Dealer Huddle V YEG – Key Highlights
Currently on its fifth tour, the Edmonton Dealer Huddle event held on March 5th was a rousing success for all involved. This VIP event focuses on the major trends shaping the future of the automotive industry in Canada, and North America as a whole. Not only was Strathcom Media a proud sponsor of the event held at the Alberta Innovates Centre, but we were honored to have our own Carrie Oliva on the speakers roster—delivering the first presentation of the day. While there were many excellent speakers—all with unique ideas, knowledge, and experience to share—the following were undoubtedly the most impactful.
Stand-Out Dealer Huddle Speakers
Ryan D’Mello – Google Canada Automotive Retail Team (CART):
When a Google representative speaks, audiences listen. Google’s automotive team always offers important insight, thanks to the vast amounts of data collected by Google—and today was no different. Ryan offered key insights on the buyer’s decision making-process, specifically for Alberta consumers in 2019.
After analyzing a segment of Canadian automotive buyers, Google CART determined that customers are taking more time in the research phase: for an average increase of 13 days to the total process. This can be attributed to the increase in options for buyers, and their willingness to shop around for both a better deal and experience. Ryan then discussed the changing demographic of North American buyers, offering advice on more effective sales tactics for dealers.
With the majority of dealer interactions starting in digital form, dealerships must stand out by optimizing their Google My Business page; this can be done by adding location extensions, implementing the bid-by-distance feature, optimizing for mobile click-capture, or asking your OEM for store visit reporting. Ryan also stressed that the growth of Youtube to grow dealership awareness is not to be ignored.
Building off of Ryan’s Youtube plug, LeadBox HQ focused on the optimal video strategies dealers could implement, with video offering a massive competitive edge. He suggested that, no matter your budget, video content is a practical tool for any dealership to utilize. He also stressed that video ads have greater reach, and promote more action.
The starting point? Anything from creating simple videos showcasing featured models for Youtube or Facebook, to editing those same videos and serving them up as 6-second ads. Branded feature videos are also easily attainable on a low budget, thanks to combining available OEM footage with stock music, custom animations, or custom voice-overs. Creating content that can be repurposed for multiple platforms is the key to creating an effective digital presence on a budget, while ensuring you stand out from your competition.
Carrie Oliva – Strathcom Media
Maybe we’re biased, but our favourite presentation came from our own Carrie Oliva—who kicked off the Edmonton Dealer Huddle event in spectacular fashion. Carrie shared her personal journey, starting as a mediocre video-game player, to understanding and utilizing data to become a great gamer—and even earn income via the streaming platform Twitch! She then tied this experience to the automotive industry, drawing attention to just how critical data is in optimizing your website (and in turn, your sales). Specifically, the importance in owning your data and being able to track where users are interacting on your site in order to make effective decisions. Scroll-depth tracking, element-visibility tracking, and click maps were all effective data collection methods she showcased to help track useful information.
Carrie then pointed out another important aspect regarding data: the nature of growing privacy concerns regarding data across the world. With the massive fines already levied against a range of companies in Europe after the enactment of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), you can save yourself some serious headaches by staying ahead of the inevitable North American legislation. Simply follow Google’s terms of service and, and you’ll be fine. That means opt out of location tracking, remove PII (Personally Identifiable Information) from your URLs, and respect your users’ Do Not track settings.
Strathcom Media is thankful that we could be a part of yet another invaluable Dealer Huddle event! We’d like to thank Jay Radke from Tier 6 for organizing the Dealer Huddle series, Alberta Innovates for hosting us, and all the speakers who shared their expertise throughout the day (and a special shout out to my man at the snack table). We always appreciate opportunities to meet with members of our industry, and we can’t wait to see everyone at the next Dealer Huddle event!