The basic Law of Reciprocity states: To give and take mutually.
I have thought about this a lot over the last few months. We use this concept very effectively in conversion optimization by giving white papers, special offers etc. on landing pages.
The idea is if the person gives something, you then give something of value in exchange. But think about it… you asked for the value FIRST. The visitor had to give you their name in order to get your value.
Isn’t that backward? Shouldn’t you give the value first then ask for the mutual value back?
Amazingly enough, this backward give and take works well; but recent events have made me start to wonder HOW WELL?
Earlier this year we launched ShowroomMagnet, our incentive based behavioral targeting engine for websites. We knew it would work well for conversion because these kind of popovers have always had a positive impact on conversion. In addition, we’re making and offer and a single clear call to action (something too many websites lack).Not to mention we tested it, as we do EVERYTHING.
BUT there was a surprising side effect. A few of our dealers started using this in a way we didn’t expect.
It started with Andy Wright at Lehigh Valley Honda, who by far was selling more cars from the program than most of the dealers. I asked Andy, “What are you doing?” and the answer was so simple it was a little bit scary.
As customers came to the showroom with their gift card validation in hand (or smart phone as the case may be) Lehigh Valley Honda sales people would take them right to the desk and validate their gift card INSTANTLY. They would put it right on the customer’s smart phone before they even took a test drive!
LeHigh “kept the promise” the website made. And they made it instant – as soon as the customer walked in the door.
There was no hook. There was no caveat. They had promised a gift for visiting, the customer visited…so the dealership handed over the gift card.
Here is the surprising part…
I thought when we started this we would see closing rates in the 30% to 40% range and that would be great!
Lehigh Valley Honda’s closing rate…. 68% over the last six months!
Bottom Line – WHEN YOU MAKE A PROMISE… KEEP IT! You’ll be amazed at the number of customers that will reciprocate… it goes back to The Law of Reciprocity.
Too often in our business we think we have to trick people… hook them into doing what we want them to do when really all they want us to do is keep the promise that we made.
So simple it’s a little bit scary!
Tim James and I are doing a case study on this at Digital Dealer 13 in Las Vegas on Thursday October 25th in the Antigua Room hope to see many of you there
A great video from Robert Cialdini on the Law of Reciprocity
This is the single most difficult concept for most marketers in automotive to understand. “Why” is the reason AutoTrader and Cars.com run millions of dollars in ads on TV, then put only a fraction of that budget into real content that consumers go online to find “the expensive kind of marketing” as noted by Seth Godin in his book “All Marketers Are Liars” renamed “All Markerters Are Storytellers.”
“Why” is also the reason GM is failing at Facebook. They’re not asking “why” people even want to come to their social sites. They’re posting from within a bubble. “Why” is the reason people debate on Twitter whether they should use Adwords PPC or Facebook. I absolutely love debates like these because they force people to think about “WHY” they believe what they believe… and “Why” is a much more important question than “WHAT”. Ask the Merovingian, he knows.
Facebook or Adwords is not a choice; it’s a question of message and intent…the “WHY”of it all.
What Ford and Scott Monty knows, that GM doesn’t, is that people don’t go to Facebook to find Ford or to find out “What’s going on at Ford”? The truth is, they don’t care!
People go on Facebook to keep up with friends and family and to discover things that are important to them, in other words, the “WHY” of what makes them visit a page. Ford and Scott Monty’s team do a terrific job of producing content with that intent, the “Why” of it all, in mind.
People go on Google and other search engines to find things, that is their intent, their “WHY” and smart marketers buy keywords and write ads with that intent in mind. It’s a “WHY” question NOT a “WHAT” question…
It shouldn’t be “WHAT” are your goals from the platform?
WHY are they there?
And more importantly, how can your message fit the visitor’s “why”?
The Merovingian would be proud!
I hope this post has helped you think more about why than what. I will be discussing “WHY” and bringing a lot of data on this subject in my Digital Dealer Session on Oct. 24th In Las Vegas In the Jamaica Room hope to see you there.
Business leaders Geoff Holmes and Bob Morgado join OnlineDrive’s Advisory Board
Houston, TX– August 22, 2012 –
OnlineDrive, the automotive industry’s first inbound marketing platform, is pleased to announce the closing of its first round of funding and the additions of Geoff Holmes and Bob Morgado to its advisory board.
Mr. Holmes brings extensive expertise in the financial management and operation of technology-based companies, with executive-level experience ranging from emerging start-up companies to major corporate enterprises. He is the former chairman and CEO of Time Warner Interactive, where he was responsible for developing emerging technologies into successful new products and services for the commercial market.
Holmes joins the board of OnlineDrive in an advisory role and as a major stock holder in the company.
“I am very excited to be a part of this technology. Behavioral marketing and targeting, combined with web analytics, is just coming into its own and to be one of the first to introduce this technology to the automotive industry is a real thrill,” said Holmes.
Holmes is joined on the board by Bob Morgado. Morgado is Chairman of Maroley Media Group, a media and entertainment investment company and serves as an independent director of Activision Blizzard (ATVI), a 14 billion dollar enterprise and leading software game company. Prior to these endeavors Morgado served as Chief Executive Officer of the Warner Music Group, Inc. He also joins OnlineDrive in an advisory role and as a major stock holder in the company.
“This is a fantastic product and a great opportunity. I am happy to be a part of it,” said Morgado. “I am looking forward to the future of marketing for the automotive industry; it will be an exciting time with this type of technology now available.”
Larry Bruce, OnlineDrive’s President and CEO, added “I can’t be more thrilled to have Geoff and Bob with us on this latest venture; their experience, knowledge and contacts will be an invaluable asset to OnlineDrive. This will certainly be an exciting year for the company.”
# # #
OnlineDrive is the first company to focus specifically on inbound marketing and the conversion of consumer auto leads. Founded by 30 year industry veteran Larry Bruce, the aim is to help dealerships not only build traffic, but also cultivate their own first party leads and turn them into showroom visits. In addition to ShowroomMagnet, OnlineDrive also owns MicrositesbyU, the auto industry’s only landing page management platform.
Ph (503) 245-3140
Houston, TX– April 25, 2012 – OnlineDrive, the automotive industry’s first lead provider to focus on inbound marketing and conversion, introduces ShowroomMagnet, an incentive-based lead generator that gives OnlineDrive clients the extra boost needed to move an online lead to the showroom floor.
Using Showroom Magnet, dealerships are able to deliver gift card incentives to online leads in exchange for a visit to the showroom. Automated reminder emails and online web marketing continue to encourage the lead to visit the showroom until they act on the incentive and redeem the gift certificate.
ZMOT its everywhere seems like these days. With Google as the general session at Digital Dealer this year I thought I would talk about how we see the execution of ZMOT for dealers. Below are the slides from my presentation. I think these numbers will add up to a pattern if you look at the slides closely.
At the end of the day, I still see a lot of “Marketing Partners” who have a product, widget or new shiny object to sell not a coordinated service offering to help the dealer sell & service more cars.
Last Digital Dealer we explored the data behind SEO & PPC and where your efforts get the most bang for the buck.
At Digital Dealer 12 in Orlado April 3-5 will will explore the data behind ZMOT and how to execute it in your store to increase lead volume and most importantly Show Rate in the dealerhips.
Here are the slides from DD11 SEO VS PPC “The Epic Battle”
Those words spoken to me by one of the smartest dealers I ever worked for, Jay Marks, have stayed with me since 1996. Same principal applies in every position of the dealership but particularly in marketing.
Let’s face it Marketing is quickly becoming a dealership position. It’s a complicated dance between traditional and digital, the dealership and its partners. What is most alarming to me is the lack of basic information dealerships and their marketing partners have about the dealerships market and customers behavior. It’s always amazing to me that so many dealerships can operate even profitably and know very little about their market or their customer behavior. Even more alarming is the “Marketing Partners” they are using know less than the dealership, “They are not at the store!”.
But you couldn’t be more wrong about microsites!
I have had a few dealers reach out to me lately on Microsites being a bad idea and even one of the largest industry providers asking me if dealers using them will be “Black Listed” by Google…REALLY?!
In this video Matt Cutts from Google explains his OPINION on microsites and calls out a post by Vanessa Fox “Microsites A Bad Idea Most of the Time”.
An interesting report from comScore and I think some premonitions for retail automotive.
1. Could FREE shipping break open real eCommerce for automotive? I think it is certainly a big hurdle right now logistically and monetarily. Taking away the monetary factor may go a long way toward opening this up. Of course there are still some logistics involved and there is the tactile factor. The need to touch and feel the vehicle is diminishing slowly and logistics can be overcome… Thoughts?
2. Pricing in the palm of the customers hands. Like it or not that part of eCommerce is upon us, the whole TrueCar mess may have brought it to our attention on a large scale but it was going to get there anyway. It’s not yet main stream but customers walking around your showroom with iPhones in hand comparing your cars, dealership and prices is coming like a freight train. If you try to fight it you’ll just be run over by it. So here are a few ideas to help you embrace it.
a. Use SMS short codes on your window stickers. Better than QR code because customers are more used to it and because you get to capture the cell number of the customer and have a possibility to continue the conversation.
b. Use QR codes to direct customers to Google places to review your dealership and see your reviews. On your Repair receipts, on your envelope the license plates the customer gets, on posters in your showroom and just about any other correspondence you have with customers. It will pick up reviews. While you’re at it use QR to direct them to a mobile coupon as well, might as well get the service business there’s a little bit of money there.
c. Remember people do things with mobile not research so much so help them do those things. If they want to compare on your floor have an SMS short code that gives them a special discount or incentive and links to other prices…Remember they are on your showroom, you’ve got home court advantage and they’re going to do it anyway might as well direct the process to your advantage.
3. The day of the “Big Lot” is coming to an end. I can foresee a day in the not too distant future where there are small retail dealerships in high traffic down town locations where you pick out your vehicle; it is stored in a central much cheaper storage facility outside the city but it goes much deeper than that however. I can see this going to mass customization where you pick the car, and the paint job and the electronics package, the wheels, tires, ground effects etc. and there is an assembly line type factory on the storage facility site that customizes that car for you in a few days then delivers it to your house. I would love to see someone try this on a small scale it would shake up the car world.
These are a few thoughts that come to my head as I watched the video above, let’s here yours.
See the full comScore report below.
According to CNW Research New Car Traffic was up 12% in Jan. and closing ratios were up 10.4%. This may explain the high level of optimism at these years NADA. While I really didn’t see a big influx of new technology what I did observe is the dealers were in good spirits and optimistic on the future.
Below is the report from CNW