I’m honored and excited to have been selected to speak at the most progressive conference in the automotive industry, the 2014 DrivingSales Executive Summit. I’m looking forward to having you join me as we Blog to the Future!

Date: October 13, 2014
Time: 12:00-12:45 p.m.
Event: DrivingSales Executive Summit Breakout Session
Topic: Blog to the Future
Sponsor: 2014 DrivingSales Executive Summit
Venue: Bellagio Hotel
Location: 3600 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

Join Me at #DSES2014 and Blog to the Future

On June 9, 2014 I sent in this video application to host a breakout session at the 2014 DrivingSales Executive Summit taking place October 12-14 at the beautiful Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

After weeks of waiting and hyperventilating, I’m happy to announce I just received the great news that I’ve been selected to speak at the most progressive conference in the automotive industry.

I can’t tell you how honored and excited I am for such an opportunity to stand side by side with some of the most respected people in and outside of our industry.

Honestly, if you think I was hyperventilating before, you should see me now!

Let’s Blog to the Future

During my breakout session, I’m going to present the case that the most powerful thing a dealership can do in 2015 is to harness the power of their company blog to drive traffic, generate leads, build connections and improve their SEO.

7 Email Metrics Dealerships Should Be Tracking [Infographic]

Remember that time I said Email is the most powerful tool in your digital tool box? I stand by that statement to this day.

Until something drastic changes in technology or human behavior, I’ll continue to support Email Marketing as the number one way to reach your customers with direct and actionable messages.

7-Email-Metrics-Your-Dealership-Should-Be-Tracking

But like any kind of digital marketing campaign, if you aren’t measuring and keeping track of your results, you’re missing the opportunity to improve.

Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.        ― H. James Harrington

So what exactly should you be measuring when it comes to your Email Marketing efforts? Here are the 7 metrics you should be keeping track of.

Email_Marketing_Measurement_Metrics_Infographic

Oh The Irony: Yelp Complains About Unfair Treatment From Google

If there’s one platform out there that the mere mention of is sure to generate loud and boisterous opinions, it’s Yelp.

Known for it’s misleading advertising presentation and it’s infamous review filter, Yelp doesn’t have the best reputation among my peers and colleagues in the car biz (to put it lightly).

Yelp-Complains-About-Unfair-Treatment-From-Google

When Dylan Swift, Yelp’s Director of National Marketing, took the stage last year at the DrivingSales Executive Summit, the attendees were less that impressed by his presentation and took to twitter to express their opinions.

So when I saw the headline that Yelp thinks it’s getting screwed by Google I couldn’t help but chuckle at the irony.

Yelp thinks they are are the ones getting screwed?! *facepalm*

Much like how car dealers and other small businesses often complain that Yelp favors negative reviews of businesses over positive ones - Yelp is complaining that Google is favoring it’s own properties in it’s SERPs instead of Yelp’s.

Oh the irony!

If you want the complete run down on why Yelp believes it’s getting screwed by Google, check out this article over on TechCrunch.

Better yet, for a full analysis of Yelp’s claims and how a close look at the report actually reveals the opposite is happening, Danny Sullivan breaks it down on SearchEngineLand.com.

Danny also appeared on Episode 1046 of  Tech News Today to talk about the story. It’s embedded below for your viewing pleasure.

Car Dealerships and Yelp

Cultivating your dealership’s online reputation is a top priority, and like it or not, Yelp plays a role in how consumers view your dealership.

Because of their partnerships with Apple and Yahoo (and yes, even how their content ranks with Google), you just can’t ignore Yelp because of how you may feel about them.

If you’re interested in improving your dealership’s online reputation in general, I recommend you check out Episode 3 of the MarketPunch Podcast where Megan Barto and I talk about developing a picture perfect online reputation for your dealership.

Have any thoughts you’d like to share when it comes to Yelp? Post them in the comments section below!

Edmunds.com Private Test Drive Program: 9 Things Dealers Should Know

Edmunds.com recently sent an email announcing their intention to launch a Private Test Drive program that allows consumers to test drive vehicles at the dealership without a salesperson.

Based on the information in that email and subsequent landing page, I wondered aloud if Edmunds was trying to solve a problem that didn’t exist.

Edmunds-Private-Test-Drive-Program--7-Things-Car-Dealers-Should-Know

After the article was published, I received numerous emails, tweets and facebook messages from my fellow #AutoMarketing and #CarPeeps who also were curious about the program and what it would mean for car dealers.

I was able to connect with Jeannine Fallon (Executive Director, Corporate Communications) at Edmunds.com who was kind enough to fill in many of the blanks about this pilot program and what it means to car dealers.

Based on my questions to Jeannine via email, here are 9 things car dealers should know about Edmunds.com Private Test Drive Program.

Edmunds.com Wants To Remove Salespeople From the Test Drive

Something interesting arrived in my inbox not too long ago. I received an email from Edmunds.com stating their intention to launch a “Private Test Drive” service that aims to take the salesperson out of the test drive.

UPDATE 7/10/2014 Edmunds.com provided more information that explains the Private Test Drive Program in detail and how it will work for car dealers. Get the full scoop here.

Edmunds-Private-Test-Drive-Program-Image

Wait….What?!

After inspecting what Edmunds is proposing here, a slew of thoughts and emotions ran through my head in a flash.

Honestly, my initial reaction was that I got a little upset because I felt that Edmunds is suggesting that car salespeople don’t bring value to the car shopping experience, they only get in the way.

As a former salesperson who is still quite proud of his profession, when any third party vendor that relies on dealership money takes an anti-dealer approach to marketing it’s products and services, I get a little upset.

So while I was initially disappointed, I got over it rather quickly and decided to inspect the program based on the details that were sent to me.

I also reached out to Edmunds via twitter to see if they have any additional info they’d like to add.

Who Would Use Edmunds Private Test Drive Program?

Edmunds created a few buyer personas who exemplify the type of person who the private test drive program should appeal to.

First there’s Chip

I would love to test drive more vehicles, but I don’t want to talk to the dealer.  Typically, I know more than the salesperson does when I walk on the lot.  I know what I want to buy.  Just let me drive it already!

- Chip, Atlanta

Then there’s Terry

I would love to be able to spend some time alone with the car. I have three car seats, and I need to make sure they all fit. It’s a lot easier to do that without the salesperson hovering over my shoulder.

- Terry, Chicago, IL

Content Doesn’t Have To Be Written

Mashable
6/24/2014

As I was perusing feedly for interesting and new content to share this morning, I ran across this article from Mashable:

7 Tips for Starting a Content Marketing Strategy

The headline immediately jumped out at me because that’s the frame of mind I’m currently in.

Content-Doesnt-Have-To-Be-Written

We’re in the process of launching a content marketing strategy at work, and I’ve taken a deep dive in to discovering all I can about the subject.

And while the concepts listed are pretty straight forward, there was one that  jumped out at me right away:

#4 Content Doesn’t Have To Be Written

Such an eyeopener to start the day. And while this is something I know, I fall victim tot he mindset that content = writing more often than I’d care to admit.

When I’m planning on what to publish for my personal or company blog, it’s usually content of the written variety.

Sure I share pics and videos that I find interesting on social media, but I don’t use those types of content nearly often enough as thought starters on my own platform.

So if not written, what else can content be?

Content is:

If you want more tips for developing your own content marketing strategy, check out the full article I linked above over on Mashable.

Hope you guys find it useful!

Platform-Michael-Hyatt

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Thomas Nelson, 2012)

I don’t remember when I first discovered Michael Hyatt’s blog and podcast “This is Your Life“, but I’ve been following along with him since before I launched MarketPunch.com.

As a matter of fact, I don’t think I would have or could have launched my blog with out the info that Michael has shared over the years.

Heck, even the GetNoticed WordPress Theme that I use here on MarketPunch is the one that Michael developed for his own website and then offered for sale to his followers.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m a huge fan of Michael Hyatt (duh!).

He’s never let me down before and neither did his book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.

If you’re like me an are trying to build and launch your own platform, then this book is a must have for your library.

In this step-by-step guide, Michael shows you exactly how you can use social media to gain attention for your brand, product, or cause in today’s noisy world.

Platform-Get-Noticed-In-A-Noisy-World-Michael-Hyatt-Edit

Build Your Own Content Curation Engine Using IFTTT and Google Drive

We live in a world where there is more content published each day than we could ever possibly consume.

If you think about how much data is produced every minute of every day, you’ll soon find yourself overwhelmed.

Part of our jobs as automotive digital marketers is to sift through all the content to find the right articles, pictures and videos to share with our audience on social media.

So how do you easily find good content to share? You need to build your own content curation engine.

I built mine by harnessing the power of IFTTT and Google Drive.

Build-a-Content-Curation-Engine-IFTTT-Google-Drive

If you don’t know what IFTTT is, it’s a service that lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement: If This Then That.

With IFTTT you can create ‘recipes’ that monitor specific triggers (If This) and then perform a specific action when that trigger occurs (Then That).

To build your own content curation engine, you’ll be creating multiple IFTTT Recipes that monitor RSS Feeds from the likes of CarandDriver.com, MotorTrend.com, Autoblog.com, Jalopnik.com, TFLcar.com, YouTube and others.

When a new article is published from one of these websites that contain a brand-specific keyword, IFTTT will then append a spreadsheet on Google Drive with the Date, Title and URL of that article.

What you’ll end up with is a single spreadsheet that has all the articles for your brand that you can easily sort through, and determine which pieces of content to share on the social media networks of your choice.

Scott Monty Leaves Ford Social: Now I Haz a Sad

I never had the chance to meet Scott Monty in person, but even so, he still had a direct influence on my career.

When I read this morning that Scott was departing Ford and headed for new adventures, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad.

Scott-Monty-Leaves-Ford-Social-Haz-A-Sad

For those of us in the Social and Digital side of our dealerships, Scott was a guiding voice that many of us looked to for inspiration (whether we worked at a Ford Dealership or not).

I mean here was a guy who developed and implemented the Social Media strategy for the Ford Motor Company. If building relationships and trust via Facebook, Twitter and Google+ was important to the manufacturer, it’s was doubly important for us in the dealership.

But where Scott Monty truly had an impact on me was when I launched MarketPunch.com.