Category Archives: Automotive

School About The World of Automotive Engineering

Automotive technical schools are specially designed to prepare students in the automotive field as professional automotive technicians. During the past decade, the number of automotive technical schools has increased manifold and most offer unique specializations. The automotive industry is not just confined to engines and repair work; opportunities are diverse. With the automobile industry at an all-time high, job opportunities in this field are many.

Automotive technical schools offer a wide range of career programs in the areas of fuel and ignition systems, engines and repair, brakes, power trains, electronics and diagnostic equipment, transmissions, auto electronic fundamentals, custom motorcycle body fabrication, collision repair and refinishing, emission testing, and much more. Some of the common programs to be found in the automotive technical schools include automotive technician training, collision repair and refinishing, diesel and industrial technician training, automotive service management, and mechanical drafting design and CAD technology.

Based on the courses, students finishing automotive technical schools are awarded diplomas or degree certificates. Almost every automotive technical school boasts experienced and highly qualified instructors from the automotive sectors. The fees at most of the schools are a bit high but financial aid packages are available at most schools.

Besides full time programs, online and distance education programs are provided by automotive technical schools. Online courses are particularly designed for those who are working full-time and can’t attend regular classes, or for students who wish to study from the convenience of home. Automotive technical schools provide online programs in a variety of fields. These include automotive and diesel technology, auto body repair technology, career development training, fuel, and emissions control systems, and ignition systems and functions.

Before enrolling into any automotive technical school, always check whether the school or college you selected has an accreditation. Also, make sure that the college can provide you with the best technical assistance that covers all your needs. As new cars are becoming more and more complicated, always choose an automotive technical school that teaches latest technological advancements.

Create Student Options With Reviews About Automotive

What are the benefits of automotive reviews and who benefits from them? The answer appears to be simple. The consumer is given all the details he/she might be interested in, as well as a rating of the automobile, so he/she appears to be the sole beneficiary of automotive reviews, since they are useful instruments in making the right choice when purchasing a car. But automotive reviews can work for the benefit of car dealers just as well, as their websites will be considerably trafficked, and initiation of leads from the part of the informed consumers – potential consumers – is more likely to take place.

When car dealers are interested in attracting visitors to their websites, they have a great variety of means at their disposal. A good ranking made by a search engine will definitely come with an increased number of visitors, but another problem still remains. How do you retain those visitors and turn them into potential customers? Automotive reviews are the answer. Good automotive reviews offer the right information that the visitors require. A first step, which is very important, is that the potential customers will spend quite some time reading the automotive review posted on the website. The purchase of a car is an important step and deciding upon a certain car model may prove to be a complex and painstaking process. Regardless of their financial possibilities, all the potential buyers feel the need to be well informed before they move on to the next step, that of actually paying for the car and driving it home. When researching, customers will find it useful to have access to independent automotive reviews, which will guarantee that their best interest as consumers comes first. The right information offered by independent automotive reviews can turn a visitor into a customer very quickly, and this is what car dealers have to take advantage of.

Automotive news is another means of keeping the potential customers informed. The latest news make the object of interest for all those passionate about cars, or those researching for a car purchase. However, many people consider that the automotive reviews found on automotive blogs are to be trusted more than any other means of information. Consumers trust automotive blogs because they know that most of the information there comes from people just like them who have something to share. Providing the consumer with the possibility of writing his/her own review of a car is important. People wish to make educated choices when it comes to purchasing a car, and automotive blogs offer them the information they need.

An automotive blog is not just a reliable source of information, but is also available at any hour, since the internet has no limitations whatsoever. An automotive blog will provide visitors with all sorts of information, such as tips for buying cars, maintenance, car repair and safety, environmental issues, and so forth. Some other car-related aspects may constitute the reason why people affiliate to an automotive blog. These aspects may refer to esthetics, utility or power.

An automotive blog is all the more reliable when it contains photographs or videos, or gives reference to other car blogs or similar websites, showing that the consumer’s best interest comes first.

Automotive Review and Skeptical Journalism

When we hear the words ‘automotive reviews’ we think of comparative tests, investigations, technical details, advantages and disadvantages of a particular car model. People are most interested in automotive reviews when they are about to purchase a vehicle. This is an important decision for the potential buyer since the car may remain in his/her possession for many years. Actually, statistics say that the purchase of a car is the second largest expense for many people. In developing countries, the situation is even worse than that, as choosing a certain car is sometimes a life commitment for those people. Under these circumstances, automotive reviews are a must. No automobile is to be purchased without having consulted its review.

Automotive reviews are useful for all kinds of customers, from those are simply interested in buying a cheap car with good gas mileage to those who are mostly interested in design and comfort. To all these people the purchase of a car may appear as a very challenging experience, since the auto market is vast and the lack of experience can prove to be a serious drawback. Needless to say all those interested in purchasing a car should follow the latest automotive news in order to keep up with what is new in this vast and complicated area. However, automotive reviews cannot be found on television every day, nor do they appear in newspapers. Moreover, specialized media, such as auto magazines, which are issued weekly or monthly, may not give the automotive reviews you need when you need them. Therefore, a good source of accurate and reliable automotive reviews is the Internet. Automotive blogs are full of information with and about cars and many related topics. In addition, you get more than statistics or official figures, because people like you have posted their comments or facts from personal experience on those car blogs. Sometimes this beats all automotive reviews.

As we have stated before, there are many sources of automotive news and reviews. The problem is that some of them may not be as reliable as we think and this can be damaging to the consumer. There are times when the interests of certain companies stand in the way of giving consumers honest advice. A good share of criticism is not a must have for automotive reviews. However, skeptical journalism is proof that the consumer’ s best interest is at the top of the priority list. Auto magazines present a lot of automotive reviews because that’s their line of work, but they will rarely point out possible flaws of automobiles.

Everyone will agree that in the auto magazines or TV shows, the automotive reviews sound a little too good to be true. You can check out the latest automotive news in magazines and on TV shows, but as far as the reviews are concerned, you should only trust what you see with your own eyes. This may turn out to be a little difficult at times, but fortunately we live in the technology era, and seeing it for yourself is now possible on the internet. If a car reviewer speaks of some less appealing features of a certain automobile, there’s the chance of actually seeing them by means of multimedia. Criticism equals bad publicity, so when it comes to magazines or television shows, there’s a good chance that the consumer will be deprived of his right to be honestly and correctly informed. Therefore, the internet remains the most reliable source of both automotive news and automotive reviews.

Curious By Getting Gear With an Automotive Franchise?

What has your lifetime obsession always been? What’s your passion? Would it happen to involve working with cars or constantly placing yourself around the roar and rumble of automobiles? If so, why not look into the promising prospect of partaking in the ever-expanding world of automotive franchises? Especially if you’re a business savvy or entrepreneur-driven individual who’s main interest lies in automobiles themselves, the opportunity of getting in gear with an automotive franchise might just be the catalyst you’ve been seeking to spur your own self-enterprise pursuits.

Engine-Roaring Basics On Automotive Franchises

With a considerably slim start up investment and a plethora of rewarding benefits, what better time could it possibly be to put the pedal to the metal and start cruising your way down the triple-crown highway with an automotive franchise kicking back in the passenger seat next to you? What are you waiting for? As it stands, franchises in general are spreading like wild fire and consumers are taking notice toward the opportunity, substantial earning potential and overall appeal of becoming a business owner.

And depending on where your automotive interests lie, the possibilities in different automotive franchise ventures can vary greatly. Say you’re more inclined toward car maintenance, or car repair, or automotive parts or automotive insurance; any and all of the aforementioned can lead you to selecting a specific and quite successful automotive franchise.

Considering Options and Finding Your Automotive Franchising Niche

When deciding on which automotive franchise would be best for you, there are many factors you should take to mind. Clearly, you should have interest in cars and the automotive industry. If you don’t then why would you consider running a business in which you have no prior experience or any knowledge in whatsoever? That said, and assuming you are indeed interested in automotive topics, then what should be considered next are overall start up costs. Typically, start up costs for an automotive based franchise can range anywhere from $10,000-$20,000 dollars, which is, looking from a long-term business perspective, a tiny investment for future and monumental gains and growth potentials.

And of course different automotive franchise types -that is, what services and/or products each offer- can vary greatly in terms of investment costs. So, it’s important to conduct some research and shop around for your best option.

Working With Brand Names or Not? It’s Suggested You Do

Thinking from the perspective of a consumerist mindset, opting to pick an automotive franchise backing a specific brand name might be a great business move. Now, of course, the initial investment costs would be a bit heftier than a standard, lesser-known franchise, but in the long run, brand names are reliable and workable, ten-fold. Customers will flock to franchises with names they’re familiar with or have heard good things about; take this to heart as it will assuredly make your automotive franchise venture a huge success.

It simply boils down to one thing, assurance. And consumers seek this at all costs. A solid, preexisting reputation through your selected automotive franchise brand will almost immediately provide you with a consistent and frequent client base.

Financing Automotive Repair Equipment

The very competitive automotive repair industry depends highly on sophisticated equipment which is very expensive. Automotive repair equipments like hydraulic lifts, alignment equipment etc play a vital role in the business operations of this industry. Although expensive, they are indispensable in various repair services. Therefore automotive repair equipment financing is assuming greater importance in the automotive repair industry.

The traditional lending institutions may not be willing to finance sophisticated automotive repair equipment due to their unique nature. However, there are a few genuine financing companies which understand your needs and requirements. They offer financial assistance under various categories and at better interest rates.

Commercial car wash requires lot of equipment and so an automotive repair industry needs to be equipped with all the essential equipments for the same purpose. Automatic car wash, In-bay car wash system, vacuum system etc are some of the sophisticated equipment required in car wash processes. But they are quite pricey especially in case of multiple car washes. Therefore, one can acquire the sophisticated equipments through automotive repair equipment financing.

Tire changer is another important component of any automotive repair shop. Nowadays people are particular about the tires they use and thus excellent tire changer equipment is indispensable for satisfying the customers. Automatic tire changer, PAX tire changer, manual tire changer are some of the equipments available in the market. They can be expensive and so the automotive shops need to look for automotive repair financing.

Auto body equipment plays a crucial role in making a wrecked vehicle to useful. This work however involves full line of auto body equipments like straightening equipment, painting bays and so on. In case they have to be worked on various types of vehicles, a full line of auto body equipment can be quite expensive. In such cases the help of automotive repair financing is much required.

Wheel balancer is another vital tool in an automotive repair shop which helps in assessing the potential problems in the wheel, quickly and accurately. Therefore this equipment helps in providing improved customer service. But the cost of wheel balancer is high and so wheel balancer financing provided by some reliable financing companies is essential.

Wheel alignment equipment is another valuable tool in an automotive repair shop. It saves time and helps the mechanic in easy and quick assessment and repair in any vehicle’s wheel alignment. Though essential, they are quite costlier and so many repair shops are not able to afford it. However automotive repair equipment financing provides valuable service to repair shops to acquire these essential tools.

A frame machine in an automotive shop helps to provide life even to severely damaged vehicle. It is also quite expensive, but some valid financing companies offer easy financial assistance to acquire a frame machine.

Automotive repair equipment financing therefore helps almost all automotive shop owners to acquire the valuable automotive repair tools. The financing companies provide straight forward approach in offering financial help. They provide fast approval with minimum application process. Even an online application is enough to get financial help from them. These companies offer help at better terms so that owners can pay their bills in low easy monthly installments.

Here’s All About Automotive Details

Automotive detailing can be one of the most important jobs at vehicle dealerships or detailing shops. Whether a detailer is preparing the vehicle for a sales display or getting it ready for its new owner, it’s sometimes that first impression of the vehicle that makes automotive detailing so significant.

Good automotive detailers will know the areas on vehicles that a bad detailer can miss. Areas such as door jams, window seals, and engine cleaning are signs that you got a good detail job. Trade-in vehicles that need to be detailed are perhaps the most important as a good detail can affect its retail value. No one wants to buy a used vehicle, no matter what the performance quality, if it hasn’t been detailed properly.

Soiled upholstery and carpet stains can also prevent resale value but using the right products can show a drastic improvement if done correctly. Tobacco or smoking in a vehicle are no longer challenges for the good automotive detailer. Various manufacturers are now producing machines such as Ionizers that when placed in a vehicle for a small period of time can take out the effects of smoking smells.

Automotive detailing products are important. Products or mitts that can scratch, wear out the paint, or dull chrome should not be used and a good automotive detailer will know which products to avoid.

Automotive detailing product salespeople who promote their products and claim they are the best visit many dealerships. Beyond what products auto detailers are using, a customer should look at the detail shop or detail area. Is it clean? Are the products organized, or are the detailers running back and forth, sharing products, or worse, leaving the detail area looking for their equipment? Check them out for cleanliness and accessibility of the automotive detailing items they use-are they nearby?

A good automotive detailer will use tools such as small brushes with soft bristles for vent cleaning. Detailing tools that have small rubber tips are good for cleaning dirt out of seams and trim. Wheel and tire brushes are also a must. Some products such as mitts and brushes are now being offered by the manufacturers with color-coding. This color-coding helps the detailer identify which is the best tool for the process in a quick and easy manner. Bottles of cleaners should also be color-coded for automotive detailing use. Grabbing the wrong solution can be detrimental to the detailer if he is in a hurry. The color-coding process has eliminated the mistakes sometimes made in the automotive detailing business.

Some automotive detailing shops even offer services that will check your wiper blades and other viewable parts that can easily be replaced by a detailer at a lower cost than a mechanic or technician.

A big job for the automotive detailer is new vehicle preparation. If a dealer sells new vehicles, as they are shipped in, they are inevitably full of dust, debris and, road wear from the shipping process. Not only is the automotive detailer responsible for cleaning the new vehicle, most car dealerships will provide them with a checklist of other items to check for operation. The checklist can include items such as setting the clock and radio, testing the key fobs to see if they are working correctly, removing the new vehicle plastic and stickers, and, taking the vehicle on a small test drive to check wipers, air-conditioning and, other essential elements.

Probably the last thing a good automotive detailer can offer is the trip to the gas pump to fill your vehicle up with a full tank. If your detailing company or dealership offers this, it may save you dollars. Many dealerships receive gasoline discounts and are happy to pass them along to the customer to keep them coming back, so check that out when you visit your automotive detailer or dealership.

Automotive detailing takes a lot if care. People who work in this area should be the kind of people who love the detailing process and the outcomes they achieve. They are people who have high levels of energy and communication skills to ensure the customer is getting what they want. If chosen right, the good automotive detailer can make all the difference in that new, used, or customer vehicle. Good automotive detailers will keep customers coming back to any shop and are sometimes overlooked for the talents they possess.

Automotive Advertising Agency Must Attend to Conference NADA 2010 to Listen and Learn

Automotive advertising agencies have been forced to take on additional responsibilities in today’s troubled economy. As the President of national network of independent affiliated automotive advertising agencies and the host of an auto industry social networking resource portal I recently promoted the 2010 NADA Convention on my blog talk radio show as a real world venue similar to the online resources that I rely on to listen and learn and contribute to so I can presume to teach.

I consider the NADA convention as a must attend event for automotive advertising agencies, auto dealers, auto industry vendors and decision makers that regularly tune in to listen and learn from the auto industry experts regularly featured on various online resources. The NADA Convention is the real world version of online social networking communities focused on sharing best practices for the auto industry and a perfect platform to make new friends and connect with old ones in both the real and the virtual world.

The NADA Convention is a means to stay ahead of the competition by learning about the new Internet technologies and applications being introduced by the vendors and speakers that will be featured at the convention. The 2010 NADA Convention is being held in Orlando, Florida this February 12th. through February 15th., 2010 at the Orlando Convention Center. Additional information on the convention is available at their site — NADA.Org — and their online pre-registration savings of $50 -$75 has been extended to January 27th., 2010. I strongly advise anyone seeking to survive in today’s consolidating auto industry to register before the deadline to take advantage of the discount with the confidence that your investment of your time and money will provide a R.O.I. that can’t be duplicated by any online auto industry-centric venue; including my own.

My affiliated agencies are connected by a proprietary online communication/distribution system I developed in December of 2001. I designed the operating system that links this national network of independent businesses as a means to leverage the resources of the participating automotive advertising agencies, production partners and select vendors to allow them to compete with national automotive advertising agencies. The resulting savings in fixed and semi-variable expenses coupled with access to a wide variety of production and creative resources for the member agencies was made possible through their use of several online technologies that were developed to support the growing World Wide Web.

I reference this history as evidence that I have practiced what I now preach. These same technologies must be applied to the internal processes of auto dealerships to allow them to survive in a consolidating auto industry. The combination of the resulting efficiencies realized in technology enhanced selling systems in brick and mortar auto dealerships integrated with their online showrooms, and the newly developing applications being applied by automotive advertising agencies to promote their auto dealer clients on the Internet, is the key to profitability today and survival tomorrow.

The NADA Convention allows auto industry vendors to present new cutting edge applications to auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies who are anxious to gain an advantage over the competition. More importantly, in a consolidating auto industry auto dealers must sell more for less to satisfy budget conscious and better educated online car buyers and the technology being applied to sell vehicles on the Internet Super Highway is the way to do it in a scalable and cost effective manner!

The blog talk radio station featured on my portal is another example of how a new technology platform can enhance the reach and performance of an automotive advertising agency in today’s Internet driven marketplace. I use various blog talk radio shows as an online communication system for my network to share best practices and new vendor applications with site visitors surfing the web to get the inside story on the auto industry. In addition, my shows attract new vendors anxious to tell their story to the decision makers who follow me on the World Wide Web which allows me to review cutting edge automotive advertising applications before competing agencies know that they exist.

Several vendor clients of mine were discovered during their online reviews and most of them will be represented at the NADA Convention. Why? Because the NADA Convention is the perfect real world venue to launch new products and services and this year is no exception.

Automotive Advertising Must Use Social Networks and Search Engine Algorithms to Sell Cars and Other Spare Parts

Automotive advertising agencies are challenged to provide more for less to serve a consolidating auto industry and today’s Internet has provided them with the media and the methods to do it. Budget conscious consumers are firmly in the driving seat on the Internet Super Highway and auto dealers have directed their marketing messages to their online showrooms vs. their brick and mortar facilities to get their attention. More accurately, they are following their customers onto the World Wide Web and hoping that their past and pending customers will find them there.

The days of hard sell retail messages in conventional media like radio, T.V. and newspaper as well as dealer-centric banner ads and websites promoting daily dealer specials are numbered. Today’s car shoppers have been empowered by the search engines to filter out dealer messages in favor of information on exactly the new or pre-owned vehicle they are searching for. In addition, Social networking communities of online friends have rallied their support and opinions to help car shoppers decide what they should buy and from which dealership they should buy it from. After all, what are friends for!

The consumers’ new found source of information on the Internet to assist them in their car shopping process hasn’t replaced the need for automotive advertising agencies in the retail auto industry, but it certainly has changed their role in it and the methods that they must use to earn their agency fees. The first adjustment that an automotive advertising agency must make in their business model is to recognize that the internal profits that they used to realize in their radio, T.V. and print production departments can no longer be supported by their auto dealer clients. Reduced sales volume and profit margins on the auto dealers’ side of the table demand a better R.O.I. for every dollar and while these departments are still required to produce digital marketing material for online campaigns the production costs must be a fraction of previous pricing to remain competitive with the newly developing online resources that an auto dealer has access to.

The agency must still provide creative that is relevant to the market and they must define the target audience that would be most receptive to it, but once again the World Wide Web has changed the rules and automotive advertising agencies must learn what they are and follow them. Top of the mind awareness is still job one for automotive advertising agencies who understand that they can’t time the buying cycle for everyone on the Internet Super Highway and therefore they must maintain a consistent message across multiple channels to be on the short list when the customer is ready to purchase a vehicle. Diversification across multiple media and frequency of targeted messages to qualified buyers isn’t a new practice but the methods, media and skill sets required to get the job done have changed.

Networking and the related referrals and sales sourced from it has been an integral component of internal selling processes for auto dealers since the first vehicle was sold but it has had little to do with conventional advertising — until now that is. Social networking and the related Internet media channels that have grown to support it are now a primary target audience for automotive advertising agencies. Word of mouth advertising has grown exponentially as viral messages travel through social networking channels with the opinions of like minded car shoppers who use these online communities of friends to share their car shopping experiences before, during and after their buying cycle.

Initial attempts by automotive advertising agencies to market to these social networks from the outside through the use of banner ads or as wolves in sheep’s clothing trying to invade a network of friends were soundly rejected. Members valued each other’s opinions and shared experiences over a self serving auto dealer or their automotive advertising agency.

Monetizing social networking has been a challenge but new technologies that integrate established marketing channels with social networks from the inside out have provided the solution. ronsmap, for example, is a game changing consumer-centric online inventory marketing platform that embeds a social networking engine on their communal site as well as every vehicle posted on it by participating auto dealers. Their application, vBack, provides an Ask-a-Friend / Tell-a-Friend feature that solicits feedback from friends on the various social networks that an online car shopper trusts. These influences then act as agents of the auto dealer — without their knowledge — under the direction of a friend which allows the automotive advertising agency to market from the inside out vs. from the outside in. C2C marketing vs. B2C marketing is the key to monetizing social networking and ronsmap is a new technology based exit on the Internet Super Highway that has opened this new channel to auto dealers.

In addition, ronsmap enhances the value of the leads generated from within the social networks by accumulating the information gathered through their SellersVantage application. In addition to the anticipated name, IP address and vehicle information requests their new Intelli-Leads include the online shopping selection and vehicle preferences of the initiating car shopper and the comments accumulated by his online network of friends. These enhanced leads allow the auto dealer to anticipate the needs of their potential customers before they open negotiations with them. As a result, the consumer is provided a more relevant and transparent vehicle selection in response to their initial inquiry and the auto dealer has a competitive edge to quote the best price on the best vehicle for the consumer. This is a win-win scenario that increases closing ratios and profits for the auto dealer while offering the consumer the advantage of the information and referrals he gathered from his online car shopping experience.

The internet is far superior to conventional media on many levels and social networking is only one of the newest reasons. Automotive advertising agencies must be prepared to direct their clients beyond marketing through social media. They must also provide more than advice on search engine optimization, S.E.O., search engine marketing, S.E.M. and banner ad placements or transparent and relevant website designs. The search engines hold the key to the Internet and understanding the algorithms that determine the rules of the road on the Internet Super Highway that they control are the responsibility of the automotive advertising agency.

Google, for example, has clearly stated the weight that they place on video vs. copy or other means of online digital marketing. Today’s Internet consumer grew up watching television and the explosive growth of YouTube proves that their preference for video has survived onto the World Wide Web. One vendor that has listened to Google and their subsidiary YouTube is SiSTeR Technologies with their Video CarLot platform. SiSTer is able to take the existing pictures and vehicle information posted on an auto dealer’s website and convert them into professionally produced videos.

More importantly, their videos are fully index-able with multiple schema layers making them interactive and more transparent to the online car shopper. These videos are placed on the auto dealer’s website as well as any third party advertising sites that the auto dealer is linked to. In addition they are driven through a dedicated API to YouTube with individual URLs that extend the reach and frequency of the dealer’s inventory and marketing messages — a proven formula for success in conventional automotive advertising that also applies to Internet advertising.

Automotive Ad Must Lead, Follow, Or Get Out of the Way

I am a self described old school car guy but perhaps my definition of that well earned title has a different meaning than many of my contemporaries have assigned to it. My definition of a car guy is an entrepreneurial business man that is driven to win, who values relationships as a team builder and who prides themselves as being a community leader. The people skills needed to accomplish most goals in the car business are built on an understanding of human nature which has survived in the virtual world of today’s Internet Super Highway. However, the technologies and online processes needed to communicate to customers have changed dramatically and us car guys need to stay ahead of the curve to stay competitive.

Similarly, automotive advertising agencies serve the retail auto industry in much the same way that they have for decades. However, since the one constant in the auto industry is change — and human nature is also a constant — then change in the automotive advertising industry must be limited to the technologies that have developed to serve the newest media of choice; the Internet. Agencies are still striving to improve the reach, frequency, cost per impression and the basic R.O.I. of their automotive advertising campaigns delivered to a qualified and targeted audience, however in my considered opinion there has been a paradigm shift in automotive advertising as a result of the empowerment that the Internet has extended to the online car shopper.

Conventional wisdom supports the position that selling processes on the virtual showrooms being built on the Internet Super Highway must replicate and integrate with those used in the brick and mortar showrooms on local car rows, however that is reflective of the needs of the auto dealers, not the customers. Structured selling systems require repetitive processes that eliminate redundancy of data input and accommodate follow up and management monitoring which has little value to consumers who just want to know if the auto dealer has the vehicle that they want and how much will they have to pay for it.

Old school wisdom suggest that the goal for the dealer after an initial contact by phone, email or by an online visitor to their website is to make an appointment to get the customer into the showroom since, after all, you can’t sell them a car on the phone or on the Internet — or can you? New technology based solutions like AutoTransaXion introduced by Argistics provide an online transaction tool with a two way video customer interaction application that links to the auto dealer’s DMS, CRM and ILM in a comprehensive push/pull manner that replicates the real world selling process. The enhanced transparency and relevancy provided by this online communication tool satisfies the needs of the online car shopper while providing a seamless transition that allows the auto dealer and the consumer to complete an online transaction.

Most Automotive advertising agencies recognize the need to provide transparency and relevancy to attract online car shoppers but few are aware of solutions such as AutoTransaXion to convert these new opportunities on the World Wide Web to sales. Budget challenged auto dealers are demanding that their automotive advertising agencies deliver more for less and staying in touch with new technology is one way to deliver.

Another opportunity to leverage online resources for automotive advertising agencies in the know can be found in new online inventory based marketing platforms like ronsmap.com that utilizes its game changing technology to integrate social networking media with their platform. The extended reach and frequency of message provided by their vBack Ask-a-Friend / Tell-a-Friend application increases S.E.O. for the auto dealer by integrating their social networking engine with every vehicle posted on ronsmap, the auto dealers’ website and third party sites that the auto dealer posts their inventory on. As a result, leads and sales are increased exponentially as they tie into the viral messages powered by their C2C marketing methods vs. more commonly utilized B2C methods offered by banner ads and other attempts to market into social networking communities from the outside in vs. the ability for vBack to market from the inside out.

In addition, the Intelli-Leads gathered by ronsmap and their vBack application are enhanced by the market intelligence gathered by their SellersVantage application which provides real time information on the online consumer beyond the typical name, IP address, contact information and questions regarding the vehicle they selected. SellersVantage provides the auto dealer with the comparable vehicles that the customer may have considered through ronsmap as well competitive information on similar vehicles currently being offered on the Internet. As a result, conversion rates are increased for the auto dealer and the transparency and relevancy for the car shopper is enhanced. Of course none of this is possible if the automotive advertising agency doesn’t know about ronsmap and similar leveraged online marketing platforms to recommend to their auto dealer clients.

Understanding and applying the rules established by the search engines to maximize the S.E.O. for their auto dealer clients is another challenge for automotive advertising agencies that requires them to listen and learn about new Internet applications before they can presume to serve their clients’ needs. Social media has earned a weighted position on Google that is only matched by their similar respect for video to reflect consumer preferences. A generation of T.V. watchers has matured into video-centric consumers that prefer to watch an online video of a vehicle vs. a typical display ad listing features and benefits or even a set of pictures. SiSTeR Technologies has a video production platform, Video CarLot, that hosts applications like their vShock and VidBrid that produce professional quality videos from still pictures extrapolated from an auto dealer’s website using human voice, existing video footage and multi-schema layers with interactive information for the consumer to increase the transparency and relevancy of the experience.

In addition, SiSTeR is able to increase the vSEO of the dealer by distributing each produced video directly onto the search engines through their dedicated API with You Tube with their own URL, file name and associated search words and meta tags. Couple that with the linked micro-site offered by their vShock application that follows custom business rules established by the auto dealer to display the selected vehicle video with other similar vehicles chosen from their online inventory and you can see the added value of an automotive advertising agency that knows to suggest this video platform to their clients.

Other new vendor solutions offered by companies like CityTwist.Com who offers a do it yourself email platform with over one hundred and twenty five million double opt-in email addresses to facilitate conquest sales for auto dealers and Bull Dog Marketing Technologies who provides an internal data based marketing platform capable of delivering direct mail or email messages with personal URLs and custom vehicle selection and price quotes in monitored monthly campaigns for sales and service will also provide enough of an R.O.I. to support the fees that they paid to the automotive advertising agency that suggested them. Simply put, today’s automotive advertising agencies must lead, follow or get out of the way of those forward thinking agencies that accept their new areas of responsibility that include listening and learning about new Internet based technologies to recommend to their clients.

How Important is Online Reviews For Sale of Automotive Dealers

Online reviews on automotive dealer’s website are valued features and play a key role in influencing the customer’s automotive buying decision. Online reviews are sought after by customers using Internet at every stage of car buying process, as they offer existing customer experiences on vehicle models, services, policies etc of particular automotive dealers. It is important to include online reviews and testimonials in dealer websites as they help in retaining the existing customers and builds initial trust among potential customers. It helps to increase sales as prospective customers prefer to deal with dealers they can trust.

Positive Impacts:
Online reviews positively impact the dealership sales by increasing the confidence among both existing and potential customers.

Credibility
Potential customers perceive online reviews as authentic, genuine opinions from other customers and feel that they are receiving accurate information. They provide an effective way for dealers to communicate with customers. A good number of positive reviews on dealer website mentioning satisfactory experiences of customers are likely to instill confidence among potential customers. The potential customer can feel more comfortable and satisfied when reading a comprehensive evaluation of the dealer from a large number of customers. Even, the way dealers handle negative reviews by customers by quickly and efficiently resolving problems increases the trustworthiness of the dealers. It is likely that such unhappy customers will revert back to the same dealer.

Included In Consideration Set
The customers usually have a pre-defined set of vehicles that they prefer to buy. The automotive dealers in order to increase their sales needs to persuade the customers to alter their consideration set. The customer generated content like vehicle ratings and reviews, consumer ratings and reviews, dealer ratings and reviews can be effectively used by automotive dealers to alter the consideration set of these automotive internet users. The information given through dealer ratings and reviews can effectively target the new-vehicle buying customer segment. The reviews enhance dealer consideration among customers as both positive and negative reviews increases awareness level of the particular dealer. Also, positive reviews improve the attitude of customers towards dealers. Thus, expanding the consideration set helps to increase automotive dealership sales.

Reassurance
The online reviews and testimonials at automotive dealer website provide reassurance to the new customers that the dealer stands for professionalism, quality, credibility, and security. Reviews by previous customers reassure the potential customers that it is safe to deal with this dealer and there is commitment to customer’s privacy. Providing reviews on dealership website also increases conversion rates as it increases trust and confidence among first time visitors. Thus, existing and new customers will confide upon the dealership that helps to increase sales.

Negative Impacts If Not Monitored:
The negative online reviews can have impact on the attitude of customers towards automotive dealers.

Left Out From Consideration Set
Online reviews influence the purchasing decisions of automotive internet users. Also, they are checked while researching for a particular car on the Internet. Thus, ignoring or not monitoring the online reviews means failing to effectively target the large segment of automotive internet users and getting left out from user’s consideration. Poor online reviews and testimonials can fail to persuade, build confidence and trust among first time visitors and lose out on important prospective customers.

Needs More Time To Convince The Buyer
Online reviews and testimonials indicate the satisfaction of other customers due to better services and quality offered by dealer. Potential customers reading improperly monitored reviews are likely to view the dealer as less reliable and not trustable. Thus, the dealers may have to put in more efforts and time to convince the customers.

As online reviews are like online conversations between customers, automotive dealers need to actively get involved in them that can result in sales growth. The automotive dealers can leverage online reviews and testimonials by existing customers to generate new customers by efficiently targeting them at each step of car buying process.