Baltimore, MD Last year, automotive sales achieved a record number of 17.5 Million units for the year, shattering previous numbers. Forecasters project an even bigger 2017, as the car buying process has changed forever with 95% of shopping and research taking place online. Dealerships have become more accessible to consumers who are previewing the digital showroom, scoping online reputation, and reading reviews before ever visiting the physical store.
Cactus Sky has combined their digital marketing suite of products into an integrated solution to form a holistic approach. Dealer Influence is designed to "influence" consumers from the research process to the ownership experience and beyond. By combining Cactus Sky Digital's products: Lead Igniter, Conquest eMail, eReputation Builder, Owner Retention, and their newest product, Testimonial Builder, automotive dealerships no longer have to buy several products to cover what they need to succeed in 2017. This service is all-inclusive, influencing the entire car buying and ownership experience.
"The goal is to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts when it comes to a dealership's digital presence," said Peter "webdoc" Martin, founder and president of Cactus Sky Digital, eReputation Builder, and Testimonial Builder. "Most dealers have vendors with overlapping products all taking credit for the same sale. With Dealer Influence they get a complementary system that works together, and the accurate reporting they deserve."
One of the most impactful components of this package is eReputation Builder. This is because in the last 24 months, online reputation has become the primary influencer for American car buyers. Unhappy customers today are more likely to leave a negative online review, influencing other prospective buyers. This aspect of the integrated product encourages consumers to use the Proprietary "Not Satisfied" system, and address the grievances in a "private" offline channel, protecting their online reputation. In turn, happy customers are encouraged to leave a positive review on various review sites to help proactively build the dealership's online reputation.
"The 'Not Satisfied' system has helped protect our online reputation from angry customers and allowed us to address issues privately while helping us achieve a 4.0 Google+ Rating with over 400 reviews," said Bill Bolander, Digital Marketing Director of Jerry's Toyota (Baltimore, MD).
Conquest eMails are another key piece of successful digital marketing. In 2008, Cactus Sky was the first company to introduce Mass eMail Marketing to the auto industry and for 2017 they have another "first" as part of their integrated solution. Unlike other vendors selling conquest email, the new integrated solution has a database development feature never offered before. When a prospect opens the email and clicks through to the dealer's website to start shopping, these "warm prospects" will be added to the dealer's proprietary prospect list and will receive more relevant automated messaging.
"In 2016 we broke our all-time sales goals and we can contribute some of the success to Cactus Sky and their products. We see a definite lift in internet and floor traffic every time they send out a campaign," said Vince Odoardi, General Sales Manager of Rockland Chrysler (Rockland, NY).
As the car buying process has evolved into a multi-month user-driven experience, Lead Igniter touches base every step of the way, keeping the dealership top of mind and ensuring that proper follow up is provided. Lead Igniter focuses on a sales and service relationship building strategy that incorporates data mining and monthly messaging to reactivate dead leads and drive traffic back to the dealership. The system utilizes marketing automation and real-time action notifications to ensure that customers are contacted in a professional and timely fashion. Dealerships across the United States and Canada have added Lead Igniter to their marketing plans to increase business without buying more leads.
"I was skeptical about the benefits of the marketing automation but we have been able to track sales directly related to the follow up. The open rates are more than double of our other email marketing," said Glenn Gent, General Sales Manager of Horace Nissan (Farmington, New Mexico).
For over 30 years, Peter "webdoc" Martin and Cactus Sky Digital have served the automotive industry with unparalleled email marketing solutions. This is due to their ability to deliver messages past the spam filters and reach consumers. The customer retention program incorporates mobile-responsive design, marketing automation, email retargeting, and real-time action alerts, in order to improve engagement and build relationships
"Customer retention is very important for our operation and through Lead Igniter we were able to bring back 307 lost service customers in 2016," said Michelle Frye, General Manager of Tempe Dodge (Tempe, AZ).
The newest product, Testimonial Builder, capitalizes on social media sharing to showcase authentic video testimonials to potential local prospects. This iPhone and Android app facilitates the filming and syndicating of video reviews right from the salesperson's phone at the time of sale. Using a scrolling teleprompter, the salesperson introduces the satisfied customers, allows them to share their story, and sends the completed video review to the customer with one click. The customer is then able to share their video review on Facebook, Twitter and other social media as well as through email, and by text message. On the backend, video reviews are optimized to increase SEO relevance and improve online reputation. Dealers are having such success with Testimonial Builder, that one had his video testimonials showing up in his competitor's searches:
"I am having what I consider a personal victory, a Dealer Principal from a competing Toyota dealership near me is complaining about our customer testimonials because they are showing up in searches for their dealership," said Bill Finocchiaro, General Manager of Gettel Toyota of Lakewood (Bradenton, FL).
Through three decades of automotive marketing research and development, the Dealer Influence team has narrowed the digital selling process to five cohesive steps:
1. Reach highly targeted in-market prospects with proven 3-touch email strategy.
2. Re-engage inactive leads and deepen relationships with warm prospects.
3. Deliver high-impact mobile-responsive email offers and follow-up with seamless marketing automation.
4. Use satisfied customer testimonials to reach potential customers with authentic video reviews.
5. Control online reputation by preventing negative reviews and encouraging positive comments.
Dealer Influence is now available to help auto dealers communicate with prospects and customers through the entire vehicle ownership experience. This product successfully builds the dealership's brand, increases online presence, and protects the dealership's online reputation through improved communication. From the first round of research to following up after the sale, Dealer Influence guides car buyers every step of the modern-day buying process.