I sat down with the co-authors of the new book, “The Power of Connected Marketing,” to discuss what “Connected Marketing” is and why it’s so important to them. Glenn Pasch, Tracy Myers and Troy Spring share how their passion is to help educate dealers to better understand today’s marketing tools and to greatly improve the customer experience that businesses deliver.
In 2016, everyone knows the importance of competing on customer service. Many markets, not just automotive, are seeing this shift. Most are forced into either a knee-jerk rejection or sudden adoption of this change, as very few businesses are proactive enough to already be excelling in surpassing customer service expectations.
That’s where “Connected Marketing” comes into play. It’s a very simple (not easy, but simple) way to increase sales while also making the customer experience more enjoyable. To understand more, let’s hear from the authors themselves:
Q – Why does Connected Marketing matter?
There are a lot of things dealers can be doing in terms of marketing, or should be doing, but many of those things are not connected. Let’s say your Agency is doing radio and tv for you, driving traffic to your website, but they never sat down to talk to your digital marketing team about where to send traffic. The Ad Agency arbitrarily sends traffic to the website, which creates mismatched marketing messages. Customers see a specific promotion in a TV ad, but they see no promotion on the dealership website. It’s confusing. This whole disjointed experience is creating a lot of waste, mostly caused by a lack of communication. The Agency doesn’t know what the store’s digital marketing department is doing and vice versa.
Q – Are TV and traditional advertising still effective? How do you bring that together with digital to create connected marketing for your dealership/business?
Of course traditional marketing is still effective, but just like digital it only works if you do it right. It all depends on the market. But I don’t think anyone should rule something out just because other “experts” say it’s a dead practice. Top businesspeople don’t have time for that kind of naive ideological thinking, we just do what works. You should do digital because it works. You should do traditional because it works. It’s not complicated. You just have to know your market to know what to invest more of your budget into to determine what will work best.
As for how I keep everything connected, I communicate. As the leader of my business, I know that great communication between vendors and my team starts with me. It’s very simple to update your website with specials that you’re advertising to make sure customers know we are professionals. You just have to do it because it’s a priority.
The key is to know how to measure. If TV is driving results then keep doing it. Just because you’re using digital marketing doesn’t mean you’re getting the best ROI, even though that’s what most vendors would like you to think. Digital is effective, there’s no doubt, but much less so if your site doesn’t reflect anything shown on your ad. Why are you doing AdWords if your website isn’t set up for the customers coming from an AdWords campaign?
Q – When you work with businesses, where do you start? What do you find they’re missing the most and what can help them get things moving quickly?
I think what they’re missing most of the time is connection. This isn’t just automotive, this is everywhere. Whatever is pushing a customer to your website needs to match the website. If you run an ad on TV, then you need to ensure that you also need to display something on your website that matches that special deal so consumers know they’re in the right place at the right time. What you’re doing offline/online needs to be communicated with the appropriate parties to create a connection. That’s where I start. Establishing the necessary lines of communication to create an offline/online connection is where it all starts.
Q – Tracy, how much of what you have achieved in connecting your marketing for your business is intentional and how much “just happened”?
I’d like to think it was all intentional. The reality is that we were who we were as a dealership before online revolution ever happened. Even 22 years ago we were not a traditional retail store. For example, I remember seeing an ad in the newspaper, but I couldn’t get a rep from the newspaper to come down to talk to me. We had a website at the time, which was basically an electronic brochure. I saw a lease offer for a very specific car in the paper, and it directed me to the dealership homepage. It showed nothing about the leasing offer, which I thought was a huge waste. How many times have you walked into a store and said “I’m here for the ad special I saw on TV,” and the salesperson has no idea what you’re talking about. That’s not good! We decided early on that we would be intentional about how we handle our customers. It was clear even then that making our marketing efforts work together was what we needed to succeed.
Q – In your experience, where do we start?
I would think the first thing someone needs to do is sit down and audit what is currently happening before you hastily change anything. Get a simple spreadsheet and figure out where you are advertising. It’s surprising how many places people are advertising, and sometimes they don’t even realize it. They thought they cancelled a service, but they didn’t. All sorts of confusion. Find how much you’re spending on each advertising medium. What are you doing internally that isn’t outsourced to a vendor? Then you need to go to your vendors and ask them to prove ROI, to explain in simple terms what your budget is accomplishing. THEN you can start making decisions as to what works and what doesn’t.
Dealers need to hold vendors accountable, and ensure that they communicate EXACTLY where they want vendors to direct their customers. Otherwise, vendors will just pick arbitrarily and your customers will end up clicking on an ad for a leasing offer only to end up on the homepage. Just don’t complain that something doesn’t work before you audit it. Find out what works. Get to know your audience. You can’t unify anything if you don’t know what’s going on.
Tracy is an award-winning small business marketing & branding solutions specialist, car dealership owner, best-selling author, Emmy-winning movie producer, speaker, business coach, wrestling promoter and entrepreneur. He is commonly referred to as The Nation’s Premier Automotive Solutions Provider while Best-Selling author and legendary speaker Brian Tracy called him “a visionary… a Walt Disney for a new generation.”
Troy is a well respected small businessman and entrepreneur who resides in Lehighton, PA with his wife and children. His company Dealer World, is recognized as a leader in increasing the customer count, sales and profits of businesses all over the east coast. Sharing some of that knowledge, in 2012 he co-authored the best selling book “Unfair Advantage”. In 2013 the release of “Turbo Charge your Life” was his second best selling book in as many years. Troy is a national speaker on growing businesses through better advertising. You can find out more about Troy on Facebook, Linked in, dealerelite.net, listening to podcast from Auto Success magazine, The Dealer Playbook, or watching his interview on CBT (Car Business Today) news.
Glenn works with clients to develop new strategies that enable their businesses to become more visible, efficient and profitable. A highly requested speaker throughout the U.S. and Internationally on the subjects of Digital Marketing, Leadership Development and Employee Training & Performance. He continues to author articles for multiple industry publications and is co-author of the book, “Selling Cars in the Digital Age” which has been translated into 4 languages. He lives in Lawrenceville, NJ with his wife Mayra and two sons, William and Alex.
You can find their book, The Power of Connected Marketing, on Amazon.