The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode · 6 months ago

Glenn Pasch: Timeless Marketing Strategies That Will Help Save Your Dealership

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

[REPLAY]

Glenn Pasch is the CEO of PCG Digital, an automo tive and RV marketing agency that helps dealers grow their online business. 

This episode was originally recorded in 2015 and we're bringing it back from the vault because the principles Glenn teaches still hold up today, many are still as vital as they were when we originally recorded this episode.

What we discuss in this episode:

  • The importance of unifying your marketing outputs. Even in 2021 Dealers are still operating in silos which are preventing them from getting a good grasp on marketing spend and marketing returns. Today there is a lot of conversation about the importance of mixed media modeling; an important concept for dealers to adopt immediately and moving forward.

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Thanks, Glenn Pasch

If you enjoyed this conversation with Glenn Pasch, please let him know by clicking on the links below and sending him a message.

...the car business is rapidly changing and modern car dealers are meeting the demand. I'm Michael Cirillo and together we're going to explore what it takes to create a thriving dealership and life in the retail automotive industry join me each week for inspiring conversations with subject matter experts that are designed to help you grow. This is the dealer playbook. Yeah. So you and I were, we were just together in north Carolina at the unfair advantage mastermind group, Tracey Mayer and Troy Springs event. Um, and you know, I had the privilege of hearing you speak. It was a bonus session, something that they do for attendees. And you spoke on a topic that really really resonates with me because, you know, it's something that there isn't, well I don't think there's any of, I mean there's a little bit of this, but not enough. You spoke on the topic of, you know, unifying the marketing efforts of a dealership and what kind of an impact that can have on, you know, profitability, return on investment strategies processes. So I kind of want to turn this over to you and say, first of all for those listening in what do you mean by unifying marketing efforts. Okay, What I've seen over the last few years and and PCG digital marketing, you know, we're an agency. So we really dealers bring us on when they want more online visibility and so they focus try more traffic to my website, maximize my adwords spend, help me with social media, the whole online presence. The problem was that they would sort of box us in the corner saying that, well you're my online person and although we may have seeing something that was...

...happening from there, what we'll call traditional or I'll use the word offline marketing but traditional marketing or even processes in the dealership. We didn't have a voice because well you're the digital guys go over there in the corner. But what I kept seeing more and more was This disconnect between the amount of money. I mean just stopping for a moment and saying most dealers are spending, I mean on the low end 10,000 up towards we've seen $90,100,000 a month across all marketing being traditional online. And the problem is that nobody is talking to each other. So they hire this vendor to handle their traditional spend, go buy my radio tv print and that might even be disconnected. But let's just say we have one agency doing that. They hire someone else to handle their Ceo for their website. Maybe they hire a different person to handle their paid search. I have a social media person now now I have someone coming in to do road to the sail training or lead handling process and my email templates are going out of my phone scripts. The problem is nobody and amongst those vendors are talking to each other and the dealer is almost afraid and I don't like using that word, but that's the best word to be is that afraid to put their foot down and say, all right, stop all of you need to sit at the table and listen to me. This is what my message as a dealer is. This is how I want to be seen as a business. And I need each of you to use your skill in what you're doing to help push that message out there, but you got to work together. So whatever you're doing offline, if I'm running a tv commercial or a print campaign that is offering a certain special and has a certain look and feel well, can a consumer, when...

...they go to the website, can they see that same look, feel same offer or is it not even there? And then let's assume it is there. But when they walk onto the dealership lot, is there anything on site that is going to tell me, yep, this is the right place or is it not visible as well? And so now the consumer is starting to get a little doubt to say, was this the right place? And is this where I'm going? Or if they're not showing it to me, are they hiding something else? You know, seeds of doubt. So unifying this across all marketing channels, especially on site, you know, are we making it easier for the consumer when they're finally doing that research and locking on and giving your dealership the opportunity to engage and we're bringing them to the website and we're bringing them to the phone or we're connecting to them through email or we're walking into the dealership, is there a consistent message that they see hear and experience when they interact with your dealership? You know, and, and, and I mean the thing I'm thinking about, as you're saying, all of this is you really see it in other industries pretty prominently. I mean, you'd never see a oh, I don't know, I mean a walmart commercial or a target commercial that has different messaging per se to the print at or the flyer that they have, and then when you go in store, you see that same messaging, you know, kind of throughout the store. And so it really kind of adds to this experience of, okay, you know, maybe the television commercial was my awareness then I saw it online and there was kind of the validation and then I visit the store and the messaging is the same. This place is really dialed in. Um, we're not seeing that with dealerships. Um, but you know, can you share any examples of dealerships who are seeing an impact um, on their marketing efforts and kind of...

...unifying them that you've worked with. Sure, I mean, we've seen dealers where, you know, there are very few agencies out there that are going to be really able to master the uh, this traditional online on site, there's always one of those pieces out, you may find an agency that does uh, you know the traditional print and online but they're not on site helping you implement that? Now they may, again 11 company that we know that does a very good Job of that is tier 10 because you'll see tier 10 marketing. Uh They will do the traditional, they will do the online and then they'll send things like the brochures and the uh you know the review mirror, the you know the hangars there and door hangers and things like that. And there is a consistent theme and look and so they do a very good job of that. Um And we've seen companies that understand that it really comes down to the dealerships themselves, those ones who are are willing to put their foot down and say I'm paying you this money. But on driving the initiative, I'm driving the message, I'm driving the initiative. And you definitely see them because it's easy, they're usually the leaders in their in their areas or popular ship groups. It's not hard to figure out who's doing it well because they are looking at every single aspect of the customer journey and saying is my message of how what experience I want them to receive. Uh My customers to receive. Are we executing it? So if my marketing messages X. Well when they interact on the phone are they or the actions of the people talking on the phone is the script trying the right marketing message when they interact in the email, Are we thinking about how we're communicating and as the email...

...and our response is supporting that marketing message or on site, you know, most people think, well it's advertising and I think this is where the disconnect for automotive to your point, We don't see it, we're seeing it starting to blossom a little. But uh, you know, this is what I'm focusing on this year, is that, you know, it used to be traditional advertising, you show up on to the dealership lot and most of the time it had that similar feel to the point because people are bringing in their, their magazine article or the newspaper and they had it in their hand and they're like, okay, the sign out there has the same, you know, pricing, okay, I'm in the right place, but things have changed. That was the time frame that consumers needed to go to the dealership to get information about cars outside of the, you know, the gearheads, I'll call them the people who loved cars and read the magazines and the 90% of most consumers pre internet had to go to the dealership to dealership, held all the cards, had all the information and so consumers felt a little off, but they still went in and you know, this is the place now with the internet that's reversed and the consumers have all the information and so they're the ones who are comfortable now and dealers really need customers to come in, they needed. It's now very competitive. So it's in order for that marketing message to flow through that we're pushing out that we're used to that traditional marketing that we've always done. Well, is it replicated on the internet? And I think that events like Tracy and Troy's event and um you know, digital marketing strategies, conference or driving sales or the digital dealers, you know, they're out there pushing education for dealers to say don't be afraid of online. It's the same thing that you did before or that you still do in terms of marketing your message, you just have a different...

...channel. Mhm. And so if they just flow through and say, okay, let me just take my add or take my video or my commercial and put it on my website. And how do I do that? And then can it be playing in uh you know, when people walk in, I think that's a simple flow, it retains customers. It's too competitive out there. That by the time someone is engaging with you, you're still on the list. So they've done their research. I have to hold them. So my marketing message better support it. My offers better be transparent the same thing they found online or in my traditional man when they walk on site, it better be the same thing or people's patience level is very thin. They're often running down to the next place. Yeah, I mean and you don't want to confuse your customers, I mean when you look at especially I I have dealers that I talked to and they say, man, we need to get more website traffic and and you know when we look into it and they say, oh we're again between whatever it is, five or 10,000 unique visits a month and I go hold on a second. You know, I think you and I were talking about this a little bit. It's it's not let's get more, it's how do we leverage better the traffic that's already coming to our website? And I feel like if we we did unify the marketing efforts of that dealership so that across multiple touchpoints the dealer or the start of the consumer is getting the same message is going to help validate for them that they are in the right place or it's going to help them further their purchase decision. I agree. I think the knee jerk reaction for a lot of businesses. I mean we work Also outside of automotive but probably about 85, of our businesses automotive. So we understand that the knee jerk reaction of dealers is I need more leads, I need more leads, I need more leads, I need more leads and we say, well what are you doing with the people who are already here? You know, if if you're happy with, you know, if the national average of just strict internet leads straight internet leads...

And the average is dealers are converting 7 - 9%. And so if you think about that rounded off, that means nine out of every 10 people who submit a lead to you, you don't sell. And that's somewhat acceptable like okay, well let's get to 15% or let's even get to 20%. So it's acceptable that 8% 88 out of 10 people are not buying for me. So is there something that's confusing? Are we making it difficult or our website user friendly? And I think my brother brian brought this up one time at a session and said dealers have to start thinking about two things. One you're running a multimillion dollar business. This isn't a mom and pop, you know, well million multimillion dollar business. But you have to start thinking about you are an e commerce business now you have to shift the mentality of U. R. E. Commerce. If you think about target to your earlier example, if you ask them, they'll tell you were an e commerce business. Now we happen to have stores but we're an e commerce business. We have to think that way because everybody now is shopping there. First impulses pick up my ipad, my phone, whatever tool I have computer and let me do research before I get my butt up off of the couch dealerships used to think that they were different and now they're starting to wake up to say we're not different cars are no different. Now people research, they sit on the couch until you give them a compelling reason to reach out and contact them. And if your site is difficult to maneuver your out, if your vehicle detail pages don't give enough information, not even just basic information, you're not giving, you know, information plus, reviews, plus, I like watching videos. So give me some videos. Hey, help me answer my questions till I'm better prepared. If you're not willing to give that information out, you're off the list and you're not selling and then you're not even going to be selling the one...

...out of 10, uh, to engage you. And to your point, the easier if dealers start thinking that my website is an information portal, it's an e commerce information portal and I want to give as much information to the people versus hold it back. You will start engaging and then you're right, How are my people interacting on the phones? What are they doing in terms of follow up in terms of email and then are they even following up or do they stop following up? Because you know what? Hey, if I sell my 5 to 8 to 10 cars, I'm good instead of, well you should be selling 15 or if I'm selling 100 I really should be with the leads that I'm getting let alone, as you said, more leads leads. I'm getting, I should be selling 100 5200, but well we've always done 100 and you know, we get 205 I'm happy. So it's, I think the unifying the marketing message will give you more retention, meaning more people stay on your site because you're making, you're making it easier and engaging and then phone calls should increase and walk in, traffic should increase and your website should do what it does. But they like you, as you said earlier, you've made it easy. I saw your great commercial. I found the website, there's no distractions. This is the right place. I call people. You're giving me information. They're, they're acting exactly the same way that you're pushing out that you do take care of people and you give them information, they're doing that. And then when I walk on site, I'm getting a great experience. I want to do business with you because you make it easy. Yes. Okay. So let me ask you this, um, you know, just to kind of wind it down here. Um, what is the, and I think you might have already answered this. But what's the first thing that, I mean, I'm assuming this is the dealer's responsibility to get this, this, uh, unification effort underway. What's the first thing that they need to do? I think, well, it's, that's a little bit...

...loaded to go down there. One is, if you are, if you are a dealer that is going to do this, meaning that if you're the dealer principal and you're saying, listen, I'm owning this now. There are some dealer principals who empower their team to do it and that's fine. Well then somebody has to own the message and then contact your vendors to basically say we're having a coal and everybody is getting on the phone and I'm going to go over the message. But I'm expecting my people who are doing S. E. O. If I have another person doing ECM, you guys need to talk and you have to share so that you're not pulling at each other and trying to cut each other down in order to keep business. I, you know, again, you have to find the right vendor mix if you're not capable of that or you don't feel that your objective enough and that's okay, then you have to find really a trusted advisor. I mean we're finding people, uh, calling us up and just say, I want access to your team. I don't want any more services from you. I don't want any more. I got enough services. I have enough vendors. I just need help. I need somebody who's outside of the dealership, not in the day to day grind of this, who can focus on, what am I saying? Is it a crook? Can you audit, can you go check all these things, will you be willing to get on the phone with the vendors, can you help me tell me if the vendors are doing a good job and are really supporting me or they just handing me a line of, you know, crap basically and saying, okay, yeah, here's your report. Call me if you have questions. So if you can't do it yourself, find that trusted advisor and get them at your table every month until they teach you how to do it. Or if you're willing to do it, you just basically tell and vendors don't want to do this, vendors are like, no, I'm not going because I have my, I don't want to share my secret google recipe of doing that. What that basically is, is crap run...

...from them. Get out seriously because if nobody is willing to share. I mean we have no problem calling people up. We have people who call us up. I have no problem in any vendor worth their salt is going to be okay. Let's work together. At least understanding the keywords you're bidding on or understand the message or hey, if you built that video, send it to me or do me a favor, send me a copy of the ad that you did. So I can get the right lettering coloring whatever. And then as we build our landing page, it looks similar to that. Um, it's not going in the back end and learning everybody's secrets, but it's just sharing resources ultimately for the dealer and their success not, Oh well if I, if I bad mouth the SCM person, I'm going to pick up new business from you that that should not be the focus well and I think, you know, this is so, so incredible and you know, for those of you listening and you need to be focused on this. I mean everything that Glenn is talking about, um you know, aside from how to get this going, this serves as an incredible accountability mechanism for all of your vendors. And like Glen said, seriously, I mean me being a vendor myself, if your vendors are not willing to work inside of this model and if you can't understand or they can't understand how it's going to help you drive more business drive, you know, move more metal then you need to run away from the, that's basically the vendor putting in their resignation in my opinion, it does, it's not going to help you. So look for transparency. Like Glen said, right, you need to, you need to look for vendors that can work together that can share resources and that are comfortable having open exchanges between one another for your benefit. Mhm mm Good. I'm Michel Cirillo and you've been listening to the dealer Playbook...

...podcast. If you haven't yet, please click the subscribe button wherever you're listening right now, leave a rating or review and share it with a colleague. Thanks for listening. Mhm.

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