TRADER Hosts 2018 Carology Event

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Industry summit attracts dealers and auto industry executives from the Greater Toronto Area, and beyond.

TRADER recently hosted the 2018 instalment of their Carology event, which took place at CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio in downtown Toronto, Ontario.

Entitled, “Automotive Industry Disruption: Thriving in a Time of Change,” the two-hour summit addressed the challenges facing our industry, while offering practical solutions to some of the most perplexing issues facing auto dealers today.

Tim Scott, Partner in Risk Advisory, Deloitte Canada talked about disruptors facing the auto industry, including autonomous vehicles, car sharing, as well as the consumers’ demand for a better overall experience. When improving customer service, he urged dealers to look to other industries as an example.

He explained how autonomous vehicles and car sharing will impact the consumer, the OEM and the dealer, adding that autonomous vehicles will allow for high levels of personalization, with the possibility of consumers ordering partial or complete build-to-order models.

Scott explained how today’s consumers research a vehicle purchase, and what dealers need to do in order not to lose that customer. The key is to keep their attention and meet their expectations.

Dealers no longer have a lot of time to influence a purchase decision, Scott said. While family, friends and coworkers are important to the decision making process, so is the dealer’s website, and surprisingly the salesperson they meet at the dealership. When people get to the dealership, they want to engage with the salespeople. That’s still a critical part of the overall sales process.

And although the idea of buying good online is appealing, Scott said people still want to see the vehicle, touch it and test drive it before buying. That’s not going away.

Digital retailing

Brian Pasch, founder of PCG Companies talked about digital retailing. He admitted that most dealers are mystified about digital marketing and many can’t tell whether it’s working for them. They don’t understand it. It can be confusing.

Contrary to popular belief, Pasch argued that selling more cars is not simply about having more leads. If you want more leads, he said, you have to increase the quality of the people coming to your website, rather than simply boosting the quantity of visitors.

He said most of the online metrics dealers are looking at are wrong, and recommends new metrics that will be more useful. More to the point, these new metrics would help dealers determine whether visitors to their website are engaged. If you want to sell more cars you need to measure the quality of your audience, Pasch stressed.

He then explained the limits of Google Analytics, which he argued, 80 percent of the time is not configured properly. He also blamed the CRM solutions dealers use, because they only show last-click attribution, rather than giving the dealer a complete picture of which marketing tools brought a particular consumer down the path that ended up on the dealer’s website.

He strongly recommends rethinking your marketing plan. Although he agrees that dealers need Google, he stressed that dealers need to know how to spend money more effectively with Google.

Look for a full report in the next issue of Canadian AutoJournal.

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