Autospeak-Straight Talk contains articles covering digital and social media marketing social communities and events marketing

Digital Ads Sway Auto Buyers

(Posted on Jan 16, 2014 at 02:28AM by William Cosgrove)
The 34m Americans planning to buy a vehicle in the next six months are twice as likely to be swayed by auto-focused digital marketing as the population at large according to new research.

A study from the from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Prosper Insights –Digital Influence on Auto Intenders, based on intelligence from the Media Behaviors & Influence Study which polls some 19,000 respondents once a year – found that 21% of automotive shoppers were influenced by relevant digital ads compared to 12% of the general population. 

Nor did the effect stop at that category as 71% of this group were also more likely to be influenced by digital advertising across multiple retail categories as the average consumer.

Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics and Measurement, IAB, noted that automotive had consistently been a top sector when it came to interactive advertising spending in the US.

"In particular, there seems to be tremendous mobile and digital video opportunity that auto marketers should be optimising along with other digital and legacy media," she added, pointing in particular to the need to leverage the always-on nature of digital media. 

The study also showed that a majority of vehicle buyers regularly embarked upon online searches for automobiles (86%) and they are twice as likely as the average person to be influenced by sponsored search ads (20% vs. 10%).

In addition to digital, all forms of media influenced the automotive path to purchase, said the IAB, so emphasising the importance of a solid media mix in order to effectively reach prospective vehicle buyers.

"These findings underscore the fact that automotive brands, as well as marketers in related areas like car insurance and vehicle maintenance, would be remiss in not including digital in their media strategy," said Pam Goodfellow, Consumer Insights Director, Prosper Insights.

Several digital lifestyle differences were apparent between auto buyers and the typical adult. For example, automotive intenders were more likely to own a smartphone (75% vs. 54%) or a tablet (42% vs. 33%). 

They were also heavier digital video streamers, both online (69% vs. 56%) and on mobile devices (52% vs. 35%). Consequently they were more likely to regularly watch digital video commercials before streaming video programming (66% vs. 53%).

And in general, auto-intenders were more likely to regularly research all kinds of products online before buying (58% vs. 42%). 

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff

The Front Lines Where The Real Battles Are Fought

(Posted on Sep 20, 2013 at 11:12AM by William Cosgrove)

Here are some stats that Most of us already know and most Dealer Principles and GMs may already know. But let’s give it another read because this is important to your business.

Not all buyers use the same criteria to choose a dealer or are influenced by the same dealer experience and sales processes.

According to the Foresight Research 2013 Dealership Report, Taken from UCN News, based on a study of 7,543 recent U.S. new car and truck buyers, experience with a brand drives most purchases.

While 17 different automotive marketing communication channels are analyzed in this study, none are more influential to the purchase decisions of new car and truck buyers than the dealership experience with the exception of prior brand experience. Forty-nine percent of all buyers this past year report that their dealership experience was highly influential to their decision to purchase the vehicle they did. 

The average new-vehicle buyer today is older (nearly half are over age 55). They are also wealthier and experienced with the buying process. Dealer reputation and relationships are key to this group.

Younger buyers (many of them first-time buyers) bring a narrower set of expectations into their buying process. These buyers want and need dealer assistance, but one out of four say their dealership experience took too long. 

Buyers aged 35-54 (representing 37 percent of current buyers) reflect a mixture of their younger and older counterparts. Like younger buyers, they are very concerned with getting a good price/deal, and financing options. Yet like older buyers, they have high expectations of their dealer experience.

So let’s think about this. This means that the people on the front lines and by this I mean the salespeople, including those in the BDC department, Service Writers, Parts and Body Shop Departments. Now why did I just refer to all these people as salespeople?

Because they all better be. These are the people that are selling you, your services and products and if they don’t know how to sell and how to treat people-your losing a great deal of business.

So why do a lot of you think that you can get these people on the cheap and expect great results. You pay a lot for your marketing and other vendors services and hopefully they are doing the right things.

But these employees I just mentioned are your most valuable asset and you are not going to get or have the right people on the cheap. I showed in one of my last posts a dealer who was paying top dollar and getting top results. These stats just gave me the opportunity to maybe shed more light on my mission to prove my point.

You can hire consultants to train, train and do more training and give people all the tools in the world to do a job but if you don’t have the right people your just wasting your money. And by the way what are your managers doing?

You need consultants who know how to get the right people in right the positions first Which means consultants who have proven themselves on the front lines and in the trenches who can find right people you need. And again, what are your managers doing?

If you need to hire consultants, (And again what are your managers doing), find one who is going to weed out all the non-performers and who is hired by and who is looking out for you the owner and not the management that may be the root of your problems.

A lot of good salespeople and managers have already left the Automotive Industry because the good ones can perform in any Commission Sales Industry and are going where they can be rewarded for their talent.

There are those who would like to commoditize the Industry and have store clerks waiting on people. But I can tell you that if this happens there will no longer be room for the Small and Medium Size Franchise Dealer.

By having the right people you don’t need to train them because they’re professionals and are driven to perform. So if you take all that money you pay to train and get no return from and put the right people (Including Management) on the front lines- you will not only save most of the money you spend on consultants but realize that the ones on the front lines are your real ROI.

By William Cosgrove

The Second Largest Search Engine [Infographic]

(Posted on Aug 18, 2013 at 04:24AM by William Cosgrove)
All the milestones YouTube achieved in less than a decade has made it the world’s second largest search engine, and a key platform for online video marketing and advertising.

The online video sharing service, developed by a trio of former PayPal employees in February 2005, now allows users to upload, watch, and share videos to each other and to other websites, such as Facebook.

At present, the headquarters of YouTube is in San Bruno, California. It shows an extensive array of video content generated by users though HTML5 and AdobeFlash Video technologies. The typical uploaded contents are a movie and TV clips, music videos, video blogs, educational videos, and original videos.

YouTube was established by three former employees of e-commerce firm PayPal: Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim. Reports say Hurley and Chen coined the idea for YouTube in the early part of 2005, after they had a hard time to share videos taken from a dinner party at the San Francisco apartment of Chen.

Karim was not at the party and even denied it happened. Karim said the motivation to create YouTube was because of the 2004 Super Bowl incident, wherein the breast of Janet Jackson accidentally slipped in her performance on stage. He had a hard time to look for a video clip of the event online. He said this led to the idea of an online video sharing service. However, Hurley and Chen said the original development plan was to build a video version of Hot or Not, an online dating service.

Nearly all of the videos uploaded on the website are by individuals, even though YouTube partners, such as BBC, CBS, Hulu, Vevo, and other major organizations, provide their own videos on the site.

YouTube does not require users to register before they can watch videos, but the advantage for members is their unlimited number of video uploads. In addition, videos deemed potentially invasive or disturbing are accessible only to registered users 18 years old and above.

In 2006, Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion and the company now functions as a subsidiary of the online advertising and search engine giant.

In November 2011, Google integrated its social networking site Google+ with YouTube and its web browser Google Chrome. The move allowed YouTube videos to be watched directly from Google+. A month after that, YouTube launched its new user interface, with video channels shown at the center of the homepage, the same way social networks present their news feed. In addition, a new version of the YouTube logo was used with a darker red color.

The title for the most viewed YouTube video is held by the music video of South Korean singer PSY with his song “Gangnam Style.” It was uploaded on July 2012 and surpassed the leading videos at the time to be the first YouTube video with 1 billion views on December 2012.

To highlight its achievements and statistics, Mushroom Networks has packed the most recent information about YouTube in an infographic.

By Francis Rey Balolong

DealerNet Services

The Five Types Of Social Media Complainers [Infographic]

(Posted on Aug 18, 2013 at 03:27AM by William Cosgrove)
Social media plays a critical role in protecting both brand equity and customer loyalty. More and more consumers are using social media to interact with brands; yet most customer complaints, questions, and comments remain unanswered by those brands.

This infographic identifies five different types of complainers and how you can help them.
By Blue

DealerNet Services

Government- You've Gotta Wonder?

(Posted on Jul 10, 2013 at 08:58AM by William Cosgrove)

No wonder our government can’t get anything done and spends so much of our money.  The office of Fair Trading (OFT) is being asked by The “NEW”, more money spent on duplication, Financial Conduct Authority ( FCA)  ), (these offices and regulatory agencies are popping out of the woodwork- Get the roach spray out), to transfer control of Consumer credit regulation to them because they think they can do a better job (Right)


So are they going to close down the (OFT)? Apparently they are not doing a good enough job (Believe that and I have the car for you.)


This is a direct result of Big Government thinking they know how to control our lives better than we do.


I propose that we write a grant and get funding to set up our own regulatory agency the (GODB) GET OFF OUR DAMN BACKS! AND LET THE MARKETS DECIDED WHAT IS FAIR PRACTICE OR A GOOD PRODUCT.


Now they want to look at GAP Protection. What is wrong with GAP insurance anyway? It is a good product that provides value to the consumer and has been being sold for ever. No wonder our Government can’t get anything done or do it right when they do. I doubt if they even know how many agencies are out there wasting our hard earned tax dollars that we pay based on our income. Now they want to play with our income. Does anyone see anything ironic here?

Author Bill Cosgrove





FCA issues call for evidence on GAP competition



The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has begun a study into general insurance add-on products with an appeal for evidence of competition in the marketplace.

GAP (guaranteed asset protection) insurance sold by the motor industry is one product under scrutiny. Others include home emergency insurance, gadget, travel and personal accident cover.

The market study will consider evidence from companies and individuals and look at the nature of competition in these markets, in particular whether these products represent good value for money and whether consumers understand what they are getting with their policy.

The FCA’s call for evidence, to be submitted to before September 10, reveals it will consider whether prices are excessive for a given quality, whether the quality is what consumers reasonably expect, any profitability differentiation between add-on and standalone sales for underwriters and distributors, and whether the consumer actively considers alternatives.

A key focus of the study is to investigate what impact add-ons have on consumer behaviour and expectations, how firms respond to those, and whether poor market outcomes arise as a result. 

Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), told the Association of British Insurers (ABI) Biennial Conference: “Our new competition duty is the single most significant change in our objectives as a regulator. It means that we don’t just wait for problems before we try to promote competition in the markets we regulate.

“We have our first market study underway looking at general insurance add-ons.  We’ve called for evidence and approached a number of firms in the market for information. We are testing whether poor outcomes in add-on sales could reflect particular consumer behavioural traits and firms’ responses to them.”

“One of the questions I was most frequently asked 101 days ago was: ‘Is the FCA going to be genuinely different from the FSA?’.  We understand why people reserved judgement - the FSA needed to change.

“100 days later I think we are taking steps in the right direction. The FCA is in many areas a very different animal from the FSA.

“We’re not just asking: Is this product compliant? Does it tick every legal box? But actually: is the outcome good? Is the market competitive? And is fair treatment of consumers designed into products and culture?”

The results of the FCA's findings will be reported in 2014.  

 Author Tim Rose





The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is facing calls from the Financial Services Consumer Panel to transfer control of consumer credit regulation to the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The Financial Services Consumer Panel says the FCA, who will succeed the Financial Services Authority (FSA) upon enactment of the Financial Services Bill, should be given full responsibility for the regulation of retail financial services, including consumer credit. 

The Panel believes that a two stage process is necessary starting with the FCA taking over responsibility for regulating credit under the Consumer Credit Act.  A second review would  further examine when it would be appropriate to move to an integrated Financial Services and Markets Act-based regime.

Adam Phillips, the FSA Consumer Panel’s chairman said :

“If the FCA is an effective consumer regulator, they would be able to intervene in the issues we have seen developing. A single regulator looking at all the conduct issues in financial services has to be a good idea.”

Gillian Guy, the Citizens Advice chief, said:

“It is vital . . . that not only lenders but also debt collectors, brokers, debt managers and retail lenders selling insurance products are regulated by a single body.”

Director general of the FLA Stephen Sklaroff said:

“Whether or not regulation transfers to the new FCA, the regime which the FCA will inheritin the deposit and savings markets is not appropriate for credit.”

A spokesman for Which? said :

“Key protections in the Consumer Credit Act must be maintained.”

A spokesman for the OFT said:

“The government needs to consider the evidence and determine whether and where change is needed. We are engaging with the government about what improvements we think would make a difference.”

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