Category Archives: Virtual Marketing

Social Media Marketing – Have You Really Engaged

“Social Media” is without question the most talked about thing in online marketing right now. But how does it apply to your current marketing strategy, and why should you get involved” Social Media is an incredibly powerful way of speaking to your customers. When you enter their Social Network you are entering a circle of trust – these customers want to hear from you. 

One of the most time-consuming tasks within social media is finding, reviewing, editing and posting relevant content your fans/followers will deem valuable. Taking the time to consistently post quality content frequently each day is an important factor to building followers and relationships. If I could take a moment of your time and ask if you would “Imagine This”….. 

We manage the complete development of pages, applications and functionality of links, a real-time virtual community of your customers from your DMS, employees, neighbors and friends all collaborating and interacting online in real-time, sharing ideals, photos, comments and more!…..sounds a lot like Facebook, LinkedIn or even Twitter?….Well It’s not, It’s Facebook & Beyond!! 

Management solutions, which reduces the time required for this function by implementing content syndication and automatically pulling your tweets, blogs, news streams, Google alerts search term and any RSS feed content directly into a database with headings, links and descriptions. Your content can be reviewed, edited, grouped and appended to date/time posting schedules that can be exported and immediately uploaded into our social media management system for syndicated posting…..Change The Way You Increase Business, When You Change The Way You Do Business. drelam@wearebdc.net (910) 263-8844

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Filed under Automotive Business Development, Automotive E-Marketing, Facebook Page Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking Management, Virtual Marketing

The Neighborhood Initiative

The mission of The Neighborhood Initiative is to stimulate a community and brand driven virtual neighborhood. We Are BDC facilitates customer, employee and community participation that fully engages your customers to react. Our team promotes Your brands, your services and community partnerships that result in a catalytic community of Right Now Buyers and supporters of your brand.. We create small groups and networks around the culture of your business and the community you already service, which bring life to those who come and speak to them inside of their life style processes. We move people from social networking websites towards growing and serving by initiating an authentic community based Neighborhood Initiative.

Think on This; What will happen if you as a brand don’t create an online social community for your fans? What about a portal where your brand fans can gather and you can facilitate them with the latest news about your products? A spot where fans can generate their own ideas or follow the discussions around your brand? Welcome To The Neighborhood!!

The Neighborhood Initiative is a social network created on Ning to provide customer and peer-to-peer support and experiences. And not only a brand fan page, but also a direct connect to popular social sites and a Twitter account where you can join up and discuss further.

The Neighborhood Initiatives are great opportunities for brands to turn their brand fans into brand advocates. We Are BDC implements online processes and procedures designed around Human Behavior and engage your customers with content, ask their opinion, join the conversations and help turn your fans into ambassadors. And brand advocates are everywhere, amongst your co-workers, your family, your friends and they are 10 times more trusted than your brand, telling them you’re the best

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Filed under Automotive Business Development, Automotive E-Marketing, Virtual Marketing

Multichannel Real-time Interactions

Moving beyond facebook has become a mission for me on helping dealers obtain an even greater understanding of Automotive Social Networking and Reputation Management.  Real-Time interactions are one of the key elements in making profits through any social networking community that is implemented into your Digital Marketing routine.  I have published articles in the past, that have talked about Processes and Procedures that are created around the current culture of your store, the online behavior of your guest and the message you want your customers to receive.  Multi-Channel Interactions offers an opportunity for the dealer to implement and/or correct the team’s ability to connect with your guest through all available channels. 

It’s no secret. Your customers want to interact with you on their terms—how and when they prefer. Regardless of whether they call your toll-free number, send you an email, hit you on facebook, tweet or initiate a chat session with a service representative; they expect that you will respect their time and effort by resolving their issues or needs. Understanding this is not enough. You need to deliver. We Are BDC has compiled a series or processes, online tools, technology, procedures and the Human Element 

Most of us as dealers have already begun our Social Networking efforts, we have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube….but my two questions are;

  1. How you interacting with your customers through these alternative sources?
  2. How you driving OTB’s to your dealership?

There are several available options and/or tools online in which we can obtain for free through just simple connect and downloads that would aide us in real-time interactions with our social efforts.  These online connections though apps would link back to our dealership’s CRM, email and BDC….allowing us the opportunity to communicate with our guest Right Where They Are! 

Automotive strategic marketing tactics and branding are a good start, but dealers need to continue to innovate to bring their traditional and digital marketing efforts together, and to bring this converged experience to your online and social shoppers. How often do we see our websites and other digital profiles out of sync with our customer’s online shopping experience? Shoppers view a brand from all angles, and they notice such discrepancies. When we as dealers do not provide an enhancement or a uniquely differentiated experience to buying online, what will keep the customers coming in? 

Online car shoppers also have new tools for almost instant communications, such as mobile phone applications that receive their Social Updates from Facebook, Twitter and others!  When was the last time your current internet team sent an email response through a customer’s Facebook or Twitter profile or do they even know how? Have we begun a reconcile or verification process of which one of our guest our even on Facebook, twitter or any social site that we are plugged into or have you become like most dealers, where 50% or more of your friends/fans are other dealers?…….Our social efforts kind of mimic our traditional efforts when it comes to marketing, remember the old saying 

“ONLY CAR DEALERS READ THE SATURDAY CAR ADS”

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Filed under Automotive Business Development, Automotive E-Marketing, Virtual Marketing

Auto Industry Has Gone Social! via #constantcontact

Auto Industry Has Gone Social! via #constantcontact.

The excitement continues, more and more businesses are going social, the funny thing is that the Auto Industry has gone Social, yet many local dealers are not profiting from Social Networks, so my question to dealers is why?

We Are BDC has begun to help North & South Carolina local car dealers answer just that question.  Automotive Social Networking Management or ASNM is a series of virtual advertising methods that utilize online social network services and is implemented into your current web-based activity to help increase a Dealer’s web presence, actual website traffic, leads, virtual identity and opportunities to do business.

Chrysler

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Filed under Automotive Business Development, Automotive E-Marketing, Virtual Marketing

Multi-Channel Customer Communication

Don’t Worry!!!…………….Nothing New, but something we as an industry should have been doing to make our Social & Digital Network Marketing work for our businessMulti-Channel Customer Communication or MCC is a series of methods, which involve human particpation management, operating strategic online processes and procedures designed to interact with our customer’s through all of our touchpoints MCC is designed to operate as a single communication channel able to reach all target persons on a high impact level, well beyound any automotive customer relationship management tool any automotive vendor could offer The Automotive Industry. the buying and selling channels, distribution, service, internal and external communication

 The digital age and the continued growth of Social Networking has not only changed the game of marketing, but also on how the data we now have access to is managed, tracked and linked to our customers and our ROI.  I began to look deep into that Special Tool that would help our business grow…..I looked at and have utilized what I had considered to be some of the best CRM’s….but with each new Social Site and Blog marketing back on the rise, the question that entered my mind was;

 “Am I touching All My Customers, Where They Are?” 

Did my current Customer Relations Management Tool have the ability or technology to harness all interaction touch points we had begun utilizing, regardless of form: phone call, email, chat, website visit or social media chatter?  Quickly…The answer was “NO” ans there were none out there that were being offered through the Automotive Industry.  Multi-Channel Customer Communication is the sciencetific term…that defines what we have started doing, yet the virtual world moves so fast, any one sided CRM tool you can think of………..Can Not Keep Up.  Should we decide to wait, we will remain lost on managing data properly, connecting to our guest and learning late how important our touchpoints have already become?

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Filed under Automotive Business Development, Automotive E-Marketing, Virtual Marketing

Changing The Cost Of Performance

Direct mail, TV, Newspaper, and Radio will all soon be outdated, with technology going virtual, all the things we once did can now be done online, and for less. I have decided to challenge Automobile Dealers to learn more on how the internet has become the new advertising source that reaches the people who are looking to purchase your products and/or services.

When you look at what we are currently doing on the internet as consumers, you will quickly see my view on Internet Marketing. I am a Doctor of Philosophy, with a specialty in Research & Development, and trust me when I say “we have evolved” and in order for our industry to keep up with the Jones, we must turn to the internet and do what we do best, sell cars!!

Currently we as consumers do our banking online, everything from transferring funds, paying bills and managing our money, safely. Well think on this Mr & Mrs Dealer Principal, consumers want the freedom to shop, research, make a offer, and purchase their vehicles online. If you are not marketing to those buyers, you are missing a HUGE BOAT!!

I am not just talking about advertising your website, or your vehicles online. No sir, you need to do what ever you do at the dealership online, 24 hours a day, and market to the person that spends his time searching and spending his hard-earned money online.

Mr. dealer you need to set in place a series of processes and procedures that are customer friendly, and easy to navigate through, and you will begin to experience buyers who want your product, because of your services. Think on this, Wal-Mart, Bank Of America, Federal Express, United States Post Office, American Express, Nextel, Forbes Magazine, Time Warner, Disney World, Just to name a few, that are so far ahead of us, it has become crazy!

Our industry is just a huge virtual community online with GREAT pictures, we need more, and our buyers demand more. Companies like N.A.D.A., are reporting that Car Dealers spend up the Hundreds Of Millions of dollars ever year on traditional advertising, yet we are getting the same results. As a Doctor, I will be the first to tell you, when you keep doing the same thing, but expect different results, is a sign of insanity!

I am not calling you crazy Mr & Mrs car dealer, but what you are doing is a sign of insanity, and I want you to GET WELL SOON. We need to start putting our ad dollars online, and making our dealerships virtual, where I can walk through your dealership, without stepping one foot on your lot, don’t worry your are not going to lose business, it has always been, and will always be a numbers game. The one with the most numbers will always win!

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Filed under Automotive Business Development, Automotive E-Marketing, Virtual Marketing

Changing The Business Model

I wanted to talk directly to those soldiers in the automotive industry at the dealership level.  Those men and women who have made a conscience decision to maintain their positions through these tough economic times, when our industry (Automotive) appears to be the one hit the worst in all this mess!  I have been monitoring our industry since 1995

  • always Internet,
  • always communications
  • always market behavior

I have been able to create a proven series of strategic automotive processes and procedures, utilizing these three elements that have lead to noticeable trends, profitable opportunities and behavior based marketing conclusions.  Today I bring to you a True Shift in our industry, a Paradigm shift if I may use this scientific term to help my Automotive Readers and Internet fans of the industry understand this New Automotive Development that has been discovered.

Over the last 6 months, we begin to notice a trend in Dealership level traffic with several Neighborhood Dealers through-out the Southeast…….traffic was on the rise, yet vehicle sales were down and remain in that position, even today.  It appears through our data, that more and more people are visiting Their Neighborhood Dealerships and utilizing other areas of the dealership for their automotive needs……..Think On This, “The Size Of Dealerships, (the actual square footage) Has Grown over The last two Decade to match those of a small to medium size and sometimes larger Malls”………I know what you asking, what does this has to do with anything?  It has a lot to do with everything…..people are behavior based creators, they migrate to trends and follow the majority in order to justify their actions.  People walk around the mall, they eventually spend money….but they always return to that mall based on behavior, environment, or just somethings to do.  People go to starbucks, Internet cafés even barbershops because of the services they provide……..yet they return because of there is something else to do, while they wait.  These other industries have capitalized on their increased or residual traffic in getting them to spend their dollars in other areas of their businesses, while visiting their locations.

Just the other day I went to the Barber shop in my Neighborhood, I went early so I could get out of the Barbershop just as quickly as I entered….when I arrived they were full….every chair and the waiting area.  I was not up to the task to wait, yet when I looked around there were pool tables being used, televisions being watched, Big Televisions…I must say, video games being played, juice machines being used and comfortable seating being occupied, so I stayed and waited the hour to spend $20.00 for my hair cut, $10.00 on some pool games and $3.00 on a drink and a snack…..$33.00 in total.  The biggest part of my day at the Neighborhood Barbershop was the experience, fun, the conversation and purpose…and I will return.  I also found out that some of the guests of this business were there for just the fun….a community type social atmosphere where you can have conversation, show off your socks and hell….spend $33.00 dollars.  Now I am not telling you to place a barber shop inside your dealership (No A Bad Ideal)…but what I am introducing to dealers, their managers and employees is “Change Your Business Model”

I immediately began to research the area around certain Neighborhood dealers in our growing network, monitoring the behavior of local businesses, i.e. new business openings, lay-offs, industry types and their consumer traffic flow…etc.  I created a process which allowed 90% accurate monitoring 30 miles around 10 dealerships in 5 different market areas and the first thing that we noticed was a consistent number of New Parts and Service Centers that were being established, not related to any manufacturer or local dealer and through;

  • Internet Based Programs,
  • Social networks,
  • Automotive E-marketing
  • online surveys

….the behavior of the market place supported this new growth and opportunity.  Consumers had began to keep their trade-ins…..rather than buying a new or preowned vehicle, the trend reported more consumers were servicing their vehicles, painting and customizing them…….at that moment my reticular activating system begin working over-time…..I expanded the research to include a larger marketing area, I began to separate Franchise dealers from Used Car Centers….yet the data was the same and the increase continues.  There is opportunity in a down market, and in the 14 years of doing this automotive thing…..NEVER have I experienced an industry-wide down turn, like that we are currently in, but just as GREAT as the down fall is…….My reports reveal The Opportunity is even Greater and expanded beyond our researched areas……………………….

So here is my quest, my suggestions, my professional opinion, “Change Your Business Model” and do it right now, through a series of strategic automotive processes and procedures you can almost immediately increase your service, parts and accessories market in 60 days…….the only investment you would have to make is after the first 60 days, only then implementing creative services to maintain your All-New customer base, while they are visiting your dealership.  SCD, (Systematic Concept Duplication) can be implemented into your everyday activity, while focusing on your Fixed Operations, Parts, Accessories, Body-shops, Custom Wheels, etc………Variables is suffering….across the board, so why not allow this new opportunity to cover 80% or even 90% of your bottom line, while you reorganize the front end of the store.  The goal is not to always sell more cars, but to make a larger profit, does it really matter where that profit comes from?……this is a real trend with real methods that will create a residual flow of quality traffic.  The New Automotive Industry should be controlled by us, not a group of outsiders, who have also noticed this trend, how long will this last? I Do Not Know, but this area of new potential growth is large and wide-spread…NO ONE Business has closed in on this growing market, NO ONE!!

The move is 95% mental….refocus, realign and re-organize, this project will take additional time, extended hours and STOP HIRING SALES PEOPLE and start hiring mechanics, porters, oil changers and service advisor’s…..but not until you implement SCD into your activity and become over whelmed with traffic and new profits.  Who am I…no body, you can do this yourself……I have no problem sharing with you the step by step process that must be completed, the monitoring you will have to and the reports that must be generated or just call me (919) 935-9146.  I do not us anything but what you already have and then I make it better!!!  My tools of operation include the following FREE services managed online, along with your website, your location, your hours, your people, your toll free number, your email addresses and your will to turn a profit.

The questions should be, How Cam These Services Increase My Business?……the answer is they all have people who know people, who talk to people over the Internet.  Social Network Marketing is more than just signing up, I have determined the series of processes that links your dealership to people which equals profit.  There is science in the car business!!!! 

  • Constant Contact
  • Facebook
  • Myspace
  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • MSN Live
  • Twitter
  • Black-planet
  • Blog
  • Sales Genius
  • Youtube
  • Plaxo
  • Photo-bucket
  • eBay
  • Pay-pal
  • Dealer-specialties
  • Merchant Circle
  • James List
  • Craig’s List

Neighborhood Dealers

Bill Cole Automall

Dr. Harold Elam Jr

Automotive Business Development

Route 460 Green Valley

Bluefield, WV 24701

email me

(888) 892-2142

Our Website

The Neighborhood Dealer Project

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Filed under Automotive Business Development, Automotive E-Marketing, Uncategorized, Virtual Marketing