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Our Top 8 Takeways from DSES 2015

From October 18 – 20, we were lucky enough to be a part of the Driving Sales Executive Summit in Las Vegas. The weather was way better than Edmonton’s, the venue was pretty spectacular, and the parties, well we won’t get into that this time around. But, we will get into the top 8 takeaways from the conference!

  1. “No one gives a Sh*t about your responsive designed website.” – Brent Wees
    • We’ve been talking about responsive design year after year, but what’s next? What if we started to look at website design using a mobile first approach, how would that change the way we design? How would that change our customers experience online?

Having only a responsive web design isn't enough anymore.

  1. Disruption is here
    • Millennials are changing the way we do business. They have different needs and want to be engaged in different ways. Why should you start caring about this generation? By 2017, millennials will outspend the baby boomer generation. Disruption is here, how are you and your dealership adapting? Straight from the horse’s mouth, Duncan Cochrane’s top two things to start with are video & texting. Video can be anything from vehicle walk arounds to promotional dealership videos, to everything in between. Since you’re likely reading this post on your phone, don’t you think that would be the best medium to use for communication?

“We want to watch the Internet, we don’t want to read it.” – Duncan Cochrane

  1. It’s time to look at how you allocate your advertising dollars
    • According to Google, across Canada 45% of all searches are done on mobile and the other 55% are done on desktop. This isn’t anything revolutionary, but what made us stop and think was looking at marketing budgets. If nearly 50% of searches are done on mobile, do you split your advertising dollars 50/50 between the two? Probably not, the majority is probably still being spent on print.
  1. Private sales have grown 4 years in a row
    • This seems like a staggering statistic, and it may not be for the reasons you think. Deepak Anand from Google gave us some more insight into this market shift and gave us a few pointers on what our consumers are looking for:
      • Open on Sundays – we know this can vary by market, but it’s something to consider. Try opening just Sales from 10 – 3pm and see what happens. You can buy everything else on a Sunday, why not a car!
      • Open longer hours – think of when it’s more convenient for your consumers to shop, on your time or theirs?
      • Transparency – if you’re a “One Price Store” and have a “Get E-Price” button right underneath it your listed price, are you really being transparent; seems a bit contradictory? Although that “Get E-Price” button may be generating you leads, is it increasing your conversion rates? It’s time to try out something else, like Reserve Now or Check Availability.
      • Pay an avoidance fee – the self-serve category (about 1/3 of the market) wants as little dealer interaction as possible and will actually pay to not have to deal with a sales person, how will you adjust to meet the needs of this category, which is oddly enough comprised of older men who are searching for used trucks.
  1. We’re in the people business
    • Looking at what drives your customers is key, what are their motivators? The top three according to Eric Miltsch are features, upgrades and promotion. He said that his team is moving away from intent-based search to people-based search.
  1. You compete through authenticity
    • Similar to Eric’s point, creating an experience is what customers crave. People will always pay more if you give them a good experience. “Selling cars is a relationship business. It always has been, and it always will be” – Mike Burgiss.

Peter Drucker Quote

  1. Stop forgetting about fixed ops!
    • Here are a few interesting stats to get you thinking:
      • 58% of drivers agreed – I like to drive my cars as long as I can, until it’s ready for the junkyard.
      • 310 billion – the annual amount consumers spent in 2014 on vehicle repairs.
      • 70 million – the monthly amount of fixed ops queries that come in through Google.
    • If that many people are searching for more information on fixed ops, wouldn’t it be a good idea to have more information like that on your site and to start advertising what you have to offer?
  1. SEO isn’t dead, it’s just constantly changing
    • Staying up-to-date with all of Google’s algorithm changes can be exhausting, even just thinking about it can be. Here are a few things to consider right away:
      • Focus on local SEO
      • You need a local number on your site, not a 1-877 call tracking number
      • Optimize – include your City & Province in your: title tag, H1, content, URL, alt text & meta-descriptions
      • Get a blog, now!
      • Go after better links, it’s no longer a matter of how many back links you have, it’s the quality
      • Google My Business, make sure you have the right category set
      • Clean up your citations

If you haven’t been to the Driving Sales Executive Summit, get it on your “Must Attend Conference” list for 2016. There were so many amazing speakers and we can’t wait to go back next year!


Driving Sales Executive Summit (DSES), Event Recap

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