suggests that marketers maintain an integrated marketing strategy because third-party sites are the most-used site of any online resource.

Used-car shoppers spent 65 percent of their total amount of time online visiting third-party sites, while they spent only 12 percent on dealership sites.

“The third party sites are doing a good job delivering the information that they need,” Hernalsteen said. “While the numbers are lower for dealer and OEM sites, they’re still incredibly important to the process.”

Here is how used-car shoppers are spending their time online:

Third-party sites: 65%

Dealership sites: 12%

OEM sites: 6%

Search: 10%

Other: 7%

Cox Automotive commissioned the 2017 Car Buyer Journey Study through IHS Automotive and surveyed a total of 2,175 car buyers who purchased a vehicle within a year prior to August 2016.

Live video platform delivers walk-arounds at home

CARY, N.C. - 

An on-demand, live video platform developed by Los Angeles-based startup DropIn, gives dealership product specialists a tool that brings customers to car lots and showroom floors — without the shopper having to leave home.

“Nobody wants to come down to the dealership and be sitting in the chair and feel that high pressure anymore — those days are over,” DropIn chief executive officer Louis Ziskin said in a phone interview with Auto Remarketing.

This month, DropIn began onboarding new dealer clients following the closing of its product’s pilot program, which launched in December.

“Customers shop about 26 dealer websites before they engage with the tools that are on any of those websites, such as text, live chat help, lead forms, contact forms and phone calls,” Ziskin said. “They do their shopping, they’re pretty well-informed. But while they don’t want to talk to a salesman or engage with any of the tools there, they do on many occasions want to see if the car is actually there — they might want to see the car.”

Additionally, DropIn has added a CRM linking tool to its product. “For known customers where anonymity is not the case any longer, they can either send a text or an email with a link,” Ziskin said. “That video call can then can be initiated from an email, from Instagram, from Craigslist — from anywhere that product specialist wants to post it.”

If a call is missed, the CRM will notify the product specialist to reestablish contact with the customer.

Ziskin said an added benefit of adopting DropIn is dealers can also use the product within their service departments.

“Car dealers have always had the problem of ‘how do I give the customer a service walk-around, I’m not allowed to have them in the shop. My insurance doesn’t allow it, I just simply can’t have them there,’” Ziskin explained. “Now, the service specialist is able to put that link and attach it to the estimate and tell the person, ‘If you want a live service explanation, click here.’”

When the customer clicks the link, the video call is initiated and goes right back to that service specialist who can give the customer a walk-around in the shop that has no liability because the customer is not physically in the shop.

“You’re able to explain, ‘You need brakes and this is why, you need a new fan belt and this is why, you need new tires and this is why.’ The customer can now, in real-time, say, ‘Well, can my tires last another couple hundred miles, do I really need to really replace this now,’” he said.

When a customer receives just an estimate and maybe a picture, many of their questions don’t get answered. “So the estimate absorption rates are about 50 percent,” Ziskin said.

Dealers who have piloted DropIn within their service departments have self-reported a 25 percent higher estimate absorption, according to Ziskin.

“The closing rates are self-reported by the dealers themselves; the only thing we know is that there was a video call, and we know if they made an appointment during the call or if the lead form was filled out after the call, but we don’t know whether that converted to a sale,” Ziskin added.

“Our numbers are reported by the dealerships themselves as far as conversion to sale. They obviously have an incentive to downplay those numbers because they want our product cheaper and they’re still reporting anywhere from 20 to 30 percent closing,” he said.

AutoNation teams up with Indy 500 winner for TV ads

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - 

AutoNation has teamed up with Andretti Autosport's 2014 Indy 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and Indy 500 rookie Jack Harvey for TV advertising campaigns that celebrate the company selling 11 million vehicles and raise cancer awareness.

This month, Hunter-Reay kicked off AutoNation's, "Race to 11 Million" major TV campaign along with the "#DRINKTHEMILK" challenge, which reinforces AutoNation's commitment to fighting cancer.

By supporting the company’s Drive Pink initiative, Harvey, who is scheduled to drive in his first Indy 500 on Sunday, will also join AutoNation in raising cancer awareness.

During the race, the rookie will drive the #50 AutoNation car, painted in bold pink and black colors, AutoNation said.

The company directed all charitable efforts towards cancer research, awareness and prevention after partnering with Hunter-Reay and Racing for Cancer four years ago, according to AutoNation.

“In conjunction with the company's Drive Pink Initiative, AutoNation has committed nearly $11 million towards cancer-related organizations in 18 markets coast to coast,” the retailer said in a news release.

Additionally, Harvey will also participate in the company's summer-long national TV advertising campaign and sales event, "PAYCATION!   Buy a new car or truck and make no payments for 90 days."

“AutoNation is committed to drive out cancer, create awareness and support critical research. AutoNation continues to be a proud supporter of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and other cancer-related charities," the company added. 

Former CDK exec joins izmocars as sales consultant

LONG BEACH, Calif. - 

izmocars recently announced that former CDK Global sales director Dan Crowley has joined the company as a senior field sales consultant. He will oversee all sales and the business development partnerships for FrogData, the company’s data analytics platform.

In his new role, Crowley will specifically focus on growing and launching new offerings for FrogData, according to izmocars. The analytics platform delivers advanced reporting, business insights and predictive analytics to dealers.

“Dan has a wealth of knowledge in the automotive space and has seen firsthand how data can significantly impact the success of a dealership through his decades of work with CDK,” izmocars chief executive officer Tej Soni said in a news release. “Analytics are becoming essential as we enter the world of individualized marketing and Dan will be instrumental in the rapid adoption of our data solution.”

Prior to joining izmocars, Crowley spent 15 years as director of sales Northeast at CDK.

“It’s exciting to be on board with FrogData at this point in auto history because there is a wealth of information out there to keep managers ahead of the curve on everything from sales profits to customer retention, but there has been no easy way to access it. Until now,” Crowley said.

Crowley began his automotive career at Sonic Automotive’s flagship store Town and Country Ford in Charlotte, N.C. where he earned Ford’s 500 Master Sales Club Award within his first two years at the dealership.

GWC Warranty offers video email marketing tool trial

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. - 

GWC Warranty is now offering Elite Dealers a free 30-day trial to access video email marketing platform Covideo, which allows dealers to create and track video email marketing messages for customers.

Dealers can use the marketing service tool for internet inquiry responses, vehicle walk-arounds, sales follow-ups and service reminders.

“Use of Covideo in dealerships has been proven to increase internet lead conversion rates by 20 percent and produce 27 percent more dealership visits,” GWC Warranty said.

An additional one-user package designed for smaller independent used car dealers is available at an exclusive discounted rate, according to the company.

Through the end of the year, dealers who sign up for the Covideo trial offering will have the option to extend their one-user subscription.

GWC Warranty Elite Dealers can contact their dealer consultants to sign up for Covideo.

Cars.com appoints new editor

CHICAGO - 

Cars.com recently announced that it has appointed Jennifer Newman to serve as the site's new editor-in-chief.

Newman, who has been with the site for nine years serving in various roles on the editorial team, transitions from her role as Cars.com managing editor, according to the site.

"As an automotive industry veteran and long-time journalist, Jennifer is the perfect fit for this role," Cars.com's chief marketing officer Brooke Skinner Ricketts said in a news release. "As we put more resources than ever behind one of Cars.com's greatest assets, I can't think of a better leader to be heading up the next chapter in Cars.com's editorial history."

In her new role, Newman will lead efforts to expand and grow Cars.com content. The company said the editorial team under her leadership will be responsible for innovating how it will package and deliver content for consumers.

"I'm thrilled to be leading our talented and passionate team of over 20 writers, editors, reviewers and multimedia producers," Newman said. "The editorial content on Cars.com is one of the key reasons consumers visit our site, and our esteemed team of unbiased and trusted automotive experts write every review and piece of content with the goal of helping shoppers feel more confident and informed in their car purchase. I am eager to continue to deliver high-quality meaningful content to consumers in new and exciting ways."

Before joining Cars.com, Newman worked at the Chicago Sun-Times, Boston Herald and The Times of Northwest Indiana. She received a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

LotLinx builds 2nd remarketing solution for Facebook product suite

CHICAGO - 

LotLinx has expanded its Facebook product suite to include LotLinx VS - Lead Enabled Remarketing, a newly created VIN-specific tool for Facebook users that leverages LotLinx proprietary technology to target high-quality shoppers.

The company’s new product can allow dealers to both strategically target visitors to Vehicle Details Pages and remarket to shoppers interested in a specific VIN on Facebook or Instagram. 

“This is a powerful extension of our VIN-specific demand generation platform. Every dealer knows that a car needs to be shopped in order to sell, and now dealers can produce high-value leads on the inventory they need to move,” LotLinx chief executive officer, Len Short said in a news release.

The LotLinx VS- Facebook solution is designed specifically for new cars and it focuses on car shoppers who are nearing a purchase decision.

According to LotLinx, the new product has already had an impact on dealerships such as Nimnicht Chevrolet of Jacksonville, Fla.

“We used LotLinx to identify visitors to our site who indicated interest in the cars we needed to move. Then, when they saw those VINs later on Facebook or Instagram, they were presented a pre-populated lead form. With one click, that contact information went into our CRM,” Nimnicht Chevrolet corporate business development director Frank Reynolds said. “We’re very pleased with the results — our BDC reps are busy!”

Additionally, on Memorial Day weekend, LotLinx announced that it will be its offering dealers a money back guarantee in an effort to showcase the company’s retargeting technology. For more details click here.